Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute – DVD thoughts and review


September 27 1980- My friend Brett came over to my apartment to hang out with me on my 16th birthday. He smiled as he handed me a wrapped package. I eagerly tore the wrapping off to discover the Blizzard Of Ozz record. “I knew you loved Sabbath so I saw this and figured you would enjoy it.” We raced to my room and found ourselves entranced by the music. I was most impressed by the guitar playing album on this record. The passion and power of the guitar playing on it was enough to make me weep. Brett and I instantly became Randy Rhoads fanatics. A lot of our friends were Eddie Van Halen nuts through and through, but there was something a bit more magical about Randy Rhoads for me. We read everything we could find and tried our best to wear out my copy of Blizzard Of Ozz.


When Diary Of A Madman came out in late 1981 I was there at the record store and raced home to hear what Randy had come up with to blow our minds, I was not disappointed in the least. This record too found itself being quickly worn out on my turntable. Again, I read every bit of press, had the posters, t-shirts, and all of the necessary accessories. Brett and I even figured out the secret codes on the album. Then, miracle of miracles, Ozzy was coming to our town!!! I did odd jobs to earn my $8.50 for my ticket. We went and positioned ourselves in front of Randy and witnessed a show that has yet to be repeated. The way Randy commanded the stage was sheer magic, and the way he played the songs live was utter brilliance. We left the show elated and sold that Randy was the greatest guitar player ever. Then, three months later he was gone, and I openly wept.




         Now in March of 2015 I find myself watching a DVD about people who were influenced by Randy and his music. Kelle Rhoads let us into the world that he and his brother developed their musical skills in by walking us through the legendary Musonia Music School. Kelle told us of  how his mother, Delores, influenced Randy to audition for Ozzy. He also shared some moments of the younger Randy and himself performing is the school. I really felt the emotional bond and the sense of loss Kelle has for Randy when he showed the room where Randy taught guitar. It was stated that the room has been restored to the way it was when Randy packed up and left for his gig with Ozzy. It is truly a room frozen in time.

     The legendary Bob Kulick hosts Bob’s interaction with Kelle was enlightening and I learned new things about Randy. Bob spoke with drummer Frankie Banali and I learned things about the formation of the Ozzy solo band that I never knew. Dana Strum? Frankie’s involvement? You have to watch it and see. Hearing the stage stories from my friend Rudy Sarzo was amazing as well. Bob talks on with George Lynch, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa, Joel Hoekstra, George Lynch. Bruce Kulick, and Jon Donias. They all tell how Randy affected them musically.

     This DVD has led me to appreciate Randy “the person” more than I previously had. It is quite obvious how much his peers loved and respected him.  I am glad that the time was taken to produce this in tribute to the great Randy Rhoads who continues to live on inside me and others who listen and truly appreciate his musical legacy.  Please be sure to pick this up and allocate an hour and a half to learn about and share the life of this great musician and human being, you will NOT be disappointed. Randy truly is immortal.

     it’s loud, it’s beautiful, it’s Randy Rhoads

     -the Hellion

Announcing “Immortal RANDY RHOADS – The Ultimate Tribute” – A Celebratory Album Feat. All-Star Guests SERJ TANKIAN, TOM MORELLO and More‏

Announcing “Immortal RANDY RHOADS – The Ultimate Tribute”

A Celebratory Album Feat. All-Star Guests SERJ TANKIAN, TOM MORELLO and More


Out March 3, 2015 via UDR Music


The Late Legendary Guitar Hero Memorialized in Sensational Cover Tracks


Featuring an All-Star Line-Up of Music Greats:














         BERNIE TORME              



… and More


Album Includes Bonus DVD w/ Artist and Producer Interviews and More


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One of the most venerated guitarists ever to grace hard rock music, the late, great Randy Rhoads (heralded as the legendary lead guitarist forOzzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot) will be celebrated in the truest of fashions with the release of Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tributeon March 3, 2015 via UDR Music.


A collection of 11 classic Rhoads co-written songs, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute is performed by twenty top contemporary artists, including old friends and performing partners Rudy Sarzo and Frankie Banali, his brother Kelle Rhoads and more designated musicians like Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Vinny Appice, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, George Lynch, Gus G., Bruce Kulick, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa and others.


The album was produced and compiled by the Grammy-award winning guitarist and producer Bob Kulick at his own studio.


Along with the album, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will also contain a bonus DVD available in the digipack version, including interesting interviews with some of the involved artists, hosted by Bob Kulick and a feature on the Musonia School of Music, a teaching school on North Hollywood, California, set up by Randy’s mother and run by his brother Kelle Rhoads.


Pre-order details coming soon! Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute will also be available in double vinyl gatefold and digital formats.



Full track listing with performers:


1. Crazy Train

Vocals: Serj Tankian

Gtrs:  Tom Morello

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums:  Vinny Appice


2. Over the Mountain

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Jon Donais

Bass:  Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Frankie Banali


3. Mr Crowley

Vocals: Chuck Billy

Gtrs:  Alexi Laiho

Keyboards: Kelle Rhoads

Bass Rudy: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice


4. Believer

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Doug Aldrich

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice


5. Back To The Coast (Quiet Riot)

Vocals: Kelle Rhoads

Gtrs:  Bruce Kulick

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Frankie Banali


6. I Don’t Know

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: George Lynch

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen


7. S A T 0

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Rhythm guitars: Bob Kulick

Lead guitar: Dweezil Zappa

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Vinny Appice


8. Killer Girls (Quiet Riot)

Vocals:  Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Joel Hoekstra

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen


9. Goodbye to Romance

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs: Gus G.

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen


10. Suicide Solution

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Brad Gillis

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums: Brett Chassen


11. Flying High Again

Vocals: Tim “Ripper” Owens

Gtrs:  Bernie Torme

Bass: Rudy Sarzo

Drums:  Brett Chassen



A lover of classical music, Rhoads had taken initial steps into rock’n’roll as a 16 year old when he formed a band, that soon became Quiet Riot. Rhoads was vaulted to the limelight in 1979 when Ozzy Osbourne chose the relatively unknown guitarist to help shape a new future for him via his band, Blizzard of Oz. The result saw Rhoads co-script two of the most famous albums in hard rock history, Blizzard Of Oz and Diary of A Madman, and rapidly ascended the stairway of fame and recognition for his virtuoso playing and writing. Famed for the way he fused classical flavors with technically-excellent hard rock, Rhoads became one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock.


When he tragically passed away on March 19, 1982 in a plane accident, Rhoads was only 25 years old, but thankfully, the legend of his work, ethos and their continuing influence on a whole new generation of guitarists, has never dimmed.


Celebrate the life and legend of Randy Rhoads with Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute.


     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!

