George Lynch’s “Shadowtrain” Documentary Up For
IndieWire.com Project of the Month
“Shadowtrain: Under a Crooked Sky,” the documentary film by rock legend George Lynch and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Mark Mclaughlin is one of four films in the running for IndieWire.com’s Project of the Month.
After winning the final Project of the Week poll in March by a landslide, “Shadowtrain” has moved onto the monthly poll, the winner of which will receive consultation from the Tribeca Film Institute.
Cast your vote for “Shadowtrain: Under a Crooked Sky” at THIS LOCATION.
Voting ends on Friday, April 5th at 5:00 p.m. EST. Note: Votes are confirmed by email. After voting, please look for an email from Poll Daddy and confirm your vote. Indiewire nor PollDaddy use your email address after the confirmation. NO REGISTRATION is required to vote. Read more
Lynch Mob “River of Love” from the CD Unplugged…and from the soon to be released Episode 35 of Live From Sugar Hill Studios! Featuring George Lynch (Guitars), Oni Logan (Vox), Robbie Crane (Bass), Brian Tichy (Guitars) and Tyson Sheth on percussions. Read more
by Ron Higgins
- Columnist –
George Lynch has re-joined Dokken! Well, sort of. George joins fellow Dokken band mates Jeff Pilson and “Wild” Mick Brown to form a project known as T&N. Drummer extraordinaire Brian Tichy participates as well. Originally, it was going to be called Tooth and Nail after Dokken’s seminal Platinum-selling second album of the same name. However, due to legal conflicts with the record label of the same name, they had to settle on the shorter acronym. So the question is: Does this album live up to its name? Not quite. But it’s not bad either.
This project actually began out of the remnants of another failed Dokken reunion. When it was clear that the reunion wasn’t going to happen, Pilson and Lynch began writing songs for the next Lynch Mob record but singer Oni Logan didn’t feel that the songs were right. Brian Tichy laid down some drum tracks and suggested that they should bring in Mick Brown and do a whole album of Dokken covers with guest singers. They did just that and combined some of the Dokken remakes with a number of originals. The result is seven original songs and five remakes (with another seven remakes planned for a Part 2 to be released sometime in 2013, including, according to Lynch, “When Heaven Comes Down,” “Til The Livin’ End” and “Just Got Lucky”). Tichy handles the drums on the originals and “Wild” Mick plays on the remakes. The vocals for the originals and one remake are handled superbly by Pilson while the other four remakes feature an impressive list of guest vocalists. Guests include: Tim “Ripper” Owens, Doug Pinnick, Sebastian Bach, and Robert Mason. Interestingly, Don was actually approached to sing on the remakes but declined.
The album blasts off with one of the best songs on the record, the title track “Slave to the Empire.” It’s one of the originals and kicks the album off right into fourth gear. If there are any doubts that this album will have rockin’ without Dokken, fear no more. The second track “Sweet Unknown” is a moodier, mellower, more modern sounding song. Not bad but definitely different. Other original tracks include “Rhythm of the Soul,” “When Eagles Die,” “Mind Control,” “Jesus Train” and “Access Denied.” “Rhythm of the Soul” is a decent enough mid-tempo song but not terribly memorable. “When Eagles Die” is a little more interesting with a nice acoustic guitar intro that leads into Jeff’s capable singing and then George’s incomparable lead work. Clocking in at over six minutes this is approaching prog territory and seems to be one of the more popular new tracks according to early reviews. It’s definitely one of the highlights. “Mind Control” is another interesting track. It’s a hard driving song with Jeff channeling his inner Lemme on the growling vocals. It features great guitar work and one of the best leads on offer — certainly an enjoyable listen. Probably the most atypical song is “Jesus Train”. This is a cool little bluesy number with all of the guys sounding like they’re having a blast. It starts off with a “Hot For Teacher” like bass pedal rhythm and some stellar guitar work. Dokken it certainly is not, but musically it’s a winner. Finally, the album wraps up with another original song, “Access Denied”. And for those who stuck around long enough to make it to the end of the record, they won’t be disappointed. This is another one of the better originals with lots of double-bass and screaming guitars. It’s nearly seven minutes long and fades out into some string accompaniment that would be right at home on a movie soundtrack, especially a horror film. Nightmare on Elm Street Part 25, perhaps? An impressive end to an impressive album.
What a lot of Dokken fans are going to be most interested in is hearing their new interpretations of the five Dokken classics. They’re all decent but some are naturally better than others. The first one appears as the third track and it’s the band’s namesake “Tooth and Nail” featuring Doug Pinnick of King’s X on lead vocals. Musically, it’s actually a little faster than the original but Doug’s unique vocal style somehow makes it sound slower. It definitely gives this classic song a new twist. George is on fire on this one and there’s an interesting breakdown towards the end that invokes visions of David Lee Roth at his talk-singing best. It’s easily one of the best remakes. Next up is “It’s Not Love” featuring Robert Mason. Musically, it’s not quite as good as the original but the vocals are superb. This song ends up becoming more of a showcase for Robert’s vocals than a reworking of an old classic. After listening to this song, it becomes clear why he was tapped to lead Warrant in their current configuration. “Into the Fire” is the third remake and, like the new songs, features Jeff Pilson on lead vocals. It’s a very faithful remake with maybe a little better guitar-work. This would fall into the “why bother” category. It does feature another unusual breakdown at the end which is interesting but other than that you’re better off sticking with the original. At least it shows how competent Jeff’s chops are. The fourth remake is “Alone Again” with Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach on lead. His unmistakable vocals add an interesting element to this classic and his interpretation is respectful. Finally, we have the most unusual remake with Tim “Ripper” Owens of Judas Priest/Iced Earth/Yngwie Malmsteen fame taking the helm for one of Dokken’s heaviest and best songs, “Kiss of Death”. It’s a true re-working of a song and therefore one of the best remakes on the record. It gives the listener a glimpse of what Dokken may have sounded like if they had been a traditional metal band instead of a more melodic metal “hair” band. Ripper’s Dio-like wails fit right along with George’s monster shreds. This is definitely one of the album’s best tracks.
Will this become a classic? Not likely. It is an enjoyable listen though and will certainly be appreciated by Dokken fans. How much traction it gains outside the Dokken fan-base remains to be seen. Whether or not they should’ve mixed original tunes with remakes also remains to be seen. Had they chosen to go with all originals it would’ve given the project more legitimacy as something more than just a side-project. However, having the classic Dokken tunes remade with guest vocalists will undoubtedly pique more interest so it’s understandable why they did it. But since they plan to release a second installment, a better option may have been to release one record with all originals and the other one with all remakes. Black Country Communion has certainly shown that the rock world is willing to listen to new music by classic musicians so an album of all originals wouldn’t be outrageous.
Although this doesn’t quite live up to the greatness of Dokken at their Tooth and Nail or Under Lock and Key prime, it’s certainly a respectable release with some enjoyable new songs and interesting remakes. It will certainly please die-hard Dokken fans and given them hope that a full-on reunion may someday still come to fruition. But even if it doesn’t, the prospect of seeing these three musicians tour together again is reason enough to get excited. And with a second release planned for the near future, all fans of Dokken just got lucky.
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
“Wild” Mick Brown
1. Slave to the Empire
2. Sweet Unknown
3. Tooth and Nail (featuring Doug Pinnick of King’s X)
4. It’s Not Love (featuring Robert Mason of Warrant)
5. Rhythm of the Soul
6. When Eagles Die
7. Into The Fire
8. Alone Again (featuring Sebastian Bach)
9. Mind Control
10. Kiss of Death (featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens)
11. Jesus Train
12. Access Denied
Label: Rat Pak Records
Hardrock Haven Rating: 8.5/10
by Craig Newman
- Columnist –
George Lynch talks about the Lynch Mob EP, Sound Mountain Sessions, the new video for the song “Slow Drag,” upcoming projects and more …
Craig Newman: Regarding the new EP why release it and why recorded at Sound Mountain studios?
George Lynch: I like to produce a lot of material and I do produce a lot of material and sometimes I don’t have a record to produce it for. That doesn’t stop the creative flow and Lynch Mob hasn’t put out and record in a few years. Smoke and Mirrors is the last record we put out and ensuing years we have been writing, demoing some stuff and coming up with creative ideas and the band really evolved by leaps and bounds. And wanted to document that and so we thought we do something relatively tame less and has become world less about albums and more of world of singles. Well who cares how many songs we put out; let’s just put some music out. So people know where we are at and have been touring a bit and though we needed product out there to support, add some songs to the set and sell some cd’s. And let people know we are in the game as we evolve.
Craig Newman: These are good songs, sounding songs!
George Lynch: Yeah, It is an interesting way the record went down. We went and tour different studios and a lot of different engineers. Just happen to fall into this guy name Chris Collier we call him the wizard by the way he magically the way he treats the band. We have been working in a more traditional setting down in Burbank at a larger studio. It was wonderful but can be expensive and a little stifling, creatively, arguably could be when the clock is ticking and money is going out the door. It defiantly affects the way you think to create and is not a great thing to be creative with a timer. Not that you can’t, we worked very quickly actually at this EP will attest too. We wrote everything from scratch in a few days and recorded it and headed out the door in about week’s time. We are very proud how we managed ourselves and how prolific were as a band creating and getting work done. It was a wonderful environment and we have a friend who has friend who has a studio basically in a house in the mountains at the extreme of northern part of LA (Los Angeles) county at Green Valley. It is a trenches drive through canyons, sometime washed out and closed, with boulders in the road and animals running by (laughter), drunk drivers and people driving off cliffs and forest fires. We got up there and stayed up there cause too much of a drive to go back and forth. Brought food, clothes and sleeping bags and just camped up there. We worked from scratch and very beautiful piece of work we are very proud of and stronger record cause of it.
Craig Newman: You recorded the ‘Slow Drag’ video down at Houston?
