Lars Yngwie Johann Lannerbäck Malmsteen has a new album out called 'Relentless'. This is his second attack with Tim "Ripper" Owens on high impact vocals. As above, so be it! Lo, for over 30 years this King Of Sweden has been marching out, and unleashing the fury.
Somethings you may not remember, but he'll never forget! Facing the animal in the arena of madness, I confronted the rising force of his intimidating presence, and jumped at the opportunity to speak to - Yngwie J. Malmsteen - himself a magnanimous mind odyssey.
Our conversation was a bit brief, as he was swamped with press pressures, but we did discuss the past, present, and future of his exotic alchemy, and true logic when it comes to the genius of shredding, and securing his perpetual name.
MettleAngel: Hello there, Yngwie how goes it?
MettleAngel: Honestly, I know many who would be in awe to speak with you. I do not play guitar, and I am not a radical fan, so I will not bombard you with the obvious fawning questions.
MettleAngel: You are quite a legend, even if in your own mind. You seem to be seldom enervated, and I an not being obsequious either.
MettleAngel: It means languid or without fervour or vigor.
MettleAngel: So on to business. You have a new album due out November 22 called 'Relentless'. I have been streaming this, and I like what I hear. It is a step up from 'Perpetual Flame', and your second with Tim "Ripper" Owens.
MettleAngel: Yes, but only once, and it was a pain to stream from the press site. This is your 18th studio endeavour. I am amazed that you are still motivated, and feel the inspiration to write new music.
MettleAngel: Now you got it!
MettleAngel: I understand, and that is to be commemorated. The process of continually playing music is what keeps me sane. This is now your second attack with "Ripper" tearing it up vocally.
MettleAngel: He is a very busy man with all his pet projects like Charred Walls Of The Damned, Hail!, and all his vocal guest appearances. I am amazed he had the time to work on a new album with you.
MettleAngel: "Ripper" claims that working with you is the easiest job he has ever had. I know John was demanding on him when he was in Iced Earth. Apparently he has no issue with you, because when he is on stage he gets multi-breaks between songs so you can show off and solo.
MettleAngel: I know he enjoys working with you. He made this comment last time when you played Cleveland, where he was among friends.
MettleAngel: You are the genius behind your compositions. You write all the music and lyrics, and play every instrument. I got a kick out of your cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It".
MettleAngel: Yes, you and "Ripper" did justice to that, and paid homage to "The King Of Pop" on the 'High Impact' release. The only thing, is that when I played it for my wife, we both agreed that there were way too many added solos, that were not to be found in the original.
MettleAngel: The song is definitely heavy, and you add your own signature, just like with all the covers you do on the 1996 'Inspiration' album. My question is what possessed you to cover Michael Jackson, was it to honor his death and his life long achievements?
MettleAngel: Yeah, but now you live in the US. I suppose a cover of ABBA is more your speed?
MettleAngel: I first heard your guitar antics on "Metal Shop" in the early '80s when you played with Ron Keel, Mark Edwards, and Steeler. I was in High School when I heard "Hot On Your Heels".
MettleAngel: There are some great songs on that album, and your work with Alkatrazz is awesome too. Speaking of Mark Edwards, how did you hook up with 3rd Stage Alert? I still only have that on vinyl.
MettleAngel: This is a highly underrated (EP) that Metal Blade released on cassette and vinyl only in 1984. You contribute to the last song "Adagio (For A Dead Soldier)". Even Ann Boleyn from Hellion and owner of New Renaissance Records plays keys on the opening track "The Stranger", and the song "Take That Jump".
MettleAngel: Well wait there is more to come!
MettleAngel: This was my intention. So get ready for this one, are you familiar with the band H.O.D. (Hospital Of Death) from the UK?
MettleAngel: Oh no, they are a newer thrash act who always make their albums free for download, like Gama Bamb did with their last album. I spoke with their guitarist Stuart Pendergast in an interview last year. He is a big fan of yours.
