Steve Vai’s Favorite Artist? You Wouldn’t Guess It.

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You wouldn’t believe who Steve Vai’s favorite artist is at the moment. It’s not a shredder or guitar virtuoso. It’s not even someone who’s main instrument is guitar.

No, you wouldn’t peg Steve for a Tom Waits fan, but that’s the musical artist at the top of his list. The guitar virtuoso makes the revelation during his appearance on the 250th episode of Wikimetal.

“My favorite artist right now is Tom Waits,” he says. “I never go anywhere without everything he’s ever recorded. There are some of his songs that I can’t listen to in public because I start uncontrollably weeping. There’s something about his voice, his music... He’s just so connected. And unique. I think he’s the greatest American artist because he captures an intention and he makes you feel it. If you’re connected with it.” 

In his Wikimetal interview, Vai talks about the trajectory of his career, his relations with Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth, his best albums and tracks, and much more.

He also mentions the role that Led Zeppelin played in his early musical life.

“When I was growing up there was one band that when the music came up it just gripped me,” he says. “And I would go into a trance. And that was Led Zeppelin. Specially the songs ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Black Dog.’

“But as you go through life, thing's change,” he concludes.

They certainly do. 

You can listen to the complete episode at