George Lynch: Yes, that is correct. We actually hooked up with a production company called Ven Films we thought very creative and very suited to what we like to see eventually to some of things they did visually they have done in the past. Its dark, has good energy, there is symbolism in there. We had a tight budget and they were able to work with our budget to get what we needed to get done on the amount money we needed to spend. And I am very happy with obviously it is a performance piece that is the least expensive way to do a rock video is to do a performance piece. We try to add elements addition to the performance augment we were able to do that cause of a wonderful location. I believe it was an old granary in Houston sort of taken over by squatter / artist who drew all kinds of crazy stuff like graffiti, car art, and the automobiles you see in the video (laughter), car art, space ships and dragons. We have all these things to work with that were already there. We walked into an operating set basically looking around. Oh we have fire looking at us and real lighting coming out of the sky cause of storm coming and the lighting flashing.
Craig Newman: With Oni, you had various singers what got you guys back together?
George Lynch: He did, I mean I have always been here, have not gone anywhere. I am still working in Los Angeles keeping the name alive, putting out records, touring and creating. Oni, he took a bit of hiatus and sabbatical. He had the urge to come back in the saddle and I was waiting and willing with open arms.
Craig Newman: I like Oni, he has a good voice and good guy too.
George Lynch: I agree, we have wonderful chemistry together as far writing is concerned. I have always been on the look for the perfect singer to complement what I do. Potentially we are getting better or good enough before we die quit or retire (laughter).
Craig Newman: Your guitar playing has never slacked!
George Lynch: Cause you don’t hear the bad stuff (laughter)
Craig Newman: We’re only hearing the good stuff being released!
George Lynch: Actually my best stuff is still actually locked away in my brain. Secondly, a lot of really good stuff has been left at the wayside. I have written records that have not been released and material I have hoping to get a record deal for and a band I can wrap around it. I am compelled to write any ways. And just sits there you know. I have hard drives, cassettes, ADAT’s, reel to reel just name it of tons of music that is imposing. Last couple of months I was cleaning house at the studio boxes of tapes of Lynch Mob and I forgot about this stuff.
Craig Newman: Maybe you can release it as unreleased archives?
George Lynch: I have on Cleopatra records and independent labels and on my own actually through my website that guitar players might be interested in my stuff. Those were interested to me and well done and beautiful and hypnotic. The problem with this business is that is a business (laughter). Arguably I would say that worst stuff I helped created was the Dokken stuff to a certain extent in my opinion. That was the stuff that got the most attention and that is for ironic to me.
Craig Newman: Are the any plans for the band to travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Russia, Europe, Asia and Latin America?
George Lynch: No concrete plans the touring season is kind of winding down here. We are touring through October then some couple one off dates through November and December. We have show with Queensryche at the House of Blues, Hollywood around Thanksgiving and another with Queensryche at Phoenix around New Years. The balance of the year will be dedicated to T&N to support the Slave to the Empire record to be released during October. Then next year should be very, very busy that we should have full length record out and plans to stay on the road to support it and tour extensively.
George Lynch: As of now is too early to say and but would love to go to Alaska and Hawaii cause is the Pacific Rim loop you do end up staying at Hawaii as long as you want and is a free vacation (Laughter).
Craig Newman: This year you played on Monster of Rock cruise and booked for next year. What is it like performing on a big ship?
George Lynch: Boat! (Laughter)
Craig Newman: Yeah, big boat then playing on land?
George Lynch: It was a wonderful experience, I didn’t know what to expect. When the boat is rocking you best be hitting the right note, when the boat is a rocking don’t come knocking (laughter). You get nice room with a balcony, all the food and alcohol you can consumed. Basically it is a glorified gig, is a vacation. I had my wife with me at the Bahamas and had a wonderful time. We played our big show in a theater and went really well. The night before we had a jam session called Mr. Scary and friends, I had no idea what I was doing. It was off the cuff and had everybody come up take a turn such as guitarist, bass players, drummers and vocalist take turns playing some cover tunes. The crowd was sweaty packed into this place and nobody left it was awesome! A lot people said they prefer that than the actual band performance and it was a different animal and kind of neat for everybody in the room because they get to see a different side of what we do. We are in an improvisational band and I am improvisational guitar player first and foremost. I love doing that just jamming and then you go the next night more polished rehearse set with big lights and big p a. They get to see the more human side of you and the more close up and personal side too.
I think there is a lost art of Rock and Roll improvisational to me is very sad that it has gone away. If the fans get into it, I love for this band to be known for that element. Not many bands can say that to go off and do spur of the moment.
Craig Newman: Who is your top four influences of guitarist?
George Lynch: Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Beck that is four! (Laughter)
Craig Newman: A music project you would like to do before you can’t play guitar anymore?
George Lynch: Funny you should ask that because I am going to be doing that pretty soon. I don’t know what it is called yet but it is in its formative stages. It is myself, Ray Luizer from KORN on drums, Doug Pinnick from KINGS X on bass and vocals. A project we have been talking about for a while and now starting to get serious about putting it together. I am very frightened about that because it is a hard rock musician’s band if there ever was one.
Craig Newman: Here is a philosophical question. There is a public victory and private victory where public victory others show they appreciate you. Private victory is your internal satisfaction. Have any like that?
George Lynch: I think there is a third victory not sure how you would classify that. But a victory for truth for the right reason that gets little public acknowledgement I think there is too little happening of that but not just in the music sphere but in all spheres of society. People getting recognized for doing the right thing unselfishly tying the two together, my heroes are not the Donald Trump’s, Kardashions and the Paris Hiltons of the world for being famous or famous making money for not producing anything of value that makes them money. I don’t believe in the cult of personality for fame or fames sake alone. I think fame serves everyone if fames serve a purpose. The more of the purpose of it is not buying a big house or cars. I think the gratification comes serving each other, collective good, community, our family, friends, and greater circle. That is what I work for tirelessly everyday regardless if it is music, or art or words. Whatever it is, I think that if people adopted that sense of what is important generally people would prioritize what they value. I come from that musical history where rock and roll music and people out in the streets to fight an unjust war, Vietnam for instance was by product for instance used for civil rights movement great rock and roll is a buy product of that, a vehicle for a message. And again I think that is missing in today’s music. Of course there are band s that do that to a certain extent that like Rise and Rage and many others but not enough. Music is so powerful, such a powerful deliverer of a message that cuts across everything. You have media they think are insulated from the truth and people are caught up in journalism and that are sold on that idea that is only what matters and defines you. And it is poisonous. Tend to care about ourselves and an optic view and music is an exception to that.
Craig Newman: Thank for your time.
George Lynch: Your welcome and is my job. I love talking about myself (Laughter). I always ask what you think of my last record (laughter).
Craig Newman: I love it!
For more info:
Monster of Rock cruise: http://monstersofrockcruise.com/
George Lynch: http://georgelynch.com/wordpress/
Lynch Mob (official) on Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/LynchMobOfficial
Rat Pak Records: http://ratpakrecordsamerica.com/enter.cfm
by John Kindred
- Publisher –
Lynch Mob follows up its 2009 studio album Smoke and Mirrors with this year’s EP release, titled Sound Mountain Sessions. George Lynch continues his renewed partnership with vocalist Oni Logan. Scott Coogan returns to man the drums, and Robbie Crane takes over as the band’s bassist. The EP was recorded at Sound Mountain Studios in California over the course of one week with engineer Chris “The Wizard” Collier.
Sound Mountain Sessions is a continuation of the band’s signature sound that was founded back on 1991′s Wicked Sensation. The music is gritty, bluesy, hard rock and infused with Lynch’s use of exotic scales and legato phrasing, which provides the perfect springboard for Logan’s vocals and lyrical jaunts. While the EP features only four new songs, it is a more satisfying listen than George Lynch’s recent instrumental EP titled Legacy.
As a follow up to Smoke and Mirrors, Sound Mountain Sessions maintains the same continuity, and the songs sound like they could have been on the ’09 studio album. Even though the album’s production is crisp and energized, the grit of Logan’s voice and snarl of Lynch’s guitar give the band its bite, and the rhythm section of Crane and Coogan give the songs their groove. The addition of Crane on backup vocals gives more weight and depth to Logan’s vocal melodies, especially during the choruses.
The music on Sound Mountain Sessions is bold and adventurous. Each song is built around a variety of progressions that, in a lesser band’s hands, would fall apart. Lynch Mob handles these transitions smoothly, weaving in and out of this musical traffic much like a Porsche would handle itself on the open road. “Slow Drag” opens the EP with a very Lynch-ish tritone rhythmic progression. The guitar starts off with full-on screaming distortion, and when Logan enters during the verse, Lynch rolls the volume pot back and produces a dirty-clean-tone that is panned to the left. As the song progresses, Lynch brings back the distortion, raging from both speakers. The song takes the approach of quieting down and then surging back to full intensity. The solo is smooth and melodic. The tone is pure Lynch, and it builds up to the return of the vocal. Lynch solos again with a more spastic lead over the closing bars of the song.
“World of Chance” is molded in a similar fashion. The music is allowed to breath as the guitars come at you either maxed to 11, as clean arppegiated melodies or subtly as dirty electric tones. The chorus here is huge vocally, and the underneath guitar rhythm features Lynch playing octaves that end on a chord and then move into a distorted arpeggiated melody. All the different approaches Lynch takes with his rhythm playing makes these songs sound like swirling waters in an ocean. “City of Freedom” hits with a real solid groove. Logan, who has been on fire so far, continues to deliver a stellar vocal performance. Managing to gives us grit as well melodic vocal melodies, his voice is the perfect complement to Lynch’s guitar. “Sucka” opens with a heavier guitar and brisk tempo. Here, Lynch unleashes with a blistering solo. The chorus has some tribal beats that are provided by Coogan, and he makes use of the double base as the song ends.
Years of living, whether on or off the road, has built Lynch Mob into mature and seasoned veteran group of musicians who have found their identity as a band. If Sound Mountain Sessions is a teaser to what we may get from the next full-length studio release, then fans definitely will be licking their chops to get the next CD.
Oni Logan – vocals
George Lynch – guitar
Robbie Crane – bass
Scott Coogan – drums
1. Slow Drag
2. World of Chance
3. City of Freedom
Label: Rat Pak Records
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10
by Alissa Ordabai
Staff Writer –
The new EP release by George Lynch is an instantly gratifying guitar fest comprised of 4 rousing instrumentals – all about the shred-meister’s technical brilliance, but also his sharply focused, vigorous songwriting.
