Jake E. Lee has slammed Yngwie Malmsteen, calling the legendary Swedish axeman "an arrogant fucking asshole" who is "only really good at one minute aspect of the art of playing guitar."
The former OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist made his comments during an appearance on the "Talk Toomey" podcast, where he was promoting the second album from his RED DRAGON CARTEL project, "Patina".
Speaking about Malmsteen, Lee said (hear audio below): "He's a dick — that's my main problem with him. He's an arrogant fucking asshole, 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 shitty rhythm player; he can't write a song worth a fuck. And I'm saying this, and this sounds bad — I feel a little bit bad — but knowing what an asshole 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, fuck him."
Malmsteen has never been shy to admit that he has wanted to be the "leader" of any project that he was involved with, telling Powerline in an interview: "I've always made sure that I end up in a position where I have control, because to be happy in a sort of democracy, that doesn't work for me. I'm definitely a dictator. It's just the way I am with music."
He added in a separate interview with Oregon Music News: "Since I was very young, I was always extremely serious about I was doing. I have one shot at this, and I have to do it myself. I'm like a painter or like classical composer, because a composer wouldn't have someone else write the cello parts of a piece of music — they'd write it themselves. Now, that might come off as arrogance, but when I put my name on something, it has to be my work. Like it or hate it, it's my vision and my creation. I don't work in the traditional way, how most rock 'n' roll bands or musicians work."
"Patina" will be released on November 9 via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to RED DRAGON CARTEL's eponymous 2014 debut marks the group's first release with drummer Phil Varone (SAIGON KICK, SKID ROW) and bassist Anthony Esposito. The band's current lineup is rounded out by singer Darren James Smith.