     -the Hellion



KXM releases video for “Rescue Me”



Ray  Luzier (KORN), dUG Pinnick (KING’S X), and George Lynch (LYNCH MOB) collectively known as KXM have released the video for “Rescue Me” off of their forthcoming Rat Pak Records release! Enjoy:

PHOTO - KXM General Publicity 1 (Sébastien Paquet) copy

     it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s KXM!

     the Hellion

RPR set to release KXM featuring members of Korn, King’s X, and Lynch Mob!‏


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A new musical force to be reckoned with is about to turn the rock world upside down with the release of their self-titled debut, KXM. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Korn’s drum maestro, Ray Luzier, rounds out the powerhouse trio. 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.

The self-titled debut of KXM is something truly unique and special. The songs are powerful, precise, and transcend beyond the boundaries of the imagination. In today’s overpopulated music arena, true gems become harder and harder to find, but KXM‘s unified vision rises above the normal and creates its own space. From the opening drum riff of “Stars” to the final chord on “Human Friction,” KXM is an album that is sure to resonate with fans from the band’s original projects, while garnering new ones as well. Songs like “Gun Fight,” “Faith Is A Room” and the first single “Rescue Me” are sure to be instant favorites among fans. The band shows their softer side on the ballad “Never Stop” along with their dark side on the tale of domestic violence, “Sleep.”

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 born from those jam sessions and is now an important piece in each band member’s musical legacy. 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! Official release date is set for March 11, 2014


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     it’s loud,  it’s dirty, it’s KXM!

     – the Hellion Rocks







15 January 2014 : Los Angeles, CA…Lynch Mob will rock the west coast in February, delivering classic favorites and tracks from the latest record while introducing a new vocalist for the diversely-pedigreed band.



For twelve years with Dokken, George Lynch was able to develop a groundbreaking brand of guitar virtuoso that would also earn a Grammy nomination. In the early 1990s, Lynch launched his own project, Lynch Mob, which harnessed the talent of rock’s best players and released several well-received records, from 1990s WICKED SENSATION to the most recent UNPLUGGED. Tracks like “Wicked Sensation,” “River of Love” and “Tangled in the Web” have solidified George Lynch’s position on Guitar World’s list of Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. Live, Lynch Mob is described as desert- infused blues-based rock with a penchant for extended improvising, harkening back to the glorious jam days of the late 60’s and early 70’s.



“…a guitar hero by anyone’s standards.” Legendary Rock Interviews

“…one of the most gifted musicians on the planet…” Rock Music Star



Lynch’s current work also includes the film “Shadow Nation,” which explores a hybrid way of life, merging modern society with the ancient practices of people who have lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years; native American Indians. The film reveals its message through the journey of a group of renowned musical artists as they share their rock music on a road trip through Indian reservations of the southwest. He has also teamed with Arcane Inc. to create a new signature series of Mr. Scary guitar pickups



The current iteration of Lynch Mob is an unusual combination of rock backgrounds. Bassist Kevin Baldes is an original member of the Orange County alternative rock band Lit. Lit’s platinum album A PLACE IN THE SUN spawned three top ten hits including “My Own Worst Enemy.” He’s also played with Sugarcult, MEST and Good Man Down. Jimmy D’Anda is on drums. With L.A. based rock band BulletBoys and its hit “Smooth Up In Ya,” he earned a Gold album and toured the world with rock’s biggest acts.



Being introduced on this tour is new vocalist Thadeus Gonzalez. With Oakland-based Electric Sister, Tad enjoyed critical acclaim from not only the release of THE LOST ART OF ROCK & ROLL, but also supporting gigs with KISS/Motley Crue, Slash, Black Label Society, and Danko Jones. He’s been called “a frontman to watch” and “a definitive rock ‘n’ roll voice.”




Confirmed dates for the Lynch Mob Wynter 2014 tour include:




2/13 Vamp’d Las Vegas, NV

2/14 Whisky A Go Go Hollywood CA

2/15 Brick By Brick San Diego CA

2/19 El Corazon Seattle WA

2/20 Tonic Lounge Portland OR

2/21 The Boardwalk Orangevale CA

2/22 M15 Concert Bar Corona CA

2/23 910 Live Tempe AZ


An interview with Michael Sweet from STRYPER



Hot on the heels of the new STRYPER release “No More Hell To Pay” I caught up with vocalist/guitarist/founder Michael Sweet and had a great conversation. Kevin Chiaramonte of PFA (Paul Freundlich Associates) set this up so many thanks to him. Michael and I had a nice, relaxing conversation about life and music. Here is the link to the interview:

    Be sure to check out the new release from STRYPER  “No More Hell To Pay” out on Frontiers Records



it’s loud, it’s inspiring, it’s STRYPER!

the Hellion

Please vote for SHADOWTRAIN (Under a Crooked Sky) A Film by George Lynch



Focusing on North America, the film reinforces the idea to act locally to infuse global action. The documentary lays out specific solutions and global ideas, illustrating a blueprint for a better way forward. It presents solutions to the planet’s currently dire situation by enacting proven methods of independent and sustainable living through community involvement, art and music. Ultimately it reveals how a new culture that utilizes the best of both native and non-native’s views of governing, managing economy and spiritual balance is possible……




Please vote for SHADOWTRAIN (Under a crooked sky). A film by George Lynch featuring New Mexico’s own Gregg Analla. This film is too important to ignore. If you support music, Common sense change and the indigenous peoples of New Mexico and beyond, now is a great opportunity to make a difference.


In our effort to continually grow and bring you new and exciting content we bring to you today an “EXCLUSIVE” interview with George Lynch.

My good friend Glen Krause a veteran around the music scene was fortunate to have spoken at length with George and captured this wonderful and enlightening interview. Sit down, relax, and enjoy this one of a kind reading. Here’s Glen and George:

George Lynch, “Mr. Scary” Guitarist extraordinaire, iconic artist instrumentalist and composer. This would be the typical opening line to a story about this man. But it really only scratches the surface. George Lynch is a thoughtful, intelligent, educated and outspoken environmentalist who has a deep concern for the future of the human condition. He has many thoughts about how we as a society or as individuals can change the destination of this train that we are on. I recently had a long and fascinating conversation with George, covering a myriad of subjects, most of which were surprising
to me and, most likely, will be surprising to you as well. It was a typical balmy L.A. autumn late morning in the Los Angeles area, and by the time we were done two hours later, I found that I have many new perspectives on music and on the people and the world around me. I hope this article/interview/conversation has the same effect on you.
Tuesday Sept. 4th 10:45 am pst
Good morning George I know you’re super busy but Is this a good time to talk?
I just woke up here and I’m getting my coffee on but yeah absolutely.
Okay perfect so …
Do you want to talk about talk about your short-lived stint in Lynch mob, or no, was it… what band did you play in with us? (laughs)
Shadow train
Yeah shadow train. Definitely we want to talk about that, how you were in shadow train for about 45 minutes, Will definitely have to get some more pictures! There is you with XYZ here’s one with you and Shadow Train… Just put your picture with all the famous bands you’ve played with on your blog! (laughs) That was fun I cant remember what song we played I think it was Trail of Tears?
Yeah yeah we were tracking Trail of tears. I was really not necessarily expecting to do that that day. That was wonderful and amazing and that fact really fits in with how I want to approach this interview, That character about you that is so welcoming and comfortably open, Walking into Sound Mountain studios just felt like walking into an old friend’s house and you saying “Hey, Great to meet you I’ve heard a lot about you, grab a bass, sit down and jump in”. It was a very friendly session compared to most I’ve been in.

