Interview and Live Photos :
On August 28th, Lynch Mob will be releasing a reimagined version of their 1990 debut album; Wicked Sensation Reimagined – 30th Anniversary Edition via Rat Pak Records.
Wicked Sensation Reimagined features 12 re-worked and re-recorded versions of their classic songs. The songs remain powerful, precise, and transcend beyond the boundaries of being reimagined with modern-day production values to provide superior sonics. Rest assured, this reimagined version still includes George’s inventive and intricate guitar playing. Together Lynch Mob has recreated a solid offering from start to finish. There is no shortage of melodic versions of these classic songs with killer riffs and aggressive solos. George once again delivers supreme guitar playing, proving he is still at the top of its game. His jaw-dropping playing is always rich in technique and tone. Lynch Mob consists of Oni Logan (vocal) George Lynch (guitar), Robbie Craine (bass), and Brian Tichy (drums). Pre-orders for Wicked Sensation Reimagined – 30th Anniversary Edition can be found here: https://ratpakrecordsamerica.com/lynchmob
I had the pleasure of speaking with George Lynch to find out about the creation of this reimagined album, why he and the band took on the challenge to offer it to the fans for its 30th anniversary, and how his guitar-playing has evolved since Dokken.
Robert Cavuoto: I’m really enjoying the reimagined CD. I think this version allows the vocal melodies to breathe and the lyrics to resonate. Was that something you wanted to improve from the original version?
George Lynch: I’m not going to say that we didn’t think a lot about what we were doing. In some respects, it’s really a reactionary album. We were enjoying the initial process and having fun with it rather than it being some death march. The first album cost 1.5 million dollars, was recorded in five studios, had three producers, a multitude of engineers, and took months of laboring over the details. We were very proud of the results, but we didn’t want this reimagined album to be that. We wanted the antithesis of it. So here we are stripped down, having fun, and enjoying what we are doing together as a band to capture the moment.
Robert Cavuoto: The album sounded very current as if you wrote the songs today with modern production values.
George Lynch: Thank you! We matured a bit and hopefully it’s reflected in these new versions. We are all over the map as a band with our influences. We are children and students of the 70s, 80s, R&B, metal, blues, classic rock, and soul music.
Robert Cavuoto: I felt your Dokken style of guitar playing, which was very prominent on the original recording, was not as prominent on this CD. Is that due to the evolution of your playing technique?
George Lynch: Sure, it’s been 30 years since we recorded Wicked Sensation and longer since the Dokken era, maybe like 40 years, so a lot has changed. It’s an interesting question because there have been instances in my professional life where I have been called upon to reproduce something I had done in the past and had difficulty with it. I’m more of a “live-in-the-moment” type of guy, so I’m really not looking back as I’m much as looking forward. I’m not a guitar player who can play the same thing twice the same way. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. You can extend that logic, stylistically, as I’m not the type of musician who is going to reiterate the same style over and over. It’s just not me! I not only decided not to do it but can’t do it [laughing]. Every time I plug-in, it’s an adventure. It’s a mystery as I don’t know theory or know how it works or where it comes from. Every time I pick up the guitar, it’s like a new experience. In some ways, it makes life difficult because I can’t play “Mr. Scary” exactly like I did on Back for the Attack. Believe it or not, I can’t play “Stairway to Heaven!”
Robert Cavuoto: Was it a challenge to relearn all those songs?
George Lynch: It wasn’t difficult as we play these songs regularly. Up until the pandemic, we were in the midst of a yearlong 30th-anniversary tour for Wicked Sensation. We were only playing that album and every song on it. We originally decided to do this album because we were messing around with the songs at sound checks and rehearsals and started coming up with ideas. With “River of Love,” someone had the idea to try and give it the vibe of Stone Temple Pilots’ “Sour Girl.” It injected new energy into the song for us; not necessarily for the audience. They don’t want you messing with their classic songs.
Robert Cavuoto: “River of Love” was my favorite track on this version.
George Lynch: The lyrics really pop on this version because it’s so naked; there aren’t ten guitar tracks behind it or an avalanche of production. Its real drum sounds no samples and real bass. Robbie plays his ass off; he should get a bass player trophy for that! I tried to only record what was needed. To be a minimalist yet, at the same time, shred where I had to shred to keep it interesting. That’s my job. Oni is a poet, and his work speaks for itself.
Robert Cavuoto: You really turned “Wicked Sensation” upside down with its Wah-Wah pedal inspired groove. How has the reception to it been, and what was the impetus for deviating so far from the original?
