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THE END MACHINE: Jeff Pilson On Breathing Life Into A Rock ’n’ Roll Powerhouse!

THE END MACHINE: Jeff Pilson On Breathing Life Into A Rock ’n’ Roll Powerhouse!

Every so often the stars align, schedules open up and the universe kicks open a few doors to reveal a plethora of new opportunities. Such is the case with the newly forged rock ‘n’ roll supergroup, The End Machine. This exciting new endeavor features a who’s who of hard rock titans still at the top of their game. Harnessing the unbridled power of classic era Dokken members George Lynch (guitars), Jeff Pilson (bass), and Mick Brown (drums) as well as current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason, it’s a true passion project for everyone involved. The strength of the band lies within their unique chemistry and decades in the game as absolute masters of creating ear-catching, memorable, hard rock music.

When it comes to The End Machine, there are no rules, no boundaries, and no limitations. It’s not about ego or a payday. It’s about a group of seasoned pros who jumped at a chance to create beautiful music together once more. The band’s eponymous debut album, releasing March 22nd via Frontiers Records, sets the stage for what could be one of the most productive and creatively satisfying chapters of their collective careers. There is no question that this blistering new material stays true to their melodic roots and good old-fashioned guitar rock, yet it isn’t afraid to venture into uncharted territory. It’s this ambitious approach that made us fall in love with these artists back in the day, and serves as living-proof that rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in 2019.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with the project’s legendary bassist, Jeff Pilson, to get an inside look at his journey as an artist, artistic evolution, and breathing life into The End Machine!

You’ve made one hell of a career for yourself in music. How did the journey get started?

I was always into music because my mom was a singer in big bands in the 1930s. She sang to me as a little kid. Some of my fondest memories of my mother are about her singing. The Beatles on “Ed Sullivan” definitely hooked me. I was like, “Wow! That’s a good job.” [laughs] I think I just had a love of music after that and once I started playing, which was in sixth grade when I was 12 years old, it sped up and took off from there!

What went into finding your creative voice as a young artist?

As a player, I kind of dabbled around. The first guy that I really loved was Jack Bruce, although I wasn’t capable of playing a lot of what he did but it got me going! When I heard Chris Squire from YES, I was probably about 15 years old when I first heard that, it changed my life. Hearing Chris Squire, the first thing I heard was “Roundabout,” was game changer. A dear friend of mine played it for me and the minute I heard that I just jumped out of my seat and everything changed immediately! I knew that’s what I wanted to sound like, so I started listening to everything Chris did, and I knew every note of every YES album, up to a certain point. Then I started getting into the other prog guys like ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant and all that stuff. That helped my playing so immensely because it was involved playing. I mean, you really had to learn how to play to do that. Those were the first things that really helped propel me and established my early voice on the instrument.

At what point did you know music was your calling?

By the time I was 15 years old, I knew that I was going to be a musician. I knew it and there was no question about it in my mind. That was my passion and I wasn’t going to give up until I could do it. I have been fortunate in a lot of ways, but I was also very, very determined very early on.

The legendary Jeff Pilson – Photo by Karsten Staiger

You’re one of the hardest working guys in the music business. Where does that work ethic come from?

Well, I’m a Mid-Western kid, so I think that work ethic is bred into all of us in the Midwest. I do have a good work ethic, I honestly do, but it’s generally around things I’m passionate about. When you’re passionate about something, it’s not strictly work. For me, being on the road, the work is the travel. The shows, the interviews and all the other stuff isn’t work, it’s something I love. The only real work is the travel. It’s been the same thing all along; the music has always been a joy and a passion. Of course, you’re going to have frustrating moments. For example, in the studio, sometimes you work much harder on something than you wish you had but that’s OK. Basically, it’s absolutely no problem to work when you love it!

When did you come into your own as a player?

By the time I was a late teenager, I felt pretty confident about what I was doing. It’s different than where I ended up professionally, but I really did follow that whole prog thing through very, very thoroughly! I was very into it and very familiar with that whole world. I was also in bands that were pretty solid progressive bands. I listen back now and some of the music sounds a little goofy but there were some amazing moments to what we were doing. I was lucky to play with some amazing musicians. There was a lot of great formation happening in my late teens that established me in many ways. Like I said, it changed over time but, I’ve always been a closet rocker! [laughs] Zeppelin and Deep Purple were huge bands for me as well. I always had the rocker thing back there and I was into that before I was even into the prog thing. I have gone down a long, long pathway but, to answer your question, I would say that my late teens I was pretty established as a player.

What are the biggest challenges you faced over the course of your career?

The biggest challenge nowadays is the fact that records don’t sell. These days, you record because you love it. That’s a bit of a challenge because it means that there aren’t the budgets that there once were and that can be a challenge. Fortunately, I have an amazing studio connected to my house and I have the ability and means to make great records. Frankly, an even bigger challenge is time. There is only so much time and because records don’t sell, I’m on the road a lot. Because I’m on the road a lot, I don’t have the time to do the things I want to do. I just try to do the best job that I can at making that time and carving that time out.

When it comes to the business side of the music industry, I’m sure you have seen it all. Were there lessons you learned early on that had a big impact?

Umm, no! [laughs] I will say that my lessons in the business came later. By the time I joined Dokken, that’s when I really started learning about the business. Before that, I was pretty green. Joining Dokken was a big, big part of learning about the music business. I was learning a lot throughout that whole period. Before that, I had a fairly naive view of the music industry.

We talked about what had a big impact on you as a young man. Where do you look for creative inspiration these days?

When you’re younger, with every release or record that comes out, you are waiting with bated breath. It’s a very exciting thing. I wish that were the case today because I loved that feeling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite feel the same anymore, but I still look for great new bands. Rivals Sons, for example, are great. When I find something I really like it’s fun. I try to listen to as much new music as I can, even a lot of the pop music that’s out there. Unfortunately, there is obviously a very formulaic thing that has happened with commercial recording now that really, really bothers me. I feel that it could be the downfall of the music industry, if they aren’t very, very careful. To answer your question, I find inspiration in anything that’s good. I will look around until I find something that is good, but I wish there was more of it!

We connected today to discuss your latest project — The End Machine. Tell us about how the ball got rolling?

Sure! It all got started because Frontiers Records hired George [Lynch] to be involved with a Jack Russell solo record; Jack Russell being the original singer of Great White. So, George called me. George and I will take any opportunity that we can to work together! It takes no effort at all to get us to work together! [laughs] He also happens to live not that far from me, which is cool. Anyway, George called and said, “Would you like to help me out on this thing?” I said, “Of course! I would love to!” We started working but, quickly into the process, the whole Jack Russell aspect fell away. I don’t even know why because I wasn’t involved in the business on that but whatever happened, happened. Then, Frontiers said, “Hey! Why don’t you see if Mick Brown wants to do something with you guys.” We said, “Great.” Then, Robert Mason’s name came up and we said, “Great!” Robert had been in the Lynch Mob with George years ago, so we both have known him for a long time. So, George had worked with him and I had just done a Warrant record a couple of years before and worked pretty closely with Robert. I knew how great he was and knew it was going to be great! The minute his name came up we knew we had the personnel solidly together. George and I wrote about four songs together in the initial batch. We sent them to Robert and then he came out. From there, him and I pounded out the lyrics and melodies. We knew right away that we had something really solid!

As you said, you had ties with these guys for many years. What do they bring out in you creatively?

That’s a good question. There are some things about George that are so amazing. One of those things is his honesty. When he likes something, he will tell you. When he hates something, he will tell you. He’s just so authentically who he is at all times. I think working with him forces you to be in that zone of being very honest. It’s got to move us to be good. With Robert, the thing is, he has such a limitless voice. He can literally do anything. To have that is being an artist with the greatest easel and set of paints in the world, ya know? [laughs] He brought in some great ideas, both lyrically and melodically. His great ideas would make me think of things. It comes down to working off each other in a collaboration that happens in as organic a way as you could imagine. It was really fun and really productive.

As the project started to take shape, did you have a vision for what this might become?

The vision was as simple as: “Let’s make a great rock record. Let’s not be afraid. If we sound a little bit like Dokken in spots, fine. That’s part of our past and who we were. If we sound a little bit like Lynch Mob at certain points, no problem. That’s part of the past as well but let’s not be afraid to explore new areas.” I think we kind of achieved that. The sound is close enough to our past that, I think, people who have been fans of ours won’t be turned off by it but it’s also fresh enough and new enough that it’s real and inspired. That was really the only goal. We just wanted it to be great, something we could be proud of, something we loved and have it be a rock record we knew our fans would love.

Tell us about what goes into capturing your ideas when it comes to the early phases of songwriting these days.

I’m a guy who is always writing. I have a little recording app on my phone, so I’m ready when an idea hits me. I have a zillion ideas on my phone and even on my Kindle. I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night, grab my kindle and be whispering into it. Meanwhile, my wife is going, “Oh God, he’s at it again!” [laughs] Fortunately, when I’m on the road, I have a pretty cool mobile studio with me now. Technology these days allows you to have something pretty damn cool that is capable of traveling with ya, so I do that as well. I’m kind of set!

How has your songwriting process evolved through the years?

Well, I hope I’m getting better! [laughs] It’s kind of tricky because sometimes you have things, a project to write for, and other times you just write because you feel like writing. In those moments, when I have an idea for a song, sometimes I don’t know where to put it. Believe it or not, that is kind of a challenge because if you can’t envision where it’s going to go, it’s a little bit rudderless. I let myself do that because as a writer and an artist, I think it’s important to follow those things when they happen. You just never know where they might lead. I’ve had situations where something I thought was totally unrelated where something will come up in a situation where I’m working with other people and I will be able to use it there. I try to never turn off the spigot, if I can. I think I’ve gotten better over the years at really knowing how to focus in and finish. I also think I’ve gotten a lot better lyrically over the years. Again, it’s just a craft I’m always trying to improve.

What were the biggest challenges you faced with The End Machine? I imagine scheduling was your number one obstacle.

You’re right, scheduling is definitely the trickiest part. After that, to be perfectly honest, it kind of all fell into place. The time that we had, we knew it was limited, but we made the best of it. There was very little unused or unproductive time. Everybody is really focused and that’s what makes it a joy. Being in a situation where someone is not focused, and drifting is very tiring if you are focused. Everyone was extremely focused on this project. It was everything we wanted it to be. So, aside from the challenge of scheduling, there weren’t to many other challenges.

This project produced some great tracks. Which of the songs resonate with you the most?

Thank you. Yeah, there is the song “Burn The Truth,” which is one I think all the band members feel really strongly about as a song. I just love the song and I think it came out amazing lyrically, melodically, structurally and production-wise. It has a lot of elements that I think are just really fun and exciting. The recording came out amazing. There is also a song called “Sleeping Voices” that I’m very proud of. It’s pretty involved but it’s another one where it just happened. It just kind of fell together organically. When stuff like that happens, you really appreciate it. Like I said, it’s a fairly involved song and there is really some stuff to it. I’m really proud of it. I also love “Leap of Faith,” which is the opener to the record and it’s going to be the next video. I love that song as well because it’s just really, really cool. The whole record fits together very nicely and that is another thing I’m very proud of.

As you said, this is a project you are very passionate about, as are the other guys. Where do you see The End Machine headed in the future?

We have three shows coming up in April, which is very exciting. We have a show in Los Angeles on April 4, a show in Vegas on April 5 and a show in Tucson on April 7. Shows are tricky because you have to rehearse and since we’ve never played live we have to do all that. That’s a big commitment. However, we are doing that because we want to prove to people that this is more than some fly-by-night recording project. This is serious! I do have a long-term vision for this. I would love to do another record and I’d love to play more live shows, if we can. I’d love to approach this like a real band because, even though I have a very wonderful day job that I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, I love to play music! So, any chance I can get to play more music I will take! So, there you go!

There are a lot of bands, who are your peers, making some of the best music of their careers these days. Do you think these releases are getting the attention they deserve?

Of course I’m going to say no to that! [laughs] How could I possibly think they get enough?! But, I’m also very understanding of the situation right now. I know what the music scene is like and what the landscape is, so I understand. Listen, I’m grateful. I think a label like Frontiers does a really great job and they do such a great job because they’re passionate about this music. Certainly, the things I do for Frontiers like The End Machine or the album I produced for Warrant or Last In Line, we’re all lucky to have someone like them to help push these things as far as they can be pushed in this day and age. There are dedicated journalists that really want to do the best by this music, so that is all great. I just think it’s a shame. I mean, I know there is an audience for this but unfortunately, it’s a little bit older audience, meaning that it’s not teenyboppers. I wish there was a way that this music could be on more platforms, like terrestrial radio for example. I tend to feel that there is a possibility that there is an audience that could be exposed to this that can’t get it because there is no mainstream media that covers it. So, yes, I wish there was more of that. Will there be? I doubt it. Maybe in the future and I will never give up hope. It’s people like yourself who help make that happen.

What’s the best way to support a band like The End Machine and keep the art moving forward?

Buy the physical CD, of course, or download it if you have to. Buying the product is a big part of it. The day that people stop buying CDs, which is perhaps not that far in the future, is the day that the music business is going to really suffer. If you want to really support these bands, you have to buy the CDs. You also have to go to the shows. Number one is to spread the word! That’s really a big, big part of it. Word of mouth, social media word of mouth, has become very important because that’s the means of communication that is most effective at this point. So, spread the word! Get out there on the different sites and talk about the music you love. That’s the best you can do at this point, but it starts with buying the CD.

What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

Do what you love! Stay passionate and love what you do. If you are passionate about what you do and work hard at it, the universe will take care of you. Do what you love, do it 150% and you’ll be fine!

Thanks so much for your time today, Jeff. You’re an inspiration. Keep the good stuff coming and we will be out here spreading the word!

My pleasure! Thank you! We have more stuff coming, so you’ll hear from me! We’ll definitely talk again! Thanks so much, Jason!

The End Machine’s self-titled debut album will be released on March 22 via Frontiers Music srl. Follow the latest adventures of the legendary Jeff Pilson via his official site at www.jeffpilson.com.

Catch The End Machine live on the band West Coast this April!

04/04: Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
04/05: Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d
04/07: Tucson, AZ @ Club XS

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The End: Machine, featuring George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown & Robert Mason, To Release Debut Album on March 22nd

The End: Machine, featuring George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, Mick Brown & Robert Mason, To Release Debut Album on March 22nd

Hard rock titans collide for The End: Machine, a brand-new project that features classic-era DOKKEN members George LynchJeff Pilson, and Mick Brown as well as current WARRANT singer Robert Mason. The band will be releasing their self-titled debut on March 22nd via Frontiers Music SRL.

THE END machine have premiered their first single, “Alive Today,” along with an accompanying music video via Ultimate Classic Rock.

Pre-order THE END machine’s self-titled album on CD/LP/Digital here:
http://radi.al/TheEndMachine

A limited amount of signed CDs & LPs, merch bundles, VIP Packages & more are available here:
http://pmusic.co/rw9vqM

Surely, some fans may be wondering to themselves, isn’t this just Dokken without Don Dokken? “Musically, of course there’s bound to be moments that will be reminiscent of Dokken. That’s only logical,” says bassist Jeff Pilson. “But, my guess is there will be less of that than people would expect. Some people who’ve heard it say they think it’s closer to Lynch Mob than Dokken, but really it is pretty much its own thing. We allowed ourselves to get a little deeper than either of those projects really have, while still staying extremely melodic and not being afraid of good old-fashioned guitar rock. Maybe Lynch Mob, a bit of Dokken, but then some 70’s guitar rock added in. George [Lynch] is playing fantastic on this…very inspired. Everyone is really, but George covers some new territory here and it’s very cool. Plus, the songs as compositions took on their own life, especially adding Robert [Mason] to the writing. That’s what I’m most proud of, is the way this stands on its own. It doesn’t step on our legacy together one bit, but it has it’s own personality and I think that’s important.”

“This is decidedly not me ‘stapled’ onto a DOKKEN record,” adds Mason. “I wouldn’t have been involved if that was the intent. Fans will hear bits of our styles in this collection of songs, and while reminiscent signatures are undeniable, THE END machine was purposely built to stand apart and on its own merit.”

Tracklisting:
1.Leap Of Faith
2. Hold Me Down
3. No Game
4. Bulletproof
5. Ride It
6. Burn the Truth
7. Hard Road
8. Alive Today
9. Line of Division
10. Sleeping Voices
11. Life Is Love Is Music

Catch THE END machine on tour on the U.S. West Coast this April. The itinerary is as follows:

4/04: Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky A Go Go
04/05: Las Vegas, NV @ Vamp’d
04/06: Tucson, AZ @ Club XS

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Original Dokken Lineup Release Video For New Single “It’s Just Another Day”

Original Dokken Lineup Release Video For New Single “It’s Just Another Day”

In 2016, the classic original line-up of Dokken featuring: Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson and Wild Mick Brown reunited to play the world famous Loud Park Festival in Japan and one exclusive U.S. show in Sioux Falls, SD at Badlands. Fortunately for fans not in attendance at either show, cameras were there to capture the performances and now Frontiers Music Srl is set to issue “Return To The East Live (2016)” on April 20th!

In addition to the live recording, the original Dokken lineup entered the     studio together and recorded a new song “It’s Just Another Day,” for the forthcoming release.  The band shot a video for the song which can be viewed HERE.

“It is stunning how amazingly and naturally this song came together. George and I just let it flow for the music and Don came in and finished the lyrics and nailed his vocal in record time. Everything just flowed. And the result is such classic Dokken, unbelievable. It’s really a testament to chemistry that doesn’t go away despite the years and all the trials and tribulations. These are the moments I live for,” says bassist Jeff Pilson.

Watch a live video of  ‘In My Dreams’ HERE.

Pre-order and stream singles from the album herehttp://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

Pledge Music/Frontiers US Storehttp://pmusic.co/3EN6wP

Frontiers EU Store: http://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

“Return to the East Live (2016)” will be available in the following formats:
* CD/DVD
* Blu-Ray
* Collector’s Box (CD/DVD + T-Shirt) [Comes with XL tee in the U.S., L tee in EU]
* 2xLP Standard 180g Black Vinyl
* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Green Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ U.S. Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)
* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Red Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ EU Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)
* MP3 (audio only)

If the release wasn’t amazing enough, the package includes a brand-new studio track,“It’s Just Another Day” and two acoustic re-workings of classic tracks, from the original members!

A trailer for the release can be viewed HERE.

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Legendary Rockers Dokken To Release “Return To The East Live 2016” April 20th via Frontiers Music Srl

Legendary Rockers Dokken To Release “Return To The East Live 2016” April 20th via Frontiers Music Srl

In 2016, the classic original line-up Dokken featuring: Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown reunited to play the world famous Loud Park Festival in Japan. Fortunately for fans outside of Japan, cameras were there to capture the performance and now Frontiers is set to issue “Return To The East Live 2016” on April 20th!  In addition to the Japanese performance, this set also features footage from the classic lineup’s only US show in Sioux Falls, SD at Badlands.

A trailer for the release can be viewed HERE.

Pre-order and stream singles from the album here: http://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

Pledge Music/Frontiers US Store: http://pmusic.co/3EN6wP

Frontiers EU Store: http://radi.al/ReturnToTheEastLive

“Return to the East Live 2016” will be available in the following formats:
* CD/DVD* Blu-Ray

* Collector’s Box (CD/DVD + T-Shirt) [Comes with XL tee in the U.S., L tee in EU]* 2xLP Standard 180g Black Vinyl
* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Green Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ U.S. Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)

* 2xLP Limited Edition 180g Red Vinyl (Exclusive to Frontiers’ EU Store – Limited to 150 WORLDWIDE)
* MP3 (audio only)

If the release wasn’t amazing enough, the package includes a brand-new studio track, “It’s Just Another Day” and two acoustic re-workings of classic tracks, from the original members!

“After 25 years, it was great to reunite with George and Jeff and Mick and do a couple shows for the fans. We hope you like this album and video. There’s a lot of great bonus footage of us having fun, so enjoy it,” says Don Dokken.

Bassist Jeff Pilson adds, “I’m so thrilled this piece of the Dokken story is hitting the streets! What a magical experience it has been and this CD/DVD captures a lot of that wonderful manic energy that has always made Dokken so vital! I remain extremely grateful to have been a part of such a vibrant voice in the world of heavy rock. Thanx to the fans and to George, Don and Mick for being the musicians, writers and friends that you are!”

TRACK LISTING:
CD
01.It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)
02.Kiss Of Death
03.The Hunter
04.Unchain The Night
05.When Heaven Comes Down
06.Breakin’ The Chains
07.Into The Fire
08.Dream Warriors
09.Tooth And Nail
10.Alone Again (Intro)
11.Alone Again
12.It’s Not Love
13.In My Dreams
14.Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)
15.Will The Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

DVD
01.Tooth And Nail
02.Unchain The Night
03.When Heaven Comes Down
04.Breakin’ The Chains
05.Into The Fire
06.Alone Again
07.It’s Not Love
08.Paris Is Burning
09.Kiss Of Death
10.The Hunter
11.Dream Warriors
12.In My Dreams
13.Behind the Scenes

LINEUP:
Don Dokken – Vocals
George Lynch – Guitars
Jeff Pilson – Bass
Mick Brown – Drums

More About Dokken
Dokken simply needs no introduction. The band cemented their status as one of the legendary hard rock/heavy metal archetypes of the ’80s rock scene with numerous successful albums and tours, evergreen songs and music videos and a lore that will live on forever.

For More Info Visit:
http://dokken.net/
https://www.facebook.com/DokkenOfficial/
https://twitter.com/dokken
https://www.instagram.com/dokken/

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THE BROTHERHOOD: George Lynch Talks Lynch Mob’s New Album and More!

THE BROTHERHOOD: George Lynch Talks Lynch Mob’s New Album and More!

George Lynch’s captivating playing style and rock ‘n’ roll attitude have established himself as one of the music electrifying guitar players in the music business. This guitar legend rose to prominence back in the 80s as lead shredder for Dokken. His story did end there as Lynch remained determined to continue to mold his blossoming career by working outside the box. His latest musical project is no exception to that rule. This September, Lynch Mob returns with a powerful new album, “The Brotherhood,” via Rat Pak Records.

Produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Lynch Mob; Flotsam And Jetsam; Prong; KXM), “The Brotherhood” features eleven brand new hard rock tracks from Lynch Mob, which are sure to resonate with long time fans of the band, as well as those longing for that good ol’ hard rock sound and feel. “The Brotherhood” once again highlights the unique pairing of Oni Logan and George Lynch, and along with Sean McNabb (bass) and Jimmy D’Anda (drums), the band has created a solid offering from start to finish. From the heavy guitar riffs of the opening track “Main Offender” to the melodic album finale “Miles Away”, Lynch Mob have once again proven they remain on top of their game and unafraid to explore undiscovered musical territory!

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with the legendary George Lynch to discuss finding his creative voice as a young player, breathing life into Lynch Mob’s “The Brotherhood,” and the challenges artists face in the ever-tumultuous music industry. 

What went into finding your creative voice as a young musician?

As silly as it might sound, it all started with playing along to records. That was the thing that helped me learn and develop my own style. In playing along, I was trying to emulate guys like Hendrix, Clapton and so forth. I wasn’t really learning what they were doing note for note but I was mimicking what they were doing and, by osmosis, absorbing the character of where they were coming from. I was trying to anticipate it through playing along versus learning it note for note. In doing that, it sort of made it my own thing. I did that forever with Hendrix, Cream, Beck and all these guys who were around when I was growing up as a guitar player. I just assumed all of this stuff but without playing it note for note and did it my own way. Through that process, I unconsciously synthesized all of these different influences into my style and started developing my own chops that were born out of the things that I learned. That’s the way I believe my style developed.

You look very comfortable on stage but I imagine that wasn’t always the case. When do you feel you came into your own as a performer?

I probably got to a point of pretty consistent self-confidence in who I was as a player and my abilities sometime in the 90s. I think in the 80s I was still very unsure and still kind of finding my way. I was much less consistent back then. It’s like anything else and it’s a learning process. I didn’t come quickly for me!

Here you are all these years later and your passion for music is alive and well. What keeps your creative fire stoked?

There are a couple of things. The first is not being rich, so it’s out on necessity. I’m sort of half-kidding but, more importantly, it’s just what I do. I feel compelled to do it. All of my life I have felt compelled to create music and I just picked up the guitar as the vehicle to do that. I guess it comes down to chasing the dragon or the idea that has been circulating in my head forever, which is to write that one song. It’s that one song, the greatest song in the world, that has been rattling around in my head but I’m never quite able to reach out and grasp. That holds true for the greatest guitar solo that I imagine but is also just out of reach! [laughs]

What does rock ‘n’ roll mean to you after all these years in the game?

For me, my perception of the state of rock ‘n’ roll is that it’s come full circle. In the beginning, meaning in the mid-to-late 60s and even the early 70s, it was an evolving thing. It was a mystery. It was like a wilderness of ideas and then it started to coalesce in the 70s through art rock, commercial rock, and other tangents. It began to coalesce, solidify and calcify. For me, it’s just been kind of blown apart and is like “Pick and choose anything you want.” So, again, it’s sort of a mystery as to where it’s going. I think we are in an amorphous, transitory, fluid state, at least from my perception. I think that is disconcerting but, at the same time, very liberating because it allows you a lot of freedom, which is why I do so many projects.

You certainly have a lot of irons in the fire. Lynch Mob has a brand-new album, “The Brotherhood,” on the way. How did the ball get rolling there?

Lynch Mob is my core band and the band I predominately tour with. I do a lot of projects outside of it, obviously, but I consider this my family and the foundation of my musical experience. The band has been the same guys for going on five years and we have a previous history beyond that with not only Oni [Logan], but with Jimmy [D’Anda] and Sean [McNabb]. We were in and out of Lynch Mob together in previous years in the 1990s and early 2000s. Collectively, we have a lot more time together as Lynch Mob as any other incarnation of the band. We keep growing and evolving as a brotherhood. “The Brotherhood” fits it so apt in the sense that it defines and describes the band so well, and how we feel about each other and the experience of being in this group. This record came as the result of a backlash of the last record, “Rebel,” which was also a great record. This time around, we decided we were going to approach this one differently. We wanted to do it as a band, in a room and with all of us writing together, which is what we did. The “Rebel” record was basically just Oni, myself and an engineer, writing in the confines of a studio. That’s not a bad way to work either but we thought this time around, we would make it more of a collective, communal band effort. I think that obviously paid off but the problem with that way of writing is that it can get messier. If you are locked in a laboratory situation with fewer people, there is less that can go wrong because you are in more of a controlled environment. In a situation with a full band where you are coming up with ideas live, it’s messier and a lot more complicated. It definitely took more time. There was a low point actually in the process. I remember we were on tour and we were listening to all of the stuff we had written with our rough demos. We were stuck on some 5-hour drive and listened to this thing back to front. No one said anything and we were all just bumming! [laughs] We rolled up our sleeves and went back to work and rebuilt the record!

You mentioned the recording process for this album being very organic. Did you have a particular vision for the record before entering into the process?

Well, we always have “Wicked Sensation” in the back of our mind as a benchmark but we are never going to recreate that record or beat it. It’s kind of it’s own thing. We had a 1/2 a million-dollar budget and a year and a half to make that record with 2 producers and 9 studios or whatever it was. There was no limit to the resources. That was a different day and a different animal. These days we run a lot leaner and meaner. We try to do things quicker, work smarter and more efficiently when it comes to time and money. I’m very proud that we are able to do that. We usually start with “Wicked Sensation” as a benchmark and go from there. Like I said, “Wicked” was done a long time ago and we were different people in a different world. We’re not going to recreate that record and we couldn’t if we wanted to; it would be silly. I think it’s undeniable that the basic chemistry that ran through that record is still alive and well in the interaction between Oni and myself. It just happens because of who we are.

“The Brotherhood” is chocked full of killer material. Which songs came easy and which were harder to nail down?

This record was a bit of a challenge but in a good, healthy way. We really had to roll up our sleeves, as I said earlier, and work on stuff and re-work stuff. We had to wrestle with it. It was like wrestling with an alligator to get it in the box! [laughs] I would say that the first two videos, “Main Offender” and “Mr. Jekyll and Hyde,” which are the first two singles, are very strong. Maybe that is the fact that we just did videos for them, so they are in the forefront of my mind. We are thinking of doing a third video for another song, which I think is absolutely beautiful. The song is called “Miles Away.” It’s somewhat Pink Floyd-ish. No apologies there! We are obviously biting that a little bit. The song came out of an idea that we had when we were on the road for a period of time and we kept reworking this idea at sound check. We would keep bringing it up and became enamored with this idea. It was only one part and it would keep going around and around. We didn’t even have a second part for it but Oni fell right in and started coming up with these lines for it that were beautiful. It had a dynamic to it that was wonderful and it would pick you up, carry you and drop you back down with this sweeping crescendo and over the top thing at the end. It was very emotional and powerful. It’s such a beautiful song and we started doing it live, even though it wasn’t recorded and wasn’t officially a song. It was just a jam essentially and it was different every night. I loved doing that and all the guys dug it, so it eventually turned into a song. That song to me, “Miles Away,” was a profoundness because it has that history. It developed so organically out of the band being on the road. People actually heard the song before it was ever a song! [laughs] People who buy the record, who knows, maybe they were at one of those shows and will remember it! It’s changed a little bit by me adding a part but it’s a really beautiful tune. So yeah, we might do a video for that and it sticks out in my head. “Dr. Jekyll and Hyde,” I don’t know if you’ve seen the video, but I really enjoyed that song because it also came out of that same kind of thing. It was the product of being on the road and coming up with some ideas. Then we finished developing it in the studio. I also have to say that “Main Offender” is mostly Jimmy D’Anda. It’s a song that he fostered and brought to the band, which is sort of unique for me because I’m used to doing all the music stuff myself with input from everybody else. We all chimed in on it and added some parts, but that is his baby! I think that was very healthy for us because we got some music on the record that came from a completely fresh perspective. I mean, you don’t want me coming up with everything! [laughs] It’s like incest and you end up with a weak gene pool! You want to have as much input from as many locations as possible. We want all of these different influences. We are like a mutt! I have to give Jimmy props for that one! Some of my least favorite stuff on the record, not that I truly dislike anything on the record, is some of the lighter stuff that is a little more tongue-in-cheek and kind of “Good time rock ‘n’ roll-y.” I don’t know, personally, I like the darker stuff. Songs like “I’ll Take Miami” and stuff like that seems like they would be more at home in the 80s or early 90s, so it’s more of a throwback to that era. I guess there are people who will dig it but, personally, it’s not my thing.

Lynch Mob’s Oni Logan and George Lynch

As you said, you have a lot of projects happening at any given time. Be it Lynch Mob or one of your other creative outlets, what are the keys to successful collaborations?

Well, there are a lot of ways to define success. I mean, I’ve always thought throughout the years that Dokken was one of the least interesting musical endeavors I’ve ever been involved with in some ways, although I have more appreciation for it now than I did maybe at the time. That had the most success and resonated with the most amount of people of any project I’ve ever been involved in. [laughs] That’s my take on things. From a personal standpoint, you really know right away if you are getting off on something or not. I know when I write a part and I give it to Oni that he is going to do his thing by writing his magic poetry, awesome dark lyrics, very unique melodies and adding his trademark voice. His is one of the greatest voices in the history of rock. I think he is right up there with Paul Rodgers and the rest of them. When Oni is firing on all cylinders and does his thing on top of what I do, it’s undeniable. Whether or not it sells the record or whether or not people appreciate it or hear it is another thing but, on a personal level, I’m saying, “That’s what I hear in my head!” Dokken is never what I heard in my head, ya know! [laughs] When you have commercial success, that could trump everything else, ya know! I hate to use the word trumped! [laughs]

Yeah, it could bring a lot of unwanted attention your way these days! [laughs]

Yeah!

We have all seen the record industry change exponentially throughout the years and is very challenging sea for artists to navigate. What does it take to keep a project like Lynch Mob on the rails and thriving?

You’re right, it is challenging, a bit. Lynch Mob is a viable band. We are viable economically. We’re not a huge band like Poison, The Scorpions or Van Halen but we are able to provide ourselves with an income which justifies us moving forward continually. That’s OK and we are all good with that! We try to be honest about where we are coming from and we’re not pretending to be big rock stars with all the accouterments. We appreciate the limelight and the exposure of our music to the people because we like to feel our music is important. It’s not even our music. The music we are involved in making is something that has to be done for a certain segment of the population. In a world of 7 1/2 billion people, there has got to be X amount of people who are yearning for this kind of music. I don’t feel like I need to be a salesman and try to shove something down someone’s throat that they are reluctant to want to listen to. I feel that if enough people realize this existed, they would gravitate towards it. That is why we continue to work, tour and put out records because we feel, at some point, it will justify itself if we do good work.

Lynch Mob — A musical brotherhood.

Where do you see yourself headed in the future musically? Are you already charting a course for a future record with Lynch Mob?

Well, I don’t know about that. I mean, this one is just coming out and it was a long road getting this one done. I do have quite a few records from other projects coming out. They are in various stages of completion and a lot of them are done. For instance, the next one coming out is the Sweet & Lynch album. Right after that, we have the Ultra Phonics record with Corey Glover [of Living Colour], which is sort of a continuation of a project within a project. That’s a great record and it’s coming out early next year! I also have the Dokken live album and DVD coming out. It’s got a couple new studio tracks on it that we wrote. It’s the first new Dokken songs we have written since 1994. That’s kind of a big deal! Lynch Mob does have a live album and live DVD coming out next year as well. Then I have a project called The Banishment with Tommy Victor, which is an industrial project. Then…sorry to lay this all on you at once… [laughs] but then I have another project with the guys from Dokken with the singer from Warrant, Robert Mason, who used to be in Lynch Mob. That’s called Super Stroke and that’s coming out next year as well!

I have to say that I love that about you, George. You keep it eclectic!

Yeah, I do! [laughs]

What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

For fledgling musicians, there is always that advice of “Stick to your dreams.” I think in reality, everything is grey area and everything is about balance. I know this is common sense stuff but you do need to stick to your dreams but you also need to be practical. You need to diversify. I wouldn’t have survived this long in this business and be able to support and raise a family of 7 kids without diversifying and being flexible! As you get older, you tend to become less flexible both physically and mentally. With that said, you need to force yourself into areas that are uncomfortable for you. For me, that meant taking up building my own guitars and starting my own guitar company and delving into other projects. I don’t just record my songs, my records and go on tour. I’m heavily involved with my endorsers and designing, developing and marketing different kinds of equipment like pickups for guitars, amplifiers and so forth. That’s another income stream as well. There are lot of other things that you can do within the realm of music other than just striving to be a rock star! In short, diversity is the key.

Thanks for your time today, George! I appreciate it!

Thank you, Jason. Take care!

Lynch Mob’s “The Brotherhood” will be released on Friday, September 8 via Rat Pak Records. For the latest on all of George Lynch’s projects, visit his official website at www.georgelynch.com.

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Sweet & Lynch To Release ‘Unified’ On November 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Sweet & Lynch To Release ‘Unified’ On November 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Frontiers Music Srl is pleased to announce the release of the second album from SWEET & LYNCH, “Unified”.  The highly anticipated follow up to the band’s Billboard charting debut, “Only to Rise” will be available on November 10th.  Today, the first single,“Promised Land” from the album can be heard HERE.

Order the album here: http://radi.al/Unified or at the links below

Frontiers: http://www.frontiers.shop

Amazon: http://radi.al/UnifiedAmazon

iTunes: http://radi.al/UnifiediTunes

Google Play: http://radi.al/UnifiedGooglePlay

All digital pre-orders come with an instant download of  “Promised Land.”

Follow the band on Spotify: http://radi.al/UnifiedSpotify to be alerted when the album is released and to add “Promised Land” to your favorite playlists:

SWEET & LYNCH is centered around the talents of guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of heavy metal stalwarts STRYPER (ex-BOSTON) and iconic guitarist George Lynch (LYNCH MOB, KXM, ex-DOKKEN) along with bassist James Lomenzo (ex MEGADETH, WHITE LION, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Brian Tichy (The Dead Daisies, ex-WHITESNAKE).  In addition to his vocal and guitar work, Michael Sweet handled all of the production duties on “Unified”

“George and I couldn’t be more excited about this album! We’ve worked very hard to bring you the best of both worlds – a throw back of the chart topping Stryper/Dokken days yet with a modern production that fits right in with anything out there now in the rock world today. We couldn’t be more proud than to be working with Brian Tichy and James LoMenzo again as they are the best rhythm section you’ll ever hear. If you liked SWEET & LYNCH I, you’re going to love ‘Unified’,” says Michael Sweet of the new album.

The combination of Sweet’s powerful, high-octane vocals, Lynch’s immediately recognizable guitar work, and Lomenzo and Tichy’s propulsive rhythm section make for an amazing musical combination. The album gives both Sweet and Lynch the opportunity to operate outside of the boundaries of their most well known work and really stretch their wings. Pummeling, traditional heavy metal combines with hook-laden melodic rock and traditional hard rock for a recipe that will satisfy the hungriest of rock fans!

“Unified” is an absolute must hear for fans of all of Michael Sweet and George Lynch‘s previous work and of course for those who enjoyed the band’s excellent debut album!

Track Listing:

  1. Promised Land
  2. Walk
  3. Afterlife
  4. Make Your Mark
  5. Tried & True
  6. Unified
  7. Find Your Way
  8. Heart Of Fire
  9. Bridge Of Broken Lies
  10. Better Man
  11. Live To Die

SWEET & LYNCH Lineup:
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals, Guitars
George Lynch – Lead Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass Guitar
Brian Tichy – Drums

For More Info Visit:
http://www.sweetandlynch.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SweetLynch/
https://twitter.com/sweetandlynch

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SCATTERBRAIN: Ray Luzier On The Making of KXM’s Dynamic Sophomore Album!

SCATTERBRAIN: Ray Luzier On The Making of KXM’s Dynamic Sophomore Album!

Ray Luzier – Photo by Fadewood Studios

Building upon the success of their 2014 self-titled debut, KXM returns with their sophomore album “Scatterbrain.” The new album is scheduled for release on March 17 via Rat Pak Records. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood, California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

From the infectious riff of the album opener “Scatterbrain” to the outro of “Angel,” KXM created something special and musically diverse. Songs like “Breakout,” “Calypso” and “True Deceivers” are sonically different from each other, taking the listener on a musical journey. Scatterbrain is thematically a darker record than the debut. The album builds upon the developed KXM rock sound but, this time, includes different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains KXM.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Ray Luzier to discuss the making KXM’s dynamic new album, ‘Scatterbrain,’ there creative process and the lessons learned along the way!

In the past, we discussed your musical influences. Going a step further, we were curious to know how your journey in music began.

Cool! It’s weird because I grew up on a giant farm outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was 188 acres to be exact. It was pretty secluded from everything. My uncle was a big rock fan and he would listen to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, KISS, Rush, Yes and all kinds of other bands. At the same time, my sister was five years older than me and she would play everything from Sabbath to Ted Nugent. I don’t know what drew me to it but I just loved music. My parents were always playing Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and The Beatles. I think being around music all the time had a big effect on me. No one in my family is in music, so it was kind of weird how I just started tapping on stuff. They bought me my first drum kit when I was 6 years old and I destroyed it! [laughs] It was this really bad paper kit from K-Mart or something! Six months later, they bought me a junior pro-kit and I just never stopped. I was self-taught. I would just put on KISS or AC/DC records, whatever I had, and just drum along. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I loved what was going on! When I got to high school, I started doing all the concert, symphonic and marching band stuff. That was when I first learned what a quarter note was and how to read music a little bit. I got into some rock bands in high school and tried to do the original band thing in Pittsburgh a little bit but I was kind of too young. My guitar player talked us into moving to Los Angeles when we graduated. When I was 18, two months after I graduated, I packed up the church van that I bought and drove 2,600 miles to LA! We attended Musicians Institutes, which was a percussion and guitar institute. We went there for a year and he didn’t really care for LA, so he moved back. I wanted to stick around because I knew LA was a giant opportunity! I did everything from teaching drum lessons to playing in a couple of original bands; I did anything I could to make a living by playing!

What kept you going during those lean years in Los Angeles?

It was nuts! I was so naive and I didn’t know anything. [laughs] I didn’t even really go to downtown Pittsburgh when I was growing up, aside from going to concerts like Motley Crue, KISS or whatever. When I moved to LA, all of a sudden, I lived in an apartment with neighbors above, below and on both sides of me. LA’s its own animal as it is, so it took me years to get inside there. I didn’t know where to go or who to meet! Nothing! I would just practice six hours a day! What I didn’t know was that I should have been networking by going out to clubs more and meeting people. I just thought, “I’m going to lock myself up in a room and practice so much that no one can turn me down!” Little did I know that it wasn’t necessarily the right thing to have in my head. [Laughs] I’m glad I practiced so much because you are never where you want to be and always want to be better. I worked at a fan club and stuffed envelopes and filled T-shirt orders. I did anything I could in the music industry because I didn’t want to bus tables or work at a coffee shop. I wanted to do something in the entertainment business, so I worked a fan club for Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Richie Sambora, Slaughter and all the bands back then. It was really interesting. I worked for five bucks an hour but I got free concert tickets! From there, all my original bands would get signed and get dropped, get signed and get dropped. Finally, that led me to the Jake E. Lee gig from Ozzy Osbourne and that was my first official tour. It was the first time I was on a tour bus, playing and actually making a couple of dollars from playing drums. From there on out, I just went for it. I joined David Lee Roth, not long after that, and toured with him for eight years. Then I did Army of Anyone with Robert and Dean De Leo from Stone Temple Pilots and Richard Patrick from Filter. I’m really proud of that record we did. That led me to Korn; Korn’s manager was also Army of Anyone’s manager. Now, this is the 10th year I am in Korn!

KXM at Steakhouse Studios in North Hollywood.

Those are big milestones, as is the sophomore record you are putting out for KXM. I loved the first record and was excited to see you back for another round. Going back to the beginning, how did you cross paths with George Lynch and dUg Pinnick?

I was such a huge fan and had such a great admiration for their musicianship. To find out they were also great people was a huge bonus! There is nothing worse than looking up to someone, only to meet them and being let down. I waited in line for Dokken tickets at Pittsburgh Civic Arena when I was 15 years old, so just meeting George was a huge thing! He asked me to do a couple of ESP clinics back in the day. I was an instructor at PIT for almost a decade, around all the tours. I did a couple of clinics with him and then he asked me to do a DVD with him. We just kind of stayed in touch from there. We always said we would like to do a band someday but it was really hard because we were both so busy. The same thing goes for dUg; I’m a huge King’s X fan! I would fly to other states and drive to San Diego to LA, Phoenix or anywhere I could to see them! It’s such a great thing for the soul for me as a die-hard King’s X fan! Low and behold, I get to know dUg because I showed up at so many shows, he would say, “Hey man, I just saw you not too long ago!” I would say, “Yeah, I know! I’m here again!” [laughs] We exchanged numbers and the next thing you know I’m putting his name on the guest list for David Lee Roth shows every time I would go to Texas. I told him, “Before I die, I just want to play tambourine on one of your records! That’s my dream!” Low and behold, we had a birthday party for my son’s first birthday and I invited a bunch of people over. dUg, George and myself ended up in my little studio at the end of the night. George was looking through all of my guitars and looked at us and said, “Man, this would be a good lineup for a band. We should do a record someday.” I said, “Yeah, right, that’ll happen!” [laughs] He’s just so busy and Korn is out of their mind busy but amazingly we made it happen! George was really persistent about getting together. The great thing about KXM is that it doesn’t take a lot of time out of our schedules. We have this formula where we just do one song a day and that’s it. That way no one can come in with any preconceived notions or riffs or grooves. We just meet up at the studio at noon and go! By 5 or 6 o’clock, we are arranging the songs and by 6 or 7 o’clock, I’m tracking drums. Then George does his rhythm guitars and the next day we move on. dUg did all his vocal overdubs and his bass but, for the most part, everything was done on the spot. That’s saying a lot because most musicians write a song, live with it for a couple of months and change this or that along the way. With this band, there is none of that. We just go for it! There is a beauty about not overthinking it and the spontaneity.

“Scatterbrain” has a darker tone than the first release from KXM. Is that by design or did it come about organically?

It just kind of happened. We didn’t know what we were going for on the first record or for the second one for that matter. We really don’t know what we are going to end up with. When you have that up-in-the-air style to it, anything goes! Sometimes, just because you respect each other’s musicianship, it doesn’t mean that you are going to sound good and mesh together. In this case it did and actually worked better than we thought. When the first record was so well-received, we said, “OK, let’s do another one!” There wasn’t anything like us having a meeting and saying, “Let’s get darker with this one.” It just came out that way. George was really experimental with his chords and was doing some really cool, jazzy, darker stuff using whammy pedals. dUg had his new signature head, which is an amazing bass tone that he has with it. We really just went for stuff this time recording. “Scatterbrain,” the title track, happened because I wanted something a little more up-tempo. We had been writing a lot of mid-tempo stuff and George had this whammy pedal out, which you hear on the intro. That song was crazy to try and arrange and solidify. The video for the song came out really cool too! Definitely check out the YouTube channel. We have three videos you can watch right now on there and I’m really proud of the way they came out.

When it comes to what you brought to the album, where did you look for inspiration?

Ya know, George and dUg really inspired me. When we get together, like I said, there are no rules. I mean, I love Korn and it’s my baby and it’s 100% of my time but we always have a producer. There is always someone saying, “Hey, let’s not do that. Let’s try this … ” That is cool because you do need outside ears on occasion because you can get lost in your music. You need that outside person to say, “You’re not thinking of it this way.” That way you can say, “I didn’t think of it that way but you’re right.” With KXM there are absolutely no rules and dUg and George inspire me because of that. I’m not going to tell dUg what to play on bass, he’s not going to tell George what to play on guitar and he’s not going to tell me what to play. All of the parts just kind of fit together and that’s inspiring in itself. We have so many miles on us and so much experience from touring and all the records we have done combined that it is just fun! Especially when I am traveling the planet with Korn so much. I love those guys to death, I love everything we do and I never get sick of playing the songs but it is so cool when you get into a room like that with such different personalities as dUg and George! They are such different people and that’s a good thing! It’s definitely inspiring in itself!

They say you take something away from every project. Was that the case with “Scatterbrain?”

Yeah, definitely! Like you said, everything is an experience! Whether it’s a new mic’ing technique or whatever, there is so much involved with making a record. That’s what kind of bums me out about today’s generation who doesn’t buy music. I’m not going to do the old guy preachy thing about “go buy a record!” But, kids really don’t get how much goes into just mic’ing a drum set from the types of microphones you’re going to use or acoustics of the room or just getting dialed in for one instrument, let alone all the guitar tones that George and dUg go through. Then you’re talking about writing process, arranging all this stuff and then when it’s all down and arranged, it has to be mixed properly! There are so many processes and steps, so I’m always learning something about the recording process and I have been on about 70 or 80 records at this point! That’s really cool and I love learning that kind of stuff! As far as it goes musically, when you step outside of the box and there are no boundaries, rules or producer telling you no, I think it makes me more mature as an artist to think up a song as a whole. Back in the day, when you’re first starting out, you just want to show everyone how cool a drummer you are. As you mature, in your late 20s or early 30s, you’re like, “OK. This is more about the songs.” I always try to get younger musicians to think about it as a whole. I mean, if you are talented, your talent is going to shine somewhere and someone is going to see it. That’s one of the main things I have learned over the years; playing for the song and trying to make the best song you can.

That’s a great segue to my next question. As an artist, is there any musical ground you are anxious to cover or other artists you would love to work with?

Yeah. I had this side band called Hideous Sun Demons and we actually had one record out on Magna Carta records. It was very experimental. For example, there is a Latin song on there, jazz fusion and metal. It’s all instrumental and without vocals. I love that kind of stuff! I would love to do another one of those records, just to branch out. We got pretty experimental on the “Scatterbrain” record and we are doing some proggy stuff, some ska, straight ahead rock and odd timed stuff. There is all that on there but I always tell people I want to get into a room with Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and Billy Sheehan. [laughs] It would be a little whacky and out there but that’s kinda what KXM is with George Lynch, dUg Pinnick and myself being from such different worlds. I would love to get experimental someday with people I really respect, like Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and Billy Sheehan. I’ve played on Billy’s last two solo records. It’s really fun to see what you come up with. Sometimes, it’s not good. I mean, just because you are somewhat talented, it doesn’t mean you’re going to write a good song! [laughs]

You mentioned the videos KXM has put out. I enjoyed them but it makes me what to see you guys play together live. Is that something that might be in the cards this time around?

That’s the golden question with a lot of people! [laughs] It’s completely my fault. I say that because my band is so busy and I have dedicated everything to Korn. I actually love the band so much that I told them to get a drummer to tour and they said, “No way!” [laughs] I respect that! Ultimately, I wouldn’t want them to do that but I just love the band so much, I want to see it succeed more and I don’t want to hold them back. However, if you add a different flavor to the mix, it’s going to sound different, even though it’s just drums. We need a good frame of a month-and-a-half to two months to really rehearse and do it right because we’re not going to go out there and half-ass it. We’ve had so many offers from cruise ships to other big name people who really liked the record, who I won’t even mention because it could still happen some day. Hopefully, they will like this new one too! [laughs] It’s definitely something I want to do someday. If worst comes to worst, I want to go out for a couple of weeks and then film a DVD after we have those few weeks under our belt. That way, at least the fans could have something to watch in the form of a really great live recording. Who knows! Korn isn’t a band to take a break! We just had two months off but that was the holidays and we are about to get out there and hit it hard again! I’m not saying it’s not going to happen because it very well could!

My last question for you is about playing live with Korn. As you said, you are a fan of the band and dedicated yourself to it. Is there anything you haven’t played from their huge back-catalog of music you would like to take on in the future?

That’s the thing, man! When you have 140 or 150 songs to choose from, it’s really hard for us to make a set list! [laughs] We are always trying to get new songs in the setlist but you have to play the bigger hits. The problem is that it isn’t like Korn only has one or two hits! They have a ton! You always want to appeal to the die-hards who are old school because if you play something really weird, they go nuts! Some of these Korn fans are beyond dedicated! There is one fan in particular who will be attending her 48th Korn show! [laughs] I mean, if Bonham came back from the dead, I don’t think I would see Zeppelin more than 10 times! [laughs] That’s nuts to me! So, you want to give the die hard fans something different things. There is a song that we started playing called “Dirty” that is really cool with a slow groove. We almost did that but we ended up pulling it out. I kept joking about doing “Word Up,” which is the Cameo song we covered. We actually did it on the last tour and I think we are doing to do it in Europe this time. It started as kind of a joke because I love the funkiness of the song but then we started doing it again! They are definitely not afraid to pull out something! I’m a little bummed that we don’t do anything off of “Korn III” anymore. That was my first studio record with them and I really like the song “Oildale (Leave Me Alone)” and I would love to pull that one back out!

Awesome, Ray! Thanks again for your time today and we can’t wait to catch up with you on the road very soon!

Cool. Thank you, Jason! I appreciate it!

Follow the continuing adventures of Ray Luzier through social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. KXM’s ‘Scatterbrain’ is available now from www.ratpakrecords.com

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KXM Release Video for “Breakout” from the Upcoming Album ‘Scatterbrain’

KXM Release Video for “Breakout” from the Upcoming Album ‘Scatterbrain’

Coming on the heels of the video for the debut single “Scatterbrain,” KXM has released a video for another song from the upcoming sophomore album.

The video for “Breakout” premiered on the band’s Facebook page and can be seen here:https://youtu.be/E7NEoECwbeI. The video, directed by previous KXM director Jamie Brown, is a barrage of visuals of the band that captures the high-energy feel of the song. The song comes from the album Scatterbrain that is scheduled for worldwide release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Fans who pre-order the album digitally via iTunes (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbitunes) will receive both “Breakout” and the first single “Scatterbrain” as an instant download. The album is also available via Amazon (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbamazon).

Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM. The video for the debut single “Scatterbrain” can be seen here: https://youtu.be/UvTnzne69Ts and has become a fan favorite since it was released. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.

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KXM Return With Sophomore Album ‘Scatterbrain’ In March of 2017

KXM Return With Sophomore Album ‘Scatterbrain’ In March of 2017

Building upon the success of their 2014 self-titled debut, KXM returns with their sophomore album Scatterbrain. The new album is scheduled for release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM.  KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.

From the infectious riff of the album opener “Scatterbrain” to the outro of “Angel,” KXM have created something truly special and musically diverse. Songs like “Breakout,” “Calypso,” and “True Deceivers” are sonically different from each other taking the listener on a musical journey. Scatterbrain is thematically a darker record than the debut. The album builds upon the developed KXM rock sound but this time includes some different dynamics drawing inspiration from prog, ska, punk and metal. Through it all, it remains undeniably KXM.

Recorded over the span of 10 days, every song on Scatterbrain was the result of a musical jam from all three members playing together in the same room. Ray Luzier explains on the process, “We wanted to use the same formula as the 1stKXM record: book studio time, come in fresh every day with a new idea & run with it and not over think anything.” George Lynch described the sessions as Record-topia: “we showed up in the studio, camped out with a bunch of gear and let the tape roll! Just like the first album, no pre-production, no rehearsal, no pre-written songs.” dUg Pinnick adds: “The vibe was like a bunch of old friends having fun creating music like the previous record, nothing but fun!”

The track listing for Scatterbrain is:

  1. Scatterbrain
  2. Breakout
  3. Big Sky Country
  4. Calypso
  5. Not a Single Word
  6. Obsession
  7. Noises In The Sky
  8. Panic Attack
  9. It’s Never Enough
  10. True Deceivers
  11. Stand
  12. Together
  13. Angel

KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.

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REBEL SPIRIT: Lynch Mob’s Oni Logan His Life In Music And Powerful New Album

REBEL SPIRIT: Lynch Mob’s Oni Logan His Life In Music And Powerful New Album

lynch-mob-2015-6

In 1989, legendary guitarist George Lynch parted ways with his former band Dokken. In the days to follow, he would go on for the Lynch Mob and join forces with one of rock’s most unique voices, Oni Logan. 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Lynch Mob’s debut release “Wicked Sensation,” which is the band’s most popular work to date achieving gold-selling status. However, it isn’t like Lynch and Logan to rest on their laurels. Lynch Mob is back once more and stand ready to unleash their eighth studio album, “Rebel”, on August 21 via Frontiers Music Srl. 

From the blistering album opener “Automatic Fix” to the album closer “War,” Lynch Mob is back to show fans why they are one of the most-loved rock bands. The Lynch Mob line-up on “Rebel” is comprised of namesake George Lynch on guitars, Oni Logan on vocals, Jeff Pilson on bass and Brian Tichy on drums. Songs like “Testify,” “Sanctuary,” and “Dirty Money” showcase Oni Logan’s trademark vocal ability while putting his diverse lyrical content on full display. The album was produced by George Lynch collaborator Chris “The Wizard” Collier.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Oni Logan to discuss his life in music, his early memories of joining forces with guitar legend George Lynch and the rise of the Lynch Mob, the main of their new album, ‘Rebel,’ and what the future may hold for him musically.