(laughing) yeah well that’s what it is about basically, We’ll take all the help we can get.
Exactly as it should be
That’s the most beautiful thing about music when it is at that level you know? I mean why does it have to be anything but that? You know otherwise it gets corporate and then money gets involved and then contracts come out and then man! everything just gets… ugly.
It does and interferes with the spontaneity of the music right?
Yeah and that song I kind of forgot about. I have been involved with so many other things lately. After that session on that song I recorded the voice of John Trudell, who wrote this beautiful poetic piece over it, a spoken word piece and we went into Henson
studios and recorded it and videotaped it. It’s very moving. And we added strings and did like a big Gilmore-esque guitar solo at the and and we’ve got the native drums in there now and it’s got these Paiute Indian chants in it. It’s it’s beautiful and really, it’s
absolutely the cornerstone of the record now at this point. I got to send it to you so you can hear what it ended up sounding like.
Yeah yeah please do I’d love to hear it. And that album is such an intriguing and amazing project. Ya know, growing up in Albuquerque and with Gregg Analla singing in SeventhSign, we have a large fan base and friend base of Native Americans and Pueblo Indians. And through that experience and many other experiences growing up in New Mexico I’ve definitely found that, similar to going over to your studio, I can walk into friends living room and feel somewhat like a stranger yet I can go to a Pueblo ceremony or dance or feast and walk into a total strangers house at the Pueblo or reservation and feel welcome like close family right off the bat like a guest of honor, it’s always an amazing experience to be part of that humble hospitality.
Yeah that’s beautiful! And that’s how it was. I mean it’s kind of a strange way to do a record. We had access to the studio as you know, called Sound Mountain and it’s basically just two-story house up in the hills that a friend of mine owns and we sort of
built the studio there or added to it and kind of lived there for a week. We really had no songs to speak of and so we kind of just went in and created everything on the spot. Just kind of shooting from the hip and improvising. Not that it really affects the end
results in any way, maybe for better, maybe for worse who knows, just knowing that we did it that way is so gratifying from the creative standpoint. It made it very special and endearing to know that we did it that way as opposed to the way most people
traditionally do records, which is obviously, I you know a very long and involved process. I come from jam, improvisational background. When I was growing up playing guitar in the 60s and early and mid 70s it was basically what I did. The bands that I was in improvised, that’s what we did most of the time. I’m so comfortable with that and I think that it’s somewhat of a lost art in the rock genre. I mean even the jam bands that I listen to are not purely improvisational in the truest sense, I don’t think. I’m sure there’s exceptions but from what I’ve heard from everything from String Cheese (Incident), Government Mule to Fish to Moe and Umphrey’s McGee. I mean their are arrangements that are rehearsed in that music. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
They’re beautiful. Umphrey’s McGee being my favorite but they’re not improvisational bands in the true sense that say, jazz bands are, or rather were. It’s a matter of CAPTURING the creative moment rather than CREATING the creative moment, two
completely different things.
Exactly! And I think the success of that genre of music in the 90s started attracting the attention of the industry which invited and ultimately imposed preproduction and label approval and those sorts of things on those bands before they could even start to “improvise” which is a sort of contradiction of form I suppose.
Definitely! I agree,
So shifting gears again, the new LYNCH MOB -Sound Mountain Sessions EP, which was recorded at the same place obviously as shadow train. It’s a collection of songs brilliantly structured and composed. The messages were pleasantly surprising to me it seems as though there are some social messages there. Particularly in the song CITY OF FREEDOM. You’re back in the Los Angeles area now and you can feel that atmosphere in the references to living under bridges and cardboard boxes and feelings of hopelessness and struggle and yet there’s kind of overwhelming feeling in the chorus
that there are undefined and perhaps undiscovered possibilities for change. Not your average message coming from a hard rock band.
Yeah well I think it’s a utopian-esque message that is maybe taken two ways, one literally, and one, sort of, you know, the “utopia in the mind” like new age sense where people could potentially evolve to a better place spiritually and mentally and then the
physical would follow. I wrote those words, it’s not one of the highlighted songs on the EP, it’s not the one getting the attention, right now slow drag is, but my job I feel in the band is, among other things, to hopefully create a deeper sense of message so that the band has depth rather than just music, not that music isn’t valid enough reason, it exists, but I come from an era again in the 60s and 70s where music was a product of revolution and uprising and social consciousness, the civil rights movement, Vietnam
War, all those sorts things. Bands then, and their messages evolved out of the rage that was occurring around the world. I thought that was beautiful and I think that’s largely gone away which is very very sad. I have very strong beliefs about things, so I feel it’s
my duty and obligation to use my tiny soapbox to have a little bit of a voice in the wilderness about what’s right and wrong. I don’t know if it will ever have any effect or not but you still have to try. The thing with lynch mob is that those views aren’t necessarily
shared by the entire group (laughs) so that’s where we’re different from a band say like Crosby stills and Nash and Phil Oaks, of course Dylan and the Beatles (when they were going through a certain period in their career), in that each had a very consolidated worldview and would rally around their message. And I struggle with that because I’m not the singer obviously and not really the lyricist, although I’ve had a few stabs at it. In the case of Sound Mountain Sessions, I did write the lyrics on City Of
Freedom and it was, if nothing else, cathartic to be able to express that. I really felt it was important, now whether that gets heard or recognized or resonates a chord with anyone, of course I have no control over that but, you know, at least I got it out there.
In the modern soundscape of love songs and hate songs it sounds like you feel it’s important to be able to use music as either a soap box or therapists couch so you can put your beliefs and your conflicts and your own, or someone else’s inner struggles into some sort of context that hopefully someone else can relate to and expand on within themselves.
Yeah, you know and I think that larger messages like that, that deal with issues rather than feelings are not very sexy, you know what I mean?(laughs) I’m known for my 80s era of music which was not a place for taking political stance or having any spiritual
message or anything like that. It was silly superficial, one-dimensional lyrics about sex drugs and rock ‘n roll, so it’s even doubly hard for people to take me seriously in that context; “wait a minute aren’t you Mr. Scary from Dokken? You had that that song called ‘I just got lucky’ and ‘it’s not love’” or whatever gay song that we were known for at that time? And well ,you know, people grow up. And I’ve always had these interests and these beliefs but I’ve sort of always tucked them away and kept them personal you know? And my parents are politically active and intelligent people and we were always talking about these things when I was growing up. We’re all well read and educated and I’m the one person in the family who does have a tiny soapbox, and they’ve expressed this on many occasions to me that “you know you have people that do listen to you and that’s a very powerful tool potentially”. In a sense ashamed of me that I haven’t utilized that to have some sort of beneficial effect on the larger world, beyond my lifetime. And now I would think that my main reason for wanting to have the music that I am involved in be heard is not to be a millionaire or be a rock star or famous but to write music that’s valid and powerful musically and also has an equally valid and powerful message. And have people recognize and hear it and possibly effect change. That is so much more
inspirational from a musician standpoint, which I’m sure you can relate to, and also doubly hard to do especially if it’s not in the context of a band that shares your opinions necessarily. I am fighting this struggle both externally and internally.
Well and it’s quite obvious I hope, to the people who listen to Sound Mountain Sessions and Shadow Train that you’ve utilized your past experiences and opportunities and taken your knocks, and that you have to build a soapbox before you can stand on it. and over time you have done that very effectively and now you are reaping the benefits of getting that attention that you can now use for good instead of evil (chucking)
Very well said and again I didn’t intentionally build that soapbox for that reason.
Well, I kind of believe that many times are we aren’t always consciously aware of our intentions until we reach a certain level of maturity and understand fully what our true motivations are based on where we come from. listening to where you came from in terms of your family background, I can kind of see where the seed for those intentions were perhaps planted, however long it took for them to germinate.
Or well like when a happy accident happens and you turn around and say “I meant to do that”
Well I say that because I recently made a homemade video out of boredom. Because of hand injury I can’t really write music or record right now so I thought I’d make a homemade video and I thought it was just something to spend the afternoon doing. and as people saw it they began to describe to me things and messages that they saw in it that I never consciously meant to express, but looking back they somehow that crept in
there anyway. When I first looked back at it I saw a very lazily made video and messy apartment. Intentions gone awry. I myself wasn’t very happy with it But to my surprise people really picked up on the emotion that was connected to the song which is about the unconditional love I have for my family and my children. So I guess a different kind of happy accidents
Interesting. Can I see that? I’d like to see that.
Absolutely I’ll send you a link. A creative conciseness driven, happy accident, caught on iPad camera with a dusty lens. I meant to do that! (both laugh)

