Rickey Medlocke originally joined with Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the early 70′s before forming the band “Blackfoot”. He re-joined Skynyrd in 1996 and has been rocking out since. He is one of the bands guitarist along with Garry Rossington and Mark Matejka. Rickey took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about the band’s latest album ”Last of a Dyin’ Breed”.
Mike Gencarelli: What was the driving force inspiration behind “Last of a Dyin’ Breed”?
Rickey Medlocke: I feel like we are the last of a dyin’ breed. Along with our band and others like The Stones, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Aerosmith and The Allman Brothers, we all are the last of our kind. Even by the way we recorded this album was a great approach. After it was written, we setup in the studio live and recorded it. Just like the way you hear it is the way it went down. It has really been a great experience.
MG: I’ve been a member of the Skynyrd Nation for 20 years and now I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to you as well; How can you reflect on Skynyrd being so multi-generational and still relevant today?
RM: First of all the bands fan-base is definitely multi-generational. Our fans span three generations and our fans are anywhere from 15 to 70. It is pretty cool when we you get to see fans that love your music and just enjoy listening to the songs. It goes to show what music represents. That is one of the key secrets in making new music to give fans something new to listen to. I guess we could sit back and rely on our classic tracks but if we can put out new music and material, it will keep things from getting stale.
MG: Tell us about the fierce use of guitar on these tracks?
RM: When we started this album, Garry (Rossington), Mark (Matejka) and myself had decided that we were going to try and bring the guitars out more. We wanted to make it more of a guitar based record, since the band is a guitar band. I believe what we have done is created a solid foundation of all three guitars. Each guy has his own place within each song. Everyone stepped up when they needed to take lead. You know what man, I think worked out really great. I for one am very happy with work that I did on it. Anyone always look back at their own work and think maybe I could have done better here or there but I think we nailed it. There are some guys that strive for perfection but hey man it is rock ‘n roll and rock ‘n roll is not perfect. It came out the way it was suppose to and we couldn’t be happier.
MG: You are working again with “God and Guns” producer Bob Marlette, how does the collaboration on this album differ?
RM: We decided way before this record that we were going to go out with Bob again. Bob is a really good director and producer. We are able to go off and do what we do. He is not one of these guys that it has to be his way or no way. With Bob on board, we planned to get into the studio and setup it up old school like. We wanted to record this live as we were performing it. We loved working with Bob and we are all the better for it.
MG: Love your vocal track on “Mississippi Blood”, how did that come about?
RM: Johnny (Van Zant) and I throughout the last several records have tried to do a duet. I like being a part of a song vocally, it is always a lot of fun. With that particular tune, the way it was written it fitted what Johnny and I wanted to go after. I really enjoyed it.
MG: For me it would be “Simple Man” and those opening cords, what is the one track that when it goes on you completely jam into it?
RM: There are a lot of songs in the Lynyrd Skynrd catalog. Right now in the shows, we are doing a melody of songs. We got “Needle and the Song” leading into “Tuesday’s Gone”. I really get off on those and love doing those two together.
MG: With each track omitting gold, which ones do you foresee becoming part of a must play list during touring?
RM: As far as the new stuff, we are doing “One Day at a Time”, “Last of a Dyin’ Breed” and “Good Teacher”. We wrote “One Day at a Time” we Kid Rock’s guitar player and writer Marlon Young. I really like doing “Good Teacher” because it has this Hendrix-style Wah-Wah. I broke out my ole Cry Baby for that tune when we recorded the track. I really enjoyed doing that. I also think that “Homegrown” is a great track to play live also. It has that Drop C that I really like. And of course, I also love “Mississippi Blood”, it has got some really great elements in it. Jerry Douglas played a great lap steel lead in that. This album overall is just loaded with good songs.