“Most singers think they’re Elvis Presley. They’re not” – this is the reason Yngwie Malmsteen does not like to work with vocalists

Author Benedetta Baldin - 4.7.2024

Guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen has collaborated with a lot of vocalists over the years, but during his recent press conference at Hellfest, the musician highlighted why he prefers not to work with singers or, in a broader sense, outside contributors. Much of it has to do with his personal artistic vision. The debate began with a question about making his own music, and Malmsteen shared his ideas on working with producers rather than self-producing.

I’m not knocking producers. I think they’ve done a lot of things for a lot of bands. The difference is I already have this in here (points to his head). So when I have someone else coming in, it doesn’t add, it dilutes. Some people may think I’m an egotist. No. The music is done. I record it. I play it. It’s done.

Malmsteen‘s remarks then shifted to how he tackles his own work and how it differs from the mold that many rock musicians fall into.

In rock and roll, even if you’re a solo artist, like Ozzy Osbourne or whoever, they have songs written for them, they have producers and stuff like this. I don’t do that. I do everything. I actually do everything. It’s not because I’m an egotistic person that I don’t want anybody else to take the credit. No. It’s because instead of what you would say a traditional rock and roll Lennon-McCartney, Keith Richards-Mick Jagger (songwriting partnership) – I love all them guys; I think they’re fucking great – instead of what they did, I work more like an author, like let’s say Stephen King or Johann Sebastian Bach … So basically I’m like a painter or an author. That’s why I don’t have co-writers and so on. Because when I did have that, every single time I came out unhappy and I wasn’t pleased with the result, and I only live once. So what I wanna leave behind, what I wanna create, what I wanna put out on records, what I wanna perform onstage, is something that is purely my expression because I have so much inside. I want pure expression of myself, not diluted by having Elvis Presley in the band. Most singers think they’re Elvis Presley. They’re not. They’re just another instrument in my orchestra.