YNGWIE MALMSTEEN: Former Singer Lande "Is A Fool"

January 23, 2002

Swedish axe legend Yngwie Malmsteen recently gave an interview to Japan's Burrn magazine for their February 2002 cover story (full interview can be found at this location) in which he proceeded to slam former singer Jorn Lande (i.e. MASTERPLAN, ARK) and the current line-up of DEEP PURPLE, among others. Here are some of the highlights from the chat:

On Jorn Lande:
Jorn never joined my band. He's nothing to do with the band. He's a fool. He doesn't count. Never mention his name again!...He's useless....Who cares about Jorn? Why do you want to talk about him? No one is interested. Who is he? Did he suddenly become Robert Plant? Who's ARK? Is it for us to talk about? Is it such an important band? Are they such an incredible band that will turn the world upside down? I don't think so!

On the fact that he's gone through four different vocalists in 2001:
Yeah I know. So?

On lack of input from other members in the creative and decision-making process:
It's true. My band's motto is 'Yngwie or the highway'. Do you think Leonardo Da Vinci allowed someone who came later to add to his paintings? It's impossible. That's the whole issue. I'm not a typical rock 'n' roll guitarist, nor a simple band member. It's not my way that one of the members comes up with a riff [hums the 'Smoke On the Water' riff] and then the bassist and singer come in and add to it. I write everything!!! If you don't like it, leave quickly.

On firing his last crew:
They were telling my crew everyday how fortunate they were to be in my band, so it seems they are very proud to be standing up on stage with me. I don't need them to flatter me, it's not my style. But it helps to get that gratitude for my situation. It's made clear that it's not appropriate in this place for idiots to complain to everybody if the hotel's not booked or to get angry is they haven't received their weekly $100 extra. People who join my organization are usually very cool at first, but they become troublesome later. So this time, I decided to get a new band altogether. I fired the crew and that was very effective. I decided to eliminate everything and replace everyone. If one person remains, it wouldn't be completely new. I parted ways with the band, crew, everyone, and said 'See Ya!'. They were always something that had a bad influence. They were tiny parts that are replaceable. They were not essential.

On the hideous production quality of his last studio album:
That's not my fault.....It's a petty engineer's fault, not mine....It's simple. I only had enough money to hire a terrible person who wasn't an engineer whatsoever because I was firing [former manager] Jim Lewis.

On current line-up of DEEP PURPLE:
You know, I don't like saying this, but they could do a lot better than what they have now. Steve Morse is a very good guitar player, but he's American and he's using humbucker pickups. If you ask me, those two are not good. I don't want to say it like this, but if they (DEEP PURPLE) could have got me in that band they would have a performance that would blow people's head off. Even now I can play from the beginning of Made in Japan to the end. I can do it right now without missing a note.

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