Yngwie Malmsteen Claims He ‘No Longer Need[s]’ Producers, Singers or ‘Outside Writers’
There are few – if any – musicians more outspoken and confident than Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, especially when it comes to his artistry and career. Just look at his newest comments regarding why he prefers to handle just about every aspect of his music – including singing – himself.
In the latest issue of Classic Rock magazine, the revered axman spoke to writer Dave Ling about whether or not he sees himself as egotistical, as well as if he considers himself part of a band.
“Nobody is perfect,” he clarified, “but people really don’t understand what I’m doing. This is not a band. It hasn’t been a band since 1984. That’s strange for rock’n’roll people to comprehend, but it’s how I work.”
Malmsteen continued [via Classic Rock]:
I’m a painter. I won’t do half a painting and call you up and say: “Dave, please finish it for me.” Working with others, I felt like I was subtracting something, and not adding. That’s often mistaken for egotism, but really it isn’t. Singers have a real problem with the fact that they are part of the ensemble, performing my music. They just don’t get it.
The way I work is different to everybody else. I can wake up in the middle of the night and hear a perfectly completed song – including the production. Therefore, I don’t need producers, outside writers, and I no longer need singers. When I had singers, I wrote the vocal melodies the way I heard them in my head and taught them to [former Alcatrazz bandmate] Graham Bonnet or whoever.
Until I came to the States, I was the singer, guitar player and writer, [and] all I needed to do was hire a bass player and drummer. Over my career, there was only a small [period of time] when I used singers. It’s just easier to do it myself.
To his point, Malmsteen’s been overseeing production on his solo LPs ever since his 1984 debut, Rising Force, and he’s rarely relied on a co-producer. Likewise, 2010’s Relentless marked the final time (thus far) that he’s officially used multiple musicians and a different vocalist (Tim “Ripper” Owens). Since then, he’s either performed everything on an album or had a drummer and “additional personnel” tag along.
Malmsteen’s latest studio album – Parabellum – was released in July 2021 through Music Theories Recordings. To promote it, he appeared on the Full Metal Jackie podcast and spoke about his modern writing processes, his “aversion to collaborating with outside artists” and how he learned vocal warm-up methods from his uncle (a tenor in the Royal Swedish Opera).
More recently, Loudwire included him in our list of 15 Legendary Artists With 20 or More Studio Albums. Also, Malmsteen is gearing up for a string of U.K. concerts starting on Nov. 1 (in Belfast). You can view all of the upcoming dates here and grab tickets here.
Legendary Artists With 20 or More Studio Albums
Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita