YNGWIE MALMSTEEN: EDDIE VAN HALEN 'Changed Everything'
October 22, 2021
Yngwie Malmsteen has once again praised Eddie Van Halen, saying the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist "changed everything."
The 58-year-old Swedish axeman, who is promoting his latest album, "Parabellum", discussed Eddie's impact on guitar playing during a live YouTube chat with fans on Thursday (October 21).
He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "What can you say about Eddie? I mean, he changed everything. I had already been playing for a while when I heard him. And it was a complete, like, it was, like, 'Wow!' The whole band, when it came out — the first [VAN HALEN] album. Everybody I knew would hack up their Strats and put humbuckers and start tapping and stuff like this. I didn't wanna do that, because that's Eddie and let Eddie be Eddie. But he influenced me in other ways — just to be spontaneous, which I've always been anyway.
"The way they made those first two albums, I loved everything about it. It was so live-in-the-studio kind of thing. And I really love that. It was great — the whole thing.
"Eddie was amazing. God bless him. Amazing. There aren't enough words, really."
Back in May, Yngwie spoke to Aftershocks TV about how he was compared to Eddie early in his career. Asked if he felt the comparisons were justified, Yngwie: "I don't believe in comparing anybody with anybody, because it's supposed to be an artform. However, in art, in any art, there will be trendsetters, basically — there will be people who come around and kind of, like, turn everything upside down, and Edward was definitely one of them. And I brought something different to the table also.
"I personally loved Eddie Van Halen — I thought he was amazing," Yngwie continued. "I loved everything he did since the first time I heard him. But I don't think it's a logical thing to compare artists. It's like [comparing Pablo] Picasso and [Leonardo] Da Vinci, which are completely different styles, but they're very well-regarded artists in their own right. It's a crazy thing to do."
Back in 2019, Malmsteen named Van Halen as one of the 10 guitarists who impressed him the most.
"I was 13 years old when that first fuckin' [VAN HALEN] album came out and it definitely caught my attention," Yngwie told Music Radar. "I wasn't into guitar players back then; it was all about classical. But what I loved about them was the rawness of it all — no overdubs; they just went in and fucking did it.
"He didn't have a Floyd Rose for those early records; it was just a vintage Fender bridge. I found those kind of locking vibrato arms kills the sound of the guitar. I use vintage trems and float my bridges quite a bit — usually about 5mm up so you can pull up, but not the whole way. Eddie's tone was great: just a 1959 Marshall all the way up and nothing turned down."
"Parabellum" was released in July via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. Only four of the songs on the LP feature vocals. The album title is Latin, translating as "Prepare For War".