Yngwie Malmsteen Quotes

I’ve used Fender Strats with Marshalls since forever, though since I last played London, I’ve switched to my YJM Seymour Duncan pickups, and I also have a Fender YJM overdrive pedal, which is fairly new.

Yngwie Malmsteen

If you suck, you’re gonna suck real bad, and if you play well, it’s going to sound really good.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I had my own label, Rising Force Records, and made records, but had them distributed to the chains, to the retailers, but the retailers are gone – there’s no physical sales anymore – so I’m not gonna make the CDs and have ’em put into trucks to go nowhere.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I remember when I was a kid, if you had your name on a piece of vinyl, man, you were, like, in the halls of Valhalla; all of sudden, you were hanging out with Odin and being at the table of the gods. You were the real deal; you weren’t some guy struggling in a garage somewhere.

Yngwie Malmsteen

People – myself included – expect a certain standard from me. I always have to elaborate or improve on my playing. My success hasn’t made me at all laid-back. That relentless drive is still there.

Yngwie Malmsteen

The business has changed dramatically from what it was even just a few years ago. Music isn’t even distributed the same way anymore. Even CDs are becoming a thing of the past. The Internet has made it easier to get my music out to anyone who wants it, but at the same time, I feel like we’re losing the mystique.

Yngwie Malmsteen

The biggest mistake people make about me is that they see me as some sort of god-like figure with a big ego. If I see a button, a T-shirt, that says, ‘Yngwie is God,’ I just look at it as a complimentary way of people telling me they like me. Although it’s very flattering, it doesn’t change the way I look at myself.

Yngwie Malmsteen

If you look at somebody like Bach, he didn’t need collaborators to write for keyboards, cello, violin or anything else. I feel the same way about my music. The times that I have worked with other people, I’ve been very unhappy with the results.

Yngwie Malmsteen

You cannot be worrying about what other people think. You have to be sure that what you do is what you love to do, because if you love it, maybe another hundred thousand people might love it, too. Some other people might not like it, but it doesn’t matter, because you have to express what you want to express. You only live once.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Because I write the music, I write the lyrics, I write the vocal melody lines – I write everything. Just because I let somebody sing something doesn’t mean they’re more important than the bass player or the keyboard player or the drummer.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’ve learned not to say, ‘No, I’d never do that.’

Yngwie Malmsteen

A lot of people don’t realize that guitar playing is very much like singing or playing any of the glissando-type instruments – you have to do it in tune.

Yngwie Malmsteen

My book is basically a love letter to America.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I am convinced that there are few, if any, American people that could even start believing or understanding what living in a socialist country does to a person.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’d love to perform in India, but I don’t book the gigs. It’s one of the few places I haven’t played. One of the Indian instruments that I love is the sitar. I played it on some of my songs, including ‘Pyramid of Cheops’ and ‘Crucify.’

Yngwie Malmsteen

I wanted to learn how to play guitar so I could smash it up and burn it. I was only a little kid, so that was my incentive.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I learned a lot from other people, and was inspired by what they did, but I didn’t copy anyone. I put many different blocks together to become what I am. I don’t know if that would have happened if everything was handed to me on a plate.

Yngwie Malmsteen

My band’s motto is ‘Yngwie or the highway.’ Do you think Leonardo Da Vinci allowed someone who came later to add to his paintings? It’s impossible. That’s the whole issue. I’m not a typical rock n’ roll guitarist nor a simple band member.

Yngwie Malmsteen

It doesn’t matter what you make – if you create a movie or build a car or whatever, it’s the amount of blood, sweat, and tears and money and everything that goes into it that needs to be rewarded.

Yngwie Malmsteen

When I was a kid, I played drums, and when I first got a 4-track, I would put down drumbeats and then do the rest of the tracks on top.

Yngwie Malmsteen

There was an old acoustic in the house that my mother had given me for my fifth birthday. I took it off the wall and started jamming. I was seven years old at the time.

Yngwie Malmsteen

A lot of people don’t know this, but I started out as a blues-based player, and then, when I realized after playing 18 hours a day that there’s more than five notes per scale, that’s when my stuff became what it was. I started listening to violinists and flautists, and that’s how my style evolved.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I think that Zappa intentionally made his music weird, but did it with intelligence.

Yngwie Malmsteen

At first, I didn’t think playing guitar was the right thing for me to do. But after seeing Jimi Hendrix on television the day he died, I realized it was a really cool instrument to play and not wimpy at all, which was how I originally perceived it.

