Melodic Rock Master: VINNY BURNS!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'Melodic Rock Master' Vinny Burns!

Vinny Burns has toured, played and recorded with Dare, Asia, Ultravox, Ten, Burns Blue, Bob Catley, FM and Hugo, as well as many other sessions and solo work over the years.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

Generally just water and ice from the dispenser on the fridge.

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

UFO's Lights Out and Obsession albums with Michael Schenker. Before that I was really interested in playing and was listening to bands like Nazareth, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rush but Schenker really made me want to start playing properly.

Eddie Van Halen made me want to do it for a living after seeing VH open for Sabbath at the Manchester Apollo on the 23rd May 1978. It was my first ever gig and a Birthday present from my brother Russ and I have still never seen a support act as good.

I decided there and then that is what I wanted to do.

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

Well, my favorite is still Michael Schenker. Don't really think there is a greatest. There are so many who offer so much but in a different way. I just think he was so way ahead and original for his age. Both playing wise and sound wise.

It's all diluted now as everyone sounds and plays like him and those licks are in everyones vocabulary but back then, no one played or sounded like him.
It's amazing how young he was on all of those UFO albums.

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

For me, Dave Meniketti from Y&T. His last two solo albums have been stunning. Can't stop playing them. He has really upped his game playing wise and sounds like a player who is reborn.

So what are you up to at the moment?

Just working on my first guitar instrumental album. I am also working on putting a new band together too, but I have to get this solo guitar album finished as it's something I have wanted to do for a long time. The playing is more laid back and mainly sticking to themes and melodies rather than being over technical.

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

There was the Firefest rock festival thing in Nottingham a couple of months ago. Before that it was Rush on their latest tour. I find it hard going to gigs as you tend to watch what is happening off stage if something goes wrong :-)

Drums - Neil Peart

Bass - Phil Lynott

Keyboards - Don Airey (most amazing musician I have ever worked with)

Vocals - Robert Hart

How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

Well, a couple of years ago it was about 28 but I have sold a lot of them off and just kept the ones I actually always record with. It's down to about 12 now including acoustic guitars.

My favorite is my Red 1978 Les Paul Deluxe with full size humbuckers fitted. It's the one I have been seen with the most over the years. I bought it secondhand in 1983 and I still love it as much as the day I got it.
It's followed by one of my John Suhr guitars. It's a transparent blonde chambered swamp ash strat type and sounds fantastic. Love that one too.

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

Dave Meniketti "On The Blue Side". David Gilmour "On An Island" I still like too.

Do you suffer from stage fright?

I always get the butterfly thing in the stomach but that is healthy. I think it would be a sad day when you didn't feel like that and maybe you have stopped caring enough. It normally disappears ten seconds into the first song if everything is working and sounding good ha ha.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11pm in the evening?

Ice cold Corona or a Budweiser :-)

Interview - 18th December 2007