VINNIE MOORE INTERVIEW:
September 1, 2010
UFO are about to issue a compilation album entitled Best Of A Decade, which is a great collection of material culled from the three studio albums and one live CD/DVD released through SPV Records which feature Vinnie Moore on guitar. Recently Sleaze Roxx’s Ruben Mosqueda had the opportunity to talk with Vinnie about the upcoming collection and the next UFO studio album — the follow-up to 2009’s The Visitor. I hope you enjoy the interview and pick up the album Best Of A Decade on September 28th, 2010.
Sleaze Roxx: UFO are set to release a retrospective from the SPV recordings on September 28th, 2010 (in North America).
Vinnie Moore: Right, we have a compilation coming out in September, then we hope to get to work on a new record before year’s end. Hopefully that new album will be out around the first part of 2011.
Sleaze Roxx: Is the compilation Best Of A Decade an album that was put together by the label without the band’s input? I saw that it includes music from the three studio albums and the live album/DVD.
Vinnie Moore: Right, it was actually the label’s idea to put this album together. SPV sent us a song list for us to look over. There were some changes made to the final list. The original list didn’t include the track “Baby Blue”, I suggested we include that because it’s one of my favorite songs. When I looked at the original list from SPV it looked good but I fought for “Baby Blue” to be included. I’m sure the rest of the guys in the band made their suggestions and changes.
Sleaze Roxx: As I mentioned there are live tracks on the new CD. Did you have any second thoughts about including Michael Schenker era material in live form on Best Of A Decade?
Vinnie Moore: I didn’t give it too much thought, we do those songs live and they will always be in the set. The bottom line is they are great songs and they are fun for me to play even if I didn’t write them.
Sleaze Roxx: I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but how is Pete Way doing these days? Will Pete be taking part in the song writing for the new album if he’s able?
Vinnie Moore: I haven’t talked to Pete in a long time to tell you the truth. He is a great guy, but for whatever reason I haven’t talked to him in some time now. I really couldn’t tell you how he’s doing right now. I should check in with him actually, I’m not sure if he’d be involved in the new album either writing or performing. That’s a tough one to call. You just never know.
Sleaze Roxx: In Pete’s absence you’ve used some great stand in bass players; in the studio you used Peter Pichl, live you’ve used Barry Sparks (MSG, Dokken, Ted Nugent) and Rob De Luca (Spread Eagle, Sebastian Bach band). If Pete can’t go, what’s a realistic scenario to cover bass in studio or in the live setting? Could it be any of the three guys you’ve used before?
Vinnie Moore: It very well could be, right now it’s not a call that has been made. Whatever happens we don’t intend to ever replace Pete Way. You can’t replace a guy like that. On The Visitor we got Peter Pichl for the studio and when it came time to tour we would see who was available at that time and go from there. We didn’t want to get a guy to join the band and have his picture on the album cover and essentially have a replacement for Pete. It didn’t feel right and it’s just not right you know.
Sleaze Roxx: There will be a new album coming early next year. Do you have stuff written to present the guys when you see them next?
Vinnie Moore: I’m always writing. I always have song ideas laying around, I’ve gotten quite frustrated over the years because I know I will only live for so long and I’ll never get to all of them, that kind of stresses me out sometimes. I have a whole batch of new song ideas and riffs ready to go. I’m about to go into my studio to demo them so I can send them to Phil Mogg. So we are just in the beginning stages of the writing process.
Sleaze Roxx: When I last spoke to you it was prior to the release of The Visitor. At that time you mentioned that Phil has responded better to your bluesy riffs. Is that the direction that the new material will be headed this time around too?
Vinnie Moore: It’s really hard to say. When we start writing the songs take on a life of their own and we just go with the flow. We have no plan, we start to get creative and it just grows into whatever it turns into. I have no idea what the new music will sound like stylistically. I know I have a lot of ideas; some bluesy and some heavy. We’ll see what’s chosen and we’ll see what Phil decides to write lyrics to and we’ll see how things shape up.
Sleaze Roxx: What do you wind up doing with ideas or riffs that aren’t selected? Do you archive them and keep them for yourself or do you reintroduce them to UFO at a later time?
Vinnie Moore: I archive a lot of stuff that hasn’t been used. I once read a Pete Townshend interview where he was talking about his songwriting. Pete said that he has used every idea that he has ever had, so everything has turned into a song. That to me is pretty amazing. That’s like to opposite of me, I really envy Pete for that.
Sleaze Roxx: Do you ever submit material for outside use?
Vinnie Moore: (pauses) That’s an idea that definitely has appealed to me. I can see myself doing stuff like this down the road for sure.
Sleaze Roxx: You’ve done solo albums and stuff with other bands. Have you considered doing an album where you’d be doing differing styles of music with various singers?
Vinnie Moore: You mean something along the lines of the Carlos Santana’s Supernatural?
Sleaze Roxx: I was thinking of a cross between that or Bruce Kulick’s new solo album BK3.
Vinnie Moore: Bruce has a new album out?
Sleaze Roxx: Yeah he does, and it’s very good.
Vinnie Moore: I’ll have to check that album out. You never know. It has crossed my mind to do something with a couple different singers. If it happens down the road who knows. I’m not ruling it out.
Sleaze Roxx: You were stereotyped as a shredder and when you joined UFO some of the hardcore fans were concerned that you would take the band into unfamiliar territory. Do you feel that you have been accepted by the fans and how do you feel about being stereotyped?
Vinnie Moore: There could be worse things. I personally have always considered myself more of a songwriter and more of a melody guy. My early albums did have stuff that could be put under the shredder banner. I wish I hadn’t been tagged a shredder because I’m much more than that. I do more than just fly around the guitar… there’s so much more to me than that. I feel that, for the most part, I have been accepted by even the most hardcore of fans. There will always be a select few that you could even have Jesus Christ in the band it wouldn’t matter to them (laughs)! I am very happy with how things have gone and the acceptance of the UFO fans.
Sleaze Roxx: Are you guys still signed with SPV Records?
Vinnie Moore: Currently we’re not signed with anyone. We’ll be negotiating with labels once the writing for the new album is underway.
Sleaze Roxx: So when will you be getting together to write with the rest of the band?
Vinnie Moore: I think right now, tentatively, we are looking at September and October. We’ll be doing some touring in Europe in October, that will be a good time to kick around some ideas and do some writing. I believe we are looking for the first of the year to get into the studio.
Sleaze Roxx: How long do you guys take to crank out an album?
Vinnie Moore: We wrote and recorded The Visitor very quickly and I think that’s a great way to work. I like the ‘go with the flow’ way of not over laboring things and knocking out the album. I’m hoping that’s how things go again.
Sleaze Roxx: Thanks so much for another great interview Vinnie. I’m looking forward to the new album in 2011 and I’ll be grabbing Best Of A Decade for the collection.
Vinnie Moore: Thank you for your support. Looking forward to talking again soon.