by Fredrik Hjelm

FH: "Track On Earth," was your band back then?

Yngwie: Yeah, it was me and my drummer. And then it started growing bigger in '78-'79 with smoke machines and Marshall-stacks on stage. But at that time, punk was getting big too and I remember thinking "this just ain't happening!" - I thought it was some kind of evil joke that people came to see these bands who couldn't even play right and were proud of it too. But I always did my own thing, as I said, especially the last many years but even already back then.

FH: But what do you feel is the biggest reason for the second coming of hard rock and metal as we know it?

Yngwie: Well, I think Internet has got something to do with it, too. Back in the day, an artist should be so happy if MTV even considered playing your material, and if they didn't, no one would know you even existed especially if the mainstream magazines didn't write about you. Which they didn't! These days, there can be clips from your latest concert posted on YouTube on the night of the show. It's both good and bad, this whole Internet thing, but you get a lot of free PR that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. And then we have the hard rock video games (Guitar Hero) and all that, and they contribute as well, of course.

FH: Speaking of old times; I went back and checked out two of my favorite Yngwie albums; Rising Force and Marching Out. As I was listening I was thought to myself, "Are we ever going to hear that Yngwie again?" It seemed you strayed away from that sound around the time you wrote more MTV oriented music on later albums, such as "You don't remember, I'll never forget." Are you just too far away from that style today, musically?

Yngwie: Well, that period with the more radio friendly material lasted through the Trilogy and Odyssey era, but if you listen to my latest album Perpetual Flame, it's a lot rougher and more to the point than a lot of my material in later years and actually a lot harder than both Rising Force and Marching Out. I was talking to one guy yesterday who told me that he thought I could just as well have released Perpetual Flame in 1985 and Marching Out in 2008 and if you wouldn't have known which album got released when, I'm sure you would have said that Perpetual Flame was your favorite. I know that for a fact! The attitude is just the same but much more thought out as far as Perpetual Flame goes. I'm not talking crap about my old material but as I say; what you can hear on my latest album is just as hard as anything from back in the day.

FH: OK, I buy that! But when you hear a newer production from an artist who wrote the albums that caught your attention over 20 years ago, you wonder if he's just leaning towards the old sound or if he's really turning that way again, musically...

Yngwie: Subconsciously, I think it is the last thing you said. I mean I'm not really making any plans for my sound or if the riffs are going to be a certain way and the guitar solos a little shorter maybe. What happens happens on a new record and if I like it myself I'll play it! That was exactly the same way I wrote things back in 1984 so there is no difference, I don't sit at home thinking "OK, now I am going to write an album that sounds like Marching Out, I just write it and see what comes out of it. But, when I mixed the new album with Roy Z, we both said "wow" and I agreed on that it sounded a lot like the material I wrote in the Trilogy era and Roy was the first one to point it out. I just do what I think is right and let everyone else judge it afterwards.