That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars the same day his band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. At one point in the conversation we were talking fave guitar players–his (and mine) being Jeff Beck–and I asked him how he felt about the new superstars … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

By Steve Newton I did my eighth interview with Joe Satriani a couple years ago, and finally got to ask him about something that his former G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen once said to me. Back in 2014 I had interviewed Yngwie in advance of his Guitar Gods show in Vancouver, and that was when he … Continue reading Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 8, 1985 By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen has been heralded as the rock guitarist of the eighties, a successor to Eddie Van Halen and the late Randy Rhoads. And there’s no doubt that Yngwie is several cuts above the typical metal guitarist. But blinding speed and technical dazzle … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Marching Out (1985)

Caught on tape: that time Strat fanatic Yngwie Malmsteen trash-talked Ibanez and Les Paul guitars

By Steve Newton The most popular story I ever posted on Ear of Newt–until I broke the news about AC/DC being spotted in Vancouver back in 2018–was the one from 2014 with the headline Yngwie Malmsten calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”. For some reason people–mostly guitar players, … Continue reading Caught on tape: that time Strat fanatic Yngwie Malmsteen trash-talked Ibanez and Les Paul guitars

Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 23, 1990 By Steve Newton When Swedish guitar whiz Yngwie Malmsteen burst onto the hard-rock scene in ’84 with the Rising Force album, he took a lot of people by surprise—and it wasn’t just his funny name (pronounced “Ing-vay”) that did it. Malmsteen was a classically influenced speed-demon, … Continue reading Album review: Yngwie Malmsteen, Eclipse (1990)

That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me he was inspired by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and Leonardo da Vinci

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen is famous for his blistering speed on the fretboard, but his choice of reading material isn’t nearly as well known. The first time I interviewed the Swedish guitar legend, back in 1985, he had recently released his second solo album, Marching Out, which included a thank you to Stephen King. Turns … Continue reading That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me he was inspired by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and Leonardo da Vinci

That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me that he escaped the Swedish army by threatening to shoot himself

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Yngwie Malmsteen, back in December of 1985, he was was touring with Ronnie James Dio as opening act on the Sacred Heart tour. He was only 22 at the time, and four years earlier had spent a very brief stint in the Swedish army. Like, two days. … Continue reading That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me that he escaped the Swedish army by threatening to shoot himself

That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me that heavy metal is disgusting, boring, and all crap

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Yngwie Malmsteen was back in December of 1985, when he was opening act on Dio’s Sacred Heart tour. Malmsteen was only 22 at the time, full of piss and vinegar–kinda like he is now!–and ready to toss opinions around like they were notes flying off his fretboard. … Continue reading That time Yngwie Malmsteen told me that heavy metal is disgusting, boring, and all crap

That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thinks of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen

By Steve Newton Last year I posted an audio clip from my 1985 interview with Ronnie James Dio in which he kindly offered me backstage passes to a show in Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour. Here’s another excerpt from that conversation in which the legendary heavy-metal crooner compares the guitar-playing abilities of his former bandmate Ritchie … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thinks of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen

Tosin Abasi doesn’t think Yngwie Malmsteen is a pompous ass: “It’s just his clarity of vision”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed guitar hero Tosin Abasi before the Animals as Leaders concert in Vancouver last month, I asked him a few questions about the pickers he’d performed with earlier this year on the Generation Axe tour. As well as Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, and Nuno Bettencourt, Abasi was in the company … Continue reading Tosin Abasi doesn’t think Yngwie Malmsteen is a pompous ass: “It’s just his clarity of vision”

Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Graham Bonnet back in 1984 he was fronting a hard-rock/metal band called Alcatrazz that featured an unknown guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen, who would not stay unknown for long. Two years earlier Bonnet had been a member of the Michael Schenker Group, which also boasted an amazing guitar player, a guy … Continue reading Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

Graham Bonnet on unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen in ’84: “He’s one day gonna be a star, I think”

