Guitar God Yngwie Malmsteen on his new album and more

So, guess who called little old me the other day? That’s right, none other than guitar God  Yngwie Malmsteen. We discussed the man’s blistering new album, Relentless his guitar playing and what’s happening in the world of possibly touring.

First and foremost, let me say congrats on the CD. I really dig it and was quite surprised to find as much groove oriented stuff as I did.

Well for me it’s always been groove or die! (laughs). On this record most of all I tried to take it to the limit, so one thing I was very adamant about was getting a good groove going on under all the riffs.

Now I know Tim “Ripper” Owens sings most the stuff on Relentless (Tim was the guy who replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest for a time. The movie Rockstar is based on his story being enlisted to join JP from a cover band) but also you sung a bit here too.

On “Look At You Now” yeah. I wanted to sing a song and change from that bluesy thing I do. I do a lot of the backing vocals on  the album as well, plus I played bass and some drums too.

The entire Relentless CD sounds like a microcosm of how I view your career, if I may be so bold; balancing between your classic leanings with heavy rock. There are songs here that touch on both worlds.

I think that’s hard wired in my brain, a natural thing, that’s always been what they called my neo-classical approach.

Tell me about touring. Can we look forward to seeing you and the band anytime soon?

Well there are no specific dates yet, but I think we’ll probably be around here summer of next year, after we spin through Europe and Japan.

I know you have a huge fan base beyond the U.S. How have you seen it change over the years, or has it changed at all?

Well things are certainly more global now, but our audiences are pretty responsive throughout the world. If anything, I’d say Japan is probably the most reserved, but years ago they were so polite, just sitting there and enjoying it. If anything has changed really, they have gotten a lot more vocal.

Any chance of you doing just another purely acoustic album again? (in 2009 YM released Angels Of Love and all-acoustic all instrumental album)

Well last year, thanks to my wife, she made me do it, but I really liked it. There really is quite a difference between the two instruments, the electric guitar is like a violin, nothing like the acoustic and I was a little bit skeptical, but I did enjoy the acoustic thing. But right now I’m just gonna live off Relentless for a while.

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