Interview with Yngwie Malmsteen
Malmsteen: I have to think it’s great myself. Otherwise it’s not good. In fact, if I were to think it was great and everybody else said it was shit, I would still think it was great. I wouldn’t like it. I would lie if I said I would like it. But I’ve done songs or shows or whatever that I knew wasn’t as good as I could have done, and people say, “Oh, that was fucking great.” And I say, “No. It wasn’t.”
Timpano: Is a fully developed ego is a prerequisite to being a great artist?
Well [laughs] … what do you mean?
Well, you say that if everybody else said that something that you did was terrible that you thought was great, you would still say it was great. That’s the hallmark of a rare individual. That’s someone who has an unusual kind of ego.
I would call it confidence. And I would say that if I’m in a room with chimpanzees who don’t understand my equations, I’d know my equations are right. The fact that they didn’t understand my mathematical equations doesn’t make me think I’m wrong. You know? It may be a weird analogy — it’s probably a very weird analogy — but what I mean to say is that this is a very broad concept. Let’s say for instance a song or a solo or a show or whatever, if I feel it was executed with taste and with precision and with passion and melody, then it’s good. I don’t care what people say.
Originally broadcast on 3RRR FM 10 Nov 2008.