Published On: Wed, Feb 5th, 2014

Interview with UFO’s guitarist Vinnie Moore

VINNIE11. Hello Sir greetings from India . Welcome to IndianMusicMug.
Vinnie Moore: Thank you. Great to talk with you.


2. Take us back to your musical roots. Tell us about your upbringing.
Vinnie Moore: My parents loved music and always had either records or the radio playing when I was a kid. From as far back as I can remember, I loved hearing it. It always made me feel something. I got my first guitar at age 13 and after about a year of playing, I became very obsessed with it and that was the end. Ha.


3. What significance has the Pepsi commercial of 1985 played on your career. Give us an insight into your first solo album “Mind’s Eye”.
Vinnie Moore: The Pepsi commercial was a very unique thing and has always been great to be able to talk about. I don’t think it helped in a significant way with my career, but it did help to create a “buzz” about me when I was just starting out in the business. Mind’s Eye was recorded about a year and half later. I decided i would like to record an instrumental record since my demos at the time were mostly music since I didn’t have a band or a singer. so i started writing tunes and then went to California to record. we did the whole record in 11 days including the mix. I have always wished i had a little more time to make it, but ironically, people still tell me it’s one of their favorite instrumental records and that it was a big influence on them. So I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe one or 2 things. “” but I am too much of a perfectionist.


4. Tell us about your association with Alice Cooper.
Vinnie Moore: Alice and I were on the same record label and someone at the label recommended me to be a guest on the record Alice was working on at the time. It was called HEY STOOPID. I drove to the studio, spent about 4 or 5 hours playing on 2 of his songs. Then a couple months later I was asked to join the band for the tour. It was a lot of fun for me to be a part of his band on the tour.


5. “Time odyssey has been a classic since its release in 1988. Tell us a bit about the journey recording the album.
Vinnie Moore: I started writing songs for it shortly after mind’s eye came out. At that point I had a little drum machine and a tascam 4 track recorder. So I sat around with the 4 track, a pair of headphones, a rockman as an amp, and got creative. I was heavily into classical music then and it was a huge influence on that cd. fusion music also


6. How did UFO happen?VinnieMoore3
Vinnie Moore: We had a mutual friend who knew they were looking for someone and thought i would really fit in with them musically. so he recommended me. i was asked to send some of my music to them. i compiled about 11 different songs from all of my records. about 10 days later i got a call saying that Phil liked it and wanted me to join.


7. With UFO on one hand and performing with the band, how are you managing your solo career?
Vinnie Moore: There is time off between making UFO records and tours, and that is when i get busy with my solo stuff. i am working on a solo cd now and am almost finished. it should be out by summer. i have also done solo tours between UFO tours.


8. How was the experience working with Jordan Rudess on Rydthm of time?
Vinnie Moore: Jordan had played on my time odyssey record and i have always been amazed at his talent. he was having some guest guitarists on that record and asked me to do a couple solos. he sent me the tracks and i did them here at my studio.


9. Coming out of the independent music scene , how should a musician approach his music and manage it in order to meet the challenges?
Vinnie Moore: You have to love it and have a passion for it. if you just follow your love, it will usually lead you in the right direction.


10. Your advice to budding guitarists on how to perfect the skills of guitar playing.
Vinnie Moore: Well, the more practice the better. and also listening to other players is very helpful. not only guitarists….other instruments too. violinists, saxophonists…..anything. always remember though that the song and the feel are the most important things.


11. You have been an inspiration to countless guitarists around the world. Who has been your inspiration?
Vinnie Moore: Tons of people. the Beatles, ritchie blackmore, jeff beck, al dimeola, larry carlton, eddie van halen, allan holdsworth, robin trower, jimmy hendrix, brain may, john coltrane, albert king……on and on…..


12. How important is it for a musician to travel and tour and explore music?
Vinnie Moore: Touring is great because playing in front of different audiences really helps you grow and get better at connecting with them. it also makes you a better player. and there is always something to be learned by exploring different musical territories. hearing new types of music is great. and trying to explore when you play and write is also great.


13. Share with us a special moment or any particular incident of your career that most people dont know about.
Vinnie Moore: The first thing that comes to mind is that no one would know i got to jam with joe pass in finland. just the 2 of us playing guitars. he was playing jazz changes that i wasnt familiar with and i was improvising over top of them. he was changing keys and told me i had a good ear because i was following the key changes. it was a big compliment and meant a lot to me


14. Any plans for touring India? Have you heard any indian bands/artists?

Vinnie Moore: There are no plans at the moment but i would love to. i have never been there. i love indian food and go to indian restaurants quite a bit, and one time while having lunch, there was some music on and the guitar playing was really great. i had to find out who it was so i asked the owners of the restaurant and they actually let me borrow the cassette. it was Debashish Bhattacharya. i also have a cd by violinist L. Subramaniam. i went through a period a few years back where i was into tabla. the influence showed up a little in a song of mine called Transcendence. any suggestions? i always like t hear new things.


workshop415. Any young guitarists among the present lot that has impressed you?
Vinnie Moore: “The present lot” is a very UK english type of expression. “” i have learned a lot of english from being in UFO. they will always say “you lot” when referring to a group of people. in USA we never use lot that way.we would say ” among the current players” or say “you guys”. Ha! off the top of my head, nothing is coming to mind. i kind of turned off from listening to guitarists quite a while back. i just thought it was better to turn off and follow my own path. but guthrie govan is amazing. bumblefoot is killer too.i guess i am saying i like to hear great players but don’t follow things closely.


16. Give us a sneak peak into your future projects.

Vinnie Moore: As i mentioned, i have a new solo instrumental cd coming out soon. and i just finished a record with a vocalist that will be out soon on Magna Carta records. and we will be doing a new ufo record soon also


17. This is your space. Leave a message for your indian fans. Thank you.
Vinnie Moore: Thanks so much for reading my interview and i hope to be there someday.


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