YNGWIE MALMSTEEN On Living Through Pandemic: ‘The Whole Thing Is Very Surreal’
In a brand new interview with the “Iron City Rocks” podcast, legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen spoke about the recording process for his latest album, “Parabellum”, while the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The whole thing is very surreal. Because in an estimated hundred thousand years of human civilization, this has never happened before. There’s been many, many, many, many pandemics — I mean, countless: the European plague and the 1918 [flu pandemic] and whatever — but there never, ever has been a situation where every event, every… At one point, even restaurants were closed. That never happened before; this is the first time in human history, as long as humans have existed. So, obviously, not only for me, but for everybody, this was very surreal.
“Personally, I’ve always been the kind of person that’s kind of, like, if you get lemons, you make lemonade,” he continued. “So I was, actually, in March 2020, I was on a world tour; I was all over the place. And at the time exactly, in late February, early March — the second of March, actually, I think it was — we played in Mexico City. And agents called and they said, ‘We’re gonna push back the gigs two, three weeks or so.’ [Laughs] So I went home and very much enjoyed doing certain things. So it was fine. I went into the studio and started recording some songs and writing some songs, which I always do anyway. And this thing just dragged on and dragged on. I just said, ‘Okay, I’m just gonna record and write songs.’ So, basically, I spent a year in the studio.
“Having said that, I’ve learned from many years of doing this that too much time is also not good because you start second-guessing things,” Yngwie added. “It’s not good. So, basically, I only would go into the studio when I [was] very inspired and I would do first takes and stuff like that. When a riff or a melody came to me, I would capture it; that’s what I did. Then, of course, I got the schedule with the engineer. And before I knew, I had, like, 80, 90, almost a hundred [ideas]. And I started weeding them out — listening in the car a lot, just cruising around and listening to the stuff. So that’s what I did.
“Obviously, I wanted to go out on the road… But, as I said, me personally, I feel bad for everybody that had bad things happen and so on, but for me, it was kind of like — I don’t know… It was a long vacation or something. That’s a bad description… It obviously was a bad thing for everybody. I’m glad it’s almost over.”
“Parabellum” was released in July via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. Only four of the songs on the LP feature vocals. The album title is Latin, translating as “Prepare For War”.
After working with some of the top hard singers of the past four decades, Yngwie now handles much of the lead vocals himself in his own band, backed by a lineup that includes keyboardist Nick Marino, bassist Emilio Martinez and drummer Brian Wilson.
Yngwie has just kicked off a month-long fall 2021 U.S. tour — his first major run of shows in 20 months.