Interview with Yngwie Malmsteen

“There should be no need for any introduction for one of the greatest guitar players in the world, yes folks Yngwie ‘F**kin’ Malmsteen, that who!! I caught up with Yngwie when he released his new album ‘Attack’. His first for new label SPV from Germany.

As always this album is a full on metal assault that is sure make you want to pick up your guitar or tennis racket and play along to one of the greatest guitarist in the world. Here is what Yngwie had to say the 3rd time around.”

Well my first question to you is, how successful was ‘Facing The Animal’ album for you & the tour for that album?”

“I really do not know? To be honest I really do not care about all that, I just do what I want to do.”

So why didn’t Mark Boals stay in the band for the last couple of albums?”

“Well it is a long story and I really do not know how to explain it, I have to tell your readers that this is not a band, it is a solo project. Unfortunately I cannot fire myself, and I swore to God that Mark Boals was becoming such a little f**king prick on the last tour. It all boils down to when you go on the road and people start to forget what there positions are within the solo project. Sometimes it becomes very ugly, with a lot of back stabbing, and complaining about hotels and that it not the reason why we are on tour, we are here to play!! I have totally had it up to my head with people like that.”

"Do you make it clear to these musicians and singers become they enter into your project?”

“To be honest I do not make it clear, so I guess that is why there are problems within the next solo project, I am very nice to them and I suppose that they take advantage of that. On tour I am just one of the guys, not a rock star as some of the public may think. If you treat them really nice then they become arseholes, and if you treat them like shit then thy start to slag you off. I really do not know how to solve the problem and so I have to concentrate on the music.

The New album is very important to me and I have to put 100% into the writing for that album, it’s all my baby!! On stage it is a totally different thing as I am only the guitar play, not the drummer or singer.. I do not complain about been on the road, I go to the gig, sound check, have a shower then do the show and then I’m off on the road once again to the next town, I am a road dog!!”

“Out of all the previous singers which ones do you admire and least admire and why?”

“I really no not think that it is that important, the only guy that that could write lyrics besides myself was Mats who played on the ‘Facing The Animal’ album, everybody else sucked!! I would have to say that Joe Lynn Turner writes the worst lyrics, he’s a great singer but he cannot write lyrics. I really worked on the lyrics for ‘Attack’ and I need to write lyrics that are meanful and symbolic and to make people think.”

“So why did your long time keyboard player Mat’s Olausson leave the band and what do you think of ‘Ark’?”

“Well he was fired, what actually happened was after the Korean tour last year I was so fed up with everybody that I fired everybody, even my management, I changed everything. He tried to call me the other day and was trying to be nice but I had no time to talk to him. I have never heard ‘Ark’ so I really do not know what they sound like.”

“So how did you hook up with ex ‘Dream Theater’ keyboard player Derek Sherinian, and who else did you have in mind?”

“Well I have know Derek for 4 yrs and after the Korean and Japanese tour last year I fired everybody and decided to write some new songs, but my manager called me up and told me that there was a problem and that I had to tour South America. I told him that I was not going to use those members for that tour, so I told him to give me some new people. The management pretty much put the whole thing together. I have met Dougie White several times before and he was cool and I only knew Patrick for a short time and I only knew Nick for a short time as well. We had a great tour and a lot of fun.

So after that tour I took some time out to write some new songs and this is what came out of it the ‘Attack’ album. So the first guy I brought into the band was Patrick Johansson on the drums. He has played in some Death Metal bands from Sweden and he had got in touch with me, he sent me a letter and some of his material he had done and the rest is history.

Getting back to the question, Derek was the only person I wanted in the band, but right now I am up in the air about finding a new keyboard player. Derek decided that he wanted to go on tour with Billy Idiol.”

“Dougie White was with ‘Rainbow’ for a while, how did you hook up with him?”

“Well Dougie came to see me in London last year and the he was suggested for the South American tour and that is how it all happened.”

"You must have a few guitars now, how many do you own and would you consider selling them?”

“I have over 200 guitars now, and when the time comes I would sell them for charity.”

"So what length of time did it take to record the new album? Also were you happy with the end results?”

“It actually did not take that long to record, I think it took something like a couple of weeks and I am very please with the way it turned out. I think it is probably the best album I have recorded. I think that the album prior to this was awesome but the sound was not good at all, shame really.

I cannot see anything wrong with the new album from my point of view, this is a complete picture. I feel that the ‘Trilogy’ album has the same feel to it as the new one, it stay’s with me for a long time.”

“It seems to me that you are not very happy with the way some of your previous albums have turned out with the production, so why don’t you re-master them?”

“I’m not sure, but there is one album I am going to re-mix and that is going to be ‘War To End All Wars’, because a lot of people were saying it was a shit album, well they are wrong as it it not a shit album, the song are great but it needs a better mix. I will do this some day.”

“Briefly could you talk me through some of the songs, what are they about?”

“Well ‘Razor Eater’ is a character from a Clive Baker book which is called ‘The Damnation Game’, and the guy in it is called Razor Eater, who is a nasty piece of work. It’s hard for me to describe the songs, you will have to read the lyrics, sorry.”

“So what songs from the album stand out for you & why?”

“Well I would have to say all of them, because I had 28 songs for this album and I recorded 19 of them. It was really hard for me to pick and choose the right songs. I still have the old songs and I may release them one day.”

“Do you plan on releasing a promo video for this album, if so which song or do you feel that they are a waste of time & money?”

“Well we are talking about doing a promo video right now, we will leave it up to the label to decide on which song we should do a video for.”

“I understand that you have done the vocals for one of the songs from the new album, have you ever considered doing the vocals as well as guitars on a permanent basis?”

“Well in the beginning of my career I did sing, but I have more of a Blues style of voice and not a Metal voice.”

“Have you ever thought of doing a Blues album as seen as you have more of a Blues voice?”

“I don’t know but I have been thinking about it. Maybe in the future.”

“Moving away from the new album, why did you leave ‘Dream Catcher’ and are you still friends with them?”

“Well I have to say that they are a very poor album to be on and they did not promo me enough.”

“What other labels approached you and are you happy with SPV?”

“Yes I am very happy with SPV, but I know there was various other labels that wanted me, my manager sorted all that out for me.”

“Do you think you would ever go back to a major label or are you happy with the smaller labels?”

“Well you know in this day & age a good indie label is as good as a major label if not better!!”

“Do you listen to any up & coming new guitar players?”

“I have to say none - sorry!! I really do not listen to too much music. Today I was listening to Frank Zappa in my car - he’s great!!”

“Do you feel that the time is right for you to release a new live DVD & Video?”

I am thinking about releasing a new live DVD/ Video from the forthcoming tour.”

“Were you happy with the way the live in Brazil album & DVD came out?”

“It is OK but nothing great to be honest!!”

“So when will we see the band touring Europe & the UK?”

“Well we start the tour in Asia in November 2002 & the tour with go into 2003 including 4 UK shows.”

“Well Yngwie thanx once again for doing this interview, you’re a star!! Do you have anything to say to your fans & the readers of the Zine?”

“Well I am always looking forward to coming back on tour & I hope you enjoy the album. Thanx for the interview once again Jason, let’s have a beer in Bradford I hope again.”

Picture’s By Jason Brown © 1999, expect for album cover.

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