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A Final Lynching: An Exclusive Interview With Guitarist GEORGE LYNCH

By Ruben Mosqueda, We Go To 11
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

"I wrote it, why can’t I have fun with it? I don't know what the big deal is? I think we have other fish to fry right now, other than George Lynch doing a ‘reimagined’ version of Wicked Sensation."

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Live Photo By Jeff Arnhart

“This will be the last thing that I will release under the LYNCH MOB name. I’m done with it and I’m moving on from it. I don’t know what I will call what I do from here forward, but it won’t be LYNCH MOB. We’re retiring the name and retiring the project. When the pandemic hit, we canceled shows and looks like we won’t be doing anything until sometime in 2021. Also in case you’re wondering, I won’t be calling it something like The GEORGE LYNCH EXPERIENCE or something like that. It will be something that encompasses my entire career and stuff that I have done over the years”, states Lynch on the phone with KNAC.COM on August 21st, 2020. Lynch was doing press for his latest effort on Rat Pak Records, a ‘reimagining’ of LYNCH MOB’s classic 1990 debut album Wicked Sensation, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year. Lynch decided to recut and ‘reimagine’ the album and release it to celebrate the album. These type of things are frowned upon by the fans who have grown to love the classic renditions. Truth be told, Lynch has tried his hand at recutting new renditions of classic LYNCH MOB and DOKKEN classics with ROBERT MASON and they weren’t frankly that good. This time around the result is much better, he’s given some of the songs a slightly different arrangement, he’s switched out the tempo on some, but the foundations of the songs remain, the main riffs and melody and hook. It’s an interesting new look at the classic material with a fresh coat of paint. Wicked Sensation Reimagined 30th Anniversary Edition was released on August 28th, 2020. Joining MR. SCARY are frontman ONI LOGAN, bassist ROBBIE CRANE and drummer BRIAN TICHY.

KNAC.COM: What inspired Wicked Sensation Reimagined? I know you and the band were performing the album top to bottom live. You could have easily done a live recording of the album.

LYNCH: Right, I didn’t see treading over old ground serving any purpose, I just couldn’t get excited about that prospect. Doing something that was more ‘creative’ sounded more interesting and fun, which is why we did it the way that we did it. We wanted to make everything a little more interesting. We didn't do that with every song, I’d say that roughly half of the songs are significantly different. I’d say that the other half are pretty close to what you have been accustomed to, same tempo, same key and the same approach, we have just brought them up to today's technology and given them a fresh, new perspective. And they’re very ‘stripped down’, I have to point that out.

KNAC.COM: How challenging was it to take songs that you’ve performed for the past 30 years and give them a fresh coat of paint like that?

LYNCH: No, no, it actually takes more effort to perform things the same way for the past years as opposed to just having fun with it. Songs are just a product of a moment in time, to pretend that time doesn’t continue to march on and to try to recreate that moment over and over again...it seems counterintuitive. To do something that is more reactive like we did on this album is much more natural for me.

KNAC.COM: Think down the road and who knows how long that will be, do you plan on injecting some of these new renditions into the set list?

LYNCH: Well, like you alluded to, there’s a lot more building blocks that need to be added to the equation to have the luxury to consider that. Assuming all of those things happen and we have some resemblance of normalcy, then I’d consider it. Having said that, I have no idea what the answer to your question would be. I would guess that we’d get together, we’d talk about it, we’d probably try it with a couple of songs, we’d do “Hell Child” with the more punk, manic intensity and we’d see how people dig that. If they dig it, we keep doing it, if they don’t then we’ll go back to the old version. It’s almost like when they do these ‘test groups’ for movies to see what people think. That’s kind of what we’d be doing in a way. I like to remain flexible. We played some shows that were controversial, we did five shows back to back, we try to make every show different night to night. There are some songs that are found in the set from night to night, but overall, I’m a huge fan of keeping things interesting.

KNAC.COM: You took a big risk tackling this classic album, no?

LYNCH: I’d say so. It was also a bit of work, but it was fun work, from a creative standpoint, it was very gratifying. We talked things through collectively as a band and we worked through some arraignment ideas and approaches. We did that with half the songs and the other half we ‘freshened’ up some and stripped them down. Then BRIAN [TICHY] and I talked about potential tempos and grooves and we brought that to the band. I think there were a lot of people screaming “Don’t touch Wicked Sensation”, don’t do it!” [laughs] It’s just so strange to me that people think that way. We’re not ‘replacing’ anything, the other version is still available. I wrote it, why can’t I have fun with it? I don't know what the big deal is? Dude, I think we have other fish to fry right now, other than George Lynch doing a ‘reimagined’ version of Wicked Sensation. Fuck!!! [laughs] I think people might be channeling their angst and frustration from areas of their lives and bringing it to something like this record. It’s so silly, I can’t even believe it. [laughs]

KNAC.COM: Talk a little bit about your relationship with Rat Pak Records. You’ve worked with them on quite a few things over the years. They’ll also be releasing the new record next Friday, August 28th.

