By Steve Newton
Some guy named Fretfire did not totally agree with my review of the Generation Axe show in Vancouver the other night. Here’s his comment:
Pathetic, Steve. I thought you were cooler than this, especially since you recently posted the interview: “Uli Jon Roth calls Yngwie Malmsteen “one of the alltime greats”, but says he’s not impressed by speed” – I think I value Uli’s opinion a lot more than yours! If Uli’s so impressed with Yngwie, but it’s not the speed that impresses him, then just what is it? I’ll tell you, at least in part: Malmsteen’s “wanking” is 100X more classically authentic than any of the others (something he shares in common with Uli!) – funny also that these other guitarists are all in AWE of Yngwie, not the other way around. To hear you tell it, he’d be watching them for clues, but nope, THEY’RE watching HIM, and it’ll always be that way. I remember seeing interviews with Satch & Vai, where they gushed like little schoolgirls over Yng’s ability to always bend perfectly in tune. “Gee, I wish I could do that” was the gist of it. Since you were raving about Tosin – here’s Tosin’s opinion about Yngwie –
“Then I remember hearing Yngwie Malmsteen and being unaware that you could even do that on the guitar, so then I got obsessed with technique and speed and the harmonic minor scale and various things like that [laughs]. That opened the door to all of these other shred guitarists, like Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Greg Howe and Frank Gambale.”
“Eventually I started focusing on guitar players specifically, guys like Yngwie Malmsteen, Frank Gambale, Greg Howe… so that started to push my playing further.”
“So that’s all the stuff I was playing (alternative, grunge) until I heard, like, Yngwie Malmsteen. And I was just like, Oh my God, I didn’t even know you could do that on guitar! So that started the obsessive six hour practice sessions and stuff like that.”
How about Zakk? What’s his take on the “boring wanker”?
“…..Youve got to laugh at the thing (Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’ list), I mean, Joe Satriani isnt in there. Steve Vai isnt in there. Yngwie Malmsteen isnt in that fucking list. Slash isn’t in there. They are some of the sickest guitar players that have ever walked this planet. I mean, I’m a guitar player. Do you know how good fucking Yngwie is? Its beyond fucking sick. The fact that Yngwie isnt in it is just fucking mind-boggling to me. People can say what they want about Yngwie, but its just like naming the 10 greatest singers of all time and not putting Pavarotti in it, you know what I’m saying? Yngwie is a virtuoso…..”
“You have good guitar players. You have great guitar players. Then you have the ones that CHANGE THE GAME. . . . it’s not just his sheer & utter mastery & command of the instrument that make him amazing. The phrasing, the vibrato, the tone, and his feel & passion, along with the overall musicality that he brings to the table, are what make him so special & unique. . . . while other guitar players play fast and say nothing, Yngwie speaks. If you’ve ever wondered what Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi & Paganini would have been capable of doing if they lived in the 21st Century, look no further…. They All Reside within one Yngwie J. Malmsteen….and They are Smiling”
Hmmm, old Zakk doesn’t seem to agree with you & the brilliant Devin Townsend – BTW, I saw Devin play once, that was enough. Talk about boring!
How about the guy many consider the current overall best out there, Guthrie? Let’s see what he’s got to say:
“I can also mention that seeing Yngwie Malmsteen made a real impact on me. He wasn’t this academic looking guy just standing there with his music stand. He was going crazy, running around the place, and throwing his Strat while playing a million notes per second. And when he stopped and played just one note, it sounded like a violin or an opera singer. Yngwie has an incomparable vibrato, which his detractors choose to ignore.”
“And then Yngwie, who, to me, demonstrates that it is possible to have all these chops and play these outrageous fast things but still sound like you mean it. This may not be a popular viewpoint, but when I listen to Yngwie playing, there’s as much sincerity as there is whenB.B. King is playing. He plays every note like it could be his last.”
Wow – strange description for a boring wanking Swedish showoff! I think maybe the preceding part of the one sentence kinda says it all, Steve: “….WHICH HIS DETRACTORS CHOOSE TO IGNORE”.
How about even the likes of Scott Henderson?
Scott Henderson: “I mean, to me the best guy is Yngwie – I mean, Yngwie plays all that harmonic minor bullshit, but he also can play blues. He has some feel in his playing. Yeah, he’s a good guitar player. And so many of the metal guys just miss that, uh, miss that soulfulness, you know they uh, for them it’s not about phrasing
and tone. It’s just about playing as fast as they can, and I think that’s not really, that’s not what I enjoy listening to. For me, that’s sort of like
Hmmm – he’s describing the OTHER shredders in similar terms that you’re trying to portray Yng – and differentiating Yng as above them! How can he be so wrong? Doesn’t he read your blog? Wise up, Scott!
I can go on & on, with quotes from Paul Gilbert, Gus G., Michael Romeo, even FRANK ZAPPA and John McLaughlin! I think what I’ve included should suffice tho – question is, have I wasted my time typing all this? Do you have the balls to print it? We shall see…if not, you know anyway….
Whoa. I guess I need to dig out my old vinyl copy of Rising Force and give it a closer listen!