Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2nd, 2005
Hello Doogie and welcome to RockEyez.
Morning RockEyez, the site looks great, lots of cool interviews.
Tell us what's it like in the studio with Yngwie Malmsteen ?
The day starts with a Starbucks coffee of some kind and an hour of tennis, on his own in the tennis court. Then we make our way to the studio where the engineer has set up the song of the day. This will be the first time I have heard the song. We worked out that if he puts the melody down on tape with the guitar then it is easier for me to learn than if he sings it to me. The guitar is very precise and he can express himself better that way. So it is my job to make the lyrics that he has written fit his melody. But there is usually a great meter/rhythm/flow to the melody that we get it done in 2 or 3 takes.
Does Yngwie let you have any input into the songs?
The voice is mine but he is specific about vibrato and note lengths and that kind of technical side of it. The voice is just another instrument on a Malmsteen record and has a specific role to play. There is no room for adlibs or “bluesing” a song. I see my role as Anthony Hopkins bringing alive Hannibal, and he gets the words and the direction but the passion is all his.
Does Yngwie sing at all in the studio?
He does choruses and also he has sung a song on each of the albums I have done with him.
Tell us, growing up, what was your dream?
I wanted to be brave like Evel Knievel, he was a cool guy when you were a kid. Tough like Bruce Lee, I wanted to have Farrah Fawcett Majors as my girlfriend and an Aston Martin DB5 with an ejector seat. Blow that lot then!!!
What was the first album you bought and first concert you attended?
The first album was “Hunky Dory” by Bowie. The first gig was Nazareth.
What was the very first garage band you were in?
We were the band with no name. We were all still at school and people would leave and rejoin every week. We never even played a show. I was then with a band called Tryxster for 9 months and we played our own songs mixed with covers. We would play 3 or 4 times a week.
Tell us what kind of kid was Doogie White in school?
I was the kid who sat in the class watching the pigeons shagging on the window ledge.
You were in Rainbow in 1994. What is the biggest different working with Yngwie compared to Ritchie Blackmore?
Ritchie likes the idea of a band with everybody contributing. He likes the spotlight but will share it with Yngwie as it is all about him and his vision. It is a solo thing with backing musicians. I think when you work with guys like Yngwie and Ritchie you have to leave your ego at home.
I have the utmost respect for people who have been successful for as long as both these guys have been. I don’t have a problem and never have had a problem with Yngwie or Ritchie for that matter. People are always looking for an angle or to hear the dirty laundry. The truth is that if you are respectful and learn your lines and do a good job, there can be no issues or problems. I keep my ego in a wee bag at home when I am on the road.
When you first met Ritchie Blackmore what was your impression?
Fuck - that’s Ritchie Blackmore!
When you met Yngwie what was your impression?
Wow you are a big tall Swede, me old son!!!
Working with so many great guitar gods, is there any other guitarist you would like to work with?
I think Tony Iommi would be interesting to work with. I’d quite like to write and record another album with Ritchie Blackmore but he is not talking to me at the moment.
The new Yngwie CD “Unleash the Fury” has nineteen songs. What are some of your favorite tracks to sing?
“Boogie Man,” “Crackin the Whip,” and “Locked and Loaded.”
Will there be any live date in the US?
I believe there will be but I have not heard anything concrete.
Do you feel people get the wrong impression of Yngwie with stories about his ego?
I don’t know what impression people have of Yngwie. I get on fine with him and have not had the “Fury” unleashed on me.
Do you think Yngwie will ever consider doing an acoustic CD?
I really can’t say.
Was there any song on the “Unleash the Fury” that was difficult to record?
Not really. The time for each song was the same. One day. It depended on how well prepared Yngwie was lyrically and melody wise. He has high expectations from me vocally so we focused tightly on my performances. Sometimes he would make adjustments as we went along We had a few days off because of the Hurricane warnings. We had to evacuate the hotel, sneak back in, get caught and threatened with arrest. Evacuated to a shelter (school) get met by the Red Cross. Get a number. Quickly adopt a “Brit during the Blitz” mentality…the rest my friends, is for another day.
