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GENERATION AXE Lineup Reveal Live Album, Generation Axe: The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live In China)

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 1:43 PM


Out On June 28

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Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi, collectively GENERATION AXE, will release The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live in China) via earMUSIC/Edel on June 28. The performance of “Frankenstein” can be previewed below. GENERATION AXE first staged a North American tour in April – May, 2016, and then travelled to Asia in April, 2017. They returned to the road this past November and December, 2018 for an extensive 32-date tour of North America.

When asked which song performed captures the true essence of GENERATION AXE, Steve Vai shares, “For me, I might say that our arrangement and performance of “Highway Star” captures a good essence of what GEN-AXE is about. In this song we all came together and worked out a spectacular five guitar arrangement of this classic masterpiece, with an interplay of harmonies that is uniquely structured and potent. There are shifting solo sections tailor made for each guitarist, and a deep respect to the structure of wicked fast harmonies engineered around Richie Blackmore’s historic solo. And then there’s Yngwie’s powerful vocal performances on this track too. It has a high degree of rock and roll energy in it.” On Nuno Bettencourt’s reflection, he offers, “Personally, "Sideways"…was part of these connections we'd have with two of us from time to time throughout the show... It was great to see intimate numbers like "Sideways" and "Black Star" with Vai and Malmsteen.”

For Steve Vai, the song most enjoyable to play within the set was the opening number “Foreplay”. He offers, “I like the feeling of going out on the stage to open the show with the whole band, all the guitar players, and hitting that song. It’s some great blow-away factor in it. But "Highway Star" as the closer of the show, with everyone out there playing off of each other, is like living the childhood fantasy.” For Nuno Bettencourt, it was “Frankenstein”. He reveals, “Everyone on stage and the audience probably thought that when these guys trade solos they are going for blood and try and cut each other’s heads off. Which is the norm for typical guitarists. But instead, what was beautiful is we had an amazing, and fun conversation using our own voices, techniques and notes. So, to me, the conversation we have with each other on stage using guitars, symbolized what GEN AXE was all about. A village, a community, respect for each other’s art and skill.”

The complete track listing features: Generation Axe“Foreplay”; Tosin Abasi“Tempting Time”; Tosin Abasi and Nuno Bettencourt“Physical Education”; Nuno Bettencourt“A Side of Mash"; Nuno Bettencourt and Zakk Wylde“Sideways”; Zakk Wylde“Whipping Post”; Steve Vai“Bad Horsie”; Yngwie Malmsteen - “Valhalla” / “Baroque n Roll” / “Overture” / “From a Thousand Cuts” / “Arpeggios from Hell” / “Far Beyond The Sun”; Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai“Black Star”; Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi“Frankenstein”; and Generation Axe“Highway Star”.

Generation Axe: The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live In China) will be released as a CD digipack, limited edition colored 2-LP set with download, and digitally by earMUSIC on June 28. Additional repertoire from this event release will be revealed in the coming weeks.

In front of the last North American tour, Steve Vai shared, “The GENERATION AXE experience goes way beyond simply gathering five guitar greats on one stage to jam. The idea was to create a seamless show with one backing band and 5 completely accomplished and astonishing guitarists that take to the stage in various configurations, performing some of their solo music and merging together as cohesive co-creators of lushly orchestrated guitar extravaganzas. Guitar Jams like this can get really messy when there is no organization and my idea was to create parts for everybody to play in harmony and off each other so it’s not a mess of noise. This worked out remarkably well. There are places where everyone is playing together in wild harmony.”


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