Yngwie Malmsteen On Why Can Never Be Like The Rolling Stones
Yngwie Malmsteen recently joined Rick Beato’s YouTube channel and opened up about the main reason he can’t see himself in a band like The Rolling Stones. Malmsteen detailed his decision to pursue a solo career, which has been a hallmark of his distinctive sound.
In an industry where bands like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have become legends through their collaborative efforts, Malmsteen has charted a different course, opting for a solo path that has allowed him to maintain his unique artistic vision. Yngwie mentioned The Rolling Stones and the Beatles while clarifying his point about the great partnership a successful rock band needed. However, he believed he could never be part of such a group since it would destroy his freedom to express himself. Yngwie explained:
“From [Deep] Purple to [Black] Sabbath, The Rolling Stones – I love The Rolling Stones – The Beatles. They have this partnership stuff, which is great. I could never deal with that; to me, it felt like I was diluting my art, you know?”
A Symphony Of One: Malmsteen’s Career And Philosophy
Malmsteen’s career has been characterized by a relentless pursuit of musical purity, a dedication to his craft that has sometimes been misconstrued as ego. However, those who delve deeper into his work understand that his approach is not about self-aggrandizement but rather about an unwavering commitment to artistic integrity.
In the interview, Yngwie clarifies the essence of his perspective on music-making – it’s a deeply personal endeavor that he prefers to undertake without the interference or influence of others. He added:
“It’s like I’m a painter, I’m painting – not Mona Lisa – but something really nice. And I’m halfway done, I’m calling, ‘Hey, could you come over and finish half my painting?’ That’s my way of working and creating. It’s nothing to do with being egotistical; it’s just an artistic thing, really.”
The Backlash Yngwie Received Over His Dedication To His Solo Journey
Malmsteen’s unwavering dedication to his solo journey has not come without its share of scrutiny and backlash. His approach, vastly different from the band-centric norm of rock ‘n’ roll, has often been misunderstood and misrepresented. In a candid interview with Louder Sound, Malmsteen previously expressed his exasperation:
“Nobody is perfect. But people really don’t understand what I’m doing. This is not a band. It hasn’t been a band since 1984. That’s strange for rock’n’roll people to comprehend, but it’s how I work. I’m a painter. I won’t do half a painting and call you up and say: ‘Dave, please finish it for me.'”
This staunch individualism in the creative process has sometimes been labeled as egotism—a criticism the guitarist is quick to refute. He said:
“Working with others, I felt like I was subtracting something and not adding. That’s often mistaken for egotism, but really it isn’t. Singers have a real problem with the fact that they are part of the ensemble performing my music. They just don’t get it.”
The Unaccompanied Maestro
Yngwie Malmsteen’s reflections on solo musicianship versus band partnership reveal a truth many artists can relate to – the quest for pure expression. While bands like The Rolling Stones exemplify the magic that can happen when talents converge, Malmsteen’s solitary path highlights the beauty of unadulterated personal expression in art.
You can watch the entire interview below.