What does it say on the rider for Rising Force?
I have no idea. But it would appear that ham and cheese and bread are always on there. After 6 weeks of ham and f$%kin cheese sandwiches you would eat raw liver or witch grubs maybe even kangaroo bollocks. Beer and wine are no longer on the rider. They are replaced with Red Bull and Gatorade.
If you had an all-star band who would you have playing with you on bass, guitar, keyboards and lead guitar?
Angelina Jolie on bass. Sienna Miller on Keys, Shirley Manson on Guitar and Ian Paice on drums cause we all know girls can’t play drums very well.
You have done so many projects and are still working hard on other projects. How do you have time for family?
You are right I have a lot of things going on. I’ll have to slow down the work rate as in the last year I have had.
- Japan Show and album with OMURA
- UK tour and DVD with White Noise
- UK Tour and DVD with M3 (The real Whitesnake boys)
- European Tour and Live CD with Cornerstone on Massacre Records
- European Tour and New album with Yngwie Malmsteen
- New Album. V.S.E with Liesegang / White on Escape Music
I work from home when I am writing. I am setting up a vocal booth here so I will be able to record all my vocals at home. Unless I fancy going to Denmark to record with Cornerstone or London with Liesegang / White. I will always go to Miami to work on Yngwie’s stuff.
What projects are you working on now?
I am demo-ing tracks for CORNERSTONE's 4th album to be released next year. While doing promotion for the new live album - “CORNERSTONE IN CONCERT”. I am also working on some songs with Walter Giardino from Rata Blanca who will do an album later. I am trying to get to grips with PRO TOOLS and web design. I am getting back in shape for any future touring with Yngwie. We are looking at further dates for CORNERSTONE. I just finished a couple of tracks for Vitaij Kuprij the east European keyboard player. I am trying to find a replacement for Ham and Cheese on band riders.
Have you been offered to sing on other projects, which you turned down, and if so who were they?
If I like what I hear and more importantly if I feel I can add something to a project or the pay is so huge as to not be able to say no, then I will try to do it. I have had to say no to a few things for nothing other than time constraints or small pay checks. I can’t say what or who they are. Okay just one, a guy called $%^&* $£”**+!. Can’t believe he offered to pay my bus fare and buy me a sandwich…ham and fuckin’ cheese no doubt. I have a CD at home with sessions I have done called “Tube fare and Tuna” kinda sums it up really.
What is a typical day for Doogie White?
I wake up at 6am and on the tennis court at 7am til 8am weather and light permitting, and maybe I do some gym work. Come home, I walk and feed the dog and check my emails. I do this in the morning. If I have to do computing I do it early on in the day. I did get caught up in the cycle of sending an email and waiting for a reply but that is just crazy. I maybe do some EBay buying and selling. I have collected all the toy cars from my youth, Corgi and Dinky stuff, Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the DB5, that kinda thing.
I visit any relevant websites (music) once a week. I am not one of these people who constantly have to be contactable, I don’t go into meltdown when I can’t get to a computer or don’t have my phone with me. It is amazing how annoyed people get if you don’t respond instantly to a text message or email. On tour is the best with people hovering and tutting if you are on a hotel or venue computer checking and replying to mails for longer than they think you should be.
If I have songs to write I set myself down and get to work. Maybe it is Cornerstone or some solo ideas but I will work till 5pm or 6pm. Maybe if I am dry of ideas or my ears hurt I will work in the garden or house. Then I start making dinner. Can be anything that does not involve ham cheese or bread…pizza is way out. Feed and walk the pet. I watch some TV, dramas, police shows that kinda thing. I don’t like “reality” or makeover shows. At 10.30 I take the pet and walk to the local pub and have a couple of pints of London Pride and talk shit with whoever is there. Come home catch the news and get to bed.
Doogie, RockEyez would like to thank you for chatting with us. Would you like to say anything in conclusion to our interview?
Is this when I am supposed to get philosophical and wax lyrical about the state of the planet???… Peace, Love and Guitars... then!! That is all ya’ really need. Thanks for the fun!
Rock Eyez Review of 'Unleash The Fury' by Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force