Guitar master Yngwie Malmsteen has a new album and is on tour
By Naughty Mickie
Singer/songwriter and guitar master Yngwie Malmsteen
released his first solo album, ďRising Force,Ē in 1984 and the title
cut was nominated for a Grammy for ďBest Rock Instrumental.Ē He has
released more than 25 efforts since then, including the 1996 cover
album, ďInspiration,Ē and his newest work, ďBlue LightningĒ (Mascot
Records). He is currently on tour is support of the effort. It was
released March 29 and features Nalmsteen's takes on blues-rock
songs, such as ďFoxey Lady,Ē ďPaint It BlackĒ and ďSmoke on the
DB: What another cover album?
YM: I donít like to call it a cover album because, even
though some of the songs I didnít write them, itís like a variation,
my variation of it. Basically what happened was the first time I
made a record like this was because I built a new recording studio.
I came back from the road and I had a new studio and I was excited
and I started throwing down songs. That was the inspiration. About
year ago Ed (van Zijl) from Mascot Records came to me and said we
want you to do a blues album. I said maybe a bluesy album and they
said we want to pick the classic songs for you. I said my job is to
pick the songs and write the songs. So thatís how it happened.
DB: How did you select the material?
YM: Some of the songs Iíve done on stage before so it was
very obvious for me to do them and then some other ones were brand
new to me, Iíd never played them or sang them before so I put them
down and checked them out and see if I like it. We decided let me
pick the songs I said and if you donít like it I wonít use them, but
they liked everything. I picked the songs from what I heard in the
past on the radio and whatever, Beatles, Eric Clapton, the songs I
DB: On the press release for your new album it states that
ďDemon EyesĒ is your favorite cut on the effort, is this true?
YM: Itís one of my favorites. What happened was when I was
a little kid, 8 years old not 18, 8, for my birthday I got a Deep
Purple album and it had that song on it and I really liked it then.
I put that on my ĎInspirationí album, but I did a very different
version, I changed keys and I didnít sing it, this time Iím playing
it in the original key and Iím singing it.
DB: What was your biggest challenge in creating "Blue
YM: I would say that every album is a challenge. The way I
do my records is Iím very critical, I donít keep anything unless I
think itís really good, but the way I record albums is not like what
a lot of people do, I play all the instruments. I record the drums,
the bass, the keyboards, the guitars and do all the vocals, I do
everything. Iím very particular in my choice of takes because I
donít like to do more than one take, I like to just go in and do the
one take and I want it to be a magical moment. You canít just push a
button and get that done so the luxury of owning your own place is
that I go in when I feel like it and I do one take and I leave it
like that and I go back sometime later and I judge it then instead
of judging it right away because if you do then you never like it.I
never like it and then I end up doing it more than once and I never
like that either. I want it to be a fresh, very honest take, but
live itís a different thing, you just do that anyway.
DB: What should fans expect at your concerts this time
YM: Theyíll be pretty much the same what I always do, just
craziness, a lot of guitar solos, a lot of smoke machines, a lot of
Marshall stacks. Iíve got to throw some of the new songs too but
itís not going to be like Iím going to sit in a chair and play the
blues. Itís going to be a full-on blast, Malmsteen-style show.
DB: What is the key to the longevity of your career?
YM: It amazes me that people still want to talk to me after
all these years and itís great. People still dig what Iím doing and
I still dig what Iím doing which is even more bizarre. I think one
of the reasons that I can think of right away is that I donít fake
it. I donít try to be flavor of the day, I donít try to be like
whatís going to be the next new thing. I just donít do that. I do
things as honestly as I can do and when I go on stage and do a tour,
40 shows in a row, I never play the same thing. I change it around
all the time so itís a challenge to me every night, a different
style every night and that to me makes it exciting and I think that
reflects into other people.
DB: What's next? Perhaps another album already?
YM: I just revamped the whole recording studio so I have
all this new stuff, new consoles, Iím very excited about that so I
go in there every day. Thereís always stuff going on, but Iím not
going to rush to put out a new album quite yet. But Iím definitely
Find out when Yngwie Malmsteen is coming to your town and
check out 'Blue Lightning' at