Steve describes Frank Zappa's unique phrasing:
Steve Vai: Frank had a unique sense of time, he'd often get lost in the meter, but his sense of timing was pretty impeccable. He wouldn't rush, he wouldn't drag, but his sense of phrasing was from Venus. It was like Mongolian jazz or something. Jazz guys will play a phrase by playing eighth-notes over a 4/4, end it on one, and go, 'How'd you like that?.' Frank would take a phrase of seven and put it on top of eleven and always know where the pulse was.
Joe Satriani confronts his demo envy:
GP: What were the demos like for these songs? (Engines of Creation)
Satch: Well, I've always made the worst sounding demos - especially if you compare them to, say, Steve Vai's, which are perfect.
Steve talks about Roy Buchanan's "If 6 was 9" (again!):
Steve Vai: He does this one lick
I must have played a thousand times to my friends. He's doing this solo.
He's got this real squeaky Telecaster tone and it's almost like he's struggling.
And then he does this one riff in the end. He just stretches to the fifth.
And he almost gets really sloppy; he's falling apart. And all of a sudden,
he just goes like this (imitates a very fast, precise riff). And I said,
"God, that's just so hip. He led you to believe that he was losing it."