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Watch the Passion & Warfare online guitar lesson by Steve Vai from Alien Guitar Secrets: Passion & Warfare

Passion and Warfare was my first serious solo record. It was a reflection of the music that was trapped in my head, during the years that I was going through rock star heaven with those big metal bands of the '80s. I knew those days would be fleeting and what I'd get out of them would be limited. But there was always that little voice singing these songs in my ear through the whole "multi platinum, MTV, sold-out arena tour, monster rock, indulgent party after the show" days of the roaring '80s. They sure were fun days and I don't regret doing them, but if I didn't make this record...I would have wilted.

When it came time to make Passion and Warfare, I closed the door of the studio and would not let anyone in (except my trusty French assistant Pascal Fillet). I had no idea if this music would be appealing to anyone, but I was compelled to do it. As far as I could tell, I was probably giving up financial security, fame, credibility, time, etc...all for art. I guess the gods of good karma were on my side - the record went gold in one week.