by Fredrik Hjelm

FH: Well that's not too bad of a review from a guy like Roy Z!

Yngwie: You're right about that - he's the man.

FH: Last time we spoke, we talked about your band and about switching out musicians and singers the way you do. At the time, you said you felt that the singers often had a hard time accepting that they're not the "star" of the band, and that can create friction from their point of view. As far as the success of Rising Force, does it matter at all who plays with Yngwie Malmsteen?

Yngwie: That's a very complicated question that requires a complicated answer. I've been in bands before were I was just a musician so to say, where I didn't decide what to write and what to do. I always thought this thing about fighting to get my artistic will through was very difficult for me and I always hated this musical "back and forth" thing between the different band members. Life's too short for that. I've always regretted when I let someone influence my songs and my music especially when it came to the lyrics. In that particular case, I have been dissatisfied 100% of the time as far as everyone else's contribution and always re-did what they wrote. I get this question a lot so I've really put some work into analyzing myself, to understand how I think and not to come out like a total asshole who only likes his own material. It's not so easy to explain, but I am an artist, not so different from a painter for example. A painter doesn't let just anyone slap some paint on his work just to sit back and say "fine, go ahead - put some more on that - any color you like," no, he has a vision of how the painting is going to look like when it is finished and he wants to start it and complete it on his own. I'm not in a band; it's not a joint venture. I am composer and the music is mine. I've tried to work differently but it just doesn't work. But it also means, for the obvious reasons, I have to put in so much more work into the material than a band has to. In this particular case with Perpetual Flame, I even worked as a technician on the album! It's a lot of fun, of course, but it takes a lot more out of me than if I let other people into my writing and producing. But the reward comes at the end, when you're happy with the material and I always think "let people think whatever they want - this is what I like". If people think it's a bunch of crap - whatever - I know that I did something that came straight from my heart and that I didn't compromise. I know that the day I am dead and buried, my music will be the monument I leave behind, not just something that I was in on. On the other hand, if I would be going into the studio with someone like Gene Simmons for example, or anyone else for that matter who would ask me to come and play with them, I would play exactly as I am told and that's it. But, on the other hand, at times when I play on other people's albums they always end up saying "it's like you do it, Yngwie", so the sound's always there. I mean, I always come up with stuff which is pretty difficult to play and if the other guys playing with me are game, we're good! I mean, I never play anything exactly the same when I play live and in that case, the other musicians have to tag along on that so it's very important to play with top guys.