The unconditional love subject brings up a whole other bunch of questions too, you know? What’s built into ancient genes. What is ultraism? Ultraism can be confused with selfishness, they’re actually parallel and very similar I think, and a very kind of
prehistoric way. What is the best tool for survival of the organism through time? Which ultimately under romanticizes it, Disney wouldn’t like that (chuckles). It is an interesting question though.
Well the way that I look at it is, even if it seems either cathartic or altruistic I’ve come to find that when you’re able to express these really personal, self-healing self identifying expressions, people realize that they have the same tone to their life and there is an effect of change on the listener. Whether that was the conscious intent or not, it is really rewarding to discover as an artist, that people pick up on that. I think having the ability to deliver a message, or a position or convey a feeling in a musical vessel that touches people and catches their attention for other reasons such as the beauty of the music or
the talent of the musicians, that’s a gift that we were given. If you can attach a message to it then you are thereby enhancing the gift and passing it along to others
Well you bring up a great point, actually you bring up a lot of great points, and as I listen to you I keep thinking of different paths of thought I could take on everything that you’re bringing it up. but let’s say in a larger sense, music is the last free educational
medium where the military industrial media complex, the media being the fourth arm of that monster, is highly controlled and biased and subjective. But music is sort of a wilderness and an open landscape and it’s a world of ideas and emotions that are hard
to define which makes it beautiful because it’s mysterious. And I think in that sense listeners, humans, people have something that is very vital to us like food and air and water. Life without it would be colorless and somewhat pointless. I mean how many
times has someone come up to you and told you that your music or somebody else’s music has meant so much to them because it marks time and personal history and they’ve identified through association with the words or feelings that our music
conveys? I mean all these things are SO powerful and in a way trump everything else in our lives to a certain extent. And I’m really glad that we can’t codify what it really is. We can’t break it down in a particle accelerator or examine it under a microscope in a laboratory. It can’t be picked apart through reductionism or anything else, it’s just this mysterious blend of what it means to be human and animal. I’m very glad will never be able to harness that or break it down into its individual components.
I absolutely agree I’ve come to find that technically music is just a series of vibrations and frequencies and is really just an organic element of nature.
You’re absolutely right and whether it’s generated by a computer or an acoustic instrument is irelevent. Music of the spheres!
So how would you describe how all of these philosophical notions of music and message manifest on the Sound Mountain Sessions?
Well speaking on the balance of the record, we all set around collectively and really worked on all these messages, some of which I was involved in some of which I wasn’t. “Sucka” was originally called Thunderbird Dust and I’m sure you remember when you
were up at the studio there was that old light blue Thunderbird, all rusty out in the desert there, and I love that thing and I thought it it embodied so much and conjured up so many images. My idea was kind of this vigilante for justice, driving through the desert in this Mad Max like post-apocalyptic world bringing messages of hope and redemption. That got canned and the singer wasn’t really comfortable with it and rewrote the lyrics and came up with “Sucka”, which I like. you know, it’s an interesting thing when you write, and I’m sure it’s the same with any artist in any medium, there’s an element of ego involved when you write, which I believe you have to constantly check yourself on. Because your ego can get very attached to what you think you’ve created, but when you start thinking of it as the collective and you’re all working together for a common cause and we’re not really creating anything we’re just kind of conduits and these things are coming through us somehow. We’re tapped into
something or whatever, who knows, we shouldn’t be so self aggrandized as artists that we’re believing that we’re actually truly creating anything. And when you think that way it’s easier to let go of stuff that you feel so attached to and can release yourself from the desire and attachment and except the impermanence of things. So I found I was very attached to the message originally of what instead became “Sucka” and I had to check myself and let it go. I think that’s why people in bands become solo artists. (Laughs) I am of the opinion that the group is stronger than the individual and does better work when we work together, which is what we all need to do. I don’t really believe in the rugged individualistic notion of an artist who picks himself up by his bootstraps and does it all and lets everybody else fall by the wayside and doesn’t give a shit about them and kicks them off into the ditch and then moves onto to his private airstrip and his G5 Gulfstream and flies off to his Crystal Palace, leaving the rest of us picking up crumbs. When I write something that doesn’t fly, I have to sort of check myself and realize that’s my ego talking. there are other valid ideas out there, not just my own.
Absolutely. I like how you throw “doesn’t fly” in there to in reference to the G5 (George laughs)
Yeah bands are funny things as you know. there’re like microcosms and experiments in human nature. Like a laboratory study of how people can interact in the best possible way or the worst possible way.
And you’ve had great experience in that historically speaking.
I’ve had experience in the worst possible way. also some in the best possible way but…
So then tell me a little bit of what you’ve learned about human nature and various band experiences that you’ve had including in that, the Dokken experience as well as bands that a lot of people are still interested such as Souls of We and Kill all Control and so on.
Well I think in the final analysis, for me anyways, at this point in my life as I think about and my experiences with microcosms of human interaction called musical groups over the years is that maybe there’s two ways to negotiate your way through life. because it affects the way you treat other people and how you operate. One way is you work together. The other you work for one. And you work alone for the benefit of yourself you look at everything as how is this going to benefit you? Individually and your short-term risk to benefit ratio till the day you die. You know? fuck my heirs, fuck my kids, fuck my family, fuck my community and fuck my friends because this is all about me. And that’s the extreme example. On the other end is the compassionate, empathetic individual that, even if it hurts him or herself, would extend themselves to help others and is worried about the larger community and the circle outside of themselves. now that sounds very nice and endearing and you would think that the latter example would be the one that we would all want to emulate ideally. But we don’t, Because we’re all selfish needy creatures. You know? and I don’t really know the answer to that. I mean I’m really a very progressive person, liberal in my politics and my worldview but, I mean, I haven’t I guess settled the question yet in my own mind as to what the right way to be is, in other words when it comes down to Basic survival and what our genes are telling us to do as the mind inside the cell, through millions of years of evolution, I’ve got a feeling that the former example is probably the one that serves SURVIVAL the best. I don’t know I’m not
