2005 'Bad Horsie' and fixed-bridge model (confirmed by Vai)
Hi Jem fanatics,
Australian Guitar (Next Media) will be publishing cover story/interview with Steve Vai in the upcoming weeks. At this stage two versions of the interview will appear: a 2500-word feature, and (potentially) a full 7000-word warts-and-all transcription loaded into a CD/DVD ROM 'tip-on' stuck to the cover. Inside both is some great news for Ibanez Jem fans: two upcoming models, and an insight into one of Steve's upcoming prototypes.
So here it is, straight from Steve Vai's mouth:
1) Bad Horsie Jem. Steve describes it as "a really cool guitar that's going to be available...it'll kick off at NAMM in LA in January...beautiful...black (with) a sort of mirror front to it". Dot/lit inlays? Factory detuned? Who knows. That's as much as he revealed. Ibanez seems to have cured the chrome/mirrored 'hazing' issue that prevented the same model from surfacing during the last winter NAMM. Looks to be a 2005 model, then.
...ok, are you sitting down?
2) FIXED BRIDGE JEM!!!!!
Steve: "We're working on a Jem that doesn't have a locking system..."
AG: "...A fixed-bridge Jem?!"
Steve: "Yeah, it'll be a fixed-bridge Jem."
Colour? Specs? Expected release? He didn't say. (As a personal note, I've been waiting a looong time for this model...)
3) Seven-string 'strat' custom one-off
Steve revealed that after his next release, he'll be digging back into seven-string territory for a "concept" he has, involving a "seven-string 'strat' that Ibanez is building for me right now". Steve didn't elaborate on the meaning of the term "strat" (I'm guessing a non-RG/Universe shaped seven-string) but he did affirm that it will NOT be a production model.
How do I know this information? During Steve's recent Aussie tour, I helped a collegue conduct the interview (my life changed at precisely 3.40pm on Thursday July 22nd when Steve Vai rang me in person to commence the interview! I'll never wash this ear, or my phone, again...) and subedited the 7000-word interview down to size for the main feature.
I understand this info might sound far-fetched coming from a Jemsite newbie, but these above claims will be published in hard ink in the next few weeks (in Oz only). If I can ease the concerns of AG editor Justin Law in regards to copyright, I'll try talking him into supplying an image or two from AG's exclusive cover shoot of Steve posing with a customised Aussie Flag RG as proof. (Sorry about the upload issues, Jemsite admin - I'm not good with PCs).
Australian Guitar contributor (and Ibanez fanatic)
PS. After reading tons of great stuff on jemsite for a long time, it's only fair I share this cool scoop with you guys who will (hopefully) appreciate it and find it as exciting news as I do.