JOE LYNN TURNER Says YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's Current Stage Setup 'Doesn't Work': 'He's Gone Into A Weird Direction'
March 6, 2020
In a brand new interview with the "80's Glam Metalcast", legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner reflected on "Odyssey", his 1988 collaboration with Yngwie Malmsteen, widely considered the most commercial of all albums the Swedish guitarist's name has been attached to.
"Personally, I think it's some of the best work Yngwie or I have ever done," Joe said (hear audio below). "I think that is a brilliant album. It still stands the test of time. 'Odyssey' is just powerful. Every track is a great song, and yet incredible virtuoso playing by Yngwie. My vocal performances I couldn't get better, I think, if I tried. The writing — everything was just there in that package all at once. Of course, I know for a fact, as far as numerically, it's the biggest album he's ever had. And I'm still playing some of those songs with my band — absolutely. People wanna hear that stuff. And [Yngwie has] gone off in another world. He does 'Rising Force' and a few other songs, but he's singing them, and it's just not gonna work."
Turner elaborated on the fact that Malmsteen now handles much of the lead vocals himself in his own band, backed by a lineup that includes keyboardist Nick Marino, bassist/vocalist Ralph Ciavolino and drummer Brian Wilson.
"Sometimes you're influenced by the people around you," Joe said. "I'm not gonna mention names. And it's a shame, because you need guidance not only from yourself, of course, your interior, but you need an external guidance, too, from people whom you trust and admire and whom you can believe in. And I don't think he's getting the right information. He pushed the band over to the side and he's got 15, 20 amps and he's in centerstage and he's trying to sing, and I go, 'What is that?' It doesn't work. And I think for me, [as] a fan — Yngwie, I think he's a brilliant guitar player — it's just not working anymore. He's gone into a weird direction here. You can't tell people sometimes, though. What are you gonna do?"
Three years ago, Jeff Scott Soto, who sang on Yngwie's first two albums, 1984's "Rising Force" and 1985's "Marching Out", engaged in a war of words with the Swedish guitarist over the fact that Malmsteen claimed in an interview that he "always wrote everything," including the lyrics and melodies, and simply hired various vocalists to sing his material.
In the days after Yngwie's original interview with Metal Wani was published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, several of the guitarist's former singers — including Soto, Tim "Ripper" Owens and Turner — responded on social media, with Joe describing Malmsteen's statements as "the rantings of a megalomaniac desperately trying to justify his own insecurity."