Raunchy grooves and blistering solos spiral in and out of each other on opener “Blood Drive” where the hard rock formula is spiced up not just by Lynch’s convention-defying leads or the prog-inspired middle 8, but also his trademark sound.
Lynch’s transparent, yet fulsome, muscular tone and his vast range – as always – put an immediately recognizable stamp on his playing, but it is his complex, off-the-beaten-track soloing that is the real draw of this release. The spontaneous twists and turns, unexpected melodic diversions, and the flying ease of his articulation are all responsible for the unmistakable soundscape which is at once transparent and richly textured.
But despite the opener’s brilliance, it’s the “Invoid” – a hard rock epitome par excellence – which is the biggest standout of this EP. Packing enough ideas into 5 minutes for most other players to have based a full-length album on, it is an exuberantly fluid, yet punchy track, with constantly evolving ideas defying the usual notion of hard rock harmony as an inflexible constant.
“The Road Ahead” is a perfect closer – with eloquent melody and raw emotion unobscured by the edicts of the hard rock ballad style. And while on the one hand you could say that this release is about a standard stylistic range expected of a hard rock veteran, the interpretation which Lynch gives to the genre’s conventions is nothing short of unique. His expansive vision of his instrument and his writing based on personal realities make hard rock a living, breathing thing – not a dogma or a frozen set of old rules.
Genre: Hard Rock
George Lynch – guitar
Rev Jones – bass
Michael Frowen – drums
1. Blood Drive
2. Circulo Del Fuego
4. The Road Ahead
Label: Rat Pak Records
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10
by John Kindred
Staff Writer –
Jay Parmar returns with his sophomore studio release titled Circle of Fire on Steve Vai’s label Digital Nations.The album follows up his 2005 debut release, Strange Day, and tracks his musical progress and growth over the last seven years. Although it seems like quite a stretch in between releases, Parmar has been busy with building his studio, writing and demoing this forthcoming release and touring as second guitarist in the band Eden’s Curse in 2009. That tour produced a live album, Condemned to Burn, which featured Parmar on two of the recorded songs.
Parmar finds himself in great company on Circle of Fire. His hard work and networking ability has led him to becoming friends with fellow musicians Carsten Lizard-Schulz (Evidence One/Paradise Inc), Andreas Novak (House of Shakira/Mind’s Eye), Pete Newdeck (Eden’s Curse/Tainted Nations), Tim Wallace, Mike Rotella and guitar legend George Lynch, all of whom contributed to Circle of Fire. And, as all of Parmar’s friends and fans know, George Lynch is a good friend and inspiration to the guitarist.
The core of Circle of Fire is built around the original arrangements written by Parmar. He worked with Pete Newdeck to arrange and record the foundation of the music. Newdeck handled the drums, while Parmar provided the bass, keys, rhythm guitar and his lead solo tracks. From there, each of his “guests” continued to bring the music to life, contributing lyrics, vocals and additional guitar solos. Circle of Fire comprises 12 songs, all of which maintain a cohesive vibe even though different vocalists sing throughout the CD.
Although the inspiration may come from his influences, Parmar pushes forward, letting his voice be heard compositionally and vocally. The music is melodic hard rock, and the vocalists reflect this as they perform melodic and catchy vocal melodies. Newdeck and Schultz handle the majority of the songs, while Novak only is the featured vocalist on “Test of Time,” Wallace appears on “Harm’s Length.” Parmar makes his singing debut on “When Angel Cry.” Circle of Fire delivers great all-around vocals from everyone involved. At times, they fall in between the AOR and Melodic rock world, almost pushing into the ‘80′s stadium-rock-arena on several occasions.
There is no getting around the fact that George Lynch has had a major influence on Parmar’s own guitar style. He won’t deny it. You can hear it within the context of his rhythm guitar work, but it is more evident in his solos. His legato phrasing, attack, harmonic squeals and guitar sound pull a lot from Lynch. It would be bad if he did a poor job of it, but Parmar is extremely accomplished. It’s almost as if the torch is being passed from one legend to the next generation of shredders. Hopefully, as Parmar continues to write and record, his lead guitar work will evolve into a signature style that is all his own. For now, he nails it song after song.
Parmar and Newdeck build a solid foundation for the 12 songs that comprise Circle of Fire and deliver inspired, melodic hard rock bliss. Rotella and Lynch, both, deliver amazing fret board acrobatics alongside Parmar. The slick production magnifies the high caliber of musicianship that comprises Circle of Fire. Unlike a lot of independent artists out there today, Jay Parmar has taken the time to learn his craft, with his guitar and in the studio, before unleashing himself on listeners with sub-par studio albums. His approach and music is a mature and confident. This is reflected on Circle of Fire in his songwriting ability and the quality of professional musicians who brought the album to life.
Highlights: “Hell Is The Place,” “Walking In Circles,” “Dragon,” “Circle of Fire”
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Jay Parmar (g)(b)(k)(v)
Pete Newdeck (d)(v)
Carsten Lizard-Schulz (v)
Tim Wallace (v)
Mike Rotella (main solo on “Hell Is The Place”)
George Lynch (intro/main solo on “When Angels Cry”)
1. Walking In Circles
2. You’re Not Alone
3. Test of Time
4. Lost In You
5. Now You’re Gone
6. Hell Is The Place
7. Stop Laughing
9. Harm’s Length
10. Circle of Fire
11. The Dragon
12. When Angels Cry
13. Circle of Fire (Single)
Label: Digital Nations
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10
by Marija Brettle
Staff Writer –
He’s well known for having a very George Lynch type style and has performing on the Lynch tribute CD, Will Play For Lynch; but these days, U.K. based guitarist, producer and guitar tutor Jay Parmar is better known and admired for pulling off some great playing and songwriting on his own records.
Jay‘s music is immersed in feel, emotion and depth and his high octane guitar playing is infused with eastern influence. The sonic soundscapes that he creates are tangible and thought provoking and have established him as a world class player.
In 2005 he released his first solo album, Strange Day which gained much praise from reviewers, fans and professional musicians. The CD introduced Jay’s skills as a guitar player, writer, engineer and producer to the world.
Now signed to Steve Vai’s record label, Digital Nations, Jay is about to release his blistering new album Circle Of Fire. The 12 track album to be released on 12 March, features performances by Carsten Schulz, Pete Newdeck, Andreas Novak, Tim Wallace, Mike Rotella and guitar legend George Lynch.
HARDROCK HAVEN managed to talk to the maestro about his new release, his earliest musical influences, Warren Dimartini, Steve Vai and Hendrix… His pride and joy to work on his new album with his long- time guitar hero, George Lynch… his plans to tour, future goals and more…
HRH: Hi Jay. Thank you for making the time for HARDROCK HAVEN, taking that it’s a very busy time for you, as with your new record and all.
Jay Parmar: It’s always a pleasure speaking with you guys. Happy to make the time.
HRH: This must be a very exciting time for you… Firstly, you are finally releasing your new record. Secondary, you are working alongside with the legendary guitarist George Lynch, who happens to be your most influential and favorite guitarist. How does it feel to be in the studio and working (this time on your own record) with your all-time guitar hero?
Jay: Yes, very, very exciting time right now. I’m thrilled that people will get to hear the album at last as I’ve been talking about it for a long time and I’m so happy with all of the songs, performances, the production, the artwork, etc. The whole package came together just how I wanted it to.
HRH: So, what was it like working with George?
Jay: Amazing! It’s fantastic having him on the album. George has been an influence and friend for a long time and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and now it has become a reality! The solo he recorded fit so well on the song and is full of his signature style, lots of emotion and movement and it just sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it! I wasn’t in LA when he did the session but George and I had met up a couple of times in the previous months (Bologna and Firefest in 2010 and NAMM in January 2011) and we’d talked about what I wanted to do. He asked me for some direction but I told him that he had a free run as I trusted that he’d lay down exactly the right notes. The song that I sent to him was really important though. George has done the whole hard rock thing for a long time and I knew that the ‘outside the box’ songs would be the ones that really grabbed his interest. So I knew that it could only be one song – ‘When Angels Cry.’ It was the perfect song. When I received the files and dropped them into the mix I was completely hooked. I listened to the solo 10 times, played it to my wife probably 10 times as well, and then picked up my guitar and learned the whole solo. It was amazing.
HRH: You have been working on your new record for quite a long time now. You mention in one of your more recent blogs that working on this record felt like a journey for you, rather than a quick trip to get to a destination. Tell us more about the recording of Circle Of Fire from start to completion?
Jay: For me, the creation of every piece of music, or any creative process for that matter, is a journey. The discovery, inspiration, expansion and growth is constant. There is no destination. The musician that I was when I started the whole project is different from who I am today. And likewise, the person I am now will evolve by the time I’m recording the next song or album. I learned so much from creating Circle of Fire and am always adding to that. The recording process itself I’d started out about 6 years ago for a band that I was putting together in the USA, but that didn’t work out for various reasons. I had about 6 or 7 songs written though so I kept those on ice. I then started a couple more projects, which again didn’t work out, but I had written more songs. So eventually I just decided to do another album under my own name and get people in to do the vocals and drums. I then moved to where I live now and started building my studio, Sacred Sound. Around the same time the Eden’s Curse tours came up. Both events again delayed finishing the album, but actually helped a lot in making the final album what it is. I think that if I’d finished the album a few years ago, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it is. Firstly moving out of London and building my studio helped a great deal as I had a beautiful and inspiring place to live and work with lots of space and a sea view; and a fabulous creative space to write, record and produce. Also, I learned so much from touring with Eden’s Curse and picked up influence from them and all of the bands that I encountered. Playing alongside Thorsten Koehne really tightened up my playing. At this time I started to write a lot of new material that was going in a different direction to the one I had started out with. The songs I had sounded great – but they were very typically 80′s hard rock influenced. The newer material had a freshness to it and so I decided to carry that on and re-wrote most of the album. So in reality I spent about 2 years creating ‘Circle of Fire’. I had about 20′ish songs written and recorded when I had finished. The 12 that made ‘Circle of Fire’ were the best ones in my opinion and there are 2 more that are complete and will be released on the CD release in a couple of months. Three of the songs that I’d written about 4 or 5 years ago made the album, the rest are new.
