Legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen will headline the Guitar Gods tour, set to take place in North America in June/July. Joining Malmsteen on all shows will be Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES), Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS) and Gary Hoey.
Speaking to Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News, Malmsteen stated about the trek: "My wife, April Malmsteen, who, as you know, is also my manager — it was her idea, the whole thing, to put together this guitar festival. I thought it was a great idea. So we got on the phone and called up a few friends. I think you're going to love this tour… We put the word out, and we auditioned a lot of people. We had a number of people who wanted to be on the bill; we auditioned them and picked who we felt were the best ones for this tour. Uli is a very good friend; we asked him if he was interested. He said yes, and that was that. It's going to be a great mix. We have two opening acts; it's going to be a nice guitar fest."
He added: "There were a lot of guitarists who were influenced by me that auditioned, and I didn't want that; I wanted this tour to be diverse."
Yngwie also spoke about how his confidence and his desire to see his vision through might be viewed as arrogance. "Since I was very young, I was always extremely serious about I was doing," he said. "I have one shot at this, and I have to do it myself. I'm like a painter or like classical composer because a composer wouldn't have someone else write the cello parts of a piece of music — they'd write it themselves. Now, that might come off as arrogance, but when I put my name on something, it has to be my work. Like it or hate it, it's my vision and my creation. I don't work in the traditional way, how most rock 'n' roll bands or musicians work. I like to see myself as similar to a painter. I think that comes through in [my 2013] book ['Relentless'], because like you said, most in the past would view it as arrogance."
In a 2010 interview, Malmsteen explained he needed to form his own record label [Rising Force Records] to release his music after working with a number of major and independent record companies over the years.
"The truth of the matter is, when I was on a major label, they didn't have any control of what I was doing," he said. "I never let a label tell me what to do. They tried, but it got to the point where they just gave up, because I wasn't listening. There's this saying that I have: 'There's the right way, the wrong way and the Yngway.'
"I've made it clear from day one that this is what I do and how I do things. [laughs] I do listen to people's thoughts on my music; I'm open to that. I listen to my wife all the time, but if you're coming to me and telling me that I need sacrifice my vision to make something more commercial or to make it into a single, then talk to someone else. I started my own independent label as a business thing, really. I can also release whatever I want whenever I want — it's awesome."