Yngwie Malmsteen doesn’t listen to music when composing

In a new interview with United Rock Nations, legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen answers the question of whether he ever listens to his old albums for inspiration when he composes music:

“Never. Never. In fact, I intentionally don’t listen to music at all. I don’t listen to anything. Especially when I’m composing, which is actually almost all the time, because every time I pick up a guitar, or even when I don’t have a guitar in my hands, I’m composing. And I don’t like to be even casually influenced. So I don’t care at all about what’s in fashion right now, and never have. And I haven’t thought about listening to my old stuff. I don’t want to do that either. What was, is gone. I never look back.
Because I’ve been playing for so long, I’ve developed the ability… I can compose on demand. If you want me to write something, I can do it for you. If you want me to write a country and western song, call me back in 10 minutes and I’ll write it for you. But that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for real, honest, spontaneous melodies, themes and arpeggios that come to me unexpectedly. So when I’m improvising on an instrument, something works out, and I go, “Wow!” and run into the studio and record it to document it, so to speak. Or, if I’m really inspired, I record the whole thing; like it’s almost finished right then. That’s what excites me. I can’t describe when it happens. It only happens when it happens. So you have to catch the moment and capture it.”


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