HRH: In the process of making the Circle Of Fire, you decided to collaborate with an incredible collection of musicians, playing and singing on the record. How did you come about to working with musicians like, Carsten Schulz, Andreas Novak, Pete Newdeck, Tim Wallace, Mike Rotella and of course the guitar legend George Lynch?
Jay: Well, Carsten, Andreas and Pete, I met as a result of working with Paul Logue, Eden’s Curse’s bassist, on an AOR project sometime ago which didn’t come to fruition. I was recording guitars for Paul and we’d been talking about my solo material and he wanted to have a listen so I sent him some tracks. He was really impressed and wrote a couple of songs (one of which was ‘Guilty’) and he asked who was singing. I didn’t have anybody at the time so he suggested Carsten, who he was friends with. I’d discovered Evidence One about a year earlier and was really into them. So, Carsten and I hooked up and started working together. Andreas was singing on the AOR project with Paul. When that didn’t work out, I kept in touch with Andreas and was trying to put together another project with him. However, that fizzled out as he had a really busy schedule, but we’d been working on a song already and he’d put down some scratch vocals/lyrics on it. Nothing that made too much sense, just gap fillers so that he could work out the vocal melody. So I took the lyrics and did some re-writing and we had ‘Test of Time’. Pete I met when I toured with Eden’s Curse. He asked me if I needed a drummer and it was a done deal! He did a wonderful job on the drums. He also wrote and sang on 4 songs. He has a fabulous voice that is very unique. Brilliant delivery. Tim and I have been friends for a long, long time. We met because of our mutual admiration of George Lynch. He’s a great singer and I’d wanted to work with him for many years so I asked him if he wanted to write some lyrics to one of my songs. He jumped at the chance and the result was ‘Harm’s Length’. He came over to my studio where we recorded his vocals and later on he recorded the vocals for ‘The Dragon’ as well. Mike Rotella is an old friend of mine and amazing guitar player. Again, I met him via the George Lynch connection. We’d been working on some songs but because of my schedule I had to give that project up and focus on ‘Circle of Fire’, but I wanted him on the album so I asked him to record a solo. The solo that is on the album is actually the scratch track that he sent me with a note saying ‘here are some ideas!’ It was a beautiful solo so I said keep it! And George I met through working on the George Lynch Tribute album, and we’ve been friend and kept in touch since then.
HRH: Are there any more guitarists that you would like to play with –if the opportunity arose?
Jay: (Laughs) Yeah, lots! Warren Dimartini and Doug Aldrich are guys I would like to work with. Both have such a wonderful sound and style. I was at one point talking to somebody who was trying to arrange for Doug to play on one of my songs, but that was a few years ago and it didn’t happen. Maybe on the next album… Steve Vai, Reb Beach, Steve Stevens, Jeff Beck.(Laughs) It’d be awesome to have all of these guys on my album…there wouldn’t be too much space left for me!
HRH: Is there any particular meaning in the name of the album title?
Jay: The cover art best illustrates what Circle of Fire means to me now. The meaning for me is the connection to inspiration, which is something more than just the physical or thoughts and experiences. It comes from a much higher consciousness. The song itself has a different meaning, but like I said, life is always moving and evolving, hence the meaning has moved as well. The song lyrics are about life situations in which people are tempted by a false sense of promise and belief and to have that trust and faith broken. We’ve all been in that place where we put our trust and faith in someone or something, put our positive energies into it, believing that it will take us to an ideal which we think up in our heads, only to discover that the someone or something isn’t what we thought. Ultimately this leads to our concept of disappointment. It’s part of life’s journey though. If we don’t experience it then we can’t learn from it.
HRH: On your website, you mention that the preview of the “Circle Of Fire” has been already heard by a handful of people, and it has been incredible well received. What should the rest of us expect from this record?
Jay: Really good songs, performances and a great sounding album. A really nice comment I had from a friend was that the songs were literally jumping out of the speaker at him. There is a good mixture of styles and sounds on the album, so the album, like the recording, is a beautiful journey that will hold the listener’s interest right the way through. There’s something new to discover on every listen as well.
HRH: What are your favorite tracks of the new album if you must choose?
Jay: (Laughs). All of them! I couldn’t pick a favorite because I like the whole album. That’s always the perspective that I write and record from. If I’m not 100% happy with the final song, then it doesn’t make the album. There are so many highlights – the solos, the vocals, the guest appearances… the overall sound. I’m really happy with everything!
HRH: Besides the guitar contribution, what other impact (if any) did George have in the making of “Circle of Fire”?
Jay: George has influenced me personally as well as musically for many years by being the person that he is. He’s an amazing gifted musician, but so humble and grounded. I’ve learned a lot about humility, life and discovering who I am from knowing and speaking with George. He’s a very inspiring person.
HRH: How did you end up recording for the George Lynch’s tribute album, Will Play For Lynch? Was it your way of thanking him for all the awesome music and inspiration that he provided for you and your fellow musicians?
Jay: Yes, the Lynch Tribute was primarily a ‘Thank You’ to George. I was a member of the George Lynch message board at the time (2002/2003) and saw a post about the project so I put my name down for three tracks, ‘Wicked Sensation’, ‘River of Love’ and ‘Mr. Scary’ (‘Mr. Scary’ is still available from my website as a download). I was working at an entertainment company, so had knowledge about how to bring the whole thing together, clear the songs, work out the logistics, etc, so I offered to co-ordinate and made sure that it got done and released.
HRH: Where did you get the inspiration when you wrote the lyrics and melodies for this album? Who wrote the songs on this record and what are they about?
Jay: Inspiration came from a lot of different places – music, art, films, literature. Sometimes just hearing a line in a movie or song would be the spark. I work quickly when I get an idea. The bare bones of the song is usually done within a couple of hours and then just hearing the skeleton creates more inspiration and ideas. The songs were written by myself and all the singers on the album. What they mean, they’ll be different for each listener. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Some songs have obvious meanings, like ‘The Dragon’ which is about addiction, but not to drugs or alcohol. It was written about having an addiction to negativity. The meaning of others is less obvious, but all the lyrics are really great, so I’m gonna leave it to the listener’s interpretation so that they can experience their own journey as they listen. In fact I’d love to find out what they think the songs mean.
HRH: When you are composing do you do that exclusively on guitar?
Jay: Pretty much. It usually starts with a part that I hear in my head and then I work it into a full song. The one song which was composed differently was ‘When Angels Cry’. I wrote and recorded the piano part first and then added everything else. That was a really different way to work for me.
HRH: How did the new record differ from your first record, Strange Day?
Jay: In a lot of ways. The vocals are the most obvious. Also the approach to the songs. On Strange Day I was creating just a backdrop to play lead guitar over, so it was all about the guitar parts, not so much about what the bass, drums and keyboard were doing. With the songs on this album I was creating space for the vocal as they were the predominant focal point. Then I had to balance that with interesting guitars, bass, and keys without overplaying. The lead guitar parts only went into spaces where the vocals stopped or endings to compliment the vocals. It was much more about the overall song than just the guitars.
HRH: Can you tell us more about your early days of getting involved in music. How did you start?
Jay: I was a late starter on guitar. I started playing at 16 years old. I was into music and had played a few instruments at school but then somebody gave me some Iron Maiden albums to listen to and then I wanted to play guitar, grow my hair long, etc. (Laughs).
HRH: How old were you when you discovered your real passion for guitar playing –and who originally influenced you to become a guitar player?
Jay: A year after I started playing, around 17 years old. I started playing guitar because I was so into Iron Maiden. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray were the guys who inspired me to pick up guitar, but then I heard Jake E. Lee in Ozzy, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai and was starting to really get into them. A friend then gave me a cassette tape with Dokken’s ‘Kiss of Death’ on it, and I was completely hooked on that song. I found out everything I could about Dokken – there was no internet at that point so it was from guitar and rock music magazines. I bought all the Dokken albums and started to teach myself the songs. ‘Back For The Attack’ was a very influential album on me. I used to play through the songs for hours. Dokken then broke up and Lynch Mob released ‘Wicked Sensation’ which became the album that most influenced my guitar playing.
HRH: What essentially inspires you to create great music?
Jay: The love of music inspires me to create. It’s a passion, it’s what I do, my life purpose, if you want to call it that. The magic of creating a song from just a thought, recording it, producing it and then listening is awe inspiring. That inspiration just comes from somewhere much higher than myself. It’s not a physical or mental exercise. My body and mind are just a vehicle to assist in that miracle happening. And I’m very grateful for that.
HRH: I read somewhere you saying that Steve Vai was one of the earliest influences on your music career. What was it about Steve’s playing style that resonated with you?
Jay: Steve Vai has been a big influence in many respects. His guitar playing abilities are incredible, but also his approach to music and how he can take the same lick and play it 20 times in 20 different ways. That was a huge influence when I was writing and recording Strange Day. The emotion that guitar players like Steve Vai and George Lynch convey with every note is what I strive for. I’m not really a shred guy in the traditional sense of lots of fast playing and then back off now and then. It’s the opposite way around for me! The fast playing is the icing, the slow to medium is the cake. Also, just like George Lynch, Steve Vai does it his way and paves his own path, and that’s something I like to do as well.
HRH: Besides Steve Vai and George Lynch later, who are your other guitar icons you worshiped throughout your music career – and why?
Jay: My walls used to be covered with posters of guitar players when I was learning to play. Warren Dimartini was somebody I was very much into because Ratt and Dokken had pretty similar music. Marty Friedman and Dave Mustaine. Joe Satriani. Hendrix a little later on. Actually I have a very cool picture of Hendrix in my studio now! Jimmy Page. There’s many more. All of my influences have added something to my playing.
HRH: As a guitar tutor yourself, what would be your advice for all those new and hopeful guitarists – in the process of making it big, and reaching their full potential?
Jay: Picture the end goal and keep hold of that image always. Meditate on it. Create a vision board, do whatever it is that keeps that image in your mind because everything that ever was, started as a thought. That will give you the energy to reach whatever goal that you want to reach. Learning and practice come into it, but that’s an endless journey, even I’m still a student of guitar. But it’s really important to have that vision and have absolute certainty that it will happen. People may say that it is impossible, or that you gotta think about a secure job, but we get one shot at this life and I believe that we should do everything that we desire and feeds our soul. When you follow your life’s purpose, everything that you need to make it happen comes to you. You just have to be open to it. The other piece of advice would be, to be grateful for everything that comes to you. Even if you have just one fan, that’s one more than zero. We’re taught that the measure of success is selling a million records, making more money than Bill Gates, etc, but inspiring just one person has more impact than any amount of possessions or record sales. So gratitude plays a big role.
