Magnatone Giveawya

August Issue

Interview: George Lynch

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Confessions of a Metal Head

I have a confession to make. In my hearts of hearts, I am a metal head. There. I’ve said it. It’s not as if I have tried to hide that fact, it’s just something that is usually not discussed in polite company. Few things will cause a conversation to come to a grinding halt than if you are at a dinner party and the word “Motörhead” escapes your lips. It’s akin to confessing that you play “Dungeons and Dragons”; it may still done, just never talked about.

Back in the halcyon days of big hair acts, Dokken had one thing that separated them from any number of Hollywood Boulevard wannabes: George Lynch. He elevated an otherwise forgettable band. George could play with dizzying speed, but he also could call upon equal parts finesse and drama. He had a monster tone and licks to spare. Plus, he just made everything look so damn cool. George hunkered over his custom-made ESP guitars like a praying mantis ready to bite its helpless prey’s head off.

George didn’t play his guitar so much as he seemed to be ripping the notes out of a living being, an illusion that was made even more (sur)real during the middle of the “Dream Warriors” video when his guitar came to life. But “Mr. Scary” quickly became Lynch’s signature piece – arguably his answer to Eddie’s “Eruption.”

I saw Dokken as an opening act for Aerosmith at the Cow Palace and, while Don Dokken was just painful to watch, George Lynch was simply mesmerizing. By the time when Aerosmith hit the stage, Brad Whitford and Joe Perry seemed hopelessly out of touch.

- Adam Hunt
You’ve mentioned your upcoming instrumental record. Can you share some details on it?
Absolutely, it’s a three song EP called Hang ‘Em High. Two of the songs, one called “Kill Whitey” and the other one called “Hang ‘Em High,” are a little more reminiscent of old school rock, a more modernized version of UFO. But it’s also ripping, you know? It’s not new music, it’s more of a throwback and I think a lot of people will really identify with that.

There’s also sort of a much quieter song on there called “Maya,” which is kind of a beautiful song. It’s not a heavy song, but it’s just neat. I plugged it into my Brahma with an old ‘59 Esquire that a friend of mine loaned me. It’s sort of reminiscent of Jeff Beck’s style. The EP is going to be offered exclusively through the Mob Shop at GeorgeLynch.com.


And the Dojo online courses are still rocking and rolling?
Yeah, it’s a model that I think people really like because for a very small amount of money you get as close as you really can to having a sit-down lesson. All these lessons are archived where you can go back and look through hundreds of lessons that we’ve done in the past. Not only are the lessons done a lot of the time in my studio, but we do a lot of gear exploration. We’ll try this pedal, this amp, this guitar and show the pros and cons – a thing that I like to use and experiment with.

We show how we record and the importance of the little things; we also show how I think of a composition and how I create it. So I’ll sit there with my engineer and we’ll start out with a basic drum track that we create ourselves with software examples – which is how I write – and then I come up with a riff and say, “Ok, here’s your basic riff and here’s what that would evolve into. Here’s the prechorus, here’s the chorus. Ok, those are your three main parts, now you have a song, they all fit together nicely, and now we want to overdub that. We want to put a clean on top of it, or we may want to throw a solo on top of it, mix it down.” We get into all areas of the guitar-centric world. It’s not just lessons – it’s beyond that, with plenty of other things guitarists need to know.


So it’s about gear and the application of that gear. One thing I notice is you see the big picture with everything.
Yeah, I’m a complete gear nut. I don’t have the time or the resources to have everything and try everything, but I’m always looking on Craigslist and I’ve got my ear to the road, checking out new stuff. I’m a big fan of that kind of stuff, kind of in the Billy Gibbons way, where I’m always changing shit up, exploring and finding new things.


GEORGE’S GEAR BOX

George Lynch
All the above effects are loaded onto a custom-made pedalboard built by Dave Friedman of RackSystems and is powered by a BBE SupaCharger multiple pedal power supply and Furman power conditioner.

Gear box courtesy of George’s tech Gerry Ganaden gerry@ge@rgelynch.com
Amps:
Randall Lynch Box with Brahma, Mr.Scary and Grail modules
1968 Marshall Plexi 100-watt Super Lead unbelievably stock, un-modded
SLO-100 “Scientist” (clone, modeled after the very first SLO amp by Mike Soldano)

Speaker Cabinets:
Randall Lynch Box 4x12 loaded with four Eminence Lynch Super
V12 150 watt 8-ohm speakers
Early-seventies, basket weave-era Marshall 1960 A 4x12 (slant) cabinet loaded
with two Celestion 20-watt pre-Rola speakers and two Celestion 25-watt G12M
Heritage speakers at 16-ohms
1965 Hiwatt SE-4123 4x12 loaded with four 50-watt Simms-Watts/Fane speakers at 15 ohms

Guitars:
ESP Original M-1 Tiger with a single Seymour Duncan Super V prototype
pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo
ESP GL56 (distressed Strat-type body) with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro in the bridge
position and Roland GK-3 midi pickup
Fender 1959 Esquire with single Tele pickup petrified into the wood of the body.

Cables:
Spectraflex 1/4” Lynch signature series instrument cables with custom-made
circuit breaker plugs
Zaolla gold-tipped, frequency shielded 1/4” instrument and 16-gauge speaker cables

Strings:
Dean Markley Lynch Signature Series Super V strings gauged for Regular top and Light bottom (.010, .013, 0.17, .024, .032, .042)

Effects:
Zoom G2G George Lynch Signature multiple effects pedal
Morley Lynch Dragon 2 Wah pedal (prototype)
Cusack Screamer V2 with three position diode selector (set to LED diode clipping)
MXR Phase 90 (original, hand-wired vintage from 1974)
Boss CE-3 Chorus Ensemble
Vintage Mutron Octavider
T-Rex Replica delay
Original Fulltone DejaVibe (first edition handmade by Mike Fuller in 1994)
Morley Lynch Tripler 3–channel signal splitter
Late-seventies vintage Boss GE-10 10-band equalizer


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