George Lynch: From what little I have read online, it hasn’t been positive, maybe 50/50. It’s a little more negative than I’m used to starting from the realm of “Why are you fucking with perfection!” What I don’t understand about the argument is that nobody fucked with anything; we didn’t change anything. It’s all still there. We just went back 30 years and had some fun with it. The other accusation which did hurt my feelings quite a bit, because it is so inaccurate and untrue, was, “It’s a money grab!” I appreciate the opportunity to shed light on this now. This is anything but a money grab. This was the opposite of that. There was very, very little money made from it; I can assure people. We put a lot of work into it. I don’t want to talk numbers. Nobody except the members know how much work went into this album and to bring it home.
Robert Cavuoto: It sounds like you did this album for the love and passion of the songs.
George Lynch: That’s what it was all about! If I threw those numbers out to you would see what it’s like to walk in my shoes in pulling this album together. Some people may think albums are relatively easy to make, but not really! You have to create something from nothing and walk it into existence. There is a lot that can go wrong. Doing it so long, I have gotten better at it, it’s a process and not an easy process. Forty years I’ve worked hard at it, so I have a work ethic.
Robert Cavuoto: Ultimately, these are your songs, but they are ingrained in your fan’s brains for 30 years. Did you find yourself pulling back the reins on re-imagining any particular songs?
George Lynch: Maybe “Hell Child” was a little far out there. I don’t regret it. I actually have the opposite feeling; I felt more songs could have been treated in a way that differentiated them from the originals. Songs like “She’ So Evil,” “Sweet Sister Mercy,” and “Dance of the Dogs” are kind of in the ballpark of the originals and intact. We felt that we had to leave some anchors on the album. Half the album should be in line with the original, with a new stripped-down performances and good energy. To have some artist license to change some of the parts while not reinventing the wheel. The other half of the album, we wanted to take some liberties, go nuts, and change them up. I don’t see a point in recreating something that was great and trying to do it again the same way.
Robert Cavuoto: After you left Dokken, did you feel that you had something to prove with Lynch Mob’s debut album?
George Lynch: Oh, sure, absolutely. It’s just natural for there to be a competitive atmosphere. We both created well-funded albums at the same time.
Robert Cavuoto: Were any songs off this album slated for the follow-up to Dokken’s Back for the Attack?
George Lynch: There was no creative connection between Dokken and Lynch Mob. It was a clean break, and those songs were a product of the new chemistry and mindset. Not taking anything away from Dokken as what we did was great.
Robert Cavuoto: Do you think a Dokken reunion is still a possibility or has the ship sailed?
George Lynch: I get this question every interview [laughing]. We had a reunion a couple of years ago and put out a live album with a new song. Up until the pandemic, Dokken and Lynch Mob were touring together. Lynch Mob would open, and then Dokken would come out, and I would play three or four songs with Don. That’s pretty much the closest thing you will get to a reunion. There was a recent opportunity to potentially get back together a do an album, but it didn’t fly, and it didn’t happen. Jeff Pilson and I have been writing songs for a new The End Machine album. That is very much in the Dokken vein. Like I mentioned earlier, I was called out to be an 80s version of myself, I think we’re able to do it pretty well on this new album. We just finished writing all the songs yesterday, instrumentally, as the vocals are not done yet. We don’t have Mick Brown on this album because he retired, but we have his brother “Wild” Steve Brown. He is great and stylistically very similar to Mick.
Robert Cavuoto: Congrats on your birth of your granddaughter. I find it fascinating that guitarist Richie Faulker of Judas Priest is dating your daughter. Do you guys ever jam together, and can we expect an album from the both of you in the future?
George Lynch: I don’t know, maybe? I’ll have to go out there and spend more time messing around like guitar players do when they get together. Richie is an awesome player. We are very fortunate to have him in my daughter’s life. My wife and I went out there when the baby and stayed there for a little while. I felt bad posting it because I didn’t want it to be about that. I wanted to focus on my daughter, the baby, and my family. I didn’t want to be running off into the studio every five minutes shredding instead of changing diapers [laughing]! My daughter was raised in a guitar world, and we had her on the road since she was very young. We homeschooled and tutored her. She traveled the world with us and would sit on the side of the stage for shows.
Robert Cavuoto: What else can fans expect from you musically?
George Lynch: I just finished up my fourth album this year and will have #5 out next month, so we will probably talking again soon!