Steve Vai recently joined Yngwie Malmsteen’s Coffee Talk for an interview. The guitarist remembered when he went on the stage for the first time with Alcatrazz after joining the band as Malmsteen’s replacement.

Back in 1983, Yngwie Malmsteen joined Alcatrazz as their guitarist. He was not that much known at that time, but he achieved fame after appearing on the band’s 1983 debut album ‘No Parole From Rock N’ Roll’ and 1984’s live album ‘Live Sentence.’

Following the release, tensions grew between Malmsteen and Graham Bonnet, and they had a fight during a live show. This controversy resulted in Malmsteen leaving the band. Following that, Steve Vai joined Alcatrazz as Malmsteen’s replacement in 1984.

In an interview with Malmsteen himself, Steve Vai remembered the time he joined Alcatrazz. He stated that he went down to the audition, but it felt interesting because their playing styles were quite different.

Moreover, Vai said he was expecting Alcatrazz to recruit someone else, but he got the job. According to the guitarist, everybody chanted Malmsteen’s name during his first show with Alcatrazz. The crowd wasn’t aware that he had left the band, and Vai was an unknown guitar player.

During the conversation, Steve Vai said the following about his first show with Alcatrazz:

“I heard that you had left Alcatrazz, and I went down to audition. And it was interesting because I didn’t play like you. I was expecting that they would want somebody that could really shred because I wasn’t really that guy. I thought, ‘Okay, they got whom they wanted, they found the right replacement for the best that they could do. And then I got a call saying that I got the gig.

The first show, I think it was in Riverside, and nobody knew that you had left. The majority of people were there to see you. And I was walking out onto the stage, and nobody knew that you weren’t there. As far as I could tell, nobody knew because the entire audience was chanting your name as I was walking to the stage. And I was completely unknown. I was just this weird guy that was not Yngwie!”

You can watch the rest of the interview below.