Worcester/Boston, Massachusetts radio station WAAF conducted an interview with legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen prior to his April 29 concert at Wilbur Theatre in Boston . You can now watch the chat below.
As previously reported, Yngwie Malmsteen has just released his autobiography entitled "Relentless: The Memoir" via Wiley.
How does a kid from Sweden make his way to America at the tender age of eighteen and, within a month, have people lining up to hear him play guitar? Where did he get those chops? How did he develop his singular style of playing? And what happened next?
In "Relentless", Malmsteen relives the greatest and worst moments of his storied career as one of the most admired, talked about, and emulated guitarists in the world — from how he managed to buy his first Strat and assemble his first wall of Marshall amps to the truth behind the title of his 2005 "Unleash The Fury" album and beyond.
At the center of Yngwie's story is his lifelong rebellion against the conventions and restrictions of the Sweden in which he was raised. "Don't stand out," he was told when he dreamed of being a professional musician. "That won't work," he was warned when he wanted to play loud or little-known songs. His entire musical career has been a proclamation that he will stand out, and it will work.
That determination drove the fourteen-year-old Yngwie to make his now legendary "Powerhouse" demo tape, the recording that later caught the ear of Shrapnel Records' Mike Varney, who brought Yngwie to America in 1982. It drove Yngwie to become the de facto leader of two already existing bands before launching a solo career just eighteen months later. It also drove him to act out in sometimes bizarre ways and develop a reputation as a mercurial, perhaps unstable, personality.
Yngwie recounts these incidents with neither pride nor apology, but with a great deal of color. And he gets into the seedy and unscrupulous side of rock and roll, revealing how managers, record companies, and others ripped him off, before his wife, April, rescued both him and his business.
Musicians will be drawn to Yngwie's descriptions of how he composed his greatest songs and his overall approach to composition and to band dynamics. He writes with admiration about musicians, from DEEP PURPLE's Ritchie Blackmore to nineteenth-century violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini, who influenced his playing and the development of his unique neoclassical-metal style.
Whether you're a total metal freak, an aspiring musician, or someone who just loves a pull-out-all-the-stops rock-and-roll biography, you will read "Relentless" relentlessly from first page to last.
The 288-page book is available for order via Amazon.
Advance praise for "Relentless":
Slash: "Yngwie literally blew my mind when he came on the L.A. music scene in the early '80s. the fastest andmost articulate, fluid, melodic, classical based rock guitarist I'd ever heard. Still the best at what he does all these years later."
Steve Vai: "When Yngwie Malmsteen hit the scene in the early '80s, it was as if a monolith appeared. He was playing electric rock guitar in a way that seemed completely unearthly and had to be seen to be believed. His tone was pristine and powerful, his vibrato, intonation and control was stunning, His harmonic and melodic sensibilities were unique, his emotional investment in his melodies was captivating, and his sheer speed and technical command of the instrument was utterly breathtaking to the point of frightening for some. He absolutely set a standard of virtuosity on the instrument that has yet to be matched. He was a breath of visceral fresh air that inspired the movement of a whole new subculture of music. He was always unequivocally and unquestionably dedicated to his passions and delivered without any excuses. And since then, the bastard has just been getting better!"
"I have had the good fortune of knowing him for the past 25 years and have stood next to him on stage many times. It always felt as though I was standing next to a mountain, solid, giant and forever.
"A few things about Yngwie that some may not know is that he is remarkably intelligent and has a fiery sense of humor that delivers on par with his musical gifts."
Joe Satriani: "Yngwie Malmsteen loves to play guitar, and he's really good at it. I know this from personal experience. I've stood right next to him on many a stage, shoulder to shoulder, trading solos, celebrating our influences, taking chances, playfully testing each others limits and putting on a great show for our fans. At the end of every performance I was sure of two things: Yngwie is an amazing guitarist, and that there is only one Yngwie Malmsteen. Let's face it, every guitarist wishes they could do what he does with those six strings and a pick, but what he does is not only super human, it is undeniably unique and original too. There are imitators, some with equal proficiency, but none that can match the heart and the confidence behind his virtuosity.
"The last time we played together was at Marshall's 50th-anniversary concert at Wembley Arena in London on September 22nd, 2012, and I think it was the best I'd ever heard him play. Yes, he's getting better! I was on stage just behind the curtain warming up with my guitar as I listened to Yngwie enthrall the audience with his impeccable and furious technique. But it's his passion for music that really lights everyone up in the audience up. It's the fire burning in those hands that make every note scream. He puts all of who he is, no excuses, no apologies, into every note and every sound he makes on his guitar.
"There is only one Yngwie Malmsteen."