LYNCH: Rat Pak is unique in that, they are the other side of the coin, as creative people. Rat Pak are a very artist friendly label and organization. They work very closely with the artists, that would be the president of the label and I work hand in hand. We work together from the beginning through the end of the process, we talk all of the time, if there’s something that I don’t understand he will then explain it to me. It’s just so transparent. It’s not like the ‘old’ world, where you hand the album off and you never hear from anyone and you’re wrapped up in so much legal paperwork that you don’t know which way is up! [laughs] There were so many curtains in the ‘old’ world that you didn’t know what was happening where, but it’s not that way with Rat Pak. I love that, it’s simple. If we have a problem we work it out and we resolve it. We’ve been down a lot of roads and have put out a lot of records, there’s been a lot of music and we’ve made a lot of people happy. They make our business dealings pleasant and painless.

KNAC.COM: Was it surprising to you that KXM was as well received as it was? You put out one record and there was demand for another and another and you’ve yet to perform live.

LYNCH: And we probably won’t. [laughs] Yeah, I think that surprised me a little bit, I say that because I do a lot of ‘projects’. They are all fun to me. Some are more unique than others, they give me an opportunity to make some money and expand my craft by going into another direction that I’m not used to going. I get challenged, I get to work with people who I wouldn’t otherwise work with, I become friends with them and build some great relationships. KXM is a standout and sort of an anomaly amongst projects, for me, because it’s such a unique process, as you know. We get together for two weeks, we fly in, catch up, hugs and kisses and then we roll up our sleeves and get right to work. We record a song per day, no pre-writes, no pre-production, that’s really rewarding. We’re going into the trenches together for 14 days and we come back with this thing that we created. The songs have their flaws, they aren’t ‘perfect’ but it works, I love the imperfection of it. I love the experience of doing a KXM record. Speaking of KXM, we're in the talking stages of working on our fourth record, so we’ll be getting together at some point later in the year.

KNAC.COM: Another well received project was T&N which has a DOKKEN connection. The album was part DOKKEN material and part new material with guests. Any thoughts on doing the second album like you guys envisioned?

LYNCH: Well, T&N evolved into THE END MACHINE. We are working on the second THE END MACHINE record. JEFF [PILSON] and I just finished writing the songs for the record, ROBERT [MASON] will be working on vocals, melodies and lyrics. We’re bringing in ‘MILD’ STEVE BROWN [laughs] who is the brother of ‘WILD’ MICK BROWN, who as you know is retired. Steve is wonderful, he's younger and he has that same ‘Wild’ Mick personality and he plays in the same style! He plays just like his brother! [laughs] It’s amazing! On the new THE END MACHINE album we went more DOKKENcentric, which is what the label requested. The label is Frontiers [Records], and they wanted something that was a little bit more geared towards the DOKKEN sound. When you hear it I think you’ll agree that we were very successful in achieving that.

KNAC.COM: Your Sacred Groove album is one of my favorite things that you have done. How did you connect with GLENN HUGHES and MANDY LION and get them to be part of the album?

LYNCH: I heard about Mandy through the grapevine about this guy that had this kind of 'different' kind of lifestyle. He was this guy that had this almost ‘demon’ persona. I checked him out and thought I should have him sing on “The Beast”. He was a great fit for the album, just watching him track was just so fascinating. When I saw him perform he had this persona, with the leather, the hat and the dark hair. He had these two women in chains and in cages and that was in the studio!!! [laughs] It was just unbelievable! What an experience. GLENN HUGHES of course is one of the best in the business. He’s so soulful, an excellent performer, a great bass player and I think he’s like the white STEVIE WONDER. He’s that talent. I’m a huge fan, I grew up listening to R&B and soul, I’m a student of all of that. Of course I was also a fan of Glenn's work with DEEP PURPLE, so when I asked him if he’d like to sing on “Call Of The Brave”, I was honored.

KNAC.COM: In talking with people that have worked with Glenn they all seem to have the same experience in that he did it on one take.

LYNCH: He wasn’t messing around when he went into the studio. We worked relatively quickly, I think it could have been more or less one take. He also came back and worked with us on the second LYNCH MOB record, he didn’t do a whole lot but he was hanging out with us and laid down some backing vocals. We had him sing lead vocals on one of the songs just for prosperity. We had him sing “Tangled In The Web”. It was one of those ‘goose bump’ moments. I remember we all looked at each other and we were amazed. I wish I had access to that song, the producer [KEITH OLSEN] said that he erased it. The producer has since passed but I’d like to go back and look to see if that was actually the case. If that still exists, I’d like to have it. That’s a pretty important moment to have, not to commercialize it, but just to know it’s there.

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