GUITARIST GEORGE LYNCH ON A DOKKEN REUNION, “THAT IS ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW…, BUT OF COURSE THAT COMES AND GOES EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS”
Glide: What song in your career would you say was the most difficult to transfer to the live stage from the recording?
Lynch: Probably Mr. Scary because it has so many guitars on it. What I’ve done in more recent years is sometimes I’ll have a guitar tech that is actually a guitar player play the rhythm part offstage, play one of the rhythm parts, and it really makes a huge difference. And if I don’t have that I’ll run a tape of just me playing the rhythm guitar so that I can play all the lead stuff on top of it and it sounds like the record. Cause really, if I just play the lead parts and there’s no rhythm parts happening live, it doesn’t sound very good (laughs). And I can’t do both at the same time, it’s physically impossible.
Glide: I asked this question of Jeff Pilson (former Dokken bassist, vocalist) a few years ago so I want to ask it to you as well: You two have been friends a very long time. What have you learned from him as a musician and what do you think you’ve rubbed off on him?
Lynch: I think we work together well because we’re different animals in our approach. We approach music from two polar opposite places. Jeff is very learned and knows music theory and understands music theory and is a multi-instrumentalist. He’s a, what do you call it, a jack-of-all-trades and a master of all trades. And I’m more of just a one trick pony. I mean, I do what I do and it’s just spontaneous and improvisational, kind of from the heart and the head all at the same time. And I think that makes for an interesting mix. He’s able to take things maybe I’ll start out with and go, “Oh man, that’s bad ass, that’s a great riff.” And he’s able to take it and polish it and add to it and make it right. Then he also challenges me to think outside my normal box where I have to kind of think a little bit harder about putting things together intelligently, because he’s putting together things right. He has a musical mind as far as arranging instrumentation and theory. So it forces me to try and raise the bar and come up to his level. At the same time, I think he appreciates the spontaneity of what I do. And it makes for a good creative pairing. We have wonderful chemistry.
Glide: This is what he told me about you. He said, “He made me really want to pursue an honest course in music. He’s very true to his soul when he writes and works.”
Lynch: You know, we have a bromance thing and we both love each other a lot and been through a lot together. We love getting together and hanging and working on music because it’s the process, really. We’ll put out a record and maybe achieve some commercial success, maybe not, but it’s really the process that we love so much, the creative process that we’ve been doing since the eighties. It’s just cathartic and beautiful and we create this beautiful music together that comes out of nothing and it’s great and very rewarding. We live down the street from each other but we’re both incredibly busy so it’s hard to find the time but every year or every two years we try to make time to do some sort of project together. And the project that is on the table right now is possibly a Dokken reunion, but of course that comes and goes every couple of years (laughs) so who knows. But we’re talking again about that but if that doesn’t happen we may do another T&N-style record but with Michael Sweet.
Glide: Who was the first real rock star you ever met?
Lynch: If I’m remembering correctly, it was Ritchie Blackmore. Me and my friends, I think we had taken a bus up to Hollywood or something. It’s been a long, long time ago but somewhere in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard or something. He was with some friends, obviously older guys and stuff, and we were just like younger and we were all scared and wanted to introduce ourselves and I pulled the short straw. So I was the one that had to go up and say hi and I was really nervous. And it didn’t go so well. They kind of laughed me away and it was kind of hurtful so I went back and told my friends what happened and I felt dejected. But then Ritchie came over. He felt bad and he came over and sat down with us and started talking to us. Pretty cool.
Glide: How has your relationship with the guitar changed over the years?
Lynch: I think my number one problem with guitar playing is that it’s a discipline that I have not been responsible enough in pursuing the academic part of it. In other words, you know, the discipline of practicing every day and practicing in a methodical way; the hard nuts and bolts of becoming a better technician. It’s very easy to rely on the fact that, oh, I have a sound and a style and kind of do my thing. It’s pretty easy to rely on that and get lazy. And I tend to do that and I’ve got to stop doing that. It’s not just the matter of having a guitar in your hands for a lot of hours a day, it’s a matter of actually applying yourself constructively to get better, to learn more, and I feel guilty about that, that I don’t do a better job at that.
Read more at Glide Magazine.
Lynch Mob’s latest album, Rebel, was released on August 21st through Frontiers Music SRL. To listen to songs from the album, click on the highlighted song titles.