In a new interview with Jack Antonio of the "Do You Know Jack?" podcast, legendary DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB guitarist George Lynch spoke about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting.
"Initially, I didn't see it coming," George admitted (hear audio below). "I was just blind to it. And me and the people around me got personally blindsided by it and hurt by it, because we were still working under the assumption that everything was the same as it was in the '80s — we were making records that way, and all that kind of stuff. Not that you should change to conform, or anything like that, but it was a period of adjustment. I was trying to get my head wrapped around it."
He continued: "I'm very open-minded about things and wanna try new stuff and explore music that I'm not familiar with and all that kind of thing. So I was thinking, 'What is it about this that is appealing or good?', or whatever, and I started figuring it out and getting it. You know — don't play guitar solos in the middle of every song, wear a flannel shirt, be depressed and talk about shit that matters. Drop all the trappings of silliness and superficiality. I get it. So it was kind of a learning curve. It affected me in my writing, to a certain extent, a little bit.
"The '90s was really kind of a vacuum for me, and I'm sure most of my contemporaries, as far as guitar music. We all had to kind of take a step back. So it was probably my least productive period — not that I didn't work and wasn't productive, but I was kind of fishing around, so to speak."
Lynch went on to say that he appreciated some of the "nu metal" bands that took over from grunge as the major alternative sound of the late 1990s.
"I had a [record] called 'Smoke This' in the late '90s and 2000 that I should have called LYNCH BIZKIT — [it was] in the LIMP BIZKIT [vein], a little bit," he said. "I loved it; I loved that music. In fact, I think LIMP BIZKIT is a great fucking band, and I'm actually a huge fan. I just caught 'em a few years ago. They were great."
Lynch recently collaborated with his former DOKKEN bandmate Jeff Pilson on a collection of studio recordings that turn pop music classics into metal anthems. Released on December 18, "Heavy Hitters" includes cover versions of such tracks as Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move", Prince's "Kiss", OASIS's "Champagne Supernova", Madonna's "Music" and R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)".
DOKKEN's classic lineup — Pilson, Lynch, singer Don Dokken and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown — reunited for a short Japanese tour in the fall of 2016. The trek marked the first time in 21 years the four musicians had hit the road together.
Image credit: ESP Guitars