Yngwie Malmsteen – King of Neo-classical Metal

Yngwie malmsteen with his Signature Stratocaster

Yngwie malmsteen with his Signature Stratocaster

“The day Jimi Hendrix died, the guitar playing Malmsteen was born” – yngwie.org

An accomplished guitar god to start off with!

Yngwie Malmsteen was a musical prodigy, having picked up the guitar at a tender age of 7. With tremendous perseverence and dedication, he set off on a great journey into the world of music, following bands like Deep Purple. His admiration for Richie Blackmore took him to follow classical music and ultimately led him to his greatest creation: Neo-classical Metal.”

Born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerback, Malmsteen’s music transcends the traditional boundaries of rock music, fusing elements of classical music with heavy distortion patches. His admiration for Bach, Vivaldi, Beethovan and Mozart was unbounded, but he was profoundly taken by awe by Niccolo Paganini.By the age of ten, he formed his first band, “Track on Fire”.

The next biggest milestone in Yngwie’s musical journey is the adoption of the scalloped neck fretboard. Though this was much more difficult to play, this was but a small challenge for the virtuoso, and became a permanent fixture of his playing style.

After brief stints in two bands(Steeler and Alcatrazz), the guitar maestro produced his first solo album, Rising Force, which is now considered the bible of Neo Classical metal and received a Grammy nomination for all the mastery. He was voted Best New Talent in several reader’s polls, Best Rock Guitarist the year after, and Rising Force became Album of the Year.

The 1990s saw the release of “Marching out”, “Trilogy”, “Odyssey”, “Fire & Ice”, “Seventh Sign”, “Magnum Opus”, “Facing the Animal”, “Alchemy” and “Attack!!” and live albums such as “Live in Leningrad/Trial by Fire”. He also recorded an album of covers called “Inspiration”, covering the music of his greatest musical influences like Deep Purple, Rainbow, U.K., Kansas, Scorpions, Rush, and Jimi Hendrix.
The desire to create a classical album led to the recording of what many people, including yours truly regard as a masterpiece: Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in Eb minor, Op. 1. The orchestration was provided by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, he feels through all the evolution of his music, the essence is still one and the same. “I think attitude-wise I’ve always been on the same track. Nothing is really good enough. I always think I can do one better. And I never think like ‘well, now I’ve got a Grammy so it’s time to slow down’…I just don’t do that.”

Two of his obsessions are: Fender and Ferrari(He owns 3 of those babies!!). The Fender Guitar Company has recently released a version of  his “Play Loud” Stratocaster.  He talks about this in an interview to Music Street Journal.

“When I got approached to do a Signature model back in 1986, it was a great honor. They’ve made that guitar since 1987, but now the guys at Fender wanted to make an exact replica of the guitar I brought over here with me from Sweden when I was a kid. That guitar is very worn…it’s nicknamed ‘The Duck.’ I gave the original Duck to them to use as a template. They wound up making exactly the same guitar…it’s virtually identical. Every scratch, every stress mark is on it.”

We can still expect great things from this maestro!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,