Morley Pedals was started by brothers Raymond and Marvin Lubow in LA in the 1960s, when players were first really started to explore how they could use effects to enhance their music. Their first product was an electro-mechanical echo uni under the brand name Tel-Ray Electronics, but a subsequent product – a rotating speaker simulation in a box – provided the inspiration for the Morley name: the new unit was ‘More-Lee’ rather than ‘Less-Lee.’ But what really helped Morley to break into the big league was their line of treadle-operated pedals – wahs, volume pedals and the Rotating Sound pedal, the original ‘More-Lee’ pedal. Today Morley makes a variety of effects, including Steve Vai’s Bad Horsie and Little Alligator pedals, signature gear for Mark Tremonti and George Lynch. The company was bought by Chicago firm Sound Enhancements, Inc in the late 80s but Morley continues to use the innovations of the Lubow brothers as inspiration. I Heart Guitar caught up with Morley’s Bill Wenzloff to talk shop.
Tell us about your background as a player – how and why did you start? What did you play?
I started playing guitar at about age 12. I was already a Beatles fan but once I discovered Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Rush and other rock icons, I knew I wanted to play guitar. One of the first rock songs I learned was Dirty Deeds by AC/DC. It felt so awesome hitting those chords out of a loud amp; it felt slightly naughty and yet so cool. I was hooked. I played in many bands throughout my life; some original, some cover and even a few tribute bands (I was Ace Frehley in Kiss Tribute “Kissed” and Brad Whitford in Aerosmith tribute called “Big Ten Inch”). Music has been the one constant in my life and I am continually grateful that I have the gift of playing music.
George Lynch will release Legacy, a four-track EP, in May through Rat Pak Records. Can’t wait to hear this one! Here’s the press release:
RAT PAK RECORDS SET FOR SPRING RELEASE OF GEORGE LYNCH “LEGACY” EP
AND EARLY SUMMER RELEASE OF NEW LYNCH MOB CD
This special edition EP release celebrates thirty years of George Lynch’s guitar playing with an amazing 4 track offering for the fans. Legacy injects us with a super charged dose of George’s signature style and proves once again why he’s one of the most respected guitar players of the last 3 decades!
Track #1 “Blood Drive” ignites this disc with an upbeat catchy rock track that has a real early VH meets Satriani groove to it. Track #2 “Circulo Del Fuego” offers us a well constructed rocker that incorporates all of George’s legendary playing style. Track 3 “Invoid” can best be best described as “Mr Scary” meets “Tooth and Nail”, it’s laced from start to finish with amazing guitar technique and killer tone. Track #4 “The Road Ahead” is a haunting ballad style number that combines all the flavor & melodic angst of the late 80′s but with a modern tone.
Check out the Randall Headhunter amp by George Lynch. George has been doing his Mr Scary customisation to guitars for a while now and he has just branched out into amps. These aren’t going to be cheap, but each one will be unique and each one will be super-cool. Nice huh? Couldn’t seem to find spec info but I’ll look around on Sunday!
Les Paul Studio 50s Tribute – click the pic for more info
Here are my latest news stories for Gibson.com. Check back on Thursday too – very cool interview coming up.
Man, Lynch is still as awesome as ever. Dude really understands how to get the most out of a guitar without overdoing it with distortion. Plus, there’s something super-cool about the way he plays fast, where it’s not like he suddenly switches into a separate “Now I’m playing fast” style – he’s simply playing very well, very quickly.
Check out George’s site here.
Now this is cool. George Lynch is releasing a new solo album featuring multiple guest vocalists (like his most excellent Sacred Groove album) as well as a sequel to his signature instrumental track “Mr Scary.” Head here to hear the track “Wicked Witch.”
George Lynch, the former lead guitarist for Dokken and leader of his own rock bands Lynch Mob and Souls Of We, will release his eleventh solo album in nearly twenty years, “Kill All Control”, on June 21 via Rocket Science, Inc.
What began as a follow-up to the Souls Of We debut, “Let The Truth Be Known”, George quickly realized the project was taking on a new direction with the addition of Powerman 5000 drummer Adrian Ost. While writing with Souls Of We singer London LeGrand (Brides Of Destruction), George noted, “The creative juices flowed and we wrote most of the CD in 10 days.”
George Lynch is one busy dude. Souls of We, Lynch Mob, his new album Orchestra Mayhem, not to mention various gear-designing and art projects. Lynch is heading to Australia soon for an Allans Music clinic tour, and I caught up with him via email for this quick chat:
You’re coming back to Australia soon for Allans Music. You’re quite a regular visitor here now! What can we expect to see and hear at the Allans clinics?
A little bit of everything. Plying along to tracks, improvising with other live musicians, meeting fans and signing my name a lot! lol
What can you tell us about Orchestral Mayhem (CLICK HERE to buy Orchestral Mayhem from Amazon.com)? How did you approach it?