a scientist. I’m not a behavioral scientist I’m not a biologist, I’m just kind of observing as I’m passing through life here. So I don’t really know. And at the same time I’m probably one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet because I am a lifelong environmentalist and I’m very left in my politics and yet I think the most powerful way to express your views are not only in the way you vote and in what you say but in the way you live. I live in a cookie-cutter tract home in a subdivision and I drive an SUV that guzzles gas. I’ve invested in the stock market in the past, you know? something I feel I shouldn’t be doing, These are things that I am diametrically opposed to, yet I don’t live by example and I have to face that. If i’m going to talk the talk I have to walk the walk so in my mind I believe in these things, but when the rubber hits the road, do I really practice them enough? So then what does a person do? Do you go live in a cave in the mountains with the solar panel and a sleeping bag and live this pure kind of existence? It brings up the example of when Al Gore was on the campaign with his movie to enlighten the world about global warming, the right attacked him for having this massive house which consumed a lot of electricity and energy, and I thought well that’s a very fallacious argument because, yes he is, but he is a product of the modern world and he uses the modern world and the tools at his disposal to express this message. Doing that requires energy! It’s a very silly argument because it’s a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the damage that’s really being done out there by the 800 pound gorillas and policy and all that kind of stuff, including warfare and the military industrial complex and so forth, raping and pillaging the natural world. Which is actually what he’s fighting. So that was a silly argument. But stupid people buy it. So that’s maybe the way I justify what I do, and I was brought up in postwar America where the country was coming along and growing and good things were happening with the economy and so forth. I was a product of the nuclear age and a nuclear family and it’s difficult for me to break out of that mold. And I’m surrounded by a dominant culture that I’m a slave to because I’m a product of this. I was raised in it and it’s all I really know. I know ultimately that there’s a better way but it is definitely an internal conflict for me. I guess the way I justify it is I need to do my work. And part of my work is the message. And really how I personally live doesn’t really make one iota of difference. Not that I live this grandiose lifestyle anyway. I still struggle with that. But I do have an exit plan. My exit plan is New Mexico. and it’s living in an Earthship or something like that and making simple music with my friends and living in a beautiful place that I love and can’t wait to get to. That dream keeps me putting one foot in front of the other every single day. I’ve got my big map of New Mexico on my wall that my mom gave me about 16 years ago, with all my pins on it and my plans and I go there every time I get a chance. I think most people have a sense of place, where they feel attracted to and it resonates with them and they feel they were born to be there. And I feel that way about New Mexico. I keep that in my head it keeps me energize and I have something to work forward to
I can relate to that being born and raised in New Mexico.
You’re lucky
I think so too, I think about it often, more and more often as time goes by, but again like you, I have to do my work and right now, that seems to be where I am currently. So maybe I am just doing the work that I can do here but cannot do there, and building my little soapbox.
Well Gregg Analla is great example of that conflict. As I talked to Gregg who you played with in Seventhsign and I played with in shadow train, and he is a great friend of both of ours, and he was talking about that recently when I was in Albuquerque about how he was in LA and he had to make a decision like we all have to make at one point in time in our lives as musicians. Do we live in the land of darkness and greed and materialism and sell our souls for this pipe dream? or do we go home? And Greg decided to go home. I didn’t (laughs).
Yet, you have to throw a yet in there. I’m a big believer in yet.
It is tough! It’s funny how life puts you in some of these kind of on answerable dilemmas where you’re screwed both ways no matter which way you turn (laughs). It’s like I’ll lose 50% of something if I go right and I’ll lose 50% of something if I go left.
Yeah it’s interesting how we come to terms with these types of issues, I’ve learned in my more recent attempts at self discovery that we are born with these instincts to survive and to seek food and warmth and safety with our mother or father and do whatever it takes to survive from an infant to an adult and as we grow older those become less and less useful to us and in fact in many ways begin hinder us. It seems these instincts that were ingrained in our DNA as we began to walk upright as a species haven’t really caught up to the fact that we now live well past the age of 30, and drive cars and so on,
and these ancient traits don’t take that into account. It’s almost like once we reach our 20s or 30s are instincts assume we are already dead so they just kind of go rogue on us.
Right and our nervous systems are ancient things. All of our cells are talking and they have all of this ancient history, and the modern world has only come into existence very very recently. I don’t think our nervous system has adapted to that you know? the pace of life, the amount of information we now have to process and so we have all these pharmaceuticals to deal with things and therapy and self-help books and most importantly, now we have unhappiness. I see so much unhappiness everywhere I go.
And I’ve found it generally the most genuine happiness dwells with the simplest, poorest people in the world. I mean they have problems but they are not so monumental, they have problems within the context of their own lives but they’re simple. I think the
nervous system can’t deal with the complexity of the modern world, as you said, it hasn’t evolved and caught up to how complicated life is which is why I think we all yearn for a simpler place and a simpler time, but how do you satisfy that urge for 7 billion people on a finite planet with finite resources with an infinite and exponential society overtaking this small blue/green planet. It’s very disturbing when you think about it in the larger context, but I think people should be aware of that and children should be taught that. It’s a very fundamental thing and simple to understand. You know, when advertising and the pressures of capitalism has brainwashed everyone into thinking they can all be rich and beautiful and that that would bring happiness. you know? That’s CONTRARY to happiness and THAT message needs to be drilled into our heads. But the capitalistic economic system that we slave under it is not gonna allow that. And that’s maybe where music can come in and shine a little bit of light on the truth.
Absolutely and it certainly seems that that is really the idea behind the Shadow Train Project in many ways.
Absolutely! It is being filmed in the setting of Native American reservations because they are semi sovereign nations, if they can be described that way, amongst a culture that in it’s history is much closer to the natural world. which gives us an opportunity to explore ideologies and ideas that may work for human beings in a context that is different than the dominant culture which is based on an economic system that is very unjust and unfair. So the movie is more about human nature than anything else, and how once you figure that out, then that affects everything else. How we deal with each other and understanding ourselves affects how we can create a fair economic system. I mean what is a fair economic system? How should it work? How should the exchange of energy occur? And is it right for so few to have so much and so many have so little? If a laborer works at Peabody mine and doesn’t belong to a union, he has no healthcare and he has no pension and he works in an environment that he knows is going to make him sick and his family will not be able to depend on him to support them. He (or she) has a dangerous job pulling resources out of the earth that enrich a very very few at a huge cost to the rest of us and our health to produce inefficient energy. That is just
