I recently had the opportunity to interview legendary rock guitarist George Lynch, George has just put together a new band ‘Souls Of We’ so I had a listen and fired over some questions. Thank you once again to George Lynch for taking the time to answer them.
Guitar Noize: I noticed on your site that Lynch Mob are booked up until the end of August, does the Souls of We album mark an end to Lynch Mob?
George Lynch: Actually, Lynch Mob never died, just went through many transformations and now we’ve ended up back where we started Oni and i are working with Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Cranberries) and Scott Coogan (Violets Demise and Ace Freeheley). Were doing a few festivals in the states and some assorted gigs and writting for the new record that we hope to have out late next spring.
GN: How do you feel you “Souls of We” differs to the Lynch Mob?
GL: Completely differant animal. Oni is a hard rock/blues singer with a trippy psychidelic side to him…very retro. He’s really genuinly into the 70’s music culture which i love as well. London is a crazy hollywood poet freak… but the sweetest guy in the world. Lynch Mob music is organic and blues based, Souls is indescribable.
GN: How did Souls Of We come about, were you looking to start a new project for a while?
GL: I spent about 3 1/2 years writing and putting together various projects that never got off the ground, i built studios, found mucisians, engineers, created bodys of work and kept moving on till it clicked. London and i were working together on a project called =microdot when he got the call to join with Nikki Sixx and Brides of Destruction, when that dissolved we got back together and finished what we had started. I always believed in London as a person and a talent, he is a fucking star if there ever was one.
GL: The ‘Let the Truth Be Known’ Album has classic George Lynch rock songs like ‘Ghandi’s Got A Gun’ and ‘Everything I Want’ but also has a dark side with tracks ‘Skeleton Key’ and ‘Crawling’ who do you think this album will appeal to most?
GL: There are some indications that the Souls record will do very well in japan due to the bands look/image and London and my history and previous exposure in japan. The music has tested very well over there as well, we’re going there in october.
GN: It sounds like you used some drop tunings on a few tracks such as ‘Sorry To Say’?
GL: Most of the record is dropped, much of it to B, some C#, a little half step down. I dont think anything is in A440! nork 13 might even be A#! I get impatient when I record and I get lazy and dont use a tuner a lot of the time…which makes our lives miserable afterwords when im forced to calibrate the tuner to the track and retune every guitar to an out of tune track…yuk.
GN: Was that an AdrenaLinn effect on the intro to ‘Ghandi’s Got A Gun’ and throughout ‘Under The Dead Tree’?
GL: The ‘Ghandi…’ effect was a seekwha and probably a fast chorus, ‘Under The Dead Tree’ has a machine gun effect that I accomplish by running the track through a gate that’s timed to open and close according to the BPM of the track. You can also accomoplish this in Protools by isolating a piece of the waveform, cutting it up and duplicating it across the track where you want it.
GN: ‘Under The Dead Tree’ will go down well with shred lovers, some great melodic playing, whammy pedal effects (or was it just an octave pedal) and your effortless speed picking. Did you want to show everyone that you still have the chops?
GL: The first quarter of that song has some atrocious soloing, the main solo i like…i should have gone back and done that again. A lot of times when im soloing, I’ll defer to the engineer or whoevers in the room while I’m laying it down, if everyones digging it i usually let it go and then live to regret it I really wish i had insisted on re-doing that bitch.
George is a perfectionist, there is no way I would ever be able to play like that!
GN: I started playing in the late 80’s when shredding was at its peak and guitar solos were almost mandatory, do you think young guitarists have the same passion for technical ability these days?
GL: More so…depending on where you hangout of course! hah, there’s definitely very deep pockets of serious virtousity out there, doesnt do a thing for me. It doesnt get me off like it used to unless of course its me playing it!! (hah!) just kidding.
GN: I read that Souls Of We is a dream band for you because you got to pick and choose players, how long did it to find the right people?
GL: 5 fucking years and who wants to bet that i aint done looking? seriously, its very difficult to find and keep a band together out of love /passion and commitment these days…its all about the cheese.