HRH: Being well known for your unique melodic guitar style and technical mastery, in your opinion what makes the guitar stand out compared to other instruments?
Jay: It’s the tactility. My fingers are on the strings, the neck, the frets. The material the guitar is made of is organic so contributes to the tone. The pickup choice makes a difference to the sound. There is so much interaction with the instrument while playing – you can slide, bend and caress the notes out, which is unique about stringed instruments. There is also the vast palette of sounds and textures that you can create by altering the volume control, by picking softer, by picking with my fingers. There is so much that you can do. And that’s without going into amplifiers and effects. Guitar can keep you busy for a very long time. (Laughs).
HRH: During your 14 years of working in this industry, what has been the biggest obstacle for you so far?
Jay: I don’t think of them as obstacles. Anything is possible and achievable. There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but they are always there to learn something about yourself, or what you are doing. So I just deal with them. ‘Strange Day’ was a challenge in that it was an instrumental album and had a limited appeal. Musicians really liked it, but others wanted to hear singing. But I got it out there and people heard it. It was successful in establishing me. A couple of the challenges that I faced with creating ‘Circle of Fire’ were how to put it all together myself, finding my own voice, producing and mastering the album myself, and starting to sing. Again, I just dealt with these as they came along and learned from the experience. Everything fell into place with the musicians and I discovered my own musical style and voice during the process of writing the songs. The production was a big challenge because at one point the mixes were not translating well outside the studio, so I went back to basics, re-learned and honed my skills in the studio, and started the mixing from scratch. I even changed my studio monitors which helped enormously. It was a great experience and I’m so pleased with the sound of the album. It’s punchy but smooth and has lots of depth.
HRH: Having been in the music industry for quite a long time and playing along with many great guitar names, I’m sure there were times and moments when you felt some kind of rivalry- or friendly competition with other fellow guitarist-in terms of technique and guitar style. Something I have seen and heard before, between guitar egos, like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen…
Jay: You know, I haven’t really tried to compete with any other guitar players over the years. I had my focus and followed that. There were times when I felt like throwing the guitar away because I’d just heard somebody who was completely amazing! But I see these guys as an inspiration now. There’s space for every type of musician, especially guitar players. There is always something to learn from other guitarists and that’s a wonderful place to be because it means that I can always pick up something new and evolve. I am really comfortable with the way I play and my sound, gear, and studio. More so now than ever before. My playing may not be the fastest or flashiest but it conveys what I want the guitar to say, which is what playing is about for me.
HRH: Are there any amusing or embarrassing experiences that stuck with you and you would like to share with our readers?
Jay: Embarrassing stories will have to wait to be on the extras on a DVD or something. One thing that does stay in my mind is when I was sending the songs to Pete (Newdeck) to record the drums they would come back with drums…and vocals, and arrangement! All that was missing was the guitar solos, which I thought would turn up with Pete’s name on them at some point as well! I couldn’t help but laugh. But in all honestly he gave wonderful, wonderful performances and direction on all of the tracks that he worked on. His drumming is exceptional and his voice is very recognizable and so full of emotion. Just listen to his harmonies on ‘Now You’re Gone’. Incredible! Pete was working on his album, Tainted Nation, at the same time so was practicing his vocals as much as possible. He recorded the vocals for ‘Walking In Circles’ at my studio, Sacred Sound, and it’s the funniest session I’ve ever had! He was dancing around in the vocal booth while he was singing, throwing his arms up, turning around between lines and pulling faces! I got it all on video and you can see it on Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ-k5TvzrsU.
HRH: Can we hope to see you soon on tour?
Jay: Yes! I wanna take this show on the road! The songs already sound live so I will do some gigs. So putting a band together… Applicants send resumes with sound clips please!
HRH: What can your fans expect to see at your live performance?
Jay: (Laughs) I want it to be a surprise. It will be very, very cool though.
HRH: What do you like most about touring?
Jay: The performance firstly. The stage is a very special place to be. There’s sacredness in playing in front of people and really delivering a great performance and I’m honored that I’ve had the opportunity to do that and will do it again. Also, interacting with the people who come to see me play. When I was on the road with Eden’s Curse, we’d get to the merchandise stand within 10 minutes of finishing our set so that we could speak with the fans. It’s an amazing experience.
HRH: What are your goals, short and long term?
Jay: To create more, both short and long term. My immediate focus is on releasing this album, letting people know about it and playing live. The ideas are starting to flow again so I will start writing and recording again very soon. A track or two may even make it as an extra on the CD release in a couple of months. Longer term, maybe take over the world and then the Universe! (Laughs). That’s all still in the planning stages.
HRH: Often you have been called a brilliant guitarist with his own superb guitar niche. How would you like to be seen in years to come? Maybe one of the new guitar virtuoso…?
Jay: That will feed my ego! Laughs). No seriously, I tend not to label myself so as to leave the door wide open for me to get involved in all sorts of crazy musical ventures. I do music because it’s a passion and what I love to do. Being in the studio and playing, writing, teaching, recording, producing just feeds my soul, so I want to carry on doing more of that. If people see me as a virtuoso and it inspires them to pick up a guitar or just listen to music that brings them joy, then that’s awesome. That inspires me to do more.
HRH: Thank you again Jay for taking time for this interview. And best with the record and the tour!
Jay: It’s always a pleasure to speak with you guys! Looking forward to next time.
Visit Jay Parmar on the web: http://www.jayparmar.com/wp/
by Deb Rao
July 4, 2011 at Crown Theater in Las Vegas, NV.
Las Vegas proved it’s a city that can live up to its high expectations of bringing in the best performers in the business. The 4th of July never seemed brighter in Sin City. As previously reported with my exclusive interview with Todd Kerns and Michael “Doc” Ellis, the Sin City Sinners began their six-week residency over at the Crown Theater at the Rio Hotel on July 4 featuring guitar virtuoso George Lynch as their special guest tonight.
The long line around the Crown entrance streamed early, as doors open at 10 P.M. The Sin City Sinners tonight also feature dynamic front man Lou Merlino and former Aerosmith guitarist Jimmy Crespo. The band hit the stage a little after 11 P.M. kicking the night off with an Alice Cooper cover “Schools Out.” This was the perfect opening song let the party begin shall we?
The set rolled on with “Still Of The Night” and a very cool rendition of the song “Bad Company.” Singer Lou Merlino kind of reminds me of a young Robert Plant. His delivery of the cover songs were very well executed but most importantly the band sounded so tight and made the cover songs sound like their own. Highlight of the opening set from Sin City Sinners was their first hit single “Going To Vegas” sung by Michael “Doc” Ellis.”
Anticipation filled the air, as George Lynch took the stage with the Sin City Sinners at the bewitching midnight hour. Opening with “Into The Fire,” George and the Sin City Sinners performed a vast array of Dokken hits including “Tooth And Nail”, and “It’s Not Love.” The band also performed a Lynch Mob song, “Wicked Sensation.” George seemed excited, as his carefully executed guitar solos soared. It was great hearing the Dokken songs on the 4th of July.
Highlight of the Dokken set were the guitar solos on “Mr. Scary” featuring George Lynch and Brent Muscat. Not only did George and the band perform Dokken songs but some classic hits too including, The Doors, Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” “Ace Of Spades”, and the night would not be complete without the dueling guitar solos between Jimmy Crespo and George Lynch on “Train Kept A Rollin.” The guitar chemistry between the two was magical and very impressive. It was definitely a 4th of July to remember.
I had the opportunity to talk with George after the show he tells us,” It was fun playing on the 4th tonight in Vegas. I was disappointed though I didn’t get to see any fireworks.” When asked about upcoming George Lynch release Kill All Control, he informed us that the album will have four singers on it including London Legrand.
by John Kindred
Guitarist George Lynch returns with his latest solo album Kill All Control. You know him from the ‘80s with Dokken, and later he formed the infamous Lynch Mob. Over the years, Lynch has maintained a steady release of solo records, while keeping Lynch Mob alive and kicking in various incarnations. Chances are that a complete Dokken reunion never will happen; however, Lynch doesn’t live in the past. He continues to expand on his fret board wizardry and add to his catalog of music.
Following up on his latest solo project, Souls of We, Lynch, along with vocalist London Legrand (Brides of Destruction) and drummer Adrian Ost (Powerman 5000), put together a majority of the music for Kill All Control within 10 days. Lynch’s guitar playing always has included his flair for exotic explorations, which he has expounded and expanded on during his 30-plus years as a musician. With Kill All Control, he falls back to the foundational premise of his 1993 solo album, Sacred Groove, which featured a who’s who of hard rock’s premier vocal talent.
Kill All Control features Keith St. John (Montrose, Burning Rain), Will Martin (Earshot), Marq Torien (Bulletboys) and Fred Coury (Cinderella). Each guest makes an appearance on the 13-track release. Burning Rain fans will recognize Keith St. John’s voice on “Resurrect Your Soul,” “Rattlesnake,” “Man on Fire” and as backing vocals on many other songs on the CD. Fred Coury lends his skills to the instrumental song, “Son of Scary,” which tips it hat to the Grammy-nominated “Mr. Scary” from Dokken’s Back for the Attack album release in 1988.
Kill All Control lives and breathes with Lynch coaxing harmonic screams, melodic phrasing, smooth legato runs and unique chord arrangements from his guitar. The vocalists take their opportunities to lay down stellar vocal performances throughout the album. The eclectic group brings varied genres of rock into the mix and creates nuances that include traditional hard rock, alternative and modern rock. They also work together to create full, thick melodic choruses that are quite memorable. Keith St. John really shines here. If you like his voice, check out his work with Doug Aldrich in the band Burning Rain.
