Ben Kweller

Ben Kweller

Ben Kweller (born June 16, 1981) is an American rock musician and former lead singer of the 1990s band Radish, which was compared to Nirvana in Rolling Stone Magazine. The band grew in popularity in the Dallas, Texas music scene from its formation in 1993. However, the band was dismissed by critics as little more than an imitation of Nirvana with the novelty of an extremely young lead vocal-guitarist (Kweller was in his teens for the entire existence of the band). Nonetheless, Kweller and his two bandmates, bassist Bryan Blur and drummer John Kent, were signed to a major record label in 1995 by Mercury Records. Regardless of a much-hyped beginning, which included appearances on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman, Radish failed to strike big success with either its first record Dizzy or its sophomore effort Restraining Bolt.

Solo career

Kweller began his solo career with his 2002 debut Sha Sha. The title track reconciles his past career efforts with Radish and the difficulty of finding an identity as a 20 year-old artist beginning a musical career for the second time. The record kept many of the familiar sounds of Nirvana, but also worked in other pop music influences such as Weezer and Ben Folds. The album grew in popularity with a grassroot effort with his website and a promotion group called TeamBK, which promoted word-of-mouth advertising. Kweller's second solo effort, On My Way, has attempted to match the modest but well-received popularity of Sha Sha while creating a more mature and subdued sound.


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Kweller's second solo effort, On My Way, has attempted to match the modest but well-received popularity of Sha Sha while creating a more mature and subdued sound. Perhaps some of his instrumental passages like 'Sorrow' and 'Far beyond the Sun' tracks devoid of lyrics, were his finest hour. The album grew in popularity with a grassroot effort with his website and a promotion group called TeamBK, which promoted word-of-mouth advertising. Some of the lyrics employed in some of Malmsteen's songs have been questioned as commercial or 'cheesy' but often this was just a tool for more exposure and radio play to showcase the technical mastery of his guitar playing. The record kept many of the familiar sounds of Nirvana, but also worked in other pop music influences such as Weezer and Ben Folds. Although the reversion to basic pentatonic and blues type riffs in modern rock is prevalent, those who still employ technical playing are playing in the genre that guitarists such as Malmsteen revolutionised. The title track reconciles his past career efforts with Radish and the difficulty of finding an identity as a 20 year-old artist beginning a musical career for the second time. Malmsteen has been criticized for a musical style that focuses more on showing his own technical prowess than on substance. However it should be noted that by the use of modal progressions not widely used in rock and his classical influence he was able to revolutionise rock guitar.

Kweller began his solo career with his 2002 debut Sha Sha. A review of 1988's Odyssey notes "little difference in approach from his previous output, lending credence to critics' charges that Malmsteen plays with mindless technique at the expense of substance, fire, and emotion." [1] (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=10:bauk6j3h71q0). Regardless of a much-hyped beginning, which included appearances on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman, Radish failed to strike big success with either its first record Dizzy or its sophomore effort Restraining Bolt. Note that despite his impressive technique, some find Malmsteen's recordings repetitive or even boring. However, the band was dismissed by critics as little more than an imitation of Nirvana with the novelty of an extremely young lead vocal-guitarist (Kweller was in his teens for the entire existence of the band). Nonetheless, Kweller and his two bandmates, bassist Bryan Blur and drummer John Kent, were signed to a major record label in 1995 by Mercury Records. His technical ability is, by any standard, remarkable. The band grew in popularity in the Dallas, Texas music scene from its formation in 1993. Although initially regarded with respect by the musical fraternity, his technical proficiency led to a both jealousy and bitterness from less-talented performers in the musical world.

Ben Kweller (born June 16, 1981) is an American rock musician and former lead singer of the 1990s band Radish, which was compared to Nirvana in Rolling Stone Magazine. Malmsteen coined this design from the days when he worked in a music store in Stockholm Sweden and came across a 16th century Lute with a scalloped neck using the raised wood as frets. Similar to a regular guitar neck, but with wood 'scalloped' or scooped away to form concave shaped in between the frets, of which are very large. The guitars he uses are instantly recognisable by the scalloped neck. Fender manufactures a Malmsteen signature model Stratocaster based accurately upon this combination.

