Interview with ANDERS JOHANSSON Page 2
by Fredrik Hjelm
FH: What was the first Yngwie record you played on?
Anders: Marching Out (released 1985).
FH: Why didn't you play on the debut Rising Force record (released 1984)?
Anders: Well, Yngwie wanted us but his manager said no because we were unknown Swedes and he didn't want to take any risks on that note. Yngwie got his will through, though, after the first album, and we were on for the second one.
FH: How many albums did you record in total with Yngwie?
Anders: Well, Marching Out, Trilogy after that, and then we did Odyssey and then Live in Leningrad. We also did some small production studio/live recordings from Japan. This was released as a maxi single at the time. The last record I did with Yngwie was Inspiration, which I actually recorded in my mom's basement! It was a bunch of cover tunes, mainly Deep Purple, but also others like Hendrix and Rainbow.
FH: This was considered by many to have been the most successful time for Yngwie yet you left the band...why?
Anders: Everyone was quite tired of the drinking back in those days. Yngwie was pretty boozed up all the time and was acting weird. I was only 26 when I quit, but it was always problems with the money, as well. Joe Lynn Turner (vocals) got the boot before he had the opportunity to quit, which he probably would have anyway if he knew Yngwie was scheming to put itching powder in his wig before he was going on stage! (i.e.: Joe L. Turner has worn a wig for many years). And at one point we were making plans to fish-hook his wig off his head on stage with a fishing-rod! We never got around to make those elaborate plans a reality, but to mess with Joe we did hide the double-sided tape he used to attach the wig right before a gig I remember. But Yngwie fired Joe, or "Vridapan" as we called him in Swedish, so he wouldn't know we were talking about him. (Note: "Vrid" means "turn" in Swedish, as in Turner, and "apan" means "monkey"). He was a pretty cool guy though, a little older than we were, American/Italian. But we always found him a little funky and weird with his rock-star manners and all that. But we were so young at the time so I don't know how I would see him these days...perhaps differently. However, to get back to the point, Yngwie was tired of him and got rid of him. I guess it was the Alpha-Male factor as well. You can't have two of those on the same tour bus. I don't think Joe was very bummed out though, he joined up with Deep Purple right after that and got on with his career.
FH: Why do you think Yngwie got rid of all his singers? Is it his well-known diva ways, the drinking or what?
Anders: Well, it's all that and more. He's not exactly known for being very good at compromising and he wants to do things his way. Everyone says he's just a f**kin' asshole, but its not that bad. He's mainly different, and just an incredible guitar player, if anything. I think it is more circumstances and the fact that he is a little flaky at the same, so it's very hard to know what to expect from him. Neither Yngwie nor the paychecks are ever on time, so people get sick of that and move on without him.
Interview with ANDERS JOHANSSON Page 3