Legendary rock guitarist George Lynch has formed a new project with Brian Tichy, Mick Brown, and Jeff Pilson called T&N (Tooth & Nail). They just released their debut CD “Slave to the Empire,” have a 2nd CD already in the works, and a tour scheduled for next fall. In addition to T&N, George Lynch is also working on a project with Dug Pinnick and Ray Luzier, a movie/band called Shadowtrain, and builds his own guitars. I caught up with George Lynch to get some insight on what he’s currently working on.
Metal Babe: Let’s start off by talking about your latest project T&N. How did this project come together in the first place?
George Lynch: Brian Tichy actually came up with the idea of Mick Brown, Jeff Pilson, and I putting a project called Tooth and Nail together. He was playing in Lynch Mob at the time. Jeff and I had been writing what we thought would be the new Lynch Mob record, so we just switched gears and retro-fitted the songs for T&N.
Metal Babe: In addition to Brian, Mick, and Jeff, several other amazing musicians are also involved in this project, including Tim “Ripper” Owens, Dug Pinnick, Sebastian Bach, and Robert Manson. How did you determine which song(s) they would be part of?
George: We essentially left it to the singers to decide which songs they were best suited for. Mick played on the Dokken songs and Brian played on the original material
Metal Babe: Your upcoming release “Slave to the Empire” includes seven original songs, and five re-recorded Dokken songs. How would you describe the sound of your original T&N songs in comparison to what you’ve done in the past?
George: I think they’re a cross between Lynch/Pilson, which is a record Jeff and I did in 2002, with a little bit of Lynch Mob and Dokken thrown in stylistically. Really, when Jeff and I get in a room and write together it can go in a lot of different directions. ‘Jesus Train’ and ‘Access Denied’ are a little off the map.
Metal Babe: Is there a concept or message you are trying to get across with this CD?
George: It’s a very politically opinionated record. Jeff and I are pretty much on the same page as far as our worldview is concerned. We’ve both become more vocal and active about these things as we’ve matured.
Metal Babe: How did you determine which five Dokken songs would make the CD?
George: We actually recorded ten. The other five will be on the subsequent T&N record that we’ll release in the fall of 2013. Again, our guest vocalists really determined which Dokken tracks would make the cut.
Metal Babe: What was it like to re-record these songs with the original guys?
George: Well, it’s been a couple decades! Lol. But I’ve continued to play some of the older songs in my respective bands over the years. We’ve all evolved as players and writers during that time so we were able to express ourselves through these songs through a fresh lens.
Metal Babe: That’s awesome. I know you get asked this all the time, but do you ever see there being a Dokken reunion?
Metal Babe: Thank you for your honesty. What are your touring plans as far as T&N is concerned?
George: We will tour on the second record in the fall of 2013.
Metal Babe: So you’re actually already in the process of recording your 2nd album with T&N. Will this album be following the same idea as your debut, having a combination of original songs and re-recorded Dokken songs?
George: Yes. Exactly the same format.
Metal Babe: You’re also working on another project with Dug Pinnick from Kings X and Ray Luzier from Korn. How is that coming along?
George: We’ve just begun the initial writing. We’ll be working on that in
November/December. It’s a little early to tell how long the record will take to finish at this point
Metal Babe: Tell me more about your movie project and band Shadowtrain.
George: Shadowtrain is essentially a study in human nature through the lens of the American indigenous experience. I’ve, of course, never been involved in making a movie, so it’s an incredible learning experience. Fortunately we have other folks involved that know what they’re doing! Lol.
Metal Babe: You currently have a few projects in the works. Do you think the music industry is easier to deal with now or how it was in the 80′s?
George: It’s a much more complicated and bifurcated business now. You ideally have to wear a lot of hats and diversify. In the old days you’d record a record every 18 months or so and tour on it. Simple. Now you have to be the composer, musician, engineer, manager, attorney, music publisher, marketing guru, roadie, etc
Metal Babe: I’ve seen you the last couple years at the Seymour Duncan Booth at NAMM, and been able to check out your custom guitars. The designs and craftsmanship are phenomenal! As far as the creation and design of your guitars, what inspires you?
George: The desert… The organic nature of the instruments reflect that. I would never classify myself as a luthier. I have the necks made to my specs and shape them. But I do everything else myself. Which some people don’t believe. But I do. It’s a little like meditating when you’re engrossed in the process. You lose your awareness of linear time and space. Hours later you step back and you’ve molded a piece of wood into an aesthetically pleasing, functional instrument. It’s really rewarding.
Metal Babe: That’s very inspirational. Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
George: Well. I appreciate having any! Lol! Y’all pay my rent, keep my lights on, and allow me to continue creating music. So thank you.
Metal Babe: Thank you George for your time. I look forward to seeing you at NAMM!
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