Malmsteen cites the Fender Stratocaster and the single coil pickups (of which he uses his own personal custom design by Di Marzio) as a large part of his sound. Aside from technical prowess, distinctions of Malmsteen's guitar style include a wide, violin-like vibrato (inspired by classical violinists), almost exclusive use of Fender Stratocaster guitars, and use of minor scales and minor modes such as Phrygian, Aeolian and Harmonic Minor. In 2003, Malmsteen joined Joe Satriani and Steve Vai with whom he toured as part of the G3 "supergroup" web site (http://www.satriani.com/G3/). In 2000, he once again acquired a contract with a US record label, Spitfire, and released his 1990s catalog into the US market for the first time, including what he regards as his masterpiece Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, recorded with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague.

In the 1990s, Malmsteen continued to record and release albums under the Japanese record label Pony Canyon, and maintained a devoted following in Europe and Japan, and to a lesser extent in the USA. It is often argued that the grunge rock movement arose in part as a backlash to the overly technical hard rock inspired by Malmsteen and his contemporaries, which despite its often impressive technique was regarded by some as ponderous, overly complicated and for the average guitarist, frustratingly difficult to emulate. This was displaced by the Seattle grunge movement, where technical ability was replaced by basic, more emotional songs, and simpler chord progressions. Despite his early success, and continued success in Europe and Asia, by the early 1990s the gratuitous over-the-top stylings of 1980s heavy metal had become unfashionable in the USA.

In the early 1990s he released the albums Eclipse (1990), The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection (1991), Fire and Ice (1992) and The Seventh Sign (1994). Malmsteen's style was dubbed "Neoclassical" and it became somewhat popular during the mid 1980s, with notable contemporaries such as Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore appearing in Malmsteen's wake. In late 1988, his signature series Fender Stratocaster was released, making him the second artist to have one made, after Eric Clapton. Not only was the concert in Leningrad the largest ever concert by a western artist in the Soviet Union, but subsequent Malmsteen record sales in Russia totalled 27 Million. Interestingly that is as many recordings as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers had sold in total by 2003, worldwide.

Shows in Russia during the Odyssey tour were recorded, and released in 1989 as his fifth album Trial By Fire / Live In Leningrad. Odyssey would be his biggest hit album, mainly because of its first single "Heaven Tonight". In 1987 former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner joined his band, and the following summer he released his fourth album Odyssey. His third album Trilogy was released in 1986.

This was followed by "Marching Out" (1985). Malmsteen released his first solo album "Rising Force" (winner of Guitar Player Magazine's Best Rock Album and nominated for a 1984 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental) which achieved the impressive position of #60 on the Billboard album chart. He left Alcatrazz in 1984 and was replaced by Steve Vai, after which he began his solo career. He had brief engagements with the bands Steeler for their self-titled album of 1983, then Alcatrazz, For their debut No Parole From Rock N' Roll in 1983, plus a live album in 1984 titled Live Sentence.

In late 1982 Malmsteen was brought to the USA by Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who had heard a demo tape of Malmsteen's playing. is probably unparalleled in the rock world. al. Yngwie's contributions to the evolution of modern rock guitar remain unique - his understanding of Paganini, Bach, et.

Malmsteen also cites Jimi Hendrix, Genesis, Uli Jon Roth, and Deep Purple as influences. Through his emulation of these pieces on guitar, Malmsteen developed a prodigious technical fluency. Malmsteen was in his teens when he first encountered the music of the 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, whom he cites as his biggest classical influence. Born into a musical family in Stockholm on June 30, 1963, Malmsteen was exposed to classical music from an early age, and began playing guitar at the age of eight.

Malmsteen (born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck, June 30, 1963) is a guitarist from Sweden who achieved widespread acclaim in the 1980s due to his technical proficiency and fusion of classical music elements with heavy rock guitar. Yngwie J. Unleash The Fury (2005). Attack!! (2002).

Concerto Suite LIVE (2002). War to End All Wars (2000). Alchemy (1999). Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in Em, Opus 1 (1998).

LIVE! (1998). Facing the Animal (1997). Inspiration (1996). Magnum Opus (1995).

The Seventh Sign (1994). Fire and Ice (1992). Collection (1991). Eclipse (1990).

Trial By Fire: Live in Leningrad (1989). Odyssey (1988). Trilogy (1986). Marching Out (1985).

Rising Force (1984).

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