Steve Vai Reveals Two-Headstocked, Three-Necked ‘Hydra’ Guitar + NFT Auction

"What is that and how do you play it?" is a question you'll likely hear upon seeing the latest Ibanez-Steve Vai collaboration, and the guitar company and iconic player have teamed up for the big reveal of the one-of-a-kind guitar, The Hydra.

The Hydra features one body, two headstocks and three necks that encompasses both 7- and 12-string guitars, a 4-string 3/4 scale length bass, 13 sympathetic harp strings, half-fretless necks, a single coil, humbucking piezo, MIDI and sustainer pickups, floating and hardtail tremolo bridges, phase splitters and much more. Given that attention to detail, it should come as no surprise that this unique instrument was five years in the making. A closer look at the various features can be seen in director Garson Yu's introductory video below.

Vai says, “We absolutely respected this instrument by having the brilliant Garson Yu and his team at yU+co create this phenomenal Hydra reveal video. The guitar geek in me is stunned every time I see it. This video captures the splendor and mystique of the Hydra in intimate detail. The conception and construction of the instrument was a monumental feat of creativity by a whole group of inspired people, and I could not be more happy with the way this video came out. Imagine being a half an inch tall and exploring the Hydra as an adventurer. It would be like exploring an alien planet. Sign me up!"

Yu adds, “When I first saw the instrument at Steve’s studio, I was stunned. I thought this was a creation that didn’t belong here on earth— it looked Extraterrestrial to me. When Steve played a track that he composed with the Hydra, I told him that it sounds so transparent and open, complex and spiritual on many levels. When we were filming, I put the guitar on the turntable and looked through the lens: It looked like an alien spaceship. It’s epic. I told myself we need to create a video that has the same transcendent feeling of this instrument. My team and I are honored to be part of it."

The track that plays over the introductory video is "Teeth of the Hydra," which was composed on the instrument by Vai.

Ibanez Artist Relations Manager Mike Orrigo continues, “’The “Hydra,' as Mr. Vai has appropriately dubbed it, started off as a concept that Steve approached Ibanez with several years ago. While it was understood then that the task to turn Steve’s vision into reality would be a tremendous undertaking, we were undeterred by the challenge. Fueled by Steve’s inspiration, our team of designers, engineers and luthiers worked tirelessly together in order to create a truly one-of-a-kind instrument, remaining as true to the initial vision as possible. This incredible reveal video, produced by yU+co, perfectly captures the same feeling of awe and amazement that this magnificent beast of an instrument imparts on to all who are able to witness it in person!”

While The Hydra is breaking new ground, Vai is also venturing into new territory with his very first NFT auction taking place later this month. To coincide with the release of Vai's Inviolate album, the Hydra reveal video will be auctioned off as an NFT by OpenSea. The winning bidder will not only get the video as an NFT, but there will also be unlockable bonus content revealed only to the buyer and additional assets will be added over time. The opening bid has been set at 1 ETH. Once the auction is live on Jan. 28, parties will be able to bid on the NFT at this location.

“I feel this instrument has the potential to be historical. It’s unique in various ways and its construction is inspired. And there’s a song that was written on it that honors the potential of the instrument. This “Hydra reveal video” is the first video made that intimately details many of the unique aspects this guitar embodies.” says Vai, who will follow The Hydra NFT with an official NFT limited edition collection of his stage and studio-played guitars.

As for the Inviolate album, it's due on Jan. 28 and you can pre-order the album here.

Steve Vai's The Hydra Guitar Trailer

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