Interview: George Lynch Discusses New Lynch Mob EP, 'Sound Mountain Sessions,' T&N and More
Guitarist George Lynch spent the heart of the '80s in one of that decade's most successful hard rock bands, Dokken. When Dokken split at the end of the decade, Lynch formed Lynch Mob, who's storied debut album, 1990's Wicked Sensation, featured one Oni Logan on vocals.
Fast forward more than 20 years to the present, and — following a breakup, reunion and lineup changes — Logan is once again behind the Lynch Mob mic, joined by a noticeably more relaxed and comfortable Lynch on guitar.
Lynch Mob released a new four-song EP, Sound Mountain Sessions, August 7 via Rat Pak Records (Buy on iTunes). This, of course, followed a solo EP by Lynch, Legacy, which came out in May (Buy on iTunes). And let's not forget the upcoming album and tour from T&N, his project with Jeff Pilson and “Wild” Mick Brown.
We recently tracked down Lynch to discuss what has turned out to be a very busy 2012.
GUITAR WORLD: Lynch Mob recently released Sound Mountain Sessions. Can you talk about how that project came together?
We tried to take a chance with this EP and record in a very non-traditional way, away from how we typically record, away from a larger studio in Hollywood. I think we have better results when we just practice. I thought, "Let’s record that way.'" I knew someone who had a studio up in the mountains north of LA called Sound Mountain. Basically it’s a vacant two-story house equipped with a studio. We went in without any preconceived ideas. We just wanted to see what happened.
It was really a beautiful experience as we lived together, and from when we woke up until we went to sleep we were consumed with the music we were creating. We normally go into a rehearsal space and come up with ideas and then go back into a studio and try to recapture it. There is a lot of demo-itis. That’s happened with a lot of records I’ve done, either Back for the Attack or on Under Lock and Key that happened. We’d lost the fire.
That happened on Wicked Sensation, believe it or not. The demos for Wicked Sensation were done at a friend’s place while we were creating it. I remember going into my management office and playing them the record and them asking what happened to that other stuff we had recorded. With Sound Mountain Sessions, we didn’t have time to over think it.
So many classic albums were done in that method where a band submerses themselves in the process. In the Pro Tools era, and with the expense of studios, that can get lost.
The only thing better would have been if we’d recorded to tape. We enjoyed the experience so much that we are going to focus on our full-length record in the same way.
One of the things Oni brings to the band — particularly on this EP — is a great deal of soul in his vocal approach. Was that an intentional direction?
When we did Wicked, we were coming off that whole '80s thing, and we had that embedded in our psyche. We’ve all been expressing our roots a little bit more. Everyone in the band is really into blues, R&B, funk and pretty much everything. We don’t feel we have anything we have to conform to. We just did what we love to do, which is blues-based hard rock. I think we got back around to that on this EP.
I notice on the album you are sort of channeling a Stevie Ray Vaughan image, especially on the back. Was he a player you were particularly into?
I can’t imagine a guitar player on the planet that wasn’t into Stevie Ray Vaughan. Although I’m old enough to know that if Albert King and Jimi Hendrix had a love child, it would be Stevie Ray Vaughan.
You put out an EP just a few months ago called Legacy, where you do the full-on guitar-hero thing. How much fun was that to make — with no pressure?
You said it. To not have the pressures of dealing with the bands, budgets, scheduling, creative differences and to have the ability to go in casually without having to do a record made it a lot of fun. I get to play guitar from the beginning to the end and go balls out. I remember doing the very first Lynch Mob record, which was a very long process that lasted about a year and a half.
I was doing the guitars for about a month with two producers in this big studio and burning up cash. At one point, I was obsessing about a part, and Max Norman, the producer, said to me, “What do you think this is a George Lynch record?” He was being serious. He was right in that I was being too selfish. Legacy was more shoot from the hip.
Is there an update on the T&N project with Jeff Pilson and “Wild” Mick Brown?
Because of scheduling, we moved the record back until the end of October. We’re putting the band together now. We are zeroing in on our fourth member, which will be one of the vocalists and will also play guitar. Lynch Mob tours until the end of October with a few more scattered dates. T&N will then take the road until the middle of December.
Sound Mountain Sessions and Legacy are available now via Ratpak Records as digipaks and on iTunes. T&N are scheduled to release their debut album, Slave To The Empire, October 31. For all things related to George Lynch, check out georgelynch.com. You can pick up Sound Mountain Sessions here.