insanity, you know? Is it fair for that person to sacrifice amount of energy, to make so little, to benefit this elite few at the top that everything trickles up to, who fly around and live in glass castles insulated from the minions? That is disgusting and wrong and I think there are only two things that keep the people from eating the rich at this point, fear being one and secondly greed. I mean let people believe that they can live behind those gilded guarded gates someday and leave their neighbors behind. They win that lottery ticket or have a good business idea and things take off, but that isn’t going to happen for just about everybody. Because for the system to work, and for that elite to be supported, there has to be an exponentially larger amount of people under that elite. There’s no such thing as an inverted pyramid. It would crumble under its own weight, everything has to trickle up. And it’s the system that has to be changed. It’s actually very very simple if you explain it to people that way. And what CAN’T be said is that that’s an opinion. Knowing and believing are two totally different things. You can choose to believe what you want to believe, but you shouldn’t choose to believe in something that’s contrary to what’s true. There’s only one truth. And that’s what the Shadow Train movie is about.
That’s such a great and important truth to pass along. I know that in the process of making the film, you also passed along some other things, I know you and Vincent DeCastro (Shadow Train’s Director) went out to native American communities and shared your music and musical knowledge, But you also shared musical recourses with the help of the Music Is Medicine Foundation. Instruments and inspiration that might carry a great service to the youth of those communities, providing them tools to perhaps express angst, anger and frustration (or anything for that matter) in a constructive way. Very important as these were not areas typically with a guitar mega mart around the corner. Yet you chose not to turn that action into a publicity event. In fact it was so low key, I think only a hand full of people outside of the project are aware that you guys even did this.
Yeah I think you have to be careful with touchy-feely, feel good stuff too, because sometimes I think that can become a distraction from what’s really important and that’s changing policy. Affecting change in things that affects people’s lives and changes the system. That comes from education and understanding how the wheels turn and what makes the wheels turn, how the system works and why it is unfair and what you have to do to change it. That’s why I have this wonderful affinity for what happened at Alcatraz, and what happened at wounded knee with the occupation and the 70s with the American indian movement that went to war against the government. The National Guard came out with the tanks and the goons to separate the conformists (who were in it for the money and more aligned with the corporatocracy) against the traditionalists. and then jumping bull I think it was where the FBI agents were killed and Leonard Peltier was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life, that was the culmination of many years of terrorism. That’s why people need to understand that the genocide that occurred with our indigenous people, the only true Americans in this country, has happened all over the world throughout history and continues to happen, and it begs the question are the conquerors and the victors really just wrong? I mean it seems to be the history and the story of humanity is just conquest. And whether you win or lose there are predators and there is prey, there’s winners and losers, and in that sense, Native Americans are defeated people in their own country and Homeland. That’s really the bottom line. And we like to say in the movie, in fact we expressed this line at one point, when the Europeans came over here with a cross in one hand and a gun in the other (and a few ticks up their sleeves) they got everything! Through treachery and trickery and force and what ever. But they did NOT get what was essentially the most important thing and that is the point. People are unhappy, materialism does not satisfy the spiritual needs and emotional needs. It really doesn’t satisfy anything up to a certain point. Obviously for security needs and to stay healthy and safe and alive we need certain things but beyond that an overabundance of stuff just creates unhappiness by just complicating your life and creating more problems and also corrupts your soul because for you to have more, many others have to do with less. So I think a realignment of priorities would be a healthy thing. This is not saying that people by nature are bad, it’s just saying that the system is wrong and skewed and exaggerated to the point of being so unfair and so unjust that it’s created so much pain and so much suffering for so many people, It has become blatantly and glaringly obvious that it needs to change. you know maybe a gentle change with a slight arch towards justice and equality, or maybe a
drastic and dramatic change. Most things seem to occur in this sense, very dramatically. It’s just like an earthquake. When the pressure builds up on a fracture in the earth to the point where it is either released incrementally over time with small little adjustments or pressure builds up to the point of inevitable catastrophe, if you want to explain it as catastrophe. Painful for short period of time and then there is an adjustment and the pressure is off and you’re better for a while. Until the next one (laughs).
And it seems that one of the things that the concept of the Shadow Train Project brings up is that a lot of Americans don’t even realize that we have this amazing and rich culture that is struggling to endure amongst us that was here obviously very long before us. And we are still slowly trying to pave over this culture and turn it into fashion trends and decorating motifs, completely missing what it truly is that we’re admiring or we think we are admiring.
Yes! you know? Not all Indians live in teepees, it’s like the Disneyfication of everything. Unfortunately that’s where our kids get the idea of what everything is like. The happiest place on earth? Disneyland? Are you kidding me? It’s the ultimate distraction from what we are unhappy about. I watched this show recently while I was on tour, and it really angered me, I was sitting in my hotel room and one of my friends sent me a link to this show about where this crew would come in from one of the networks or whatever, and they would build these people and new home. Some home makeover show, and they would do it for certain people, Poor people, disenfranchised people, and they had an episode on the Navajo reservation, and they picked this family that was living in a double wide trailer with no heat and one tiny solar panel that the son was trying to hook up so they would have a little bit of electricity and they were shitting in a bucket outside in the winter and living off government cheese and and all the other assistance that they could get. And it was a grandmother and the father was out of the picture and there were kids who were having kids, You know, poor people with poor people problems. and these people came in, must’ve been a 100 person crew and giant million dollar toolboxes and construction equipment, and they took the family this Native American family to Disneyland for the week. Of course they had a remote camera with the family in Disneyland and they were elated and they were happy/distracted, I mean what else are they going to do when you’ve taken everything from them? everything that they’re
about, their spirituality their culture their land. We’ve defeated them, taken away their identity, their education, their resources… Okay now we are going to send you to Disneyland! That’s the consolation prize! And this family is going to take anything they can get at this point “yay, were in Disneyland”! And while they’re in Disneyland the show builds this house, and it was this $3 million fake Hogan, and you know it was beautiful, certainly not in a simple way, but it was a showpiece you know? It was like a designer home. And then they brought the family back from Disneyland and held the unveiling, and the whole community was there. Naturaly the recipients of this gift were very appreciative, they were in tears the whole time and they couldn’t believe it… But I thought about it and I wondered what’s gonna happen afterwards. Because natives are much closer to the idea of the collective and taking care of each other and sharing and so you give just one family this $3 million house in one of the poorest places in the country, you know where the original Americans are second-class citizens, there uneducated, they’re poor, they have the highest mortality rates lowest life expectancy average, highest infant mortality diabetes with a modern shitty sugar and carb diet that McDonald’s forces down their throats, and we steal other resources and they have no kind of way to have any kind of enterprise on their own land (because of the way the deals are designed, their land is held in trust by the United States government, they are wards of the state essentially, not capable of managing themselves, and that’s done so that the BIA can interface with them and make sure that resources are extracted for the benefit of the dominant culture and economy, not them and they get crumbs). And so this network comes in and builds them this $300 home. So now how did they feel about