People would really like to hear Lynch shred, but he is truly at home in the vocal-guitar-bass-drums band format. His guitar style allows the music to breathe as his rhythm playing doesn’t dominate or over power the vocals. In fact, his snake-like slithering approach intertwines within the confines of the music in such a way that he really is shredding throughout the album. He never stays in positions in which he is just hammering out rooted 5th power chords. His use of all six strings in the rhythmic passages gives the guitar a big, dynamic sound.
Lynch fans will love Kill All Control and will be glad to add the album to their collection. Even with a variety of vocalists, the album feels more cohesive than his last project with Souls of We. Honestly, we don’t need Lynch back in Dokken. Dokken (yes, that’s you Don) lives in the past and has become a cover band with many well-known names brought in to re-create Lynch’s guitar style for the band. George Lynch is his own man, who was borne from the mettle of ‘70s classic rock players, fused with the inspiration of Van Halen and Malmsteen, and is someone who continues to strive to discover new music within his soul. Oh yeah, “Wicked Witch” absolutely is one if the best songs of 2011.
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Rocket Science, Inc.
1. Kill All Control
3. Fly on the Wall
4. Brand New Day
5. Wicked Witch
6. Man on Fire
7. Voices in My Head
8. Resurrect Your Soul
10. Man on Fire
11. My Own Enemy
12. Son of Scary
13. Go It Alone
Hardrock Haven rating: 9.5/10
by Deb Rao
When you think of Vegas, you think of glitz and gambling. But one popular Vegas band the Sin City Sinners is helping to ignite the Vegas music scene with their energized re-vamped version of popular covers that they have branded with their own unique sound and the band also performs catchy original tunes. The debut release of “Exile On Fremont Street” has unveiled such popular original tunes as “Going To Vegas” and by popular demand prompted the release of an acoustic CD entitled Broken Record.
Fronted by Slash bassist Todd Kerns, Sin City Sinners is comprised of guitarist Brent Muscat, bassist Michael “The Doctor” Ellis and drummer Rob Cournoyer. The band performs every Friday at Sunset Station in Henderson and every Saturday at Sante Fe Station in Las Vegas. Just announced the Sin City Sinners will be taking over a 6-week residency at The Rio beginning on June 27. If you have ever seen the Sin City Sinners perform live you know that singer Todd Kerns is an amazing front man and guitarist. In 2010, Todd had the opportunity of a lifetime transpire when Slash asked him to join his band as a bass player. Todd will be heading to Europe in July to perform with Slash on his European Tour.
Hardrock Haven is proud to present an exclusive interview with Sin City Sinners featuring Todd Kern of Slash / Sin City Sinners and bassist Michael “The Doctor” Ellis of Sin City Sinners. Sit back and enjoy as Todd and Michael reveal how the Sin City Sinners have taken over the music scene of Viva’ Las Vegas.
HRH: I want to Thank you Todd and Michael for checking in with HRH. The band is notorious for bringing in special guest stars and tonight at The Rio was no exception.
Todd: We had Carolyn, a friend of ours, Paul Shortino, Jizzy Pearl, Lou Merlino who is part of the team anyways, and Jeff Tortoro. He is a drummer for Blue Man Group. When Jeff gets up and holds the microphone it is a whole another story!
HRH: The band has a new album out Exile on Fremont Street.
Todd: It is not really new. It has been out a year. We also have an acoustic EP out.
Michael: The acoustic EP is a lot of stuff from the Fremont album and two new tracks.
HRH: The band does a lot of great cover tunes like “Ah! Leah” by Donnie Iris. It is great how all the bands influences sort of mesh together.
Michael: Donnie Iris is all Todd’s doing.
Todd; It is a song I have been listening to as a kid. I saw him play it on Solid Gold. I love that song. Every band I have ever had I play that song.
HRH: You mentioned that the Sin City Sinners would be playing at the Rio on June 27 again.
Michael: Yes, we are doing a six-week run. We got guests line up. We want to do something different from our Friday and Saturday night show. We used to do guests all the time. Now we are going to do special guests at Rio starting June 27th for a six week run.
Todd: We started the guest thing at The Dive Bar on Tropicana. We would have guests like George Lynch and Vinnie Paul. Then we moved over to Green Valley Ranch. We did a year and a half over there including Kip Winger. Then we started doing our own thing with the record and everything. Now we are back doing this. It is going to be fun.
HRH: Did Vinnie Paul produce your album Exile On Fremont Street?
Todd: He sat in a little bit on it.
Michael: He came over one day, at the request of us. Todd was doing some sort of interview. I couldn’t be there. So I asked Vinnie to come over because the drums sound weird on our record. He is pretty hands on. He is a good player and happy to work on one of his favorite songs “Arianna.” That is one of his favorite songs. He came in and sort of just started pushing dials.
Todd: He was really sort of a consultant.
HRH: How did the Sin City Sinners get started?
Todd: We started out doing some fuckin’ little silly thing on Tuesday night at The Dive Bar. Now one of the bands when you talk about Vegas you talk about us!
Michael. I can sum it up real quick; we have a dynamic front man and great manager. He is the best front man since David Lee Roth. I have always felt that.
Todd: Yes, Todd is very charismatic and a great showman. Now does the myth that everyone who lives in Vegas is not from here hold true for the band?
Todd: I am from Canada.
Michael: I am (from) Redondo, Calif. I claim all of Southern California. Hollywood down is all mine. Brent is from LA and Rob is from New Orleans. Vegas is one of those towns where everyone is from somewhere. You will meet locals.
Michael: I have been here 15 years. I have only met 2 people born here.
Todd: I have been here 5 years.
HRH: I have been here 2 months. The Boston scene was really great back in the day. I am impressed with your band for re-energizing the local music scene here in Vegas.
Michael: Oddly enough, I thought there was an original scene here for a while, but I haven’t seen it much as of late.
Todd: Vegas is really not sort of structured for original bands. There is only like two clubs to play in this town. Vamp’d is there. Ron Keel does that thing on Monday night. The Dive Bar is here and Double Down. Playing live is a blessing to be able to do it for a living.
HRH: Now Todd, you will be going out on tour with Slash in July. Slash will be doing the European tour. Tell us about that. Are you excited?
Todd: Yes, it is always great to get out and to different parts of the world and see new things. It is getting so familiar to me now. I have been to England several times.
HRH: How is the European music scene? It is different playing in Europe versus the U.S.?
Todd: For me you get there you see when you are playing. It is always good to go out and see music everywhere and take in the whole thing. It is always good to come home too.
HRH: Are you going to be playing The States with Slash too?
Todd: We don’t have any plans for the year. He will be working on the new record.
HRH: Yes, I have heard that Slash will be working on the new record soon.
Todd: I am going out to LA on Monday. We are going to spend a few days putting songs together. Then we go out to Europe. Then we are going to try and start that together. Myles is on the road with his band. So when we get back. We probably won’t record the record till the Winter. Through the fall, we will chip away at it.
HRH: What have you learned as a musician from working with Slash?
Todd: He is a really kind and wonderful guy. He is also into playing guitar and music. All day long he sits there playing the guitar. It is kind of inspiring. It is in his hands all day long. It is his everything.
HRH: How did you get the gig-playing bass with Slash?
Todd: Fitz is the drummer and friend from way back. The guy that they had just wasn’t working out. I didn’t know what to expect. It was super overwhelming. Next I was sucked into this black hole. In a lot of ways, I think he speaks the same language as me. Slash is a musician. I know that most musicians like Michael and I, he sort of resonated a certain frequency. When you find people on the same frequency as you, you kind of like make good music together. There are plenty of musicians that I have played with and I am pretty outgoing. I play with anybody. But there are certain musicians, you have a connection with and that is when it is special. But that is when, you are not working. The people you don’t jive with is kind of work. But luckily in this situation, Michael and I vibe very well. It is funny me and Brent Muscat started it years ago and we had a different drummer briefly and a different bass player. Two different bass players until Michael came along. This is by far the best version. It really kind of became something special. And here we are.
HRH: Any East Coast tours planned for the world to see the band?
Todd: We always threaten to go out of town. But we end up being so busy in Vegas, we can’t go anywhere. It is a good problem to have.
Michael: We used to blame it on Todd. Whenever he gets back we will go on tour! Truth is there is enough work here in town to keep us here. It is hard to get out of town!
HRH: Anything else you want to say to the HRH readers?
Todd: If you are in Vegas look for us. Friday is Sunset Station, Saturday at Santa Fe and starting June 27 every Monday at The Rio.
January 13 – 16, 2011 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.
by Trevor Portz
Every year, thousands of musicians, manufacturers, retailers, and well-connected fans coalesce in Anaheim, Calif., home of Disneyland, to terrify the families that have traveled from across the globe to meet Mickey. While in the area, however, it’s also popular to attend NAMM, one of, if not the largest, gathering of music-industry insiders in the world. While at its heart NAMM is purely a marketing tool, it has also become the place to go to mingle with rock stars, fondle $10,000 guitars, and catch some of the most amazing known and unknown players showing off their skills and wares.
The first reaction for any first-time visitor can be summed up in three words: total sensory overload. Every instrument company, large and small, can be found represented at NAMM. From the over-the-top, sometimes multi-storied booths of Dean, Fender, Paul Reed Smith, and Marshall to the boutique displays for APC Instruments (featuring Denver’s infamous Maris the Great), Lamb Drum Co., and Melodyn (makers of what are surely the finest key-tars on the market), it’s unlikely any musician or musician wannabe will walk out without an urge for bank robbery or lotto luck in order to purchase even one of the many items they’ll lust for in the coming months.
Though guitars, drums, and related equipment seemed to be most predominate, all styles and genres are represented, with large sections devoted to classical instruments, recording gear, and DJ equipment. Band kids reveled at the stick basses and Flying-V-inspired electric violins, and would-be engineers studied studio gear than spanned the most advanced digital to the never-quite-dead analog.
Metal and rock certainly seem to take center stage (no pun intended) despite the all-styles-represented nature of NAMM. Walking away from the show leaves one with the impression that the music industry is largely fueled by the rock side of things, despite what record sales may say. It would seem that even in an industry seemingly dominated by synthetic instruments and synthetic singers, good old-fashioned instruments still have a place to play (or be played).