MettleAngel: I know, you are a guitar god! The deal is that they have a song on their last album - 'Surge Kill Steal' called "The King Of Sweden". The band has a sense of humour, so I assumed they were poking fun at you with this. As it turns out, Stu is dead serious, and in awe of your masterwork.
MettleAngel: Here is an excerpt of the lyrics if I can recall, "A lot of twats play fender strats, but he is the exception. He makes it cool because he rules, and gives us all erections!"
MettleAngel: H.O.D. from Chesire, England. Go to their website and download the music free.
MettleAngel: I know the band themselves will go gaga when they find out that I told you about them. Are you familiar with the band Holy Grail?
MettleAngel: Yes, they just released their new album on Prosthetic Records called 'Crisis In Utopia'. You have the same Press and Management company, which is how I secured this interview.
MettleAngel: They are on tour with Blind Guardian and Seven Kingdoms, and will team up with Eluveitie in the US early next year. I spoke with their guitarist Eli all about you. He is actually proud that you are a dick.
MettleAngel: I swear it. You can read my interviews with Holy Grail and H.O.D. at the very site where this will be published called Metal Covenant.
MettleAngel: Yeah, the site is based in Sweden, but it is universal now.
MettleAngel: Are you familiar with the Spinal Tap joke reference to your name?
MettleAngel: After Dio died, I was playing all his music. By the way, you and him did a great cover of "Dream On", By Aerosmith.
MettleAngel: I agree! I watched my 'Hear 'n Aid: The Sessions' video where you contributed guitar solos. In an interview with David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tufnel they discussed working with you and your name being Yngwie J. Malmsteen. David claimed that the "J" was to distinguish you from all other Yngwie Malmsteens.
MettleAngel: The thing is you have used so many names over the years that it becomes difficult to distinguish. In the '80s you had albums under the "Y"s for Yngwie, and "R"s for Rising Force. This is like what John "Cougar" Mellancamp did to us.
MettleAngel: Not really, it is just a comparison. When I was in college in the late '80s, there were these two dudes who only played John Cougar tapes, and it drove me nuts. I had to blast Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer to drown out their bullshit.
MettleAngel: Yeah those too! It is a funny thing since Malmsteen is not even your birthname, but rather your Mother's maiden name, which you assumed when you were ten.
MettleAngel: You come from a very musically inclined family background.
MettleAngel: I know that, but the switching of names in the '80s and '90s was very confusing.
MettleAngel: I assume to sell more albums!
MettleAngel: As well you should. So let me ask you, after having worked with so many talented vocalist, over these many years, who would you say is your favourite?
MettleAngel: He is one of my favourite vocalist with you as well. 'Trilogy' is my favourite album of yours. He is now working with the Master Uli John Roth, who we will see on the "70,000 Tons Of Metal" Cruise.
MettleAngel: Michael Vescera is incredible too. I love his work with Loudness, Killing Machine, and his own band Obsession. Doogie White has teamed up with Tank from the UK. Now the NWOBHM act who border on thrash sound more like Saxon and Deep Purple on their new album - 'War Machine'.
MettleAngel: It is a good album, although it does not sound so much like classic Tank. What do you think of the bands who have covered you over the years like HammerFall, Evergrey, or Powergod, the first two, also being from Sweden?
MettleAngel: I like how HammerFall also cover Chastain. He is a once local guitar god, who we worshipped back in the day. Congratulations for being named #9 out of the 10 best guitarist of all time in TIME magazine, last year. So what is on the horizon for the one man show of non-stop relentless achievements?
MettleAngel: That should be killer. Alright Man, I do not want to take up anymore of your time. Thanks for everything, and congratulations on the new album.
MettleAngel: That would be cool, because, believe it or not, I have never seen you live. I almost saw you in Columbus with Lizzy Borden, but I will not go there.
MettleAngel: You bet!