Yngwie Malmsteen

If I played something incorrectly, I whipped myself mercilessly. Whenever I made a mistake, I made sure that I would never allow myself to repeat it. Every guitarist wants to play well. But in reality, if good intentions were all it took, then everyone would be great.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’d rather have people dislike my style than change it. If someone says, ‘Hey, Yngwie, you play too damn much,’ I don’t care. They way I play is the way I like to play. If people like it, great. If they don’t, it’s still fine with me.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’m very comfortable singing myself, first of all. Secondly, there’s a certain disconnect when you write the song and you have someone else sing it for you. And it’s kind of like a fakeness about it.

Yngwie Malmsteen

What I’ve done from the very beginning is play everything with extreme accuracy. I never said to myself, ‘Okay, if I put my fingers this way, it’s gonna result in this.’ I’ve never taken a lesson. My way of playing the guitar was a fresh approach to the instrument.

Yngwie Malmsteen

When I was 20, I didn’t give a damn about song construction. I just wanted to make as much noise and play as fast and as loud as possible.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I think the singer in Pearl Jam should eat some Pearl Jam! He cannot sing to save his life! And the guitar player needs to seek help.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Most Americans, I don’t think, could fathom the society that I grew up in. It is a completely different philosophy from America’s. You are basically told what you can be by the educational system.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Every day has to be a day that counts. It can’t be a wasted day. I’m very dedicated to always keep doing something that I would consider good.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I grew up in a family that was very musical, learned the blues and everything like that. And I became a little bit frustrated with the simplicity of rock n’ roll and blues. I started listening to a lot of classical music – mainly Bach, Vivaldi.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’ve been playing for aeons now, but way, way back, I remember Eddie Van Halen came out ,and I loved his playing. He was amazing. But then everyone started copying his guitars with Floyds, and I didn’t.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I joined Alcatrazz a month after I recorded ‘Steeler.’ The big difference between Steeler and Alcatrazz is that in Alcatrazz, I wrote the songs. When I went to the Alcatrazz audition, they had no songs and no direction. They also had a questionable drummer.

Yngwie Malmsteen

My fourth birthday, I was given a violin, and my fifth birthday, a guitar. I didn’t start to play until I saw Hendrix on TV. They showed him setting his guitar on fire and burning it for the Monterey Pop Festival.

Yngwie Malmsteen

People who join my organization are usually very cool at first, but they become troublesome later.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Just the whole thing of getting up in the morning – I love the sunshine, I love the palm trees. I’m that kind of guy. I like to drive around with the top down and just enjoy life. I never did that before, so it’s a beautiful thing.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I’m very selfish. I make music that I love because I only live once, and I’m an artist. I don’t try to revolt against anybody, and I don’t try to please anybody. I feel very strongly that I if love it, someone else will love it – not everybody, though.

Yngwie Malmsteen

When the glam metal thing of the late ’80s became too glammy, then instead of having two bottles of hairspray in your hair, it became better not to wash your hair at all. To me it’s all trend stuff. I don’t follow that stuff. I just do what I feel is the right thing. I don’t know what the reason is for that. It’s not fashion.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I want to say something very clearly. I understand that I’m a self-confident person who might come off with the wrong attitude sometimes, but I don’t mean to. I just believe in certain things, and I know exactly what I want. I’ve always sacrificed things in order to become the best musician I could be.

Yngwie Malmsteen

I don’t work with anybody on the music, of course. But my God, some of the lyrics that other people have written were so shallow: ‘Hey baby this, hey baby that.’ I need substance to the words, you know? Give me depth!

Yngwie Malmsteen

I listened to all those blues records. They were great – Clapton, John Mayall. Then eventually I heard Genesis with Peter Gabriel, and I didn’t really understand the difference then, but something struck me about the inversions and the diminished chords… they weren’t as bluesy, and I loved it. I found out, that was very baroque-influenced.

Yngwie Malmsteen

When Alcatrazz played in Japan in early ’84, the record label offered me the opportunity to do a solo album while continuing to play in the band. I wanted the whole album to have vocals, but the record company didn’t want that. Initially, the album was released solely in Japan.

Yngwie Malmsteen

Using double coil pickups kills a lot of the guitar tone – you lose the acoustic mechanics. With my single-coils driven through the Marshalls and overdrive, it sounds massive.

Yngwie Malmsteen

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