GN: Will you be touring with this band soon?
GL: Going to japan in October, considering a black label/7 dust tour next march.
GN: How long have you been with ESP now?
GL: 23 years i think…longer than i care to remeber (ha!) no, but im very proud of my asociation with ESP and the things we’ve accomplished, they actually named their company after an aspect of my anatomy…”extra special phallus”!(hah!)
GN: How did the Super V SE come about, it seems quite a departure in style for you?
GL: I wanted to build something very warm and woody sounding. My first real guitar was 1960 Les Paul Special, all mohogany, Translucent Cherry Red finish, wide flat neck, stud tailpiece. That’s essentially what the Super V is only it looks cooler. I redesigned the body slightly for the second year.
GN: Did you use this new guitar on your new record?
GL: I used it for 2 solos and some bit parts… the Esp model (vs. ltd model) sounds rediculous.
GN: What guitars and amps did you use to record this album?
GL: Randall Lynch Box, 68 Marshall Plexi, old Hiwatt cab and Lynch Box cabs, Eminance Super V speakers. Rhythms done mostly with Ltd Baritone Viper, solos were Tiger, Super V, GL 56 among others… I used my 59 Fender Esquire on a few things as well… ESP 12 string…all kinds of different guitars which I can’t remember right off the bat.
GN: Is it true you produced this album yourself?
GL: I did… although I sought opinions and advice from just about every musician and engineer I worked with on this record.
GN: You have quite a discography under your belt with 6 solo albums, 5 Lynch Mob studio albums, 7 Dokken studio albums (apologies if I have miscounted), you must be pretty proud of yourself?
GL: No… whats to be proud of? Not to disrespect the question but I dont think making records affords me pride. My heroes are the unsung people around the globe who ask for nothing, slave for their families until they die and are forgotten… relative to thier existance I’m like Paris Hilton without the money or looks.
GN: I recently came across this limited edition Rock Iconz figure of you and wondered how you had seen it? (http://www.knucklebonz.com/georgelynch.htm)
GL: Of course… my home is filled with them. We actually have an alter built in the entranceway of the castle, its sort of like a temple… you take off your shoes, throw some money in a jar and spend a few moments of silence in repose… the kids hate it.
GN: I noticed the Skulls & Snakes guitar on the cover of “Wicked Sensation” is now available as one of your ESP signature models, but no Skull and Crossbones guitar?!
GL: We’re not able to build that one anymore. My friend John Frog made a questionable judgement call and sold the rights to the design for eternity to some scum bag in vegas who in turn sued ESP and myself…some friend.
GN: I loved that guitar when I was a teenager back in the 80’s, do you still have it?
GL: I do… I’m looking at it right now.
GN: I hear you’ve been working with Prashant Aswani on a couple of DVD’s, Wicked Riffs and Scary Licks when will these be released?
GL: Yes, Prashant and I flew to Milwaukee for a week and banged out these 2 videos for Hal Leonard. Prashants a great player, very inspirational, awsome hands and phrasing. He likes my playing too for some strange reason…anyway, our trip was very very eventful to say the least (hah!). But we got it done, Hal Leonard was very happy and the first rythm related DVD “wicked riffs” should be coming out this later summer.
GN: Did Prashant produce them? If so, he’s a talented man!
GL: Prashant was indispensable during the process of filming and recording the DVD. There were teleprompters that needed to be scripted, tab to be writen, time code, protools, tone questing… Plus we worked at night in the hotel scripting the following days work…he has a tremendous work ethic which i admire.
GN: Do you enjoy recording Instructional Videos?
GL: I used to watch em and Ii should start again, great way to learn just buy being exposed to different styles finding new ways to deal with old problems.
GN: Having played guitar for 20 years it is a real honour to be able to interview one of the biggest names in rock guitar history. Hopefully you will return to Australia either with the ‘Souls of We’ or for some guitar clinics soon!
GL: Hook that up and give me a call! hah! Thank you.