Joe Lynn Turner has once again fired back at Yngwie Malmsteen, saying that “there’s no one more self-absorbed than” the Swedish guitarist and describing Yngwie‘s singing voice as “terrible.”
Turner made his latest comments during a wide-ranging interview with Canada’s The Metal Voice , which touched upon the legendary singer’s brief tenure as the frontman of Yngwie‘s band.
Asked how his collaboration with Malmsteen first came about, Joe said: “That, actually, was arranged through PolyGram Records. They wanted me to do with Yngwie what I had done with RAINBOW. And I pretty much did that on [1988’s] ‘Odyssey’ record. It was still aggressive and brilliant music and very accessible, or commercial, as you would say. We had a huge hit with ‘Heaven Tonight’, and it actually launched Yngwie‘s career. I thought we did our best work together on that record. It’s a brilliant record. It still stands up to this day. So that came through the record company. One day, they just said, ‘Hey, you can write, and that’s what this guy needs — he needs somebody that can actually write songs.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, he does.’ And I went out to see Yngwie and stuff, and we hooked it up, and the rest is really history. I think it’s his best work and some of mine as well.”
On the topic of his working relationship with Yngwie, Joe said: “He’s a control freak, so to make a long story short, he just never has had changed or grown from that, I think. And I just pushed through. I had already dealt with Ritchie‘s [Blackmore, DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW guitarist] difficulties, shall we say, and I was pretty seasoned. So I knew how to get around some of those things. And the way to get around it is to prove yourself and to write great songs on top of his wonderful tracks. So when it all came to fruition, he couldn’t deny it. And then after the record, he started denying things. [He started saying that] he was writing all the material, which is absolutely ridiculous, ’cause anybody can hear that is me. So it was kind of strange and weird. But the record speaks volumes.”
Joe also talked about the recent interview Malmsteen gave to Metal Wani in which the iconic axeman said that he had no interest in collaborating with vocalists like Turner, Jeff Scott Soto and Tim “Ripper” Owens ever again. “I’m very comfortable singing myself, first of all,” Yngwie said. “Secondly, there’s a certain disconnect when you write the song and you have someone else sing it for you. And it’s kind of like a fakeness about it. 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. And they, unfortunately, seem to think that they are. And I’ve kind of had it with their sort of… self-absorbed sort of way, and I’m very much against it. No. I don’t like that. I don’t like any of those people, and I don’t like to do anything with them ever again.”
Pressed about why he thinks Yngwie is so insecure as to make disparaging comments about some of the singers that have worked with the guitarist in the past, Joe responded: “It’s a good question. Because it’s very obvious that in order to… By saying what he said, which is totally rubbish, really — I mean, come on? — you have to be making a point for something to… and aggrandizing his own self. That’s why he is singing, and he’s got a terrible voice. So what’s the point of saying that when really benefitted by all the singers? The fact of insecurity is that when you need to say something like that, you’re trying to justify something that really does not exist, which means that you’re weak in some department, in some area, where you try to say… It would be [like] me saying I didn’t need these guitar players. Are you kidding? What are you saying? It’s a team, and there’s no ‘I’ in team. So after the fact, he says he doesn’t need these singers and that we’re all self-absorbed, which is absolutely ridiculous coming from him. There’s no one more self-absorbed than Yngwie Malmsteen — no one! So the whole statement is ridiculous. And you don’t strike out at these vocalists in that manner unless you are insecure about something.”
Asked if he could recall one particular instance of Yngwie‘s arrogance from the time he spent with the guitarist, Joe laughed and said: “Again, his statement speaks volumes. There are so many incidents that I could speak about with him, but it doesn’t matter, because it all comes down to what he just recently said and all of our responses — that it’s ridiculous and laughable. And that’s it. So I wouldn’t belabor it anymore, because it’s a boring and useless issue.”
Turner sand on Yngwie‘s “Odyssey” album as well as the live release “Trial by Fire – Live in Leningrad” from 1989.
The day Malmsteen‘s original comments to Metal Wani were published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Soto took to his Facebook page to respond. He wrote in part: “Can’t say I blame [Yngwie]; his vocal prowess has increased .05-fold the past two decades! Why would he want to work with horrible hacks like myself, Ripper or Joe… and deal with our egos… like wanting to hear ourselves onstage within the cavalcade of Marshalls, or getting our measly salaries on time (or at all).”
Owens also took a jab at Yngwie, saying that he was “pretty sure” Malmsteen wouldn’t work any of the above-mentioned singers again “because we all quit.” Tim then added: “Let [Yngwie] enjoy the singing!”
Over the weekend, Daniel Baker, who is part of Yngwie‘s management team, released a statement defending the Swedish guitarist. Explaining that Malmsteen “merely stated that he was not interested in working with any singers anymore because he did not feel it conducive to his style of writing and performing,” he blasted Turner, Soto and Owens for “resort[ing] to mudslinging and insults to elicit any kind of media attention towards them.” He went on to say that “such classless, puerile words are ungentlemanly at best and absolutely disgraceful at worst.”