Dokken’s George Lynch talks about new album with T&N called “Slave to the Empire”

George LynchGuitar legend George Lynch is probably best known for his work with the popular eighties hard rock band Dokken. After the break-up of the band in 1989 George continued to be successful with his group’s Lynch Mob, Souls of We and T&N which along with George also features former Dokken members Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown. T&N has just released a new album titled “Slave to the Empire” and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with George about the release as well as some of his new signature guitar products.

Adam Lawton: What led to the decision of revisiting the T&N project and to also recording a new album?
George Lynch: The idea of me, Jeff, Mick and maybe even Don Dokken playing together again has always been there. The thing is with everyone being in different bands these days and being busy it’s kind of hard to all get together.  You almost have to have a reason or an avenue to make that happen. We had been trying to put the Dokken thing back together for a few years and it never really happened. Eventually Mick, Jeff and I decided to do this without Don. We did ask him to join us however he declined. When you play with the same group of guys for a number of decades those experiences never go away as its part of your life.

AL: Where there at any time reservations about the project and getting back together?
GL: No. Mick has really been coming back in a big way over the last few years. He has gone out on a couple Lynch Mob tours, he played on this album of course and he will most likely end up being the drummer when we take T&N on the road. Jeff and I have been constantly trying to find ways to work together. We live down the street from one another and really our relationship has never changed. We still inter-act the same as we did in the early Dokken days. We might be 30 years older but when we are sitting in a room playing music together it’s like that time never went by.

AL: What was it like writing new material together and also revisiting the old material?
GL: Those were two completely different animals. Re-doing the old stuff was relatively easy. It didn’t require a lot of brain power as we know the songs really well. That allowed us to have fun with them and change/add in some new parts. With the new material it was more as if we were in a laboratory. A little more thinking was required. Thinking is work for me these days. (Laughs) We did a lot of the writing by the seat of our pants. That’s what’s wonderful about writing with Jeff. I love the trust we have and we slavetoempirehave a certain style of writing. There has never been an issue with Jeff and me productivity wise. There is sometimes an issue though when it comes to picking a direction. We may write a trippy acid song one time and a blues song the next. We have to sort of bring ourselves in when it comes to that type of thing.

AL: Has there been any discussion about touring in support of the release?
GL: We intended to go out last year during the fall. We had a really great slot at the Loud Park Festival and there were a few European shows and a few shows in the states booked however due to a number of business reasons things didn’t pan out. Things for this coming year are looking really good and our intention is to get out there.

AL: Being a huge horror fan I have to ask how Dokken got involved with the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise?
GL: We had a wonderful manager at the time by the name of Cliff Bernstein. At the time he was probably one of the biggest rock managers and still actually could be one of the biggest today. If I had to credit one person with the success of Dokken I would have to credit him. He brought that opportunity to us. Being involved with that film really propelled the band in to a lot of people’s consciousness. Jeff and I wrote “Dream Warriors” when we were living together in Arizona. For us it was a huge deal even though we didn’t really make any money at it. (Laughs) We were persuaded by our managers to take a buy out on the song. We received a small piece for the song and that was it. It worked for us though.

AL: Were you guy’s fans of the previous films?
GL: I personally was. When the first one came out I thought it was pretty mind blowing. I was in to horror films growing up and I like a lot of the classics. Prior to the movie though I had sort of evolved out of liking the genre but when we did the song for the film it renewed my interest in horror films.

AL: Do you have any new signature guitar gear coming out this year?
GL: I have two things that I can think of off of the top of my head. The first one is a pedal I have been working on with the Cusack Company. The idea is for the pedal to combine everything I think is crucial in a pedal board in to one unit. Over the years I have found running a number of pedals can cause impedance issues. This pedal is being designed so that everything matches up perfectly and all your signals are balanced. The other thing I have been working on is a signature acoustic guitar through ESP. They have come out extremely well and even better than I expected. We worked

George Lynch1

hard on the project to make a guitar that sounded good and was affordable. Everything on these guitars looks and sounds great!

AL: Do you have any other projects in the works that you would like to mention?
GL: I have a project that we just decided on a name for the other day. It’s titled KXM. The letters stand for Korn, Kings X and Lynch Mob. The lineup is Ray Luzier of Korn, Doug Pinnick of Kings X and me so that’s where the KXM comes from. We went in to the studio not knowing what we would sound like. Things could have gone a number of different ways but what it ended up being is a very dark sounding record with some funk elements. We actually just finished it up. I don’t think there is anything unexpected on the record but it is dark. We have some interesting ideas of how we are going to be releasing the material so people will want to be watching for that. I also have something that is still in the project stage called The Infidels. It features the rhythm section of the band WAR. We are doing some very ass shaking, groove type material that is just instrumental at this time as we are still deciding what we want to do with everything. Lastly is a documentary film titled “ShadowTrain”. On the surface the film appears to be about music and Native Americans but it is really an exploration of human nature. The film is philosophical, historical, musical and spiritual. This is something I have never done before but thankfully I have people working with me on this that know what they are doing. There is also a band involved with this as well that recorded a record. The record is the soundtrack to the film and is mostly improvisational. What we did was to go around to Native American reservations and play music that was completely improvisational. We had no idea what we were going to do. We just would start with a beat or a riff and see where it would take us. People interested in finding out more about the film can visit the official website at www.shadowtrainmovie.com 



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