Exclusive Interview with Alex DePue (Part 2)
What is the most memorable experience you have gained working with Steve Vai?
AD: Patience. Patience with myself as a musician. Rehearsing with Vai is very demanding and on a very personal level as a musician. You get to test your own boundaries and/or "limitations" with a musician of Steve's caliber. Yet, he is always such a patient teacher/coach. Our rehearsals for the European leg of the tour were longer than the actual tour! We banged out the show ten hours (minimum) per day, six days per week for a full month before we called that show "ready" and the rewards for that kind of hard work and effort continue to pay off... not so much in the form of monetary success... but more so in exactly how much I can expect out of myself musically with regard to all of my musical endeavors. Rehearsing and touring with Steve Vai is not unlike a musical boot camp! Steve is an absolute delight to work with and my favorite story to tell (besides the actual story of the audition) is... after say... the second day of rehearsal... the band was hot, sweaty and tired from learning the Grammy-nominated tune, Now We Run... ten hours straight of intricate rhythms and technically demanding musical lines. I'm on my way out the door to go back to the hotel in LA when Steve stops me and hands me "tomorrow's material" which was (not kidding) about an inch and a half thick of manuscript. He looks me in the eyeball with the same expression on his face you can see (and I remember well at age 14) from the 1986 movie, "Crossroads" in which he played the co-starring role of Jack Butler... and says, "So you'll have this under your fingers by tomorrow morning, right?". hahahaha. How can you deny that face. My reply was, "Of course, Sir." and then I spent the entire night practicing and got up at 5:00 AM the next morning to continue practicing before yet another ten-hour day of slamming out the new material with the band.