In a brand new interview with Midlands Metalheads Radio, legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen spoke about how he first developed his playing style. He said (hear audio below): "My first guitar was given to me on my fifth birthday — I was five years old — but I didn't start playing it until I was seven, after seeing [Jimi] Hendrix smash up a guitar on TV. But that wasn't a musical influence — it was just that seeing that happen, I thought it was cool. So I started playing guitar that same day I saw that program… And then I heard DEEP PURPLE 'Fireball' and started learning those things. You've gotta remember — I was very, very young; I was just a little kid. I was seven years old. So I learned how to play this stuff inside out, pretty much. And then, of course, I heard an album called 'Selling England By The Pound' by GENESIS, and that was a lot of chord progressions and inflections that I'd never heard before, because they weren't directly rock and roll [or] blues style. So I listened to a lot of Bach records and Vivaldi and Beethoven. My Marshall stacks and my electric guitar never changed, but my choice of notes changed. So the guitar players from all those years, they never influenced me into what I'm doing today. My influences that shaped my style today are all classical violinists [and composers like] Bach, Vivaldi, Paganini, Tchaikovsky. That's very important to remember."
Yngwie released a new album, "Blue Lightning", on March 29 via Mascot Label Group. On the disc, Yngwie pays homage to those from the blues world who have fueled his artistic spirit for so long. "Blue Lightning" also includes four original tunes that bring to the fore Malmsteen's love for the blues. "I have always featured songs with a blues groove on albums," he said in a press release. "So, having my own material in this vein was very natural for me."
Among the songs Malmsteen tackles on "Blue Lightning" are classics by THE BEATLES ("While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), Jimi Hendrix ("Foxey Lady", "Purple Haze"), THE ROLLING STONES ("Paint It Black"), ZZ TOP ("Blue Jean Blues"), DEEP PURPLE ("Demon's Eye", "Smoke On The Water") and Eric Clapton ("Forever Man").