I knew I wanted to be a frontman from the age of 8

Jeff Scott Soto

Jeff Scott Soto started his career way back in the 80’s, he was Invited by the Guitar Virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen to sing on his debut album “Rising Force”, Soto stayed with Yngwie for one more album and due to Malmsteen’s dictatorship left to pursue other projects.
He fronted “Talisman” the swedish melodic hard rock from 1990 to 2007, he has worked with some of the famous bands. And finally he has stepped into his own project “SOTO”.

Metal On Loud recently had an Interview with Jeff Scott Soto, Thanks to Amy for all the help she provided in making this happen.

Greetings from Metalonloud.com, It’s a pleasure to have this Interview with you Jeff! How are you Doing? How are you feeling about the new album?

I absolutely love this new album, of course you’re supposed to say that about every album you do but I really have a sense of accomplishment on DIVAK. It truly is a group effort this time with the band as well, they were far more involved with the writing and performance of this one.

How different is “Divak” from the previous one “Inside The Vertigo”?

ITV started as a solo album for me, I had many guests including the guys in the band involved with the creation. But it wasn’t until the end when we branded it a ‘band’ because it didn’t have a solo artist feel to it. I feel the songs have more unity together than ITV, it sounds more like a group effort.

What is the reason for having your last name as the name of the band?

I have many styles and genres I cover with my solo stuff but as this sounds and feels more like a band, I wanted to be a ‘band’. However, I didn’t want another band name to add to the already long list of ones I have been involved with through the years. This simplifies things by showing its my band but its not me taking all the credit as a solo artist.

How was your experience when you worked with Yngwie Malmsteen?

Ha, it was so long ago I have forgotten by now!

Can you let us know how your career in music started? How you got that thing for Hard Rock?

I was 18 and my original band broke up…I played with a few cover bands and the Yngwie audition came up. I was lucky enough to be trusted fronting him at such a young age but it all worked great in the end. Rock was in my life early on and I knew I wanted to be a frontman from the age of 8!

Did you had any problem with your family for  getting into hard rock, as in those days our parents thought that it is evil 😀

Of course, my mother hated our music, me and my brother, but she knew it would be better to not stop us and let us pursue our dreams.

Did you played any musical Instrument when you started your career or Being Vocalist was the only thing you did?

Yes, I actually started as a keyboardist and trumpet player when I was 12. I sang good backups and had a voice to sing lead but no one would let me sing lead in the older bands until I was 14 or 15.

Is there any specific reason for you to end your career with Yngwie?

I wanted to be in a working situation where we all achieved success together, worked hard and celebrated together. We all worked very hard and were proud to represent Yngwie but there was no way to grow or even be recognized in his camp. I left to pursue the dream of being successful and respected, not just earn a paycheck to make someone else all of these things.

How was your experience with the Ex Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent?

Vinnie was great, a very nice, soft spoken person but very musical, very professional and very complimenting.

Can you let us  know about your experiences with the other musical projects throughout your career?

I would need to write a novel to mention enough worth reading…its been a 30+ year path of great fun, I am lucky and humbled to be able to make a living with my dream. It hasn’t been easy and I still feel as I am working my way up the ladder.

You have worked with some of the most great musicians throughout your career, how do you feel about this?

I always felt because of my work ethic and love for music, I deserved to be surrounded by the best…some don’t realize how lucky they are in the success they achieved but I count my blessings daily. My band feel the same which is why it works so well in SOTO, we love music 1st, the benefits and glory come last.

If you are asked to Join Yngwie again, Will you accept the offer?

I don’t think so, I have nothing musically in common with him nor does he with me…I would do it for a one off or special tour but not as a permanent situation.

Do you already have a plan for the tour in support of “Divak”, what are the countries you will be touring this year?

We are wrapping up our European tour now, we did a short US one already and heading to South America in May, its a busy time for us!

Are there any other plans for 2016 or 2017?

After South America, we’ll take the summer off and probably resume touring in the Fall…we’ll start looking at a new album creation during the early part of 2017.

Do you have any message for the fans around the world?

Love one another and before you do something stupid that could hurt someone, listen to music, it eases, soothes and calms the savage beast!


Keith Clement

This author is no longer associated with Metal On Loud Magazine.
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