Is Steve Vai about to drop a surprise new album?

Even more interesting, is Steve Vai about to drop a surprise new album of vault material recorded not too long after Passion and Warfare? It sure does seem like he is.

Consider this tweet, from the afternoon of November 7, 2022:

Vai doesn’t exactly say he has an imminent new release, but what else could “it’s about time” followed by “November 10, 2022” mean? There are certainly reasons why what I hope is a not-so-subtly hinted surprise release from Vai is a tantalizing possibility.

For one, whatever this album is, it comes on the heels of Inviolate, Vai’s early 2022 release, which is a masterpiece. Inviolate easily belongs among Vai’s best work. It’s still a young album, but I already feel pretty comfortable thinking of it as my favorite Vai solo album. If Steve is comfortable putting out a surprise album less than a year after Inviolate and the successful tour behind it, a good guess would be he feels the material is really strong.

Then, there’s the time period of Vai’s career from which this music is drawn. Passion and Warfare came out in 1990, and, if I recall correctly, some of it was already far along by the late 80s, when Vai took time away from highly anticipated new solo work to play in Whitesnake. The music Vai is teasing now seems like it is solo material from between Passion and Warfare and Sex & Religion, the lone album he put out under the band name “Vai,” which featured the very young Devin Townsend and drum genius Terry Bozzio.

Thirty years is a long time for material to sit on the shelf. It’s worth noting that Vai has resurrected long-unreleased material before. He has described 2016’s Modern Primitive as the “missing link” between Flex-able and Passion and Warfare, given that the Modern Primitive material is based on music that was in various stages of development between those two well-known solo projects.

The Harley-Davidson association of the music suggests power and the open road–or so I imagine, not being a motorcycle rider. What really counts, of course, is what riding his Harley conjured in Vai’s musical imagination. And, this we may well find out on November 10, 2022!

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