the community and how does the community feel about them? What they have done now is just explode the sense of greed and entitlement, and it’s all about me not about you. It’s sort of like that movie The Gods Must be Crazy where in Africa this small village finds a Coke bottle that was thrown out of a plane by a pilot and these villagers think that it is a gift from God, I can be used for all these wonderful things such as starting fires and used as a tool and then it starts creating jealousy and greed and everyone
wants their turn at the Coke bottle, and eventually one of the bushman observes this and decides to tell everybody that this thing is nothing but evil is going to get rid of it and he keeps trying to throw it away because they were once so happy and now they are so miserable. And I felt the same way about this house that they built because the other neighbors are going to still be living their simple life, with no heat and no power and living hand to mouth. And basically the message almost seems to be, you can become
a second-class citizen in this dominant culture or you can die. You can assimilate or you can die. It was very very disturbing to watch. It enraged me to watch this. I was saying to myself, “Is anybody not seeing this?” It’s like why couldn’t they take the $3 million and Sears and the resources and the sponsors and go and do something good for everyone, and that’s not necessarily GIVING them something, it’s DOING something on a deeper level, maybe give them something back so they can decide who they are. For example one of the big problems I’ve found is that in this economic system the banks are at the heart of everything and when you go into Native American reservation you see Wells Fargo, you see Chase and you see Bank of America. The devil.
Why are there not sovereign banks on reservations? Why don’t they keep their money invested in their own communities? because all that money gets off shored, invested in interest raising endeavors for the dominant culture, and it does nothing for them. because investment on a reservation is not safe for outside interests. Because they cant guarantee a return on their investment. But thats the way it’s designed! intentionally! to create a dissonance from investing on a reservation. Which increases the pressure to go along with selling your recourses for a penny on the dollar. The Navajo reservation is going through tis right now with the water rites of the Colorado river. Per the treaty of, I believe, 1907 the Navajo reservation owns, in BLACK AND WHITE, half the water in the Colorado river. It’s an extremely arid part of the world. Water is life! If they were actually
able to use that water, had a way to deliver it and use it would literally transform their lives. The state of Arizona and the Federal Government are doing everything they can to not allow that to happen. and so there is a split on the reservation as far as what to
do. And this just came down. The president of the Navajo reservation is going against his peoples wishes and has voted to decide with the two senators from Arizona; Kyl and McCain and sign over the water rights to the state of Arizona. So there was a recall. The recall election commission which is under the umbrella of this Presidents government, decided to kick out the recall. The fox watching the hen house. Thats all going on right now. Thats an example of the tragedy that occurs politically here. The Peabody mine, uranium mining ,uranium dumping, Uranium waste where does it go? the giant land fills that are on the reservation. Its a good thing we left them some places in our country, places where we can mine that uranium (to make bombs to support the expansion of our empire so we can steal resources throughout the world). And places where we can dump our garbage And it’s tragic. and it’s wrong. and people don’t know about it. And really people don’t care. They don’t care because they’re trying to smooth up the socio-economic ladder, you know, I have a Ford now but maybe I want a BMW or I want a house with the pool
or I want to move to the the housing development behind a gated community instead of regular subdivision and shop at Neiman Marcus instead of Walmart. 
Or move from the Doublewide into the deluxe faux Hogan.
Yeah. I think when people want to start to go back towards the other way and not live in mansions and learn to live simpler, if everyone did that collectively there’d be a lot less pressure on the planet and a lot less pressure on our psyches and our nervous
systems. We would’nt need to rely on the pharmaceutical trap, we wouldn’t need drugs to make us feel human. You know we have pills to help us go to sleep to help us have sex to help keep us from going crazy or becoming depressed… there was a time when
we didn’t need to do that. We are just robots in society today. Just here to be productive, and that word, “productive” in our society has positive connotation where I don’t think it should. Because what idoes productivity mean? That just means you’re working harder to support somebody else. Pull resources out faster or produce more crap that we don’t need, from birth till death. To be born into debt and to die in debt. And that’s the plan set for all of us except for the people up at the top who will be benefiting from us being more productive. There’s more to life than just being a productive machine that turns something simple and basic into something more complex to benefit somebody that we will never know, who doesn’t want to have anything to do with us.
Wow, that’s a lot to think about, we just covered an incredible amount of ground there!
Yeah what idoes any of this have to do with music, (laughs) that’s a problem with me once you get me started…
I think it’s great I’m actually glad that we’ve veered down these various paths. It actually makes me feel even more excited about passing this message along. You are definitely doing a good job of doing that and the fact that you support these things and identify these things and are willing to speak on about them speaks volumes about your character and that after all is what I wanted to capture and share with others. I think people don’t understand that artists and celebrities are so much more than the “product” that they are known for. And I think it’s only fitting that the majority of this conversation is devoted to really important things that are more a part of what you are then what most people see you are or think you are. And I hope people will read this and learn much more than how you play the solo to wicked sensation (George laughs)
Well that’s the bait (laughing) I can say how I played that one thing in Mr. Scary and then, by the way… We’ve got to change the world (chuckles).
Actually I meant to bring that up. You and I share many mutual friends and I’ve talked to many with the exception of one or two that have nothing but wonderful things to say about you and definitely don’t conjure up the image of someone who could be described as ‘Mr. scary”
Well you didn’t know me in the 80s (laughs) really it’s more of a joke than anything and things weren’t really that bad but, you know, things were different back then ,you know, I guess “Mr. Scary” is a product of the heyday of the hairbands you know, sex drugs and rock ‘n roll and I was just doing my job! (chuckles)
So now as this more mature and developed and aware human being does it doesn’t bug the crap out of you to be referred to as Mr. Scary on a constant basis?