While signings and meet-and-greets were plentiful and featured many of the most prominent rock and metal royalty, the lines were often painfully long. Luckily for those with a keen eye, most of the high-profile guests could be found wandering the maze-like halls, giving those lacking patience the chance to grab an autograph, photo, or just quick word with their musical heroes. Only the most elite seemed untouchable, with Steve Vai leading the pack of unapproachables (he was surrounded by security and wasn’t allowed to stop moving.) Luckily this was the exception rather than the rule, with the majority of celebs canoodling with anyone willing to call them out.
Spanning four days and what felt like millions of things to see, there’s certainly no way to sum up every detail of NAMM in any reader-friendly format. With that in mind, though, here are some metallic highlights from the show:
• Def Leppard’s Phil Collen demoed Agile Partners’ AmpKit app for iPad, iPod, and iTouch, showing off his still rapid soloing skills, and looking the perfect example of the rocker that does not age. Though the app he was hucking seems fun for the traveling rocker, it doesn’t seem overly useful in the live music world. Phil unfortunately laughed off a request for “Wasted,” but powered through the main riff of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” as it was the Guitar World “Lick of the Day.” He confirmed that a live Def Leppard CD is on its way in May, and will include 3 new tracks, hopefully tiding fans over until next year’s full length.
• The reclusive Vinnie Vincent made an appearance, though not so much physically as in the form of a new line of handcrafted “double v” guitar. While the price tag ($9000-$17,000) may be more than even the most die-hard fans would be able—or even willing—to pay, the quality craftsmanship could not be denied, most notably on the gold-leaf plated version. Fans can only hope that Vinnie himself will resurface at some point in the near future (though even his wife, there to promote the line, seemed unsure if and when this would ever happen).
• Frank Bello revealed that even he’s unsure when the new Anthrax record will be released, but did confirm that vocals are to be recorded in several weeks. This gives hope that Worship Music, on hold for several years, will follow soon thereafter.
Other fun sightings included George Lynch, Evan Stanley (Paul Stanley’s son), Bruce Kulick, Tracii Guns, Gene Hoglan, Tim Yeung, Kerry King, Alex Kane, Buckethead and Bootsy Collins (a perhaps the hardest-to-miss pair), Orianthi, Dave Shankle (the ultimate tour guide), and, of course, the Energizer Bunny (apparently he keeps going, even when nobody cares anymore).
What is somewhat funny about NAMM is that while almost every aspect of music creation is displayed — instruments, recording gear, sheet music, and everything necessary to use and abuse them, there is virtually no music available. Recorded music is practically nonexistent outside of unknowns passing demos to well-known. Perhaps this is good, though, and helped to inspire those in attendance to take what they have learned and acquired and apply it to creating something new rather than simply basking in that which has already been done.
So to sum up, NAMM is basically a musician’s wet dream. While exclusively for those in the industry, anyone with the desire to see what it’s all about should lie, cheat, or blow their way into getting a pass to the 2012 show. If the world is officially ending later in the year, you can bet that NAMM will be well worth the journey.
NAMM Photo Gallery
by Deb Rao
’80s rock band Dokken will release their Greatest Hits 2 album via Cleopatra Records on May 4. Dokken first burst onto the Hollywood scene in the early ’80s with their catchy pop songs featuring the melodic vocals of Don Dokken and guitar virtuoso George Lynch. In 1997, George Lynch left the band and Dokken went though many guitarists including Reb Beach, John Norum, and Alex DeRosso before finally finding the perfect replacement Jon Levin.
The Greatest Hits 2 features a re-mastered version of the Dokken hits that launched the band into the heyday of metal mania. Although Don is singing in a lower key than the early Sunset Strip days, the songs that we grew up with stand the test of time. The Dokken front man has always been a wiz in the studio as this album, as this release is well balanced and illustrates a modern day twist to the ’80′s hits.
Opening track “Just Got Lucky” has the Dokken signature guitar sound as the band slams into their first hit “Breaking The Chains.” In comparison to “Beast From The East Live”, Dokken’s Greatest Hits 2 features a mix that is crisp and clear with no overdubs or singer or guitarist battling over the control levels.
Highlights of the CD include “ The Hunter”, “Alone Again” which features a great guitar intro that is angelic and “Unchain The Night.” One of re-masters that is really impressive is the hit song that was featured in Nightmare On Elm Street entitled, “Dream Warriors.” This version is a total remake of the original version that was heavier. The new version has more of an acoustic feel that gives the song a new ambiance. The only remake that really doesn’t work is “Tooth And Nail.” There is something about the timing that pushes the song into overdrive and the vocals are pushed to hard.
There are two hidden gems for the die-hard Dokken fans which includes the new single, “Almost Over”, and “Magic Man.” The song “Almost Over” picks up where Lightning Strikes Again left off. Don Dokken and Jon Levin are a great writing team and the two new songs leaves you wanting more original music. One thing that is quite noticeable on this album is that Don Dokken sings these Dokken hits with much conviction and passion. Also the cover of the Hollies tune, “Bus Stop” was a fun twist for the band showcasing their diversity.
Overall the true Dokken fans won’t be disappointed with the updated versions of the songs. It would have been exciting if the CD also had a new live DVD to accompany it.
Genre: Hard Rock
Don Dokken – Vocals
Jon Levin – Guitar
Mick Brown – Drums
Sean McNabb – Bass
1. Just Got Lucky
2. Breaking The Chains
3. Into The Fire
4. The Hunter
5. In My Dreams
6. It’s Not Love
7. Alone Again
8. Dream Warriors
9. Unchain The Night
10. Tooth And Nail
11. Almost Over
12. Magic Man
13.Bus Stop (The Hollies Cover)
Label: Cleopatra Records
Hardrock Haven Rating: 7/10
by John Kindred
LYNCH MOB is back with a new studio album entitled Smoke And Mirrors released on September 18th in Europe and October 13th in the USA.
After seventeen long years singer Oni Logan and guitar wizard George Lynch found their way back together and again show their amazing abilities in some killer new Hard Rock songs.” I would say this new record Smoke and Mirrors, is the record we should have put out as a follow up to “Wicked Sensation”…better late then never I guess…”, says Lynch presenting the new record.
Joining the new line-up are bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Scott Coogan (Brides of Destruction, Ace Frehley).
Lynch Mob are ready to embark on a World Tour in the fall 2009 to follow up on the successful performance at the ROCKLAHOMA 2008 and to promote Smoke and Mirrors.
Hardrock Haven took a bit of George Lynch’s time to talk about the new studio record, new bandmates, guitars and possible tour plans. Maybe a co-headline run with a Lynch Mob / Dokken tour? Check out this exclusive audio interview.
(If the embedded player doesn’t populate, click here to stream in a stand alone player.)
by John Kindred
Lynch Mob fans have been waiting for years for the return of Oni Logan and a new full-length album to go along with it. Although a brief reunion in ’98 produced the three-song EP SYZYGY, nothing materialized from those efforts. Various incarnations of Lynch Mob came after, but nothing of real substance developed. Now, 19 years after the release of the first Lynch Mob album Wicked Sensation, fans finally get what they have wanted.
With Oni Logan behind the microphone and Lynch on guitars, the only major change is the rhythm section. Enter new Mob recruits; bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Scot Coogan (Brides of Destruction, Ace Frehley).
Logan’s bluesy, gritty voice unleashes infectious melodies on top of Lynch’s hook-laden guitar riffs. Lynch’s use of legato phrasing and exotic scales are all over Smoke and Mirrors. The groove put down by Mendoza and Coogan give the canvas the foundation for which Logan and Lynch add color and depth to the music. The album is rich with arena-anthem choruses, slithering guitar rhythms and searing solos, melodic bass progressions and tight percussion.
Opening the CD with “21st Century Man,” the band formally declares their return. Built along a traditional Lynch rhythmic progression, Logan promptly enters the foray right where he left off from Wicked Sensation in the ‘90s. The song is ripe with melody and features a catchy vocal hook. Lynch proves that he can lie back within a song and let it breath as the band build it into a melodramatic production. That is evident on the title track “Smoke and Mirrors.” Guitar layers, whether semi-acoustic electric or full-on distorted overtones, play an integral role in making the song move and slither to and fro. “Lucky Man” latches on to another big chorus, melodic solo. It’s definitely an all L & L (Lynch and Logan)-style of song.
The majority of the album combines the same attributes. On “Where Do You Sleep At Night,” Logan’s voice has a different vocal timbre. It’s hard to say what the change is, but he sounds more like Doug Pinnick of King’s X with less grit and more polish. The song has a Hendrix- inspired guitar driven groove. “Madly Backwards” features a cool vocal melody. Here, Logan’s vocals appear to be doubled-track, which puts his voice up front in the mix. He moves from a softer mid-timbre to his edgy, grittier delivery. “Before I Close My Eyes” is the more apparent love song on the album. It’s a song of reminiscing and declaration of love’s binding promises and features a memorable chorus.
Dubbed as a “world-bonus” track, the final song “Mansions in the Sky” closes the album. Again, it has what can be called the L & L signature songwriting style. This, again, is another number that breathes within the verses, with the guitar playing a soft melody and building to a powerful hook-laden chorus.
Smoke and Mirrors purposely was written with the same style and fluidity as Lynch Mob’s debut CD. Obviously, Logan and Lynch have matured and experimented over the years. Each has been involved in various music projects. So fans can expect subtle changes in the musicians’ performances, but, for the most, part Lynch Mob are able to harness the bluesy, hard rock vibe of Wicked Sensation.
Label: Frontiers Records
George Lynch (g)
Oni Logan (v)
Marco Mendoza (b)
Scot Coogan (d)
1. 21st Century Man
2. Smoke and Mirrors
3. Lucky Man
4. My Kind Of Healer
5. Time Keepers
6. Revolution Hero
8. Let The Music Be Your Master
9. The Fascist
10. Where Do You Sleep at Night?
11. Madly Backwards
12. We Will Remain
13. Before I Close My Eyes
14. Mansions In The Sky (Bonus Track)
HRH Rating: 9/10
by Deb Rao
Guitar virtuoso George Lynch has checked in with Hardrock Haven to discuss his new project Souls of We featuring George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) on guitar, London Legrand (Brides of Destruction) on vocals, Johny Crow on bass, and Yael on drums.
