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 that 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 that 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 thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did my only interview with Ronnie James Dio, who was headed to Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour, with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force opening up. At one point in the conversation the legendary heavy-metal crooner compared the guitar-playing abilities of his former bandmate Ritchie Blackmore to those of … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

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 Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit