George Lynch Dishes on Lynch Mob, the End Machine’s New Vocalist, Guitar Building, and More


There have been a lot of great guitar players over the years, but few foster the intense levels of bombastic creativity as heavy-hitting six-stringer George Lynch.

With seemingly dozens of plates perpetually spinning, Lynch’s guitar-centric carousel never seems to stop. Be it with Lynch Mob, The End Machine, Sweet & Lynch, or his latest collaboration with longtime friend and cohort Jeff Pilson for Heavy Hitters 2, the music of George Lynch is utterly boundless.

To some, Lynch’s licks are akin to divine intervention via music; to others, they’re simply a good time through hard rock and heavy metal. Regardless of where your mindset lies, one thing is certain, if you blink, you’ll miss Lynch’s latest release, and lately, he’s got a lot of them.

To be sure, 2023 will prove to be Lynch’s most active yet, with new music coming by way of Ultraphonix, Sweet & Lynch, Lynch/Pilson, Lynch Mob, The End Machine, the long-awaited Banishment record, and of course, his next instrumental record, the aptly titled, Guitars at the End of the World.

Ever busy and perpetually fostering unbridled creativity, George Lynch dialed in with Metal Sucks to dig into his latest music with Jeff Pilson, The End Machine’s new record and vocalist, his passion for building guitars, and what keeps his creative juices flowing as he’s gotten older.

Give me the rundown on Heavy Hitters 2.

We did the first record for Cleopatra Records, and it went over so well that Jeff and I decided to get together and do another. Obviously, it’s a cover record where we go back and look at some songs from each generation of music dating back from the ’50s and forward. The idea was to take those songs and then spin them in our style of writing and the way we do it through hard rock.

How about the Christmas song, “It’s a Wonderful Life?”

So, the Christmas song was a little bit of an afterthought. We had the whole record basically done, and then we figured, “Why don’t we do a bonus track and make it a Christmas song?” So, we did that, and that one is an original. But it was interesting because we were doing something we’d never done before in a Christmas song. And we thought, “Well, we don’t want it to be overly corny,” so that was in our minds as hard rock guys. We also wanted to consider what’s happening in the world today and make it somewhat hopeful but realistic. So, that was all a bit of a tall order, but we feel it turned out very heartfelt and was also somewhat relevant. At the same time, it’s still true to our style of music, writing, and so forth.

George Lynch Dishes on Lynch Mob, the End Machine’s New Vocalist, Guitar Building, and More
All images courtesy of Glass Onyon PR

Both you and Jeff Pilson have been working together for a long time. Can you paint a picture of the chemistry you two share?

Jeff and I hit it off from day one of working together in Dokken back in the ’80s. I remember in those early days, I’d go over to Jeff’s place, and we’d spend hours writing. I don’t know how to describe it, but it was such an easy and natural relationship from the beginning. It always just worked from the hanging out, the humor, and the music. The humor is essential because when you’re in a high-stress environment like that, and the heat is getting turned up in the kitchen, you have to be able to laugh sometimes. We’ve never lost that sense of fun, it’s never changed, and to me, that’s wonderful. We both look forward to whenever we have an excuse to record together, and we always cherish these projects, no matter what they are.

Being that Heavy Hitters 2 is a covers record, how did you go about choosing the tracks?

Well, we get the label involved. They didn’t have to be, but we wanted to hear what they had to say about what tracks fans might enjoy. So, we got this huge list together to pick from, and then Jeff and I put our heads together a couple of guys to pick. Of course, we got some other outside opinions, too. But we had this giant master list, and we just kept whittling it down until we had a group of tracks we felt were what we wanted to do.

I think we did an excellent job of compartmentalizing our biases for a certain era, and we have a great representation of songs from the ’50s to the contemporary period. It was also important to us to choose songs we felt we could interpret and put our spin on them. We didn’t want to rehash these songs and make them the same as the original. What’s the point of doing a cover if you’re not gonna add some variation? I’m not a big fan of covers for that reason, so it was important to add some new flavor.

With so many projects always going on, how do you find creative balance?

That isn’t too much of a problem for me because I love doing this. I love creating so much that I look forward to it and enjoy it endlessly. I love the process of getting closer to that ideal song, and it’s always so fun to write something and then flesh it out and go, “Oh shit, I just created this thing. It’s so cool and fun to listen to,” and you get off on it and hopefully get to play it live someday. So, I never get tired of it, and I thrive on constantly hopping from studio to studio, which I’ve been doing this past week.

