A while ago I got to speak with none other than George Lynch, guitarist extraordinaire and a man whose resume speaks for itself. Decades after he burst onto the scene with DOKKEN it appears Mr. Lynch is busier than ever, most notably with newest slab of musical greatness, KXM, featuring dUg Pinnick and Ray Luzier. At the time of this interview the record wasn’t out yet (if you haven’t heard it yet, GO GIT IT!!), but we still had a nice chat about it as well as his film Shadow Nation and the band SHADOWTRAIN, both of which deal with Native American issues, and a myriad of other projects. Check it:
Amps: I first heard about KXM from dUg Pinnick, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear it.
George: Yeah, one thing we’ve learned in our old age is to be patient. When I was younger I couldn’t wait. Everything had to be done yesterday and it’s been a long process getting this record done. Realizing you only got one shot, and these records live forever. It has to be right, and I’m not saying that we did this record completely right. To be honest we only spent ten actual days in the studio writing and recording the basic tracks. And when I say writing I mean we’d walk in with absolutely nothing. We set up in the studio and wrote the songs right there. We wrote a little more than one song a day on average and tracked it. And it was a really interesting and rewarding experience. It’s a completely different kind of album when you do it that way. Instead of doing the writing, pre-production, and then going into the studio trying to recreate all that you just go in and do it. I found myself enjoying that capturing the moment. It’s a completely different animal. You’re excited about it, and you’re capturing it that day!
Amps: Well, everyone is pretty excited to hear this record, my friend.
George: Yeah, I saw some poll that someone sent me saying we were one of the most anticipated albums of 2014. What was interesting about it was in addition to some of the well-known big bands, at the top was the Michael Sweet record, which is ironic because I worked on that record with him. So hey, I got two projects on the board (laughs)!
Amps: Yeah, he mentioned that when I interviewed him right before Thanksgiving.
George: You know, it’s great. The fact that I have somewhat of a name and I have the luxury of playing with people I love playing with; it’s phenomenal. The fact that my musical life’s journey hasn’t led me to a point where I have a stable band like AC/DC or VAN HALEN or DOKKEN even, it has led me to do what I want and be a free agent. That’s good and bad. I would like to have a solid band where I live and express myself, but I’ve gone down a different path. And it’s all good because I’ve got this wide variety, this big open canvass I can work with. So for instance the SHADOWTRAIN record that’s associated with the film Shadow Nation I’m involved in, about the plight of the American Indian and social and environmental justice, it’s another style of things altogether. It’s me, Jimmy D’Anda on drums who’s also in LYNCH MOB, Gabe Rosales on bass. We got a keyboard player named Donnie Dickman who lives in Big Sur and plays all these old synthesizers and Hammond B3’s. We all get together up there with this vocalist Gregg Analla, phenomenal singer who’s a 100% Pueblo guy, very involved in Native American issues. So it’s a very interesting record, a 2-CD record that I’ve been recording over the last 20 years. And it’s a soundtrack to the film.
And I have another project called THE INFIDELS with Panch Tommeseli and Sal Rodriguez from the band WAR along with Sen-Dog from CYPRESS HILL on vocals. We’ve tracked a lot of music we’re just finishing up and we’re gonna be releasing a song a month on iTunes. No record, no videos, just putting it out there. Again this is a completely different animal than SHADOWTRAIN, KXM, LYNCH MOB or anything else I got going on. Different flavors, but a lot of fun. It’s kind of jam and funk with a Latin flavor.
Amps: Is there anything you DON’T do?
George: (Laughing) I don’t do windows!
Amps: As far as LYNCH MOB goes, how is Tad (Gonzalez) fitting in as your vocalist?
George: Because we’re all so busy we haven’t had a lot of rehearsal. We had an audition and he hung out with me, Jimmy, and Kevin (Baldes, LIT) and it went great. So we’re gonna take it step by step, do this little 10-date run, and then see how it goes. Then we’ll do some European festivals this summer, and in between we’ll play some shows with bands who are a good fit for LYNCH MOB.
Amps: Are you gonna come see us here in Texas?
George: Well that’s gotta be on the list at some point. Texas is its own country, right (both of us laugh)? It’s so big that we could actually justify going there and plying it by itself! And we love it there. I love the Southwest, and we could go play ten cities in Texas and work our way back.
Amps: Are we looking at 2015 for a LYNCH MOB record, or are we even thinking about that right now?
George: That’s a real tricky thing to answer. I’ve had half a LYNCH MOB record in the can for a long time. This was a product of me, Oni Logan, Robbie Crane, and Scot Coogan, and that was a great band that unfortunately things conspired to run that thing right over a cliff. That was something that was really difficult to deal with at the time, and it still is, because that was a real shame. That band should’ve stayed together but it didn’t. We produced half of a great record. Finishing that and figuring out a way to salvage it would be tricky.
Amps: At one point you were into bodybuilding and getting into competitive lifting. Do you still work out like that, the way you used to?
George: Oh absolutely not. (Laughing) I have no time. I try to get into the gym when I can but those days, when I had the luxury of time because I was just in DOKKEN or just in LYNCH MOB are over. I have a guitar company now, a pickup company, many endorsers, the film project, and life just happens.
Amps: As far as Shadow Nation goes, what are we looking at in terms of distribution and release?
George: It should all be edited and ready to go in revival houses, theaters, but I just don’t know when. We want to tour it in a way where we can show the film, then come out and play the soundtrack as a band, and get people to have a discussion about the issue. I don’t know if that’s ever been done, or what the proper channels are to go through.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the George Lynch fans and the fans of all your projects?
George: Well I’d like to apologize to them first off for confusing everybody. I’m not the most organized person in the world and I give myself too much to do. I’ve got this glut of stuff, this beautiful music coming out, and maybe I didn’t roll it out the right way. But you can’t really put a cap on creativity and I’ve found that it comes in waves, and when things are firing on all cylinders and the opportunity’s there you have to take advantage of it. It’s been a very prolific couple of years for me.
And I just want to ask people out there to support music by buying it. Don’t download an album, buy it. That is what makes other albums possible. People can buy a record for $9.99. The illegal downloading has hurt us all so much, unless you’re Beyonce or COLDPLAY. And people wanna say, “Oh you’re just gonna make a record as a promotional tool”? Fuck you! We work way too hard to just give away what is our life’s essence. We in KXM wanna make another record. And we can only do that IF we sell enough records. If they see we only sold 15,000 records but there were 150,000 illegal downloads, guess what? There’s no money there for a second KXM record. Now if people buy 150,000 copies, guess what happens then?
We get to make a living, writing and playing beautiful music for everyone. And then we have the luxury of going into an actual studio and spending a little more time on the next one.
Well said, George. In 2014 it is important now more than ever to support our favorite bands and artists. You people all know what the hell the music business has turned into. Too often quality music falls through the cracks. However, I have a very strong feeling that with this monster of a record KXM isn’t going anywhere but onwards and upwards. And I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really anxious to see Shadow Nation and hear SHADOWTRAIN!