In addition to discussing the recording process, Steve Vai disclosed that he and Ozzy Osbourne had an unreleased studio album they co-wrote and recorded in the 1990s.
The record was recorded in 1995 during the duo’s collaboration on Ozzy’s Ozzmosis. Recently in an interview with Eonmusic, while promoting his new album ‘Vai/Gash’, he revealed that the collaboration led them to make a record.
He said, “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. I don’t have any control over it or rights to it, obviously, but we did record some pretty good stuff.”
He also described how the record sounded. He elaborated, “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.”
The album was created soon after Ozzy came out of retirement in the middle of the 1990s and started working on his seventh studio album, 1995’s “Ozzmosis,” to which Vai contributed the song “My Little Man”. He continued.
“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.”
“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.'”
Steve revealed that he and Ozzy had a great time recording songs together. It led to them recording more stuff as they got carried away. He said, “Ozzy and I got carried away because we were having a lot of fun, and we ended up recording a lot of stuff, 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.”
One of the songs that the guitarist and Ozzy recorded was “Danger Zone,” a version of which was also recorded for the “Vai/Gash” album, as the guitarist explains:
“Yeah, one of the songs was ‘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. There’s also a song called ‘Dyin’ Day’ that’s on my ‘Fire Garden’ album, because that song originally had lyrics, and that was one.
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. I thought ‘Okay, you’re going to work with Ozzy, and all these incredible guitar players have played with Ozzy; what are you going to do?’ I was not going to be conventional. Yeah, that’s not me as you know, but I had to be accessible, so I thought; ‘I’m going to use an octave divider on everything’; I mean, all the rhythm.”