In March of 1989, the hard rock band Dokken finally imploded when tensions boiled over beyond repair. After years of bickering, bitching, in fighting and going for each other’s throats, sometimes literally, the caustic relationship of egotistical front man Don Dokken and guitar god George Lynch came to an end.
Lynch wasted little time getting back in the groove when he formed Lynch Mob, a new band, with an unknown lead singer named Oni Logan, bassist Anthony Esposito and Dokken drummer Mick Brown. Lynch Mob’s debut, 1990’s ‘Wicked Sensation’ fared well with two successful singles — “River of Love” and the title track — but Logan was soon out of the band and replaced by Robert Mason (who now fronts Warrant). Although there has been a revolving door at the rhythm section, Lynch Mob carried on releasing a dozen albums.
Logan would make his return to the band in 2009 with ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ and it sounded like the original Lynch Mob of days gone by. Now the band — George Lynch (guitars), Oni Logan (vocals), Sean McNabb (bass) and Jimmy D’Anda (drums) — are back after ‘Rebel’ in 2015 with another infectious offering ‘The Brotherhood.’
‘The Brotherhood’ has Lynch Mob sounding stronger than ever before with a resilient band, which has been together for a couple years now. Lynch and Logan have a chemistry not seen since their debut over 25 years ago.
“I think the best thing to do, as a band, is buildt upon each record and hopefully ‘The Brotherhood’ will be the best thing we have done to this point,” George Lynch said of the band. “I think the rest of the world, or at least the fans who care, feel like Lynch Mob is me and Oni. That’s no disrespect to Robert, because we did some great music together, but for some reason, Lynch Mob has always seemed to be known and a Lynch and Logan band.”
Produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam and Jetsam; Prong; KXM), ‘The Brotherhood’ (Rat Pak Records) features some of the most diverse Lynch Mob songs in their catalog. This line up has been together for a few years now and it shows in the songs. The foursome wrote ‘The Brotherhood’ as a band and that carries a lot of weight.
“It’s funny because we took our time with this album. I remember driving in the car with all the band members going to a show and listening to the rough mixes and the car was silent. You could feel this darkness come over the car. Nobody was into the album at all. Everyone was just bummed, there was no excitement. So, we went back to the studio and broke it down, did some nipping and tucking and it all came together. It’s not one of those wham bam records. It’s not like KXM where you capture a moment in time in 12 days. For Lynch Mob, I think when we started the demos for ‘The Brotherhood’ we were overthinking the record. I think the less thinking we do is better for this band.”
For Lynch, who is 62 years old and who has recorded countless albums, knows it takes a band effort to achieve the goal of a record you can be proud of and release to the people.
“The chemistry of a band, is not easy, but it gets easier with every record and tour having the same line-up. We’d like to think Lynch Mob are a well-oiled machine, we aren’t quite there yet, but we are getting it done.”
With Lynch Mob, or no matter what project he is working on (trust me, he has many), Lynch’s focus is the progression of the band, not himself.
“The caveat would be if the projects aren’t working and not moving forward, I always want to make progress and you can lose that over time if you don’t stay focused.”
Oni Logan added, “After doing quite a few miles together with this latest line-up of Sean McNabb and Jimmy D’Anda, we consider ourselves a pack of wolves, and we came up with the name ‘The Brotherhood’ for the title of the Lynch Mob album. It’s got more of an adventurous sound in part and maybe a darker, colder sound to it. We are always willing to go farther. We come from the early ’90s and it’s when we released the first Lynch Mob album which set a sound and course for us. Here we are 27 years later, George and I are still able to keep on stretching. As a player, as a writer, that is very important to us. Otherwise we would be fooling ourselves and fooling you.”
For 40 years George Lynch has been putting out records with various projects and even though he has done several albums with just his name on the cover, he has felt every album is a collaborative effort. The legendary guitarist has never set out to be another solo guitar god like Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, or Jeff Beck.
“That’s not what I wanted. I have never wanted to be that person. Although I’ve had many managers try to convince me it would be the right thing to do, and maybe it would have been, at least financially, but it’s not about me. I don’t need to go down to Ralph’s and buy an avocado and diapers and get recognized. I don’t need to be front and center. That’s not what music is about for me. I want a band of brothers to share the creative process with. It’s always a family thing with me, it’s a band thing.”
That mentality has paid off handsomely for Lynch Mob on ‘The Brotherhood.’ From the opening rock rumblings of “Main Offender,” Lynch Mob shows they still have the muscle of their early days, but dig deeper into the sound and you will find Lynch experimenting with new guitar sounds on tracks like the earthy “Mr. Jekyll and Hyde;” the world sounds on “The Forgotten Maiden’s Pearl;” and the bluesy closer “Miles Away.”
“I never have a certain mindset as a guitarist going into a record, at least not in the frontal lobe part of my brain. Maybe subconsciously in the back of my head, I know I have this singer to work with so I will play in a fashion which best compliments them. For example, with my project Sweet & Lynch, I know it’s more ’80s sounding and Michael Sweet sings in a metal style so I will play up to that. With KXM Doug Pinnick has a lot of soul and groove which adds a funk feel to my playing and with Lynch Mob, Oni has a blues based sound that we really get into. He comes in with a melody and I think of a riff and that’s all it takes. It’s a desert twist vibe type thing.”
Though he has covered nearly every genre there is in the sub category of rock & roll, there are still musical style in which Lynch dreams about being a part of.
“I am a huge Daniel Lanois fan. The guy continues to amaze and inspiring me every time I listen to his music. His ambient rock style is something I’d love to get in to. I’d also love to get into industrial music. Can you imagine playing in a band like Nine Inch Nails or Prodigy? Oh my God that would be insane. I would love to be in those bands. But that’s not going to happen so I got together with Tommy Victor of Prong and we are working on something in that vein.”
Lynch is also working on songs with Living Colour front man Corey Glover and a couple members of the band War for a funk inspired band.
“Corey is just amazing, isn’t he? He is such a good guy to work with. And the guys in War, they are so established and know their shit. Here I am just trying to fit in. I don’t know anything about music theory. I just play. But I pretend I know what they are talking about. I am like “Zelig.” I can adapt to my surroundings pretty well.”
Lynch has so many projects going on he literally had to ask me “are we talking about Lynch Mob today?” when I called him for the interview. Having a lot of projects to express your creative side isn’t a bad problem to have.
“I have to create music or play because it’s what I love. I feel incomplete if I don’t. It’s not about being a guitar hero, but I do appreciate that people think of me in that manner, it’s not about money because, let’s face it, nobody’s making money in music anymore. It’s about the process of sitting down with my guitar, thinking of a riff, showing it to the guys, and we build a song on that. It’s what drives me every day.”