Steve Vai recently spoke with VintageRock Pod on his decision to join Whitesnake after splitting with David Lee Roth for his solo album ‘Passion and Warfare.’ During the interview, the guitarist stated that when he left Roth after the 1988 Skyscraper Tour, he wanted to focus on the album. Then he revealed why he decided to join another band, saying: His words continued as follows: “And the Whitesnake gig was on the horizon at the same time.” So I reasoned, ‘Well, it would make much more sense to tour with Whitesnake and record with them for the momentum of the other aspect of my career.’ Fortunately for me, I enjoy Whitesnake’s music.” The guitarist recalled his feelings towards Whitesnake’s songs and shows, saying: “Back then, their Whitesnake album was released, and it was a great record, and I just love great singers.” [David] Coverdale was a psychopath. Come on, people! Every night, I saw that guy take the stage and deliver like a champ. So I said to myself, ‘Yeah, man! I want in,’ and that was fantastic.”
He also mentioned his first work with the band, saying: “When I joined the band, all of the music for the ‘Slip Of The Tongue’ album had already been written and recorded.” I just had to add the guitars. There was another fantastic group of guys. If there was anyone who was difficult, it was me. I was a little bit of a diva. I was referred by Dave Roth. Certain things are learned from Dave Roth.” Following the album’s release, Vai traveled the world with Whitesnake to promote it, but he departed the band in 1990 to pursue other career opportunities. During an interview with Rock Bottom in 2022, he discussed Whitesnake and David Lee Roth’s influence on him and explained: “I got to tour with David Lee Roth and Whitesnake, play arenas, and sell millions of records.” And it had an impact on my performance. Because you go through something like that, and you’re playing a lot of Edward Van Halen sections. while I look back at my playing now, I can’t say, ‘Oh, I got that one while I was on the Roth tour.’ Everything ends up in the same pool.” The video below features a recent interview with Steve Vai.