JEFF SCOTT SOTO On Being MALMSTEEN’s First Vocalist: ‘I Was Just An 18-Year-Old Kid With Really Bad Hair That Was Trying To Emulate Ronnie James Dio’

We all have our days. Jeff Scott Soto’s was when he was asked to join Yngwie Malmsteen first band. He had a conversation with Heavy New York, to whom he discussed about being the original singer of Yngwie Malmsteen’s band and performing on the guitarist’s first two studio albums – 1984’s “Rising Force” and 1985’s “Marching Out.”

Asked whether he had to adjust his voice to Malmsteen’s “signature style of guitar playing” or if he was incited to “bring his own thing,” Jeff replied:

“A little bit of both. It was more so to go along the path of what he had in mind. Back then, it was still so new. He was even discovering what he wanted.

“But for the most part, I was just an 18-year-old kid with really bad hair that was trying to emulate Ronnie James Dio. So I was using that as my platform to, I guess, come across what Yngwie’s melodies and his material were.

“I didn’t sound like Ronnie, but it seemed to work, and we planted a seed, a foundation for him. He had quite a career out of it.”

On his lyrics writing:

“Oh, absolutely, yeah, yeah. I don’t understand – it’s a God-given talent for someone like Bernie Taupin, who’s written so many lyrics for Elton John without having music as his guide. And for somebody like Elton to just take Bernie’s lyrics and turn them into something.

“I always have to start with the music because that guides what the title’s about, what the actual lyrics are about, what the melody’s gonna be like… yeah, for me, it always has to be music first.”