Watch the Video for Steve Vai's New Track, "Little Pretty"

Steve Vai, 2021
(Image credit: Favored Nations/Mascot Label Group)

Steve Vai has just announced his new studio album will hit the shelves on January 28, 2022. Inviolate – the Grammy Award-winning guitarist’s tenth studio album – will initially be available on digital formats with 180-gram black LP and web exclusive marble LP vinyl releases to follow on March 18, 2022.

Speaking of his new release, Vai commented, “An inviolate inspiration is one that comes to you completely pure. It appears almost in its completeness, and there’s a recognition of it as being right for you – perfectly right for you. There’s no excuses in it. There's no fantasy in it. There's just a recognition of ‘yes.’ And then you capture that in a way that’s authentic to your unique creativity. Hopefully, that’s what I’ve done with this record.”

Vai has provided us with a glimpse of what to expect with his new music video “Little Pretty.”

Described as a “dark-toned fusion-funk workout” in today’s press release and recorded mostly using a Gretsch hollowbody (opens in new tab) fans can expect something unusual from Vai this time around. Certainly, a Gretsch hollowbody is a far cry from the Ibanez JEM axes he’s long been synonymous with. “I’d always just look at it and go, ‘One day I’m going to play you’,” says Vai. Alas, it appears that day has finally come!

Gretsch G5427T Hollowbody:  $899.99 (opens in new tab)

Gretsch G5427T Hollowbody: $899.99, Now $699.99 (opens in new tab)
Guitar Center have lopped a massive $200 off the price of this awesome Gretsch Electromatic hollowbody electric guitar. Bringing to mind those classic designs of the 1950s this uber-cool Gretsch features dual FT-5E Filter’Tron pickups, a fixed fully adjustable bridge, and a Bigsby B60 vibrato tailpiece. Its gorgeous flame maple top is complimented by a retro Orange Stain finish.

As anyone who has followed Vai’s decades-long career knows, expecting the unexpected has always been par for the course. A “stunt guitar” extraordinaire since stepping into the major league with Frank Zappa as a teenager in the late ‘70s, Vai has consistently invented and reinvented contemporary electric guitar technique. 

And with Inviolate touted as being Vai's “most focused, streamlined and perhaps invigorating music in years,” we’re looking forward to hearing what this next instalment of guitar wizardry brings.

 “It’s very ‘Vai,’ whatever that means,” commented the virtuoso. “Someone else might be better than me at explaining what that is. But it’s just very honest music. Because a lot of my records, they're long and there's a lot of concepts and playing around with stories. This one has none of that. This is nine pretty dense all-instrumental compositions that I wanted to capture and record so I could get out there and play them live for people.”

Steve Vai 'Inviolate' album artwork

Inviolate is due out on January 28, 2022. (Image credit: Favored Nations)

Pre-order Inviolate (Favored Nations/Mascot Label Group) here (opens in new tab).

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar World (opens in new tab)Guitar Player (opens in new tab) and MusicRadar (opens in new tab) in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.