‘There’s Thousand Of Yngwie Malmsteens,’ Ozzy Producer Says On Modern Guitarists

Legendary producer Max Norman, known for his sonic stamp on heavyweights like Ozzy Osbourne, recently spoke out on the changing landscape of rock music. His concerns? A vanishing dynamic range (think: the contrast between soft and loud) and diminishing emotional depth, especially when it comes to guitarists.

Norman blames, in part, our social media-fueled world. Short attention spans, he argues, lead to music lacking the space for breathy silences and nuanced dynamics.

But the real fire is aimed at an emphasis on technical acrobatics over soulful expression. “Today’s guitarists,” he says, “are immensely talented, but their skills often leave me wanting more. There are countless shredders, but where are the new Uli Jon Roths?” (Roth, for the uninitiated, was a legendary guitarist known for his unique and emotive style).

Norman emphasizes the importance of emotional connection over technical display. “Music,” he argues, “isn’t about how many notes you play, but the depth and beauty you can evoke with them. We’re losing the soul of music in the pursuit of technical perfection.”

Nita Strauss, another guitar powerhouse, echoes these sentiments. Recalling Jimmy Page’s iconic guitar solos, she highlights the power of raw emotion over technical precision. “Not everything needs to be perfectly timed,” she says, “Page’s solos, with their bends and vibrato, often say more than flawless, edited performances. They’re authentic and heartfelt, reminding us of the power of playing with feeling.”

Norman, who shaped the sound of 80s and 90s hard rock, worked with legends like Ozzy Osbourne and bands like Megadeth. His message is clear: bring back the soul, rock needs its heart to beat again.

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