Yngwie Malmsteen says the music industry money machine has died – making it impossible for new acts to break through.
The Swedish guitar icon, like many other artists, blames advances in technology such as filesharing for the demise of the record business.
He tells The Rock Pit: “Basically what happened with the Internet was that the money machine was eliminated. When the money machine was eliminated, all these people who had nothing to do with the music, and who used to make millions of dollars, started to do something else. Then everyone went, ‘It’s fine, bands are still signed.’
“But it’s not. The reasons bands were signed and new acts could get a shot was because people thought they could make money from these bands. So the fans got to hear new music while the machine was going around investing a million and getting 10 million back. Now when there’s no return, no new bands are being signed or exposed and no record labels are acting like they did before.
“People love heavy metal, people love rock and roll and people love guitar players – but there’s no money in it.”
And although he is relieved established acts like his own haven’t lost out as much, he fears for the future if the current trend continues.
He adds: “The thing is, if you’re already established, if you’re Judas Priest or Yngwie Malmsteen, you’re fine. There’s no difference, you do what you’ve been doing and it’s the same. But if you’re a nobody and you want to sound really good but you want to start out, you can’t get a tour bus or an opening act slot because there’s no machine to invest in you.
“All the old acts, like Alice Cooper, The Scorpions, The Police and more, they’re bigger than ever. Do you remember the days when there was a new band every fucking week? It’s not happening! Back then, someone could sink a few hundred grand into a band and make millions.
“If you make a product that people steal and it costs money to make that product, you get no say in who’s going to put money into it.”
Malmsteen released live album Spellbound in September.