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s one of my jobs at the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver was to cover the hard-rock/heavy metal beat. Soon after getting hired as a proofreader/typesetter in ’82 I was doing articles on Priest, Scorps, Maiden, and Ozzy, which–to my utter delight–often ended up as the cover story. Metal was … Continue reading Graham Bonnet on unknown Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen in ’84: “He’s one day gonna be a star, I think”

Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review

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 … Continue reading Outraged guitar freak defends Yngwie Malmsteen and rips the s*** out of my Generation Axe review

That time Uli Jon Roth told me that Yngwie Malmsteen was “one of the alltime greats”, but that he wasn’t impressed by speed

By Steve Newton When Uli Jon Roth called me up in 2016 to promote his 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 … Continue reading That time Uli Jon Roth told me that Yngwie Malmsteen was “one of the alltime greats”, but that he wasn’t impressed by speed

Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 2003 By Steve Newton I was a tad taken aback when the press release came in announcing the lineup for Joe Satriani’s 2003 G3 Tour. It wasn’t a surprise to see long-time G3er (and former Satch student) Steve Vai’s name on the bill. But I didn’t expect … Continue reading Steve Vai on cocky G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen and tormented “genius” Devin Townsend

“Wildman” Yngwie Malmsteen puts Ritchie Blackmore rumours to rest, praises Uli Jon Roth

By Steve Newton Yngwie Malmsteen likes to wear all black on-stage and play fast as hell on a Fender Strat through a wall of cranked Marshall amps, so you might think that Ritchie Blackmore is his hero. “Okay, let’s correct that,” says Malmsteen when I mention that Wikipedia names the six-string legend from Deep Purple … Continue reading “Wildman” Yngwie Malmsteen puts Ritchie Blackmore rumours to rest, praises Uli Jon Roth

Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

By Steve Newton Had a nice little chat with Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen the other day, in advance of his Guitar Gods show next Saturday (June 28) at the River Rock Show Theatre. I mentioned that the last time I saw him live was on the G3 Tour at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre in 2003 or … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”

Malmsteen then and now: interviewing Yngwie in 1985 and 2014

By Steve Newton Swedish guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen turns 51 on Monday, two days after his appearance in Vancouver tomorrow (June 28) as part of the Guitar Gods show at the River Rock Show Theatre. He’s caused quite a commotion in the hard-rock world in the last half-century or so. Why, just last week he … Continue reading Malmsteen then and now: interviewing Yngwie in 1985 and 2014

Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Last month I did a blog about how a lot of amazing rock guitarists—Pat Travers, Jake E. Lee, Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, et cetera—were playing Stateside gigs this year but weren’t crossing the border to bring us Canucks a taste of their wild licks. Well, over the weekend Travers played a whiskey-snortin’ gig at some place in … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen is coming to Vancouver after all! Slash too!

Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

Generation Axe in Vancouver: 2.5 million notes and no wanking (except for Yngwie)

By Steve Newton Went to see the Generation Axe show in Vancouver last night–featuring Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abasi–and, as expected, there were a lotta notes. But the term “wanking” didn’t come to mind that often, surprisingly–and usually only when flashmaster Malmsteen was practicing his scales at breakneck speed. … Continue reading Generation Axe in Vancouver: 2.5 million notes and no wanking (except for Yngwie)

Dio brings medieval fantasy and better-than-Ozzy vocals to Vancouver, Yngwie just shows off

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 3, 1986 By Steve Newton Heavy metal veteran Ronnie James Dio played his own game of Dungeons & Dragons at the Pacific Coliseum last Saturday (December 28)–and 5,000 or so of his young fans came out winners. The show started when curtains surrounding the stage were pulled to … Continue reading Dio brings medieval fantasy and better-than-Ozzy vocals to Vancouver, Yngwie just shows off

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Canadian guitar wizard Jeff Healey three times. Man could that guy wail on the Strat! The first interview took place in June of 1988, when he was just 22, and still three months away from releasing his incredible debut album, See the Light. When I … Continue reading That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Kenny Wayne Shepherd four times, ’cause I’m a sucker for folks who can play the shit out of a Strat. The first time was back in December of 1995, when he was only 18 and touring behind his platinum-selling debut album, Ledbetter Heights. At one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan