Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai has revealed that he recorded a full album’s worth of material with Ozzy Osbourne
Speaking with Eonmusic while promoting the recently released VAI / GASH album, the guitarist was asked about the much rumored collaboration between the two. “Well, I’m sitting on a whole Ozzy record, and it’s like the GASH record — not ‘like’ the Gash record, but it’s a project that I recorded that’s sitting on the shelf,” he revealed. “I don’t have any control over it or rights to it, obviously, but we did record some pretty good stuff”.
Touching on the sound of the album, Vai said: “The interesting thing about that stuff we recorded from a guitar perspective is all of my rhythm guitar parts, I use an octave divider [guitar effect], and that the record doesn’t sound like anything else.”
When asked how close he came to joining Ozzy’s band, Vai said: “So Ozzy and I, basically what happened as far as I recognized, Ozzy had recorded about half of his record [‘Ozzmosis‘] for the record company, and Sharon [Ozzy’s wife and manager] and the label wanted to get him together with some different songwriters to just get some more songs.”
Steve continued: “I was one of the ones that they wanted to get together with. It was really just to write some songs for Ozzy’s record that he would then take and go use for his record, and whoever he was working with on the record would record it. So I thought, ‘Yeah, that’d be great. I’d love to do that.'”
The sessions eventually developed into more than the one or two songs that the pair were supposed to work on.
“Ozzy and I got carried away because we were having a lot of fun, and we ended up recording a lot of stuff,” laughed Vai, “and then we started scheming, ‘Hey, let’s make a new record.’ And all that was fine and good, and we got excited about it until the hammer came down, and they basically said, ‘What are you doing? No, you’ve just got to take a song from Vai and finish your record. We’re already into it for this much money, and Vai is expense,’ so it worked out perfect, really.”
Vai went on to disclose some tracks that would have made the album, saying: “One of the songs was [VAI / GASH‘s] ‘Danger Zone‘. I had already written it, and it was already done — it was a GASH track — and I thought, ‘Well, maybe he’d like this’, and I reworked it a bit, but it’s on the shelf.”
One of the songs from his solo 1996 release “Fire Garden” was also set to become an Ozzy Osbourne cut.
“There’s also a song called ‘Dyin’ Day‘ that’s on my ‘Fire Garden‘ album”, said Steve. “That song originally had lyrics, and that was one”.
Going on to double down on the unique sound of the record, Vai added; “There was some real, real heavy stuff because, as I mentioned, I used an octave divider on everything, and that’s was a conscious effort.”