Oh I don’t care. You know like I tell people when people ask me for my autograph and pictures anyhow is asking me so politely “is it okay”, well wait a minute, I just appreciate the fact that you WANT my autograph and my picture. I actually ENJOY that, I mean how hard is it just sign my name and stand next to someone and take a picture? Some people have to get up at three or four in the morning and go to work at the mines. I get to play guitar and sign my name… that’s my job. I’m not complaining about it, the cult of personality, it’s ironic that I sort of would like to work to defy that, but that’s what keeps my lights on and pays my rent so anyway I’m still kind of working against myself.
Since we are moving onto lighter subjects and getting back to music, you’re juggling a whole bunch of different things right now and you’re keeping really busy and definitely exerting yourself to great lengths with your talents and your efforts and your presence musically speaking and now spiritually and politically as well. Is it difficult for you to have three active projects right now and three albums potentially dropping in the space of a year or so, with completely different lineups and messages?
Well it’s hard for me to sometimes remember the names of the guys in the band. (both laugh) I’m actually sort of kidding. but seriously I’ve written so much material so quickly, sometimes the lines get blurred from project to project. One example I was working on the song with Jeff Pilsen (from Dokken) for lynch mob last year when he was part of that. and the band at that time did not feel that that was the right direction for them so Jeff and I decided to do this T&N project and so that particular song ended up being on the T&N record which is coming out this October but it’s also on the new full-length Lynch mob album that’s coming out early next year, and I got my wires crossed and forgot that I had written it for both bands and somehow it ended up on both bands
records and it’s almost the same song
Well that’s okay like cross pollination I suppose
I never thought of it that way, I guess cross pollination is a good thing right?
I think it is definitely. it’s a frequent occurrence during the creative process whether you are cross collaborating or not.
Well the way I see it is you know probably I could sue myself and whether I win or lose it’s a draw. (laughs)
And either way you know you won’t be litigating against an asshole.(both chuckle)
But seriously it is a different song, because it has a different singer and different words, but it’s kind of interesting I think. If you go back and you look at another artist that you like and you go wow he was in the stand in this band and you can kind of tell that it was the same song but it got changed, kind of behind-the-scenes insight like, you know, “oops”! I don’t think it’s a bad thing though. I mean AC/DC has been writing the same tune for the last 30 years and I don’t think anyone has any problem with that so… But as far as keeping all these things going and moving forward, you know ideally I would like to have just one band that has nominal success in the sense that were able to support ourselves and stay busy and have enough output creativity to satisfy
everybody and just keep life a little simpler, but lynch mob does not work fast enough for me, and I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing, for them or me. It’s just kind of the way I am and I like many different kinds of music and especially as I am older, I sort of broaden my focus a little bit so these passions aren’t necessarily shared with bands I play with, so there is the creative necessity for something like Shadow Train. And then Tooth and Nail by the way is also a very politically infused record. The name of the record is “Slave To The Empire” and Jeff (Pilson) and I share common thoughts about the way things are and the way things could be. That is what the whole record is about as the name implies, so that’s very gratifying and satisfying to be doing that project, and also working with Jeff, you know, we’ve been working on and off together for the last 25 or 30 years whatever it is, and we wrote a majority of those Dokken songs together, and we live very close to each other. He is a fantastic engineer and we’ve always had this fantastic chemistry and he has said to me and I have said to him “you know in the perfect world we would just like to play together for the rest of our lives and make music together” and we want to do that someday. that’s why we started with baby steps with this T&N project. And we finished two records actually the record Slave To The Empire
which will come out in October will be followed up are you later with a second record which is pretty much done already. We recorded both albums over the period of about a year and a half. Then there’s the lynch mob EP which we did very quickly and came out great and were following that up with a full-length record coming out early next year. Were actually going back into the studio in a few weeks to finish up the last six songs. In recent months I have also released an instrumental EP that’s called Legacy.
What motivated you to throw that into the already rich mix of projects?
I’ve just never done a guitar record where I want to just play for fun, play what I want purely from a guitar perspective, just have it be balls out and pyrotechnic and just do whatever I want, no excuses, and so I got that out of my system. And that was very fun
and easy to do,. I didn’t have to worry about songs in the larger context and a band to deal with and expensive recording studios and all that crap. I was just able to do it in my home studio with an engineer add a couple of friends (Rev Jones: Bass and Michael
Frowen: Drums) we just banged it out.
Very nice that sounds like fun. and then looking to the future?
Well I‘ve got another project I’m working on with, that we haven’t started yet, but we hope to this year with Doug Pinnick from of course, Kings X on bass and vocals and Ray Luzier on drums from Korn. Whoah! awesome lineup to say the least! What a lineup! Yeah we want to do this power trio thing it’s really heavy and obviously trippy at the same time, maybe put a little Dubstep in there I don’t know, that’s kind of a Korn thing but then again it’s a completely different kind of project, totally apart from
lynch mob, T&N and shadow train, you know? it’s kind of like the old supergroup thing which doesn’t doesn’t happen anymore. I kind of miss those days.
Well yeah Doug Pinnick was a huge influence on me and definitely an influence on Seventh Sign and Ray Luzier I’ve met on quite a few occasions and he’s a really great guy and an amazing player as well.
And it’s so great to play with people like that you know?, in this business you run into quite a few dickheads that are just egotistical pariahs, Energy suckers, and it’s so much work and requires so much energy to try to deal with those kind of people and it sucks up energy that you need to be putting into what you’re trying to do. I have tried very hard to just kind of distance myself from those kind of people and I’ve done pretty good job of it with very few exceptions in the last few years. And as I say, Ray and Doug, beautiful people Salt of the earth ,wear their heart on the sleeves and hard workers and I like that work ethic. They’re there because they want to be there. If we just do it for the right reasons everything else will follow you know? People will come, people will listen.
I am sure that will be epic, this is the first time Ive heard about that project.
Yeah that one’s been pretty much under the radar until now I guess. The biggest problem is not the music, because people will gravitate towards this, we know that. The problem is just finding the time with everything that I’m doing obviously and everything that Ray is doing, they’re very busy! They’re going to Russia and Indonesia and then they’re going to go to Japan and they come back and start another record and now it’s just kind of trying to find a pocket of time. The one pocket of time he has this year is in November and that’s when I’m going out on the road with T&N so that’s going to be to the challenge. it will either happen or not happen sooner or later depending on when wecan find a time to do it.

There you have it, an insight into the mind of George Lynch. Thank you George and thank you Glen for sharing this wonderful conversation with us. We’re gonna leave you with a little LYNCH MOB “SLOW DRAG”

the Hellion