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 Deb Rao
- Senior Columnist –
As the Olympics have finally come to a close, Dokken is also going for the gold with the much-anticipated release of their 11th studio release Broken Bones. For three decades Dokken has remained a very popular touring act selling over 10 million albums worldwide. One of the most prolific vocalists to emerge out of the ’80s genre Don Dokken takes center stage on their upcoming release unleashing his smooth, powerful vocals throughout the entire album. Broken Bones is a cross between Tooth and Nail meets Dysfunctional. Laden with metallic edge aggression yet never losing the signature melodic overtones that launched Dokken onto the charts in the early ’80s.
Being privileged to hear a rough mix of the upcoming Dokken Broken Bones which is slated for a tentative September release Hardrock Haven fans get a first hand glimpse of the track listing with this first review of the album.
Opening track “Burning Empire” sets the uplifting tone and showcases the bands signature sound with majestic guitar solos and strong vocals with a hint of Scorpions overtones. Next up “For The Last Time” is a strong song with a catchy chorus that will have you singing along. One of the greatest aspects of Broken Bones is every song tells a story and no two-songs sound alike. “Blind” has a bluesy groove that draws you in from the opening chords and one of the strongest tracks on the album. “Waterfall” has a driving bass line reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin.
Several songs stand out on the album, the first would be the title track “Broken Bones.” Dark and embellished with an aggressive vibe that speaks volumes and takes you on a roller coaster ride of spiraling emotions. “Broken Bones” symbolizes the modern day sound of Dokken today. Another stand out track on the album is the melodic hard rock song “Burning Tears” which could easily be the next “Into The Fire.” This song has a haunting melody, inspired lyrics and overall driving groove. “Victim Of The Crime” would make a great TV theme song with its heavy groove appeal and title.
Dokken return to their early pop sound with the catchy “Best Of Me.” One of the heaviest tracks on the album “Tonight” soars with a “Kiss Of Death” ambiance. “Fade Away” embellishes the signature Dokken sound with a catchy chorus. Another favorite tracks on the album.
What would a Dokken album be without a power ballad? It is refreshing to hear the band go from their heavy metallic glory to the angelic remake of Jefferson Airplane song “Today.” Don Dokken shines as he sings with much conviction on this classic hit. Don Dokken has commented that he likes to take obscure songs and make them his own. Job well done.
Don Dokken and Jon Levin co-wrote all of the songs on the album except for “Waterfall,” “Victim Of The Crime” and the Jefferson Airplane song, “Today.” Broken Bones finds the band rising up from the ashes with possibly their best release since Tooth and Nail. It symbolizes Dokken today. Strong and synchronized textured with many layers that range from metallic to melodic. Singer Don Dokken is singing better than ever combined with the razor sharp guitar solos of Jon Levin. Broken Bones unleashes songs that are destined to be new Dokken classic hits that draw you in from start to finish.
Genre: Metal, Hard Rock
Don Dokken – Vocals
Jon Levin – Lead guitar
Sean Mcnabb – Bass
Mick Brown – Drums
l. Burning Empire
2. For The Last Time
5. Broken Bones
6. Burning Tears
7.Victim Of The Crime
9. The Best Of Me
11. Fade Away
12. Can’t Fight This Love (Bonus Track)
Label: Frontiers Records
Hardrock Haven Rating 9/10