Yngwie Malmsteen Shares Opinion on Jimmy Page, Says Angus Young Is ’Underrated’

Yngwie Malmsteen recently discussed some of the guitar players that he admires, explaining what’s special about Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and AC/DC’s Angus Young.

One of the biggest — perhaps *THE* biggest — pioneers of modern shred guitar, Yngwie is all about his no-nonsense attitude. So, knowing that he’s all about “more is more” and being the epitome of fast playing, it’s always interesting to have him weigh in on more of the bluesy and, shall we say, “boomer”-ish kind of guitar players.

In his recent interview for Guitar World, he discussed guitar players that he loves, but that didn’t actually influence him. The thing with Yngwie is that he insists that he was only impacted by classical musicians, like violinist Niccolò Paganini, so this was an interesting adaptation of Guitar World’s traditional series of “11 guitar players” who shaped the sound of other legends. One of the guitar players who he addressed was Jimmy Page, with Malmsteen explaining:

“I love Jimmy Page – are you kidding me? I remember seeing ‘The Song Remains the Same’ movie when I was around 15 years old. There was a place nearby that showed old movies, and that one had been out for a while. I didn’t know about them early on. I only knew about Deep Purple.”

Yngwie Malmsteen - San Diego 09/06/2023

“Someone said, ‘Hey, you should go and see The Song Remains The Same,’ so I went to see it and thought, ‘Wow, no f***in’ wonder this guy’s a superstar!’ The way they came across was so cool and badass. Page, Bonham, Plant… the bass player too!”

“Everything about that band was so good. And I loved the music, stuff like ‘Immigrant Song’ and ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You.’ How can you not be blown away by that sh*t?”

And obviously, it’s impossible not to admire Jimmy Page’s music, even if it’s only about the influence. Despite Page having a reputation as a “sloppy” player, someone like Malmsteen, who’s very detail-oriented when it comes to playing guitar, still loves his work.

During the chat, Yngwie brought up another somewhat unexpected guitarist, AC/DC’s Angus Young.

“We might sound very different, but I love this guy with a passion,” Malmsteen admitted. And despite all belonging in the rock ‘n’ roll movement and making it big in the 1980s (though AC/DC, obviously, was far more successful), we’re looking at two completely different guitar players. But despite that, the Swedish neo-classical virtuoso is more than impressed by Angus. He continued:

“When it comes to straight-up rock ‘n’ roll where you mean every note you play, Angus is the man. I’d even go as far as saying he’s kinda underrated as a guitar player. He’s super-tasty and always sounds good.”

“He’s a dear friend of mine, too. And so is Brian Johnson, who doesn’t live far from me, either!”

Yngwie Malmsteen @ Ace of Spades (Full Live Show) | Sacramento, CA | 9/7/2023

Yngwie has always claimed that his main influences are classical musicians and not rock ‘n’ roll stars. And he even admitted to being somewhat of a “snob” back in the late 1970s. What changed his mind, however, was Van Halen’s self-titled debut album. Malmsteen told Rick Beato in 2023:

“I actually became a bit of a snob and [had] gotten to that point where it was really like, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll? Nope. I listen to Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Niccolo Paganini…’ For one exception.”

“My drummer brought a record to the studio, ‘Oh, this new band, you’ve got to hear this!’ I was like, ‘Not interested.’ I look at it: ‘This guy’s playing a new Strat; it’s got a black pickguard…'”

The Yngwie Malmsteen Interview

“We listened to the album, ‘Van Halen I’, it was like somebody dropped the f***ing bomb. It was so good. That really knocked me out.”

“But, the funny thing is, it wasn’t the ‘Eruption’ solo, it wasn’t the amazing guitar playing that really knocked me out. It was their attitude.”

“It was like, ‘We’re going in the studio; we’re recording live.’ That, to me — it was such an inspiration. I liked that a lot. So, basically, I decided I’ll also record everything live from now on.”

Yngwie Malmsteen on Hearing Van Halen for the First Time

Photos: Alterna2 (Yngwie Malmsteen 5), MATT BECKER (AngusYoung), Dana Wullenwaber (Jimmy Page 1983)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.