Yngwie Malmsteen says he used to “hate going to the studio”: “Even if you weren’t inspired, you had to play”

“So it’s a horrible psychological thing.”

Yngwie Malmsteen admits in a new interview that he used to “hate going to the studio” as the environment is “not conducive to being creative”.

Speaking to Rick Beato, the Swedish shredder explains that his distaste for studios originated from the lack of room for spontaneity such recording sessions typically offer.

“I used to hate going to the studio. I used to hate it,” Malmsteen says. “Even if you weren’t inspired, you had to play. And if you made a mistake, you couldn’t fix it. And if you fixed it, the new version could be worse.”

“So it’s a horrible psychological thing. It’s terrible.”

All of that changed, however, in 1995: “I decided to take my recording advance and instead [of going] to Criteria [studios in Miami] — I love Criteria; don’t get me wrong — I took that money that would have cost to go in there, and I had John Arthur, Chris Tsangarides and those guys design the studio and decide exactly what gear we were going to put in there,” Malmsteen recalls.

“And that made a huge difference because I could go in there whenever I felt like it; there was no time running. And it was always ready. It wasn’t, like, ‘Oh, you’ve gotta set up the gear and then record.’”

He continues: “But the most biggest difference, I think, was when I realised that when I came up with something spontaneously, I can record it right there and it can go on the record.”

“Whereas before you would write something, record it on a little cassette recorder or something, go to a rehearsal room, knock it out, then go in the studio, put the drums down and you put the bass down and the guitars. ‘But wait. I want 16 more bars here. Too late.’

“That is so not conducive to being creative,” says the musician.

Also in the chat, Malmsteen discusses his shift to Pro-Tools for recording and the numerous advantages that came with the move, saying: “Finally, 15 years ago or something, I changed to Pro Tools. And I don’t use Pro Tools as anything but a recorder.”

“But I realised, with my engineer, as I said to him, ‘Hey, that chorus, how about if we [take] the chorus there a cappella, and put that in front of the song?’ ‘Okay.’ ‘Wow, that’s cool. Let’s put an end too.’ And then, ‘I want a different verse here. Let’s move it here.’”

“When I realised you could do that, my creativity just exploded,” Malmsteen says. “And it’s still a real studio — it still has the wood floor and this big console and everything real. It’s not like, ‘Oh, yeah, let’s make an album with a mouse now,’ like some people do. I’m not knocking it. I’m just saying I can’t do it.”

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