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Interview: George Lynch - Kill All Control

Interview: George Lynch - Kill All Control

Did you use any of your Mr. Scary guitars?

No—I’ve never built one for myself, which is stupid. I just don’t have time, and I always have orders.

On the entire album, you didn’t play one Mr. Scary guitar?

No. I work so hard on them, fall in love with them, and then it’s like giving away your kids. A cool story is about the guy who bought The Fossil from me. He’s an archeologist, which is why it’s made out of three million-year-old fossil bones. He was nice enough to let me take it on the road and the city he lived in was the last date on the tour.

I played the guitar for a few songs, finished a solo, and then handed it to him in the audience. I knew I was handing it to him, but the audience didn’t know that—they just thought I was giving my guitar away. It was great and people freaked out! It looked awesome from where I had walked offstage, because it was still feeding back and ringing [Laughing].

I don’t think most people realize that you actually build guitars in your own shop and that you’re hands-on.

There are two misconceptions about Mr. Scary Guitars. One is that I don’t make them myself, which is absolutely not true. That’s why I send every customer a DVD. I do of course have help—I can’t do it all myself. At any guitar company, nobody does everything completely by themselves. I don’t do the fretwork or build the bridges from raw metal (Laughing). I order them from Floyd and retrofit them with upgraded parts, but I am completely hands on.

They’re works of art, but first and foremost, they sound and play amazing—that’s the number one thing. They have wide, flat, C, quartersawn necks, with stainless steel frets. I use the best woods available including black limba, which nobody builds with anymore because it’s poisonous. I have to use a double industrial breather so I don’t get mesothelioma, but it sounds amazing. It has the best qualities of mahogany, but it has a little more top and a little more spank, like you would get with a Les Paul by adding a maple top. It’s all tone-monster stuff and extremely playable.

I know luthiers who make these $35,000 sculptures, but you wouldn’t want to play them! Not because they’re art, but because they’re just not that playable. It’s not their primary purpose. They’re wall hangers, and my guitars are not that at all. Everyone who gets my guitars says, “Oh my god! I’ve never played a guitar like this.” It comes from that old San Dimas late ’70s early ’80s school of guitar building.

What’s the story behind the sequel to “Mr. Scary,” “Son of Scary?”

“Son Of Scary” was done independently. I did that with Fred Coury (Drummer for Cinderella). We did it in a couple days at his studio. What happened was that Guitar Hero approached me and wanted to use “Mr. Scary.” Back in the Dokken days, I was a big fan of “all for one, and one for all,” so we split everything up equally, even though I wrote the song. I split it up with the whole band thinking that was the right thing to do.

That came back to haunt me. When I approached Don Dokken, who has part of a controlling interest in the song, he got his lawyers on it. Basically he blew me out of the water just to be mean, even though he would have gotten twenty-five percent of the money. He scared Guitar Hero away so I said, “Screw it, I’m going to re-write the song!”

I did the song with a seven-string and we finished it in a couple of days. Then Guitar Hero went out of business by the time I got it done [Laughing].

What’s coming up next?

We’re in the middle of recording the new Lynch Mob record, which is coming out fantastic. We’re taking a lot of time with it and it’ll be heavier and stranger. Like Kings X meets Them Crooked Vultures with R&B elements—all ass-shaking stuff. That’ll come out next year.

Jeff Pilson [bassist for Dokken] and I have a record in the can that we’re going to call Tooth And Nail. It’s basically going to be Dokken without Don Dokken [Laughing]. Mick Brown [drummer for Dokken] will be playing drums on half the record and Brian Tichy on the other half. Fifty percent of the record is old Dokken songs with Jeff singing, and the remainder is original material. That’s coming out next year.

Then I’m doing a vocals and acoustic slide blues record with Oni Logan. I’m Blind Lemon Lynch and he’s Reverend Brown Eye [Laughing].

George Lynch’s Tool Box

ESP George Lynch Tiger
ESP Les Paul-style
ESP Telecaster-style

Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress
Digitech Whammy
Vox Clyde McCoy wah
MXR Phase 90
Cusack Screamer
HomeBrew Electronics Skull Crusher
Zvex Seek-Wah
Zvex Seek-Trem
Boss CE-3
Mu-Tron Octave Divider
Strymon blueSky Reverberator
Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo
EP-2 Tube Echoplex
EP-3 Solid State Echoplex
Fulltone Deja’Vibe

Amp Heads
Diezel Herbert head
Randall LB103 Lynch Box head
Dave Friedman Marsha
’68 Marshall Plexi

Dean Markley Super V Nickel Wound 10-42s
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