Joe Stump,Yngwie Malmsteen: skip fight! November 1998

First published back in November 1998... triggering a few responses... as we know... only time will tell in the pantheon of guitarists who will win this ultimate skip fight!

I notice that you've mentioned quite a few guitar players already, but no Yngwie Malmsteen yet. In general, people seem to think of you as an Yngwie Malmsteen kind of guitar player rather than anything else.

Joe: Well, I mean I'm influenced by the same guys as Yngwie is. Yngwie is definitely a major influence on my playing. One of the main reasons is that I'm one of the few people who has more or at least as much technique as he has. So, you know, I'm actually more influenced by Ritchie Blackmore and Gary Moore than Yngwie. And of course I also got influenced by Paganini and Bach, you know, that Yngwie plays stuff right out of their pieces of all over the place.

So the scalloped Strats are more a Blackmore influence then?

Joe: Well, I mean scalloped Strats, I mean I love Ritchie Blackmore and I love Yngwie but obviously I wouldn't play a scalloped Strat just because, you know, just because I'm a big fan of those two guys [laughs]. I play it because it's much easier to control the note, control the pitch and vibrato and all that kind of stuff. But it was Ritchie Blackmore who lead me to checking that out. And Yngwie, too, you know, he lead Yngwie to check it out too, even though he wouldn't readily admit it.

I brought up Yngwie because your name pops up in a negative context on a lot of the time. What is your reaction to that?

Joe: Just like Yngwie took a lot of things from Ritchie Blackmore and boosted them up a notch, I took things from Yngwie and boosted them up. There's a lot of stuff on my records that Yngwie could never play [Pauses, then adds:] ...unless he sat down and practised five or six hours a day.

Could you be specific?

Joe:The arpeggio section to "Rapid Fire Rondo" is impossibly hard. And, you know, a lot of my stuff is, if you take what Yngwie did and then make it a lot more intense, heavier, you know, even more demanding technically, you know, I mean, yeah, we both play fast and we both have very heavy classical influences, yes a lot of stuff I do sounds like Yngwie, but there's tons of stuff on my records that doesn't even sound remotely like his stuff. That's just an easy way for people to say, you know, I don't play that well or something like that. They're just trying to write me off as an Yngwie clone, you know. I mean like I said there's tons of stuff on my records, he'd be practising a while before he could play it. more