George Lynch: “The End Machine Could’ve Been A Dokken Record”

By Andrew Catania

Even a broken arm can’t stop George Lynch from making his acclaimed Mr. Scary Guitars.  We spoke about The End Machine and his future plans.

How did you break your arm?

GL: Doing a bunch of heavy-duty landscaping and then I went and worked out,  did racket ball and it just gave out.

I saw you got Shadow Train released. How was that received?

GL: Well, you know, it didn’t make much noise.  it’s just a small independent documentary. Without any team behind it,   It really doesn’t have much support to speak of. It was 7-8 years of working on that, off and on. So, it’s somewhat disappointing,  that I worked so long and that hard on something so meaningful.  It’s just a business that I’m not that familiar with, unfortunately. That was the problem, I went and I did something that I really didn’t know how to do and…Believe me, if I had it to do all over again, I learned what not to do.  (Laughing)

With The End Machine, when you guys went in to do this recording, did you have any expectations?  

GL: We had high expectations, the enthusiasm level was very high. Jeff and I were looking forward to working with each other because we’ve been doing it for decades.  We have so much fun doing and we kind of get each other.   We finish each other’s sentences, so to speak.   It’s really a wonderful pairing of creative minds when Jeff and I work together.   We try to find excuses to do that whenever we can, as much as possible. Even if we don’t have a record deal. (Chuckling) He lives really close to me, so I just drive over and we get together whenever we can. We play with the guitars and the amps. Anytime we sit down together, we’re going to write something because it just flows. Put a guitar and bass into the mix, and something’s going to happen.

What about Wild Mick? Does he add to the excitement?

GL: Well, he does in the sense that his drumming on this was really mature and also, to me, had the fire and the sound of older Mick Brown. I don’t everything about playing drums, but he has that quality, that a lot of guys don’t have. It’s very rare. I gotta say that about Jeff and Mick. They both have the quality that is just their tone and their feel…The thing that we sort of developed, back when we played together throughout the ’80s.   It’s just this great groove and these big sounds. There’s not a lot of people who do that anymore.   There are a lot of guys who can shred and a lot of guys who can slap and all that crazy stuff. But it’s not necessarily the point of drums and bass, it’s more about pocket and groove and things like that., which isn’t always well done.  I don’t think it’s considered as much as it should be.   That’s what Mick brought and he really wasn’t involved in the writing on this one.  It was primarily Jeff and I, on the music and Jeff and Robert wrote the melodies and lyrics.

Photo taken downtown Los Angeles on 08/14/18.

You seem more comfortable and relaxed with The End Machine than you do with your other projects.

GL: Look at it this way, the band is almost Dokken, and it’s almost one of the earlier incarnations of Lynch Mob. It’s the second version of Lynch Mob, the second record.  With Pilson instead of Anthony. I feel kind of at home with that. To play with guys that I’ve played with for so many years, you know what to expect and it feels like family.

When I watched your Return to the East DVD and your warm-up show in South Dakota, it seemed you could the tension on stage with the knife between you and Don.  Was my observation wrong?

GL: Well, it wasn’t band related. It was more situational- related in the sense that we really didn’t give ourselves enough time to Gell. There was a lot of expectation and we just kind of threw ourselves out there without really prepping as much as we should have.   So it was that stress. And then, the event in South Dakota, which was our first show which shouldn’t have been the first show, we should have done some warm-ups or something, after all of those years. A lot of things got changed around on us, our rehearsal situation, the gig itself, and all of these things got kind of moved around and kind of screwed us up.   We knew we had to do a video, it was our first show and it was sold out. So it was like, bam. We didn’t have time to collaborate. It was that added stress. It wasn’t anybody in the band. We all wanted to do it. We were fine with each other.

We weren’t 100 percent at our best yet.  People are going to compare that to Dokken in ’88 or something when we were at our peaking and touring for 6-7 years solid and working at it without any breaks. And all of a sudden, after a 35-year break, do a few rehearsals and people will start to say it’s not what we heard then.  So we arranged things just a little different  It is what it is.

Is there talk of any new Dokken material with the original members in the future?

GL:  Not really at the moment. There was at one point, with The End Machine, it could have been a Dokken record, but obviously, Don didn’t feel comfortable getting on board.  We were before Robert got involved, discussing it. I knew it was going to be a good record, I felt it, the songs were strong and would have lent themselves to his style of singing. It would have been the record we would have done if we had thought of doing one. It was going to be great. So, yes it was being talked about at one time, to the point, there was money on the table, but we just walked it back and did what we did, which we are very proud of.  I’m happy we did it the way we did it. But, never says never.

Where does Lynch Mob, stand?

GL: Lynch Mob is more of a touring band,  I don’t tour with the other projects much. We’re doing a few The End Machine shows, and that might be a Japanese tour with End Machine. That would be nice, but other than that, I don’t really do live shows much anymore with the other projects. Including KXM, which is very unfortunate. I really wish we could.  We could always do records, I imagine. But I’ve got so many other records and projects in the pipeline that it would really have to wait awhile. Because there is such a glut of Lynch-related records, you know. Like I have a project called, well, I’ve got KXM 3 coming out in June and then I have a project called Dirty Shirley with Dino, the singer from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Will Hunt the drummer from Evanescence, that’s coming out in the Fall.  I still have the Banishment with Tommy Victor from Prong on the backburner.  it’s pretty close to done. All the songs have been written and recorded. Even some of the vocals are done.  I could do a Lynch Mob record, later this year coming out in 2020 or later.

Are you going to be doing any Solo material?

GL: I’ve tinkered with the idea of doing an actual instrumental, solo guitar record. But, I’m not sure, if or when I would do that. I definitely want to feel like I am at the top of my game if that happens. It would have to be a relatively decent budget project because I would really want to take my time with it, spend time, attention and care. Make sure that’s something that’s worth doing, to really go deep and, who knows, just make it my own kind of my Magnum Opus. it is my work, you know. We’ll see. I would like that one day.  Right now, I don’t have the resources to do it.

A George Lynch instrumental would sell more than any others.

GL: Yeah, I would hope so. But, as I said, with that risk involved, from the record company’s standpoint, CD’s are going away next year, record sales are going down so dramatically. You know, all of that combined together. Are they like, okay, we want an older legacy artist who wants to do a self-indulgent, expensive instrumental record, where he wants to spend 6 months, woodshedding, recording something off in the mountain, or a cave in the desert, you know, whatever?  It’s a risky proposition. And when you think about, you know, you gotta consider, what if you were the person spending the money? People want to get down on record companies, not paying the artists enough and all,  but what if you had to take the money out of your pocket and give an artist $50, $100 or $200,000 and plus all of that money times 2 because you got to spend money on staff, promotion, marketing and all of the other things they do to get the record out there. You know, that’s a lot to ask for now.  When I do deals, I worry about the label; I don’t try to look at it as a gift horse in the mouth. I try to look at in a responsible way. I know that if somebody gets hurt financially in investments the first time around, there won’t be a second time.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?

GL:   I’m doing a show with Dokken at the M3 Festival on May 5th.  We are headlining that day. It’s the only show I’m doing with Dokken this year. I’m doing some outside stuff, I’m doing a fair amount of Lynch Mob touring,  Just working and filling in all of the space with Mr. Scary Guitars. Whenever I’m home and I’ve got the available time, and we are just moving into a new shop. Pretty excited about that. It’s got a spray booth and machines. I actually have a sign up in front of the shop, you know, a legitimate facility…(laughing) We are very proud of it.

For more information on The End Machine please visit https://www.facebook.com/TheEndMachine/

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