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  1. I joined Alcatrazz a month after I recorded ‘Steeler.’ The big difference between Steeler and Alcatrazz is that in Alcatrazz, I wrote the songs. When I went to the Alcatrazz audition, they had no songs and no direction. They also had a questionable drummer.
  2. When I was 20, I didn’t give a damn about song construction. I just wanted to make as much noise and play as fast and as loud as possible.
  3. Everything that I think that a society should offer someone, which is nothing other than the ability to be able to do what you wanna do, is offered by America.
  4. Steeler was a good start for my career. They didn’t play anything dangerous — everything was formulaic — but I played all this crazy stuff on top of it, and that turned out to be an interesting combination. But by the time ‘Steeler’ came out, I was already out of the band.
  5. I am convinced that there are few, if any, American people that could even start believing or understanding what living in a socialist country does to a person.
  6. Sweep picking is when the right hand sweeps down and up the strings in succession. But when you do sweep picking, one note rings into the next, and it sounds almost like you’re playing a chord, and that’s exactly what you don’t want.
  7. 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.
  8. I emigrated to the U.S. on February 3, 1983, when I was 19 years old. I joined Steeler right away and recorded the album the following month. I’d been playing in bands in Sweden since the age of 11, but ‘Steeler’ was my first album.
  9. I always wrote everything — I wrote all the lyrics, I wrote all the melodies, everything; it’s just somebody else sung it. And to me, the singer is nothing else than a different… like a bass player or a keyboard player — they’re not more important than any other musician.
  10. The business has changed dramatically from what it was even just a few years ago. Music isn’t even distributed the same way anymore. Even CDs are becoming a thing of the past. The Internet has made it easier to get my music out to anyone who wants it, but at the same time, I feel like we’re losing the mystique.
  11. Every other guitar player was just copying other guitarists. From the time I was 13 up until 18, I practiced at least eight hours a day, every day. My health suffered for it — I was losing sleep and not eating properly.
  12. I had my own label, Rising Force Records, and made records, but had them distributed to the chains, to the retailers, but the retailers are gone — there’s no physical sales anymore — so I’m not gonna make the CDs and have ’em put into trucks to go nowhere.
  13. To get a feel for the right-hand picking technique, you have to let the pick ‘fall’ from string to string as if you were strumming a chord. It’s important that you don’t separate the pick strokes.
  14. A lot of people don’t realize that guitar playing is very much like singing or playing any of the glissando-type instruments — you have to do it in tune.
  15. If I played something incorrectly, I whipped myself mercilessly. Whenever I made a mistake, I made sure that I would never allow myself to repeat it. Every guitarist wants to play well. But in reality, if good intentions were all it took, then everyone would be great.
  16. You cannot be worrying about what other people think. You have to be sure that what you do is what you love to do, because if you love it, maybe another hundred thousand people might love it, too. Some other people might not like it, but it doesn’t matter, because you have to express what you want to express. You only live once.
  17. I’ve used Fender Strats with Marshalls since forever, though since I last played London, I’ve switched to my YJM Seymour Duncan pickups, and I also have a Fender YJM overdrive pedal, which is fairly new.
  18. People who join my organization are usually very cool at first, but they become troublesome later.
  19. If you look at somebody like Bach, he didn’t need collaborators to write for keyboards, cello, violin or anything else. I feel the same way about my music. The times that I have worked with other people, I’ve been very unhappy with the results.
  20. Using double coil pickups kills a lot of the guitar tone — you lose the acoustic mechanics. With my single-coils driven through the Marshalls and overdrive, it sounds massive.



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