Souls of We has released their debut album, Let The Truth be Known on Shrapnel Records. Fueled by the powerful guitar shredding of George Lynch, vocalist London LeGrand weaves his powerful vocals and daunting lyrics around the compelling yet mystical brutal destructive manner. Let The Truth Be Known was mixed by Mudrock and recorded at various studios in Los Angeles.
At a chance meeting on Melrose Ave a few years ago, Lynch and Legrand would soon be destined to combine their rock and roll roots to unveil a unique project that can be described as Black Label meets Buckcherry meets Tool. Samples of Let The Truth Be Known can be heard at on MySpace.
George Lynch unveils Souls Of We, discusses the music industry today, and his legacy with Dokken.
HRH: George, Thank you so much for taking time out to unveil your new project Souls of We. How did Souls Of We come into fruition? How did you end up meeting London Legrand?
LYNCH: Well. London had submitted an audition tape for Lynch Mob back in the early ’90s, when he was just a young whippersnapper coming out of North Carolina on his way to Hollywood. He hitchhiked out to Hollywood and wanted to become a rock star. That is when we ran into each other the first time. The second time around was when he was cutting hair in Hollywood. I was walking down Melrose and looked into the salon and saw this incredible looking guy and I knew he just had to be a musician. So I went up to him and asked him, “Are you a musician?” London said he was a singer. Usually, when guys look like that in Hollywood, they usually don’t have a lot to back it up and not a lot of substance. But I was probably thinking that at the time. I was doing a project called Microdot and I invited him down. It was just kind of on a trial basis. We got together for a few days and he was incredible. It was kind of had a real garage sound meets R and B. That got interrupted because he went to Brides of Destruction for two records. In the meantime, I got the Souls of We; once Brides broke up I called him and brought him in. It was unbelievable.
HRH: How would you describe the sound of Souls of We? It reminds me a lot of Black Label meets Buckcherry meets Tool kind of vibe. Do you agree?
LYNCH: I love it. I have to say that it did succeed in being unique. It doesn’t sound like an older legacy guy trying to adapt to new music. I think it is a strange mix of different influences and the great chemistry between London and myself. It is really hard to categorize. Also, that is a great analogy; in fact I am going to use that one from now on. (Laugher) I keep telling London, he sounds like the guy in Buckcherry. We had an Al Green DVD running the whole time we were doing vocal tracks, and some old gospel bands and R and B. I think you can hear a little bit of that in the songs. We were trying to go for the gospel preacher kind of thing. We took the rapper part and made it more gospel.
HRH: What does the name Souls of We denote to you? Does it have a religious meaning to you?
LYNCH: I think it is a terrible name but it is a great band. I think the Souls thing has been used too often but I don’t think it matters. Souls of We, I am not saying there is any deep meaning of the name. As musicians, we are not tending to be responsible for this creative spark. We don’t want to shove it down people’s throats with this record. We feel that it is something that came through us for a reason. In that sense, it is kind of spiritual. So when you are talking about religious or spiritual things, I feel that about music. I think it is very spiritual. I do agree with that. Because it is mysterious. You don’t really know fundamentally what it is. Souls of We could be kind of a collective audience collective body and the listener, the appreciator, and the great area between the musicians and the listener. It is kind of a statement. Let The Truth be Known, the album title kind of says it all. London and I both have misgivings about the business aspect of what we do. I think we speak to that and particularly on that song.
HRH: Do you see a trend for guitar solos becoming popular once again in the music industry today? Back in the ’80s, music seemed to evolve around the guitar solo.
LYNCH: As in anything in life, the pendulum works both ways. The guitar players never went away. The commercializing of guitar in music did. But the music itself wasn’t really selling very well. Now you see a whole new generation of kids coming up and they are learning from the ’60′s guys and the British Invasion, guys from my era the ’80s and so forth. Kids are experiencing the golden age of guitar. They are learning this stuff at a very young age and becoming familiar with it and taking it to a another level and this is what they are suppose to do. So it is very gratifying. But for myself, when I am embedded in a band record, which I love to do. I love to be in a band of brothers. I don’t really look at these vehicles for solos. The guitar has a certain function, and I try to do my best to do.
HRH: Do you feel that you and London have the same kind of musical style that blends together so well in Souls of We?
LYNCH: Souls of We is a match made in purgatory. The friction that we experience is not like the friction that I have experienced in some of my former bands. Where the guys just don’t like each other. London and I are spooning musically. We fit together like an end to a glove. It is wonderful. It was so fun. We just had so much fun in the studio. Just creating all of that stuff and watching it come together is really the gratifying moment in this kind of work. When you finally see all of this stuff finally start to come together in the studio is just amazing. To think that a year ago, whenever we came out with some little part and what it has taken to get us to this point. When you have a finished end to a product, and all the pieces fit together is like making a movie. It is very gratifying.
HRH: Any touring plans in the works for Souls of We?
LYNCH: When we mixed it with Mudrock, we really wanted it to conjure up the image of the band live. With all the perfection live having the band up there with stands and the live show and vibe and being mean as fuck. This band is meant to be played live. We have done some rehearsals. It still needs to be worked out. It is a difficult concept to get out there live. With Lynch Mob not a problem.
HRH: Could Souls of We open for Lynch Mob? That would be a great tour?
LYNCH: Being a new band is very tough to get out there. But Lynch Mob couldn’t pay us enough money to go out there that is the problem. Dokken would be a big headliner for the three bands. It is politically tricky. What I could do is do Dokken with Lynch Mob special guest featuring Souls Of We. I could just stay onstage and change my outfits. (Laugher)
HRH: George, since you mentioned Dokken, do you think there is any chance of a Dokken re-union in the future?
LYNCH: Well, it is all speculative. I have no information concerning whether it would or would not happen. I know we have tried a few times in the past. We had great offers and opportunities to put the band back together. VH1 came up to us, and wanted us to have our own show, they were going to sponsor the tour. Warner Brother released the old masters and the old catalog. It would have created a wonderful closure for the fans and the band and end on a good note. But for various reasons it never happened. Jeff is out with Foreigner; it would be difficult to juggle the two. Don has his obligations. Mick is out with Ted Nugent. So it is going to be tricky. I don’t know? I am holding out hopes for maybe 2010 or 2011 things could happen. But after that I think it would be sort of too late. It would be see them before they croak tour. I think we would want to be out here while we are still viable and have youthful energy. I think the band could be better than it ever was. I think the egos would be changed. I think all the drugs and all the bad shit has gone away. We are much more focused and mature. I think we would service a tour a lot better than we have in the past. We were inconsistent in the past. At this point, I don’t think we would have that problem. Dokken never really got to be the headliners that that deserved to be and the place that they earned in the rock anarchy. We were just about ready to extend the tour when it got swiped out from under us. We worked a better part of the decade working our way up to get where we thought we needed to be and that is what we were working for. We had that snatched away from us. I hope we can grasp that final pay-off.
Guitarist George Lynch took time out of his busy schedule to break down some of his favorite tracks on Let The Truth Be Known by Souls Of We.
Let The Truth Be Known – That is the show opener, if we do a show? It is meant to be right in your face. Mike Wengren is on drums from Disturbed. It is all tuned down in your face heavy. I think the song speaks to the frustration with the business and industry and how it is changing. How we have high hopes for a democracy in music. It is about how overlooked the writers and the performers really are in machine that is the music industry. The co- modification of the industry really destroys the heart and soul of why and how and what reason it is created. It is very unfortunate. It is like a prisoner where you can’t take away their dignity and their innermost thoughts. There is a lot of angst on this record and I think this songs displays it more than any other song. Nobody I work with on this record are millionaires and living in beach houses in Malibu. We are all still very, very hungry and still have a vision. This record and the performance we are still trying to visualize it is in our heads while we are trying to materialize it.
January – That is actually an older song that I did with lack of a better project title West Hollywood Starfish. It is a song that has been worked from one project to another. It is sort of an addiction song. But done in a much more colorful, poetic way. Even a humorous way. It is playful, but definitely speaks to a darker period in our lives.
Skeleton Key – Skeleton Key is a horror movie on vinyl. We really talk a lot about this song and slashing it out in a video. A horror video director like Rob Zombie could do something with this. If you have a lyric or write about vampires, a frightening thing that we can’t tame. The thing that we don’t know and that is why we fear it so desperately. It is the fear that we carry within ourselves.
Everything I Want – I actually had a hand in the writing in the lyrics on this tune. If I remember correctly, I think the lyrics allude to materialism to a certain extent. People tend to be but shouldn’t be defined by not by who there are contrary to character but what they have. This is how society defines you by what you have.
Sorry To Say – I think that was written mostly by Andrew Friedman, who was the singer I was working with before London. He contributed to some of the lyrics on the record.
Gandhi’s Got A Gun – This is a song that I kicked around for a while. What this song is about is that it is painting a psychotic picture of two conflicting interests of human nature. We are conflicted creatures. It is a constant struggle.
Push It – “Push It” is definitely sexy. It is stripper music. Back in Lynch Mob we used to test our songs at strip clubs. We put out ‘Wicked Sensation’ and if they liked it, then we would put it on the record. We’re a sexy band. It is part of rock and roll. It is unfortunate that we did have to change some of the lyrics on this record to conform to Wal-Mart. That was one of the songs that we really had to scale back a bit.
Psycho Circus – That is a big band kind of vibe. Big band drums, kind of that era and sound in a circus environment. I did find out from our copyright that Kiss had a song with that title, which I didn’t know.
Nork 13 – It is one of the songs that London and I in a band that we had before Brides of Destruction called Microdot. We added a little bit more drums to it, and I added a little bit more guitar work.
Adeline – On this song, I can speak to what we did on the recording process, and it is kind of a Ben Harper kind of song. There is a lot of slide guitar in there. It is kind of has a Lynch Mob sound. Near the end, we did a thing with chains and it has this kind of chain gang vibe. So that was pretty cool.
Under The Dead Tree – Actually, this was a vocal song. Now it is an instrumental. London had written some very dark lyrics to that song and personal stuff. That was a very tough song to get right. We had to re-work that song many times to get it right. I am still not completely happy with it. The vocal version of that song, when I would listen to it would leave me feeling kind of strange.