Interview: George Lynch

Jason Bullinger for Alternative Revolt

George Lynch may be one of the most recognizable guitarists in the world. He is one of the hardest working musicians having a successful career for more that forty years. His project KXM was formed in 2013 with Dug Pinnick (Kings-X) and Ray Luzier (Korn).  After the success of their 2014 self-titled debut and 2017’s ‘Scatterbrain’, KXM will be releasing their third album ‘Circle Of Dolls’ on September 13. George was very kind and talked with us about the new KXM album and Lynch Mob.

Alt Revolt: Are you adding more Lynch Mob dates for the fall?

George Lynch: We have added a few but not any more at the moment. We may be doing a ground run or two later in the year.

Alt Revolt: Do you still have Andrew Freeman on vocals for these upcoming dates?

George Lynch: I do not think so. This a reality of Lynch Mob. It has become a revolving door. I have learned to accept it. There is not much I can do about it. I look at it as a positive thing. I get to play with different people. I get different chemistry every tour. From the audience’s perspective, you will not know who you are going to get. Jimmy D’Anda and Sean McNabb are the constant on rhythm section. Occasionally we will have Matt Starr or Scott Coogan on drums. Vocally we have a pool of singers we can pull from. Andrew is going back out with Last In Line this fall. We had a great time with him. That is probably it for the year with Andrew. We will be using a collection of different singers but I don’t want to say at this point because we have not committed to anyone yet.

Alt Revolt: Is your setlist with Lynch Mob still consisting of older material mixed in with some Dokken songs?

George Lynch: Yes. But we are changing that up too. There is another tour we are looking at with another band. If that comes together, we are really going to change it up. We are going to play stuff we haven’t played in decades. We are going to add different Lynch Mob and Dokken songs. We just did a week in Sturgis. We did six shows in a row. We really mixed it up. We did a lot of cover stuff off the cuff. It was a lot of fun. We do it our own way. It was improvised but a lot of fun for us and the audience. Hopefully when fans come out and see us, it will be a different show than the last time.

Alt Revolt: Congrats on another fantastic KXM album!

George Lynch: Thank you!

Alt Revolt: What is the meaning of the title ‘Circle Of Dolls’?

George Lynch: The name came from an experience I had. My wife and I and brother in-law have a 501(c) organization called Greetings With Gratitude. It benefits the homeless in Southern California. We have a truck and take donations and distribute them. We were down there one Christmas. I was walking the streets stopping into the churches and missions. It was so colorful. I was talking to people, reading the walls, and reading what’s on people’s faces. It was a fascinating experience studying human nature. The homeless people and their kids were in camps and tents. The area was filled with violence and needles. There are a lot of people with mental problems.

There was this younger guy probably in his late 20’s on a street corner and he had this old AM radio contraption with a recording device holding an antenna taped to it. He was listening to this while doing this crazy dancing. It was almost like an African tribal dance. He was a white kid with no shirt and created this circle of dolls. It was fascinating. I watched him and ended up talking to him. We were going to get a band together and do a project. I was wondering how I could put this together and record it. He was mentally ill and could not focus. I had no way of getting a hold of him. He doesn’t live anywhere or have a phone. It always stuck with me. I brought up the idea with Ray and Dug when we were ready to record. I told them the story and that maybe we could call the record ‘Circle Of Dolls’. I think people can go a lot of different ways with it but for me it was a very personal powerful observation. We actually tried to shoot an image for the cover. I had a friend who I took down to exact corner and tried to recreate that shot. We got some dolls and scattered them around in a circle to mimic the dance.  It unfortunately did not make the cut for album cover.

Alt Revolt: Do you like the challenge of recording spontaneously?

George Lynch: I do. I love it. It is kind of like being on a high wire act without a net. You are forced to produce. Because if you don’t, the consequences are you don’t have a record and you do not get paid. There is a Parkinson’s Law where you will do the amount of work with the amount of time allows you to do. If you have a day, you will get it done in a day. If you have 10,000 dollars, you will get it done for 10,000 dollars. That is very true in my life. I did records back in the day that were very expensive and took a long time. I have done records that have been 1/100th of the cost and 1/10 of the time. It started out as an experiment and it turned out to be a practical and efficient way to record.

Alt Revolt: Does Ray and Dug also enjoy the challenge of this process?

George Lynch: Yes. Because it is different and unorthodox. It is an intense 12 days. We all know after the flurry of energy we are done. We all get to go home to our respective obligations, tours, families, and jobs. We are not stuck in there. With a lot of projects, it grinds on for a couple of months. It can take a toll on you. With 12 days you do not have time for that. We all keep it lite. We are all cracking jokes. We take breaks and keep it funny. There will be a little smoking and drinking at times too. When we work, we work hard. We make significant progress every day. At the end of the day we produce something of value. We enjoy each other’s company. It is a great way to do a record.

Alt Revolt: Do you have a personal favorite song from ‘Circle Of Dolls’?

George Lynch: I like “Shadow Lover”. I love the riff and time signature. I could listen to that over and over. That is a standout for me. I love the darkness of it. Overall the record is a darker record. It is a little moodier.

Alt Revolt: I really like “Time Flies”.

George Lynch: Yeah. That is a high energy up song. It has one of my favorite solos from the entire record. The all come out at various degree of completeness. Sometimes you just have to hit the send button and be done with it. Tomorrow is another day. They are not going to be all 100% gratifying. That is the nature of how we are recording.

Alt Revolt: Is the biggest obstacle with the band playing live juggling everyone’s schedules?

George Lynch: Ray is in a huge band. That dictates what we can do. Of course, we want to tour. We do try to find a way to do it. Ray has called Dug and I up and said Korn is going to take this two and half month break. Let’s get out there and do something. The problem is we have to book shows and put everything together in advance. Something always happens in that two-month period. They have interviews in New York. Jonathan calls everyone in to do some writing. They got this crazy gig for the insane amount of money in South America. We can’t plan on that. If we put all of our work into an agent, management company, crew, and rehearsals and Korn steps in with an obligation, that blows everything out of the water. We can’t risk that.

Alt Revolt: Thanks for taking time to talk with me. Good luck with the new record.  I will try to get out to the Lynch Mob show in Denver on October 5.

George Lynch: Yes. Please come out and say hi. Thanks for the interview.

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