ICONIC GUITARIST GEORGE LYNCH DISCUSSES KXM, SWEET & LYNCH AND THE DOKKEN REUNION
Tom Leu of Anti Hero Magazine spoke with guitarist George Lynch. Portions of the interview appear below.
Tom Leu: I’ve been following you for years…including the latest KXM album, Scatterbrain, coming out on March 17th on Rat Pak Records. George, to me, this album is darker, and heavier, and I’m going to say as well, hookier, than the first KXM album. I think that’s a pretty difficult thing to pull off. It’s definitely a more diverse record. I know you guys [dUg Pinnick, bass guitar & vocals and Ray Luzier, drums] don’t go in with any pre-production, or a bunch of songs already written. You go in, and you let it happen organically. Was this evolution of the band expected? Did you want it to happen that way, or is that just kind of the way it went?
George Lynch: We did have a conversation after the first record, and talking about how we’re going to go forward, and about how we were going to do that. I think we were thinking we might want to play it a little safer the next time and go in and do a traditional record, with pre-production and a producer, and put some more thought and time into it just to be safe. Of course, in the end, we didn’t do that, and I’m glad, I know we’re all glad that we didn’t do that. Ray [Luzier] is usually the voice of reason; pretty clear headed, and he pretty much just decided, “Listen, this is what we are, and we got to have faith in what we do, and each other. It’ll be fine.” And he was right.
Tom Leu: I know touring is always a challenge when you have guys in other busy bands like KoRn and King’s X. I believe I read Ray suggested the possibility of you guys getting a different drummer, so KXM could go out and tour, and that kind of got icksnayed, is that correct?
George Lynch: Perfectly stated, yes. That was actually a recent development. It’s something that had been thought of before, and it’s usually Ray bringing it up, because I think he feels bad, which he shouldn’t, because we should actually look at this like we should be thankful that we have the opportunity to do two records together, if nothing else. We would tour if the record gets to the point, or succeeds to the point where it’ll force us to tour.
Tom Leu: …I know you have another project with Michael Sweet [from Stryper], called Sweet & Lynch, and are currently working on a second album to be coming out later this year. Certainly, you two guys don’t share entirely the same world-view on a lot of different aspects, spiritual and otherwise. Is that a similar phenomenon there when you’re working with someone like him, and perhaps don’t see eye-to-eye philosophically on things, but yet creating music together?
George Lynch: Well, I vacillate between different points of view on that subject. To me music is potentially, a very powerful force, inarguably. I grew up in an era where it changed the world in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I think creative people have a responsibility to do that, to use their art for good. On the other hand, sometimes it’s just work. And on a third level, sometimes it is just what it is and I appreciate it for what it is. Using Sweet & Lynch as an example, there could potentially be a conflict there between Michael and I, and we’ve talked about that. I’m sort of a freethinking atheist, and he’s a born-again Christian. I’ve been through that in my life; I was a born-again Christian at one point. I was the guy knocking on your door handing out tracks. I played in a Pentecostal charismatic band that did revivals… tent revivals in black neighborhoods in South Central L.A., yeah, all kinds of stuff. I definitely have something to say about all that, but I don’t know how effective I am at it. I’m not Rage Against the Machine, I wish I was.
Tom Leu: Were you surprised at how well the Dokken reunion went last year? Or did you expect it to go smoothly?
George Lynch: Well, it wasn’t… I wouldn’t call it smooth, that wasn’t the right word. It was a lot of work, we were kind of just thrown into the maelstrom. We didn’t really prepare like we should’ve. It was kind of put together a little strange. I think we would all agree to that. We were all starting to talk about that recently about how we were just kind of, kind of did it backwards. But despite all that, when we were up there playing, for the most part, it was the same band that we were 30 years ago, same personalities. I mean, you saw us all looking at each other, and we’re in a room, a dressing room, we’re hanging out whatever at the hotel and it’s funny how nothing had changed. We’re all just the same distinct, funny personalities. And, both on and off stage, it was great. Ideally, it would be nice to rehearse it a little more if we do it again, get a little tighter, and try to figure it out, but it was cool for what it was.
Tom Leu: The jury’s still out on whether there will be any more of that then, is that correct at this point?
George Lynch: Yeah, I think there will be something else out. It’s just, we’re letting it lie for right now, we’re working on the DVD and the live album. We wrote a new song and remakes of some older songs. There’s talk of some stuff. Not a lot of stuff, but of some stuff here and there, one-offs, early next year.
Tom Leu: Okay, last question for you George… What’s a question that maybe you never get asked in interviews, but wished you did?
George Lynch: I’m going to be quite candid with you, this has been an interesting interview because you did ask all those questions about how music relates to the larger world of ideas, and politics, and historically as an art form. How it’s important in the context of humanity versus just listening for the appreciation of the art itself, which is super valid and important and wonderful. But you never get asked that, and I get frustrated with that sometimes, and not to… I don’t want to bag on anybody here, but there was a show on TV for a while that was a rock TV show, which is something kind of cool that would be nice to have. But in that show they never did that, what you just did. They never talked about anything that was important. Really frustrated me, and I thought: “You’re kind of missing the whole point.” There’s an opportunity to edify our audience, and get our audience involved in something larger, and in a way, guide them to be better people, and more involved you know… right?
Read more at Anti Hero Magazine.