Uli Jon Roth calls Yngwie Malmsteen “one of the alltime greats”, but says he’s not impressed by speed

uli-roth

By Steve Newton

When Uli Jon Roth called me up the other day to promote his upcoming Ultimate Guitar Experience show in Vancouver, we ended up chatting about some of the other guitar tours he’s been on, like the G3 European Tour back in 1998, when he shared the stage with Joe Satriani and Michael Schenker, who didn’t get along so well.

I also asked him about the Guitar Gods tour that took place last year, without realizing that he never actually played any gigs on that tour due to visa problems. That tour would have seen him in the company of Yngwie Malmsteen–as well as Gary Hoey and Bumblefoot–so I asked him what he would have thought of touring with Yngwie, and also how he ranked him as a guitarist.

As you can hear in this excerpt, Roth raved about Yngwie, calling him “one of the alltime greats.” That led me to wonder how impressed Roth is by a guitar player’s speed, and he chuckled at the query before explaining that playing fast is not one of his main goals.

 

To hear my full 21-minute interview with Uli, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon.

AUDIO INTERVIEWS POSTED ON MY PATREON PAGE SO FAR:
Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, 1989
Rob Halford of Judas Priest, 1984
Bill Henderson of Chilliwack, 1999
Paul Rodgers, 1997
R.L. Burnside, 1999
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, 1985
Carlos Santana, 2011
Walter Trout, 2003
Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot, 1983
Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil, 2001
Tommy Aldridge, 2001
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 1985
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Chris Robinson of Black Crowes, 1990
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Mike Fraser, 2014
Leo Kottke, 2002
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, 2002
David Gogo, 1991
Booker T. Jones, 2016
Link Wray, 1997
James Reyne, 1988
Mike Rutherford of Genesis, 1983
Buddy Guy, 1991
Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, 1990
Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers, 2016
Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1986
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Buddy Miles, 2001
Eddie Money, 1988
Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, 1983
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, 1984
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, 2016
Doc Neeson of Angel City, 1985
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1989
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Steve Howe of Yes, 2017
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, 1983
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1985
Greg Lake of ELP, 1992
Robert Plant, 1993
Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, 1983
Warren Zevon, 1992
Tal Wilkenfeld, 2016
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
Ann Wilson of Heart, 1985
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Chris Cornell, 2008
Long John Baldry, 1985
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Ronnie James Dio, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Greg Allman, 1998
Dickey Betts, 2001
…with hundreds more to come

 

7 responses to “Uli Jon Roth calls Yngwie Malmsteen “one of the alltime greats”, but says he’s not impressed by speed

  1. My now deceased best friend Don Rawlings played a club back in the 1980’s in which there were 2 stages. As he exclaimed to me that night Yngwie got really jealous and angry because the majority of the people in attendance were at Don’s stage watching him play and few at Yngwie’s stage to hear him. My friend Don was a way better guitarist than Yngwie and Yngwie couldn’t handle that fact. As my friend Don, whom taught me was a brilliant, gifted, genius guitarist. One of the best in the world. Although I’m sure you’ve never heard of him. He was a very humble, down to earth person whom is missed greatly. Yngwie, in my opinion, is a self righteous, spoiled, jealous, brat. Whom, in my opinion, has a terrible tone and his speed is played without feeling not emotion. I care not for him as a guitarist and think he doesn’t deserve the recognition that he has. Have a great day everybody! 😊

    Thank you for your time,
    – Timothy

  2. R.I.P. to your friend, I’m sorry to hear that he passed away. But your opinion is very flawed, in MY opinion. You’re commenting on a thread in which ULI JON ROTH stated unequivocally that Yngwie is EASILY one of the TOP TEN ALL-TIME GREATS! He then says that he is not impressed by speed. So it must be OTHER aspects of Yngwie’s playing that impressed him so much as to make a statement like this. I’ve been playing guitar for 43 years now, about 35 years professionally, and play rock, jazz, classical and other styles with a good degree of proficiency. When I assess a guitarist’s playing ability, and whether I like his or her playing, the ONLY factors I take into account are that person’s actual playing – NOT popularity, whether other people agree with me, what others say about him/her, the guitarist’s PERSONALITY and any defects thereof, whether the guitarist has humility or not. NONE of that matters one bit, only their playing and sound they produce. I’ll take my own opinion, and that of ULI JON ROTH, Guthrie Govan, Vai, Satriani, Gus G., Zakk Wylde, and many, many others, all of whom say that Yngwie is one of the best in the world, over your opinion any day! Good day, sir.

    • Not me, I evaulate everyone’s opinion equally, but ultimately I rely on my own thoughts.
      And I agree with Tim on many of his comments, especially in reference to Malmsteen’s “Ego”.

  3. Malmsteen is one of my all time favourites, not because of his speed but because he plays with passion and really makes the instrument sing. I don’t know him personally so can’t really comment on his character but he’s one hell of a great guitarist. I’m also a professional guitarist who is mainly classical but I also play rock and funk too since 1978. I understand where Uli is coming from.

  4. I saw that tour, Bumbkefoot STOLE the show by a “Long Shot”, Gary Hoey was, OK, but I actually LEFT halfway through Yngwie Malmsteen’s set. I didn’t hear any “compositions”, just one long sloppy solo after another, and too much “Bass” in the mix, Sloppy Sloppy Sloppy.
    I was very disappointed that You Jon Roth was not there.

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