Thobbe Englund speaks out: Yngwie Malmsteen is no longer the guitar hero I grew up listening to

A few years ago Thobbe Englund choose to quit Sabaton. After that he has released two albums and he has been touring with his band. Last year at Sabaton Open Air he attracted so many people that it was a new record that time at day on Sabaton Open Air. This year he played with The Last Heroes in the tent on Wednesday to warm up the crowd in Falun. After the show I had a chance talking to Thobbe and just as usual he was talking a lot.

Who are The Last Heroes?

-We are a couple of guys who play because we love to play. When Tommy became the new guitarplayer in Sabaton we were spending quite some time together, he was with the band on a tour to figure out what Sabaton was all about. I remember he was nervous but after some beers we had a plan to start a band together. We decided to play covers and after fifteen minutes of rehearsal we had a band called The Last Heroes.

It’s very impulsively and we really don’t have any plans except for going up on that stage and have a lot of fun.

Will there be an album?

-We have some plans. It will be some kind of tribute to the German heavy metal scene from the beginning of the 80’s if we can take it all the way to a record. All the cliches will be there and we even have two songs in progress. It’s two killer titles as well, the first is called ”Samurai Killer” and the second ”Fighting Ze Devil”. So if there’s any demands for a tribute to German heavy metal we are ready to make the best album ever made.

You have played at all stages in Falun with different amount of people in the audience. Which is the most enjoyable show you have played at the Sabaton Open Air?

-If we talk about having fun the show tonight with The Last Heroes is number one, but the most enjoyable show must be last year under the name Thobbe Englund. That was a dream come true and of course it was great by the fact that the audience never had been bigger at that time of day over the years. It felt like a religious experience and we were extremely happy when we stood at that stage, it was hard rock for real.

Do you have any regrets that you were leaving Sabaton?

-No regrets at all. There’s no meaning to be sentimental because we will be like brothers even in the future. I was out eating with Pär yesterday and Jocke watching our gig with The Last Heroes. We will be friends for life.

You are also chronicler for Stargazed Magazine. What’s your feelings about that?

-I’ve accepted that and it’s a real honor for me that a serious magazine asked me in the first place. I’m looking forward to be a part of something that I’ve only seen the other side of before, being interviewed and reviewed. I’m also looking forward to see how Stargazed Magazine will become bigger and bigger in the future. I have a very good gut feeling about this.

You are a huge fan of Yngwie Malmsteen but you don’t really like him these days. Can you explain why?

-I will tell you from the bottom of my heart. It’s so sad that Yngwie Malmsteen is no more the guitarhero I grew up listening to. He needs a drummer and a real singer for a start, and he have to give up the Pro Tools and Q base, and of course he needs a real producer on the next album. I want to hear Yngwie put down his soul again when he’s playing the guitar. Right now he’s throwing away all his musical heritage and that’s a shame because he has been a huge inspiration for musicians all over the world. He took Ritchie Blackmores sound and improved it but he’s not enjoying playing guitar anymore. It’s so extremely sad.

What’s the future look like for Thobbe Englund?

-I really don’t know. The upcoming 18 years will be tough, but fantastic as well. I’m going to be a father in january. I told my wife that children was out of the question because I was going to rock’n roll. 2015 when I was on tour in Usa/Canada I was thinking about my life, my dream was reached and there I realized that this wasn’t only about me. I’ve done it all, and I’ve seen it all and a desire for something else in my life started to take form. So I told my wife let’s go.

At last Thobbe I want you to pick your five favourite songs of all time?

-That’s easy. My five favourite songs are:

Manowar – Master Of The Wind (1992)
Judas Priest – Painkiller (1990)
Rising Force – Icarus Dream Suite (1984)
Guns’n Roses – November Rain (1991)
Iron Maiden – Infinite Dreams (1988)

No hesitation?

-Not really, I love those five songs so I’ll pick them.

Okay Thobbe. I thank you very much and we will definitely see each other in the future. And good luck with the baby.

-Thank you very much. Kick me in the ass when you think it’s time for a new chronicle.

Johan Hagberg

Johan Hagberg

Editor & writer

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