Music has been a huge part of your life. What are your first memories of music and what drove you to make your passion a career?

Oni Logan

Oni Logan

Music is such a powerful thing. There were several things that impacted me musically as a kid. There were albums like “Frampton Comes Alive” to Led Zeppelin’s first two or three albums to Rush’s “2112.” For me, music was a way of relating to my friends. It was something we all shared together. Looking at the album art and listening to them were an amazing experience. I can remember looking at the album art for Van Halen’s first record and hearing it for the first time and being blown away. At a very age, I felt the bug and caught the bug, which led to me starting to play drums at 9 years old. I continued doing that until I was 17, when I was asked by my brother to start singing. I got up to the microphone and I got to singing the blues. I loved stuff like Robert Plant and Steve Marriott. All I can say is that music just consumed me and it was all I thought about day in and day out. I had this perception of possibly doing music for real, coming out to California, being a recording artist and being up on stage. It was tunnelvision! I just didn’t stop and eventually it came into fruition by me getting the right opportunities and the right contacts. The next thing I knew, I got the opportunity to come out to LA and I am in front of 9,000 people playing alongside George Lynch in his new band, the Lynch Mob. For me, there are so many great influences but it is more the classic rock people who had an impact on me. I still love those people very much! I don’t know what else to tell you other than I am a lucky guy who got a lucky break! I just managed to be at the right place at the right time and was lucky enough to be able to hold a tune together!

Building on that, what are your first recollections of meeting George Lynch and the early days of Lynch Mob?

My first recollection of meeting George? It was a bit of a slow build. He was like the president at the time. [laughs] He was sending out people to talk to me at different places in Hollywood. For instance, I would be at The Roxy or The Rainbow and a certain person would come up to me and give me the line, “Hey. I just heard George is looking at you to be his new singer.” This all built up over a months time and finally he showed up with Mick Brown at The Whisky. That was my first look at George being naughty! I say that because he did have a nasty reputation of doing that sometimes back in the day. We were all younger and a bit mischievous! [laughs] They were just rock ‘n’ roll guys with attitudes at the top of their game. They came in and said, “We’re going to take your singer and that is all there is to it.” That was my first impression of him as a badass! The dude with the horns! That was my first impression of him!

It has been 25 years since the release of Lynch Mob’s first album, “Wicked Sensation.” What are some of your fondest memories of bringing it to the masses?

Lynch and Logan together on stage.

Lynch and Logan together on stage.

I can tell you one highlight. Those guys had flown me out to Arizona and put me up in an apartment. I was still without a car and I was borrowing George’s old 1965 Corvair, which was a rag top. I remember driving along the highway and I was listening to 98 KUPD, which was a great rock station. That is when I heard “Wicked Sensation” for the first time on the radio! I was shaking in my seat, man! I couldn’t believe I was hearing myself on the radio. It was one of the richest times of my life. I was by myself and it just happened to come on. I pulled over on the side of that desert road and screamed because it was so fuckin’ cool! That was one of the great experiences. There were so many others! We toured with Queensryche in Europe a month-and-a-half. Going around Europe with those guys, we were playing big arenas in front of 13,000 people. I believe it was the Operation: Mindcrime Tour. We also toured around with Cinderella back in the day and played Hershey Park, Pennsylvania in front of 10,000 people. I wish I could really have cherished it back then and bottled it up so I could savor it every once and awhile. Those moments go by so quickly and you wish you could have them back sometimes. However, we have experienced some special moments these days as well. For example, I hit the road with ol’ George Lynch again and we realized it was still fun! It was fun to be up on stage together again, play our songs that everybody loves and see the smiling faces of the fans enjoying their time. Some of the fans even bring their sons and daughters to introduce them to what could possibly be a new sound to them. Those are special moments that I definitely cherish and will take with me! As you get older, we all start realizing you have to take time to really enjoy it because it goes by so quick!

Lynch Mob has a brand new album on the way titled “Rebel.” That is certainly worth celebrating. What changed and what stayed the same when it comes to creating a Lynch Mob record?

Lynch Mob's 'Rebel'

Lynch Mob’s ‘Rebel’

Nothing has really changed. The basic formula is still us doing what we do. George comes up with riffs and then I come up with the melodies and the lyrics. We don’t force it and we don’t think about it too much. What you have is a natural progression when it comes to writing. On the recording end of it, the tones of a record are pretty natural when it comes to the drum, bass, guitar and voice tones. That means it still sounds like a rock band and isn’t oversaturated with plug-ins people are using these days to make things sound better. We like to keep it organic. What I hope people recognize is that we still care about what we do. We care very deeply about what we do. We don’t throw shit together just to put something out there to collect some bread! We honestly get involved and connected with it because, as artists, we always want to keep evolving. When I listen to our songs, I want to be able to sit back at the end of the day and say, “That is a damn good song!” I want to be able to pat myself on the back and that is the payoff for me. We only hope that people will give this record a chance. Sit back and listen to it a few times. Have a little patience! Don’t do it for just me but for all the other rock ‘n’ roll acts out there. Give these releases some time and really listen to them, as we used to do in the past. Then you truly know what songs work on you and which ones didn’t. I think in today’s world, we don’t have the attention spans to give things a chance. Instead, we just act on impulse and immediately say, “This song works on me. This one doesn’t. Next!” I hope people will give all creative people a chance and the time to understand their craft and what they are trying to do.

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How have you most evolved as an artist through the years?

I think I have become a better listener along the way and have become more motivated with my decisions and reactions. I feel I am now a person with deeper thoughts in regard to songwriting and anything else in life. I love writing music, going into the studio and performing, now more than ever. I think what I have taken from all these years gone by is a sense of maturity, a sense of depth and the ability to be comfortable in my own skin. I really love what I do and I consider it an honor and a blessing to still be able to do this. I am still kicking out the jams, the voice feels good and I am healthy! I am a lucky guy to be able to say all those things!

Where do you see yourself headed in the future when it comes to music? Is there anything you are still anxious to take on?

You know, I love all sorts of music and I am open to experimentation. I grew up in South Florida, so I was a big fan of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and classic rock. I would love to do a classic rock album some day with some classic rock players who really understand that type of music. I would also love to work with different people and co-write songs. I hope to perform until I am much older but at some point you have to call it a day. I don’t see myself slowing down for a long time but I certainly love to branch off and work with different writers, singers and guitar players. That is where I see myself in the future, being a songsmith. You never know, I might write something good that ends up on the radio!

lynch-mob-2015-6

What can you tell us about your songwriting process at this point in your career?

Well, let’s see. I light a bunch of candles … [laughs] I’m just kidding! In the past I used to do that and the whole mood had to be right for the recording and everything else and it does help with the vibrations. There really is no sequence. What I do is almost like chipping away at stone and carve something out. That process of chipping away is where I find words or melodies that I haven’t used or heard before and really putting a spin on the lyrics that no one has done before. It is all about sitting down and focusing because you have to dig deep and find something to say. Sometimes it isn’t there and you have to settle down and say, “Listen, don’t take your shit so seriously and write the song the way it wants to be written. Let it be what it wants to be.” That holds true for any song, even if it is just a hip shaker kind of song. I have learned through the years to focus, try to do my best work and not to take myself as seriously as I did in the past. I spent a lot of years trying to take myself too seriously! I wanted to be Pink Floyd but it didn’t work out! [laughs] I am Oni Logan and that is all I can expect, ya know?! We all want to be brilliant but sometimes it just doesn’t work out!

That is a great perspective to have! I want to thank you for your time today, Oni! The new record is really great and we wish you continued success!

Thank you, man! I appreciate your continued support! Do play the record, man! It’s a good one and I hope everyone out there enjoys it!

Lynch Mob’s “Rebel” will be released on August 21st via Frontiers Music Srl. Pre-order the new Lynch Mob album “Rebel” from Frontiers Records at this location.

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