Very casually. I didnt have to write the material and that takes a lot of pressure off. This record is basically just me blowing over a bunch of tracks over a two-day period
Can you tell us about the Morley Dragon 2 Wah? What do you look for in a wah pedal? The wah lock function is a great idea.
I always liked the idea of having a notched wah selector incorporated into a wah pedal. You can get that Schenker throaty EQ by hitting the switch every time. You don’t have to search around for the sweet spot.
A few questions about Lynch Mob’s Smoke & Mirrors: The album sounds so powerful and earthy, and it seems to me that there’s a lot of blues or blues-rock influence. Is that what you set out to do, or did it evolve naturally?
Thats just the natural chemistry between Oni and I. I know where he lives melodically and I just naturally gravitate to that place when I’m writing the music.
There’s some very cool slide playing on the title track. Do you play a lot of slide? Who are your slide influences?
I love slide, pedal steel, slack-key …I’m not an accomplished slide player by any stretch of the imagination but i enjoy dabbling. I actually used a 9v battery on the record because I didn’t have a slide. Derek trucks and Duane Allman are two of my faves.
What gear did you use to record the album?
Guitars: ESP Super V and ESP custom Tele for rythms, Tiger and Tele for solos.
Amps: Randall Lynch Box with various modules, 68 Marshall plexi, 65 Fender super reverb, WEM Domintator, Lynch Box cab with super speakers, 71 Hiwatt cab with Fanes
Effects: I used many differant OD pedals; Cusack Screamer, Japanese Boss DS-1, Ting of Tone, Tube Screamers, DOD 250… Lots of vintage MXR Phase 90, morley Dragon Wah and Tripler pedal, Zoom G2G for various fill-in sounds, Fulltone Deja Vibe (old).
Last time I interviewed you, you said you had a guitar design you hoped ESP would build: you described it as “a Lexan body with a carbon fibre exoskeleton and a throbbing rose coloured LED embedded in the body.” Any luck convincing them to do that yet?
No! lol.. I get wacky ideas that are not practical. They’re polite enough to listen to my insane ramblings for awhile then usually tell me no. They learned their lesson when they built the 7-string motorized pickup guitar called the Aardvark which didn’t work very well and went over like a lead balloon.
Any other new guitar designs in the pipeline, either for your own use or available to the public?
I’ve got a signature guitar model I share with a Japanese artist that’s a camo Strat, 24 fret, invader pickups, not for the faint of heart. I’m also working with ESP on a Tele design and I’m working in collaboration with them and hand making Mr Scary guitars as well. You can chek them out atwww.mrscaryguitars.com
You’ve recently started building/modifying guitars and selling them online. What’s your philosophy regarding these guitars?
The heart of the guitars are the woods that we pick, the radical designs that are very organic, and achieving incredible tone and effortless playability, all in a package that looks 100 years old and feels like you’ve been playing it for 40 years
I was interested to read that you were making your own pickups. Any plans to make pickups available to the public? I think it’d be a very cool limited edition thing.
Seymour Duncan has taken me under his wing and given me hands-on experience building unique pickup designs from scratch.. I’m also recreating the prototype Distortion and Screamin’ Demon models.
You’ve also started selling art online. Is this something you’ve always been into or is it a more recent development? And do you see it influencing designs for your ESP guitar line?
This last year I dived into creating these art pieces which led to carving the guitars. I’ll actually be doing some gallery art showings where well be performing with acoustic instrumentation, banjos, mandolins, percussion … real laid back.
Finally: how on earth are you balancing Souls Of We, Lynch Mob and projects like Orchestral Mayhem?
Thats not even the tip of the iceberg, my friend! But I love playing and being creative, and I promise you it will all make sense when we look back a few years from now.
GEORGE LYNCH AUSTRALIAN CLINIC DATES AT ALLANS:
May 25 – Allans Music – Melbourne
May 26 – Allans Music – Sydney
May 27 – Allans Music – Brisbane
May 28 – Allans Music – Adelaide
Smoke And Mirrors sees the return of singer Oni Logan to the Lynch Mob line-up. He joins drummer Scot Coogan (Brides Of Destruction) and bass player Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake) in backing up guitar legend George Lynch, who despite his reputation as a master shredder has never really felt the need to make Lynch Mob about himself. After seeing Lynch Mob live last year I really got the feeling they were a real band, not a guitarist’s vanity project, and I was psyched to see what they would come up with in the studio. The album will be out September 18th in Europe and October 13th in the USA but I was lucky enough to get to hear it pre-release so, without further ado, and with special emphasis on the guitar aspect since this is a guitar site, I give you Lynch Mob’s Smoke And Mirrors, track by track.
