Yngwie Malmsteen Says Guitars Rule Again


January 20, 2009

Andre Mihsin of Chart Attack reports that considering the seemingly endless catalogue of music that Yngwie Malmsteen has released over the last two decades, you’d think that he’s pretty much done it all.

But Malmsteen’s most recent opus, Perpetual Flame, is a first on many fronts for the Swedish-born guitar virtuoso, including it being the debut album released through his own Rising Force Records label.

Although putting out a record independently may seem like a strange move for a veteran musician so deep into his career, Malmsteen (real name Lars Lannerback) is certain it’s the best move for him.

“When I was on big labels like Polydor, Atlantic or Elektra, I always felt that I was pushed aside and I felt that I was never the priority for them anyway,” Malmsteen explains. “To me, if you have good PR, which I have the best, and if you have good distribution, which I have the best, then we can do as good, if not a better job, than those bigger labels because we don’t have anyone in our way and we don’t have to compete with anyone.

“We just started, you know. The record is only a month old, but so far it’s been going well.”

Perpetual Flame also marks the first time Malmsteen has worked with Tim “Ripper” Owens. He’s the singer-for-hire known for his banshee-like screams and vocal duties for Iced Earth and (most notably) Judas Priest after original singer Rob Halford left the band in 1993.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Malmsteen says about his new singer. “What happened with this record, I recorded it a little differently.

“I started writing songs while I was on tour for the last album [2005’s Unleash The Fury]. I had all these ideas, and I went into the studio with the drummer and recorded the drums and went back on tour.

“I came back and did some guitars and bass and went back out on tour. I came back and did some keyboards and wrote some lyrics. And as this went on, the songs started taking shape. And when the songs were finished, I realized that [former vocalist Doogie White] wasn’t going to cut it because the songs needed a different voice to deliver it.

“So Tim’s name came up, and he came down to Miami and we fucking laid it down and it was awesome, and from there it was a no-brainer.”

Surprisingly, Malmsteen’s music has never appeared on any music video games until recently when Perpetual Flame tracks “Caprici Di Diablo,” “Damnation Game” and “Red Devil” were made available for download for Rock Band.

Although he was initially skeptical of the video game sensation, he has come to embrace it and appreciates the impact it’s had on the scene, especially in North America.

“My son, he’s 10. I took him to a video store about three years ago and a guy who was working there knew who I was and he said, ‘Hey, look at this,’ and he put this plastic guitar on him, and I didn’t know what it was and I was like, ‘Is this guy for real?’

“But in those three years, what this has turned into is like MTV was to radio. Now it’s a more interactive thing. Instead of just hearing the songs and watching the songs, they are playing and people are being introduced to rock ‘n’ roll in a much different way than three years ago.

“I think it’s cool, man. People get involved and they get into music that they may not have gotten into. In the ’90s, for instance, there wasn’t a guitar scene. It wasn’t the thing to do, but now it is the thing to do. I think it’s great.

“Ten years ago, there was a dramatic difference because the American market wasn’t welcoming to the guitar thing, whereas now with the Guitar Heros and the Rock Bands and YouTube and all that stuff… it’s ridiculous and I can’t drive around in my car anymore without people screaming.

“So right now it’s a really, really great thing in America. The energy here is fucking unbelievable. Japan is still great. Maybe it’s not the same as it used to be, but it’s still great. Europe isn’t any different. It’s always been the same. I think the most dramatic difference has been in the U.S.”

See Malmsteen here:

April 8 Tokyo, Japan @ Tokyo International Forum
April 9 Nagoya, Japan @ Zepp
April 10 Hiroshima, Japan @ Koseinekin Kaikan
April 12 Kanazawa, Japan @ Kanko Kaikan
April 13 Osaka, Japan @ Koseinekin Kaikan
April 15 Tokyo, Japan @ Tokyo International Forum

Courtesy of www.chartattack.com