Veteran metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen had a recent interview with Midlands Metalheads Radio and revealed what he thinks about neo-classical guitar style.

Yngwie also revealed lots of information about his latest album Blue Lighting. You can read the interview below (Transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar):

Midlands Metalheads Radio:

“Can you tell us how you came to make the album ‘Blue Lightning’ and what gave you the idea?”

Yngwie Malmsteen:

“Well, I’ve been playing blues since it all started, you know, which is a long time ago. Anytime I’ve been going into the blues, people were saying, ‘Hey, you should do an album like that,’ and I was, like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’

Now, about a year ago, I was approached by Mascot Label Group, Ed from the label came to me and said, ‘Why don’t you do this bluesy album?’. And I said, ‘Okay, let me try it, let me see what I can do.’

I was never intending to do like a blues album per se, but a bluesy, you know… and they suggested to do, they call it covers, I don’t call it a cover, I call it ‘variation,’ like in classical music.

I can tell you that there was a lot of things that I knew for a fact that I was gonna do, but in the beginning, there were some songs that were automatic [choices]. Then I started peeling out the songs I liked in the past. I’m pretty happy with it, actually, it played out pretty cool.”

Midlands Metalheads Radio:

“Demon’s Eye’ from Deep Purple’s [1971] ‘Fireball’ album, very important track to you growing up. All of these tracks influenced your style of playing, how important was that for you?”

Yngwie Malmsteen:

“I wrote a book about this called ‘Relentless,’ which depicts exactly how my style started. My first guitar was given to me on my fifth birthday, but I didn’t start playing until I was seven, until seeing Hendrix smash up the guitar on TV.

But that was not a musical influence, just seeing that happen I thought it was cool. I started playing the guitar the same day I saw that program. Then, of course, I started playing that guitar, and after I heard Deep Purple’s ‘Fireball,’ I tried to learn those things.

I was very young, I was just a little kid, so I learned how to play this stuff inside out pretty much, and then, of course, I heard the album ‘Selling England By the Pound’ [by Genesis], and there was a lot of chord progressions that I’ve never heard before because they weren’t a regular rock ‘n’ roll, blues style.

So, I listen to a lot of Vivaldi, Beethoven, so the guitar players from all those years, they never influenced me into what I’m doing today. My influences are all classical violin, Bach, Vivaldi, Paganini. That’s very important to remember.

However, I picked the songs for this album because I liked songs, not because the guitar players that were involved that connected to it. They’re great too, but that wasn’t the reason.”

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