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Moore And More: A Conversation With UFO Guitarist Vinnie Moore

I came to know UFO around the same time that many longtime fans did, with the release of their third studio album Phenomenon, and the first with guitar god Michael Schenker. But I was so enthralled by what I had heard on Phenomenon that I ventured back in time to their first two studio albums, UFO 1 and UFO II: Flying. It was primarily Schenker’s guitar prowess and Phil Mogg’s vocals that drove me to dive deeper into the catalog, but I quickly learned that UFO had another great guitar player in their past. When I discovered Mick Bolton, I knew this was a band that took great pride in bringing guitars to the forefront. UFO would really break things wide open when they added Paul Raymond, a guitar player that also doubled on keyboards, for their iconic Lights Out release. 

Starting in the 80's, the band would begin adding and subtracting from the lineup quite frequently throughout the next two decades; but the musicianship, especially with regard to guitarists, would always stay top notch. It wasn’t until 2003 that the band would add Vinnie Moore to their lineup, and the results were instantaneous. Most of the songs on 2004’s You Are Here release have the “Mogg, Moore" songwriting moniker attached to them, even though Moore was “the new kid” at the time. The band recognized that they had a songwriter as well as a guitar maestro. Seeing Mogg and Moore would only become increasingly more prevalent throughout the years.

Vinnie Moore now stands as one of the longest running members of UFO, and a well respected addition to their rich legacy by both fans and critics alike. And the way I look at it.... If the rabid fans of the classic Michael Schenker material are welcoming him with open arms, you know he’s got to be something very special.

I have been following Vinnie Moore’s solo career, as well as his time in UFO, for many years now. I’ve always seen him as one of the first guitar virtuosos to bring metal and shred styles into the more artistic instrumental realm. But listening to any of Vinnie’s solo albums, you will find that he can play just about every style known to mankind. He’s one of those extremely gifted and special musicians. But, as I had a chance to speak with Vinnie for just over 30 minutes about a new UFO album (The Salentino Cuts), his solo career, touring, and much more, I also learned that he is just as special of a human being as he is a musician - and that’s saying a whole lot.

Click the play button below to hear my entire conversation with the great Vinnie Moore. 

Move the slider on the player to any of the times below to hear a particular portion of the conversation.

0-6:50             Vinnie talks about the upcoming UFO album, The                                      Salentino Cuts

6:51-8:56        Does the band as a whole listen to new music?

8:57-9:14        Do you have a favorite track from the album?

9:15-11:25      You've played to hundreds and hundreds of thousands.                             Which do you prefer, the big arena or the small club?

11:26-14:50    What guitars and effects pedals did you use for the many                          styles of this album?

14:51-16:45    How overwhelming was it to come in and fill Michael                                 Schenker's shoes?

16:46-18:54    How has the band chemistry changed since you joined the                       band?

18:55-20:09    Do you feel your style or your abilities have changed over                          the years?

20:10-22:05   Vinnie talks about his upcoming Gunslingers solo tour with                         Gus G.

22:06-23:20   Will we get another solo album?

23:21-25:06   You have one album to fit in the suitcase, which one do you                       take?

25:07-25:25   Do you have a favorite guitar player?

25:26-26:15   If you could give the 20-year old Vinnie a piece of advice,                        what would it be?

26:16-27:30   Vinnie talks about St. Jude Chidren's Research Hospital

27:31-29:30   What's at the top of the bucket list?

29:31-30-27   Do you ever get tired of being on the road?

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