Guitarist Jake E. Lee was a recent guest on the Talk Toomey podcast to promote his band, Red Dragon Cartel’s second album, Patina. While on the show, he discussed fellow guitar player, Yngwie Malmsteen.

Speaking about the Swedish axe man, Lee said (via, “He’s a dick — that’s my main problem with him. He’s an arrogant f–king a–hole, and he always has been. I don’t know if he is right now, to be honest — I haven’t seen him in forever. But I can only assume that if when you’re younger, you’re that arrogant and that big of a dick, that you really never change. So I assume he still is. But no, he was just — he was a dick. And he was a great guitar player. But even then, he was really good at one little thing that he does — doing the sweeps and arpeggios and playing fast — and that’s all he could do. That’s one of my problems with him — it’s a very narrow band of guitar playing. He just focuses on this one part. He’s a sh–tty rhythm player; he can’t write a song worth a f–k. And I’m saying this, and this sounds bad — I feel a little bit bad — but knowing what an a–hole he is, I don’t feel that bad. You can’t be that arrogant if you’re only really good at one minute aspect of the art of playing guitar. And that’s all he was… And … yeah, f–k him.”

Patina will be released on November 9th through Frontiers Music Srl, listen to the song, Havana, here.

Patina track listing:

1. Speedbag
2. Havana
3. Crooked Man
4. The Luxury Of Breathing
5. Bitter
6. Chasing Ghosts
7. A Painted Heart
8. Punchclown (bonus track)
9. My Beautiful Mess
10. Ink & Water

10 Responses

  1. I think Jake is 100% correct on his assessment of Malmsteen. Yngwie certainly has great technique at playing guitar, but I also think his song writing is terrible. And Yngwie’s guitar solos totally overplay the songs. It’s like Yngwie wants to show off his playing abilities rather than compliment the song.

    Shortly after leaving Steeler, Yngwie called out Ron Keel, saying Keel had the musical abilities of a turd. I thought that was classless, considering Keel gave Yngwie his first real groundbreaking opportunity, as well as considering that Yngwie helped write the Steeler song “No Way Out”, which I think is the worst and wimpiest song on the first Steeler album!

    I was fortunate to see the classic Steeler lineup of Keel, Malmsteen, Rik Fox, and Mark Edwards perform at the Country Club in Los Angeles. Yeah, Steeler was never more than a club act, but their performance was one of the top shows I’ve ever witnessed. Totally professional vibe! And I even got a soundboard recording of this show! Pretty cool!

  2. It seems likely to me that Jake’s comments about Yngwie are probably accurate and that Yngwie probably said some really crappy stuff to Jake back in the day. I also agree that Yngwie’s music is cool in short doses but soon gets boring to me because it sounds one-dimensional. I prefer Jake’s best playing to Yngwie’s any day.

    Jake also caught a couple of bad breaks. I think it is generally acknowledged that Jake didnt get fired from Ozzy because he wasnt good enough. It was more likely a combination of personality conflicts and Osbourne BS. But it is their business to run as they wish.

    Also its too bad that the first two Badlands albums have been rendered unreleasable because of someone elses bad behavior.

    But all this misses the point: Yngwie has been releasing music consistently for 30 plus years and pleasing his audience. Jakes output since after Badlands has been sporadic and mediocre. Jake, you have the opportunity to put out some great albums before your day is done. If you can do that with your current band and singer, great. If you cant, then cut them loose and find the best people to collaborate with. You are phenomenally talented and the opportunity is yours. Try to let go of the kind of crap that people like Yngwie throw your way and dig deep to make the most kick-ass music you are capable of.

  3. Holy crap. He must really not like him to speak out like that. Thats some funny shiat. I`ve also heard that from numerous people and musicians what a ahole he is. I`m curious how he gets along with the stud guitar players from generation axe or does he seclude himself from the guys. I don’t [see] Zakk putting up with his bullshiat thats for sure.

  4. I’m a big fan of Jake E. Lee, as well as his new project Red Dragon Cartel. Very much looking forward to hearing the new album! And Yngwie Malmsteen does have a history of being an arrogant person. But to slam Yngwie’s guitar playing is ridiculous! He pretty much invented the whole neo-classical shredding guitar style that was so huge in the middle and late 80’s. The guy is a GUITAR GOD! He writes all of his own material and plays rhythm, lead, and bass guitar on most of his albums. He continues to release new material and tour the world. I have many of his albums, and continue to enjoy them. Now, I don’t know Yngwie personally, so he may well be a d-ck! And, if Jake has a history with the guy, he has every right to call him a d-ck. But for him to say that Yngwie is only good at “one minute aspect of the art of playing the guitar” is laughable.

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