Steve Vai Drops A Bombshell About Yngwie Malmsteen, ‘He Floored Us’

In a recently shared snippet from an interview with ‘Backstage Pass Rock News,’ Steve Vai shared how Yngwie Malmsteen floored Alcatrazz.

While discussing his first times with the band and meeting Graham Bonnet, the conversation followed with Vai sharing about his addition to the band and meeting Malmsteen:

“When Yngwie Malmsteen hit the scene, it blew us all away; he floored us. And when he was leaving that band, I thought, ‘Well, this is an opportunity.’ And I auditioned for the band; I didn’t think I was going to get the gig because I didn’t sound anything like any Yngwie.”

Graham Bonnet’s Singing Impressed Vai

During his time with Alcatrazz, the rocker was highly impressed by Bonnet’s singing. Following the conversation, Vai expressed his admiration for the band members and highlighted Bonnet’s skills with the following:

“But I really like the guys; they are really good guys. And Graham [Bonnet] had a great sense of humor. It was my first opportunity to be in a band with somebody that was European. So that was great, but when he would sing, I just couldn’t believe it. The power that came out of his voice, out of his mouth, it was pretty stunning. Because before that, I had never been involved with a singer like that.”

‘Nobody Can Play Like Yngwie Malmsteen’

In 2019, Vai was seen playing with the supergroup Generation Axe, later released as a live album. Including Zakk Wylde, Tosin Abasi, and Nuno Bettencourt in the same stage, Vai said his approach to covering the Deep Purple standard with Malmsteen required a different approach. He then made it clear that, as in ‘different approach,’ he meant to be himself since no one could play like Malmsteen, not even him.

Below, you can watch the snippet of the recent interview.