Can you give me the rundown on what other projects you’re working on?

I’ve been wrapping up three projects, and in 2023, I think I’ll have six or seven total releases, which is crazy to think about. I’ve nearly got the next Lynch Mob album done, we’re working on the next End Machine album, and finally, I’ve basically got the Banishment album wrapped up. The Banishment record will be released on March 23, 2023, on Frontiers Records, so we’re very excited. And I’ve got the next Ultraphonix record, the next Sweet & Lynch record, and another instrumental album on Ratpack Records called Guitars at the End of the World.

As for the Lynch Mob, we’ve got the new lineup set, and we’ve got my guitars, Jaron Gulino’s bass tracks, and Jimmy D’Anda’s drums all finished. We need to get Gabriel Colon’s vocals wrapped up and then go from there. The new lineup is really great, and I love what we’re doing. So, we’ll keep working on that with an eye to getting that out for 2023, too.

And then Jeff and I have been working intensely on the third End Machine record with our new singer, who is from India, Girish Pradhan, who is unbelievable. We loved Robert Mason, and he’s an incredible singer, but we felt it was time for a little bit of a change. So, of all the records I’m working on – and there’s a lot – I’m most excited about this next End Machine album. It’s really powerful, and some of the tracks are downright scary good.

What is it about the End Machine record that has you most excited?

When me and Jeff get together, we’re just a two-headed songwriting monster. It’s crazy, but we finish each other’s sentences and understand each other musically. I think that because we’ve been doing the same thing for so many decades, we know exactly what we’re trying to do, but now we have a much better idea of how to get there than we used to.

And when I work with other people – and I’ve worked with some great people – I don’t have that connection with any other people like I do with Jeff. It’s everything, from riffs, guitar sounds, and composition to putting that together. We’re very attuned to each other, and our skill sets complement each other very well, so working on this record is an absolute joy, and it’s got me very excited.

So, lately, we’ve been sitting back listening to what we’re doing, and we’re like, “Fuck, this is awesome. Holy shit.” [Laughs]. It’s just so fucking cool and satisfying to listen to, and I’m so proud of it that I almost wanted to be like, “Let’s break out a bottle of champagne and celebrate.” Not really, and Jeff doesn’t drink, but the point is that we’ve got a record that we are damn proud of. So, I’ve got six or seven records coming out this year, and really, it’s ridiculous. Part of me is proud of it, but on a business level, that’s really stupid and very dumb to do. [Laughs].

George Lynch Dishes on Lynch Mob, the End Machine’s New Vocalist, Guitar Building, and More
All images courtesy of Glass Onyon PR

How does your approach change as you move from project to project?

It’s funny because I’ve got these days where I’m working half a day on one project and then half a day on another project. And sometimes, it is a little bit hard to differentiate, and I find that I have to catch myself where I say, “Wait, what project am I working on? Have I already used that part for another album I was working on yesterday?” [Laughs]. I’ve had to police myself and double-check myself there to keep myself from reusing riffs and stuff, so that’s always a challenge.

I try to keep in mind what I’m writing for because everything has its own character to be tuned into. Honestly, a lot of it is usually dictated by the singer and its history. For example, Lynch Mob has Wicked Sensation as its benchmark, and I keep going back to that when I make new Lynch Mob records. And if you look at The End Machine, for example, that goes back to the stuff we did in the ’80s. We look for a lot of power, and big choruses, nothing cheesy, but it’s rooted in that era. We look to the better Dokken songs, Ratt, and stuff like that, so that’s where that comes from.

Is there one solo or riff from your career you’re most fond of?

I can’t even remember what I’ve played over the years. [Laughs]. God, people ask me to play stuff occasionally, or they’ll ask me to play a solo or an old riff, and I have trouble doing it. Because the way I work is I throw something out there that’s pretty much off the cuff, then I walk away from it, and I’m on to the next thing. And once I walk away from something, I can’t go back months and years later because I won’t remember. So, not only would I not remember it, but I don’t ever listen to my old stuff after it’s done. Obviously, I’ve done a lot of work in the studio that I was very proud of and excited about, but honestly, I don’t have anything in my mind that sticks out more than anything else.