21st Century Man
After about 10 seconds of seductive atmospherics, the Mob kicks in with the driving rhythm of ‘21st Century Man’ and wastes little time in getting to the vocals. Y’know that vibe of being at a gig and the intro tape starts, but before you know it the band is already on stage rockin’ out? Well somehow this CD manages to distil that feeling into zeroes and ones and spit it right back at you through the speakers. Right from the beginning Lynch’s guitar tone is powerful, clear and punchy. Man, this dude really understands how to use a minimum of distortion yet still kick your ass with awesome rock power. There’s a cool dirty flanger tone in the bridge, then the chorus kicks in again and off we go. The vibe of this song kinda reminds me of a slightly slower and less smartass ‘Hammerhead Shark’ by David Lee Roth. In fact, Lynch’s phaser-laden solo at the end seems to tap into a similar post-Van-Halen vibe as Jason Becker summoned on that DLR album. (Audio sample)
Smoke And Mirrors
Ok, here we go with some acoustic bluesiness in the verses, with choruses kicking into meat-and-potatoes late 70s/early 80s hard rock in the style of Whitesnake before they got all hairsprayed and started writhing with Tawny Kitaen on the hood of a Jaguar. This track would be quite at home on modern FM rock radio, but don’t let that scare you off. Lynch even gets in quite a decent amount of wah-wahed slide guitar throughout the verses, and there’s a funky middle section which almost sounds like something from Extreme’s latest CD, Saudades De Rock. Again Lynch’s electric tone is crunchy and dirty but by no means is it distorted, so you can hear every little nuance. It really makes you appreciate what a great all-round guitarist he is, above and beyond his shred hero status. Meanwhile Oni Logan is in fine form vocally, with lots of power and control when needed, but restraint too when that’s called for too. Awesome. (Audio sample)
More tasty phaser tone in the solo. In terms of pacing, this song is a good choice to follow the second track – it’s another laid back, 70s-ish tune that has a LITTLE bit of an edge but is more suited to being played on Lynch’s Strat-like ESP GL-56 than his Skull & Snakes model. That’s probably the best way to describe these two tracks: it’s the vibe of old American guitars rather than shiny new Japanese shred machines. There’s some straightforward chording and a singalong chorus, which means this one was probably written for the chicks. In concert it’ll probably come about two thirds of the way through the set, when your girlfriend is about to lose it with you for ignoring her so you could check out Lynch’s pedalboard for the past hour. Then this song comes on and you have something to sway together to for a few minutes, and you remember how lucky you are to have an awesome girlfriend who will go to a Lynch Mob gig with you. Then the band kick into Mr Scary and you forget she’s there as you run up to the stage to watch George’s mad fretboard skills again. You jerk. There’d better be a 24-hour flower shop on the way home.
My Kind Of Healer
Oh yeah. This one has a cool riff. A solid rock/funk feel (as opposed to funk-rock). There’s something about this that reminds me of Motley Crue’s John Corabi era without the overwrought Bob Rock production. Listen for some really cool playing by George under the verses; killer tone with wild wah wah licks in the solo; and a few well-placed Chuck Berry licks for good measure. Technically it’s not one of George’s more out-there solos but it fits the song’s vibe perfectly and shows off his ultra-cool phrasing.
Favourite song on the album! This has a bouncy feel, a moody middle eastern-sounding riff, some killer semi-clean flanger tones in the verses, and a powerful performance from Logan that reminds me of Geoff Tate’s delivery on Queensryche’s Tribe album. It’s hard to really explain how and why this song kicks so much ass but I think it’s fair to say that it you’re a Lynch Mob fence-sitter this one might possibly just sway you over to the HELL YES side of the fence. It’s loud, intricate, powerful and heavy, and if this track isn’t included in live sets I’m staging a mutiny. Listen out for an almost Tom Morello-like tremolo section in the middle right before a killer solo comes in and decimates everything in its path. The rhythm section is really cooking under the solo too. And the phaser is back to help kick the solo section up to a whole extra level. This song is so friggin’ cool.
YES! More of the rock-funk feel from ‘My Kind Of Healer’, and some very cool guitar/bass unison fills tying together every fourth bar of the verses. Nice open-string work from Lynch, while Mendoza kicks ass in the background. Why this dude never played bass for Yngwie I’ll never know. In fact, back it up to the very end of ‘Time Keepers’ and listen to what he does there. Yikes!
Let The Music Be Your Master
The Motley Crue/Corabi reference from earlier pops up in this song, which reminds me a little of ‘Power To The Music’ in the first few bars, but it’s probably a coincidence. There are some very cool Black Sabbath-style vocal melodies from Logan and while there are a few guitars overdubbed for texture, it never loses that organic, real-musicians-rockin-out feel.
This song almost sounds like it could be a leftover Dokken track, yet somehow the main riff also kinda reminds me of some of the more upbeat stuff Devin Townsend does, like ‘Traveller.’ High energy, a cool double-time fist-pumping chorus, and vocal layering that kinda reminds me of Mr. Big’s Eric Martin. This would be a huge song live and a great way to start a gig. Monster tone for Lynch’s solo, with killer phrasing and that legendary vibrato. That phaser pedal pops up for a few notes here and