Former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN vocalist Michael Vescera says that he was amused by the Swedish guitarist's disparaging comments about some of the singers that have worked with him in the past.
In a recent interview with Metal Wani, Malmsteen said that he had no interest in collaborating with vocalists like Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Scott Soto and Tim "Ripper" Owens ever again. "I'm very comfortable singing myself, first of all," Yngwie said. "Secondly, there's a certain disconnect when you write the song and you have someone else sing it for you. And it's kind of like a fakeness about it. I always wrote everything — I wrote all the lyrics, I wrote all the melodies, everything; it's just somebody else sung it. And to me, the singer is nothing else than a different… like a bass player or a keyboard player — they're not more important than any other musician. And they, unfortunately, seem to think that they are. And I've kind of had it with their sort of… self-absorbed sort of way, and I'm very much against it. No. I don't like that. I don't like any of those people, and I don't like to do anything with them ever again."
Asked in a new interview with All That Shreds if he had any comment to make about Yngwie's apparent attempt to minimize the contributions of the aforementioned singers, Vescera said: "Funny stuff! I know Jeff, Joe, Tim and even [fellow former Malmsteen singer] Mats Levén quite well, all great guys and awesome vocalists. I've moved on from the whole Yngwie thing, and just wish everyone the best."
Back in January 2015, Vescera — who recorded two full-length studio records with Malmsteen as well as an EP, various videos and the "Live At Budokan" DVD in the 1990s — said that Yngwie "could have been the biggest guitarist in the world today" had he not "destroyed his career" by "burning bridges and pissing people off." Speaking at a press conference in São Paulo, Brazil for the "Metal Singers" tour, he said: "It's unfortunate, because he changed the face of guitar. And to be where he's at today is kind of sad."
Insisting that he didn't "have anything bad to say about Yngwie," Vescera described his time with iconic axeman as "an experience." He added: "There was some crazy shit that went on. But I wish him well, and I hope he straightens out his stuff and comes back. But… you know, we would need about two years [to tell our] stories [about] him."
Two days after portions of Yngwie's interview with Metal Wani were published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Turner took to his Facebook page to say that he was "responsible for 50% of the writing credits" on Malmsteen's "Odyssey" album — "namely the melody and lyrics and 100% of the vocal performances." He went on to dismiss Malmsteen's statements as "the rantings of a megalomaniac desperately trying to justify his own insecurity. His claim that 'singers' are too egotistical is moronic and pathetic coming from him," Turner said. "The fact that he would lash out at all the great vocalists and respectful gentlemen that he had the good fortune and honor to work with is simply outrageous."
Soto and Owens also responded to Malmsteen, with Jeff writing on his Facebook page: "Can't say I blame [Yngwie]; his vocal prowess has increased .05-fold the past two decades! Why would he want to work with horrible hacks like myself, Ripper or Joe... and deal with our egos... like wanting to hear ourselves onstage within the cavalcade of Marshalls, or getting our measly salaries on time (or at all)." He added: "On a side note, I wrote more than 3/4 of the lyrics and 1/2 melodies for 'I'll See The Light Tonight', all of the lyrics for 'Caught In The Middle' and 'Don't Let It End' (he wrote the title and got 50% of authorship) and all off 'On The Run Again' (title included). So much for writing EVERYTHING." Owens, for his part, said that he was "pretty sure" Malmsteen wouldn't work any of the above-mentioned singers again "because we all quit." He then added: "Let [Yngwie] enjoy the singing!"