Do you liken building guitars to writing songs at all?

You know, it is a lot like writing songs in a way because you basically have to wait to see what happens. It’s interesting, and it doesn’t always work, and with the style of guitars that I make, it’s pretty organic. Because I make these guitars that are desert-inspired, southwest, and have native influences, and they leave me a lot of room to make mistakes, which I make a lot of because there’s so rustic. I like that if I do something wrong, I can sand it back down to wood and do it over. So, if I screw up somewhere, I can usually find a way to fix it because these are pristine, polished factory guitars, you know?

Do you find the same level of joy in building guitars as you do when creating music?

They’re two different things, but they’re also intertwined in many ways. So, I find the same amount of joy, but building a guitar hits me differently than writing a song on guitar. When making a guitar, I don’t worry too much about making mistakes; I’m not stressed, which makes me relax. And it’s the same with songwriting and guitar playing; they both bring me a lot of joy. If you relax your breathing, your mind can be more creative and freer to try new things, and that’s what I do. I’m not afraid to try things with these guitars, so I take chances that work often and sometimes don’t. But I’ve stumbled upon a lot of happy accidents along the way.

George Lynch Dishes on Lynch Mob, the End Machine’s New Vocalist, Guitar Building, and More
All images courtesy of Glass Onyon PR

Which one of those accidents have been the most memorable thus far?

For instance, my Klondike finish was a complete accident. I’m not a painter; I’m not a luthier; I’m just pretending. But I’ve learned how to do things over the years that I taught myself to do. I’ve been around guitars my whole life, so a lot of these guitars draw from things I’ve seen or always wanted to see.

And so, one of the things I did was I came up with these finishes that were just total accidents because the chemicals reacted. One kind of paint reacts differently to another type of paint; of course, I had no idea that would happen. I didn’t know that you’re not supposed to use these things together, but that process led me to find this magical, crazy-looking finish. Thankfully, I remembered how to do it, and that’s the Klondike finish, which is unique and cool. It’s an accident that I’m proud of because it’s awesome.

What led you to re-adopt your Lynch Mob moniker once more?

It was about practicality more than anything else. The Electric Freedom name wasn’t working. So, I think I made a bad choice and had to rethink it. Dropping the Lynch Mob name was essentially a spur-the-moment decision, and it just didn’t work out. Now, I’m not saying that wasn’t a wrong choice at face value because the Lynch Mob name is something that’s bothered me for decades.

I’ve wrestled with it forever, but the practical and business aspects of changing that name to something worse were hurting me. It wasn’t working, I didn’t feel comfortable with it, the fans weren’t comfortable, and promoters didn’t feel comfortable, which is a huge issue; how can we get people out to the shows if they don’t understand who’s playing? So, it was just like, “Why am I fighting my own history?” The truth is that I never really got a ton of flack for the name, so that wasn’t the issue.

At the end of the day, the Lynch Mob name has always been a bit of a problem for me personally, and it will always be to where I’ll always carry discomfort with it. But obviously, I can rationalize it because it is my last name, and I have an over 30-year history with it. So, nothing is perfect in life, but I know my heart is good and pure. I know what it represents to me, so I made a business decision to go with it.

As you’ve gotten older, what lights your creative spark these days, and how has that changed from your younger years?

Honestly, it’s the same exact thing. I will always have this soundtrack in my head of things I want to achieve, and I will always be chasing that. I see it as this sonic dragon I’m chasing, and I will always be chasing that dragon. I will always try to create the perfect song, just as I always try to make the perfect guitar. But the thing is that the perfect song doesn’t exist, and not me nor anyone else will ever be able to create it. You can’t attain that, which keeps me reaching for it. It’s like a high, you know?

And I want to keep that high, so I need to keep creating new things. But anytime you create something cool, you keep chasing it, and you’re on to the next thing. And what’s crazy is that all of us rock guys are chasing that same dragon. He resides in our heads, and we’re all hearing that same soundtrack in our minds. We’re all trying to write that same song, and while it comes out differently, we’re all after the same thing. In some ways, you’ll find a lot of satisfaction, and in other ways, you never get there. But the truth is, you never want to get there because then the game would be over, and that’s no fun.

George Lynch Dishes on Lynch Mob, the End Machine’s New Vocalist, Guitar Building, and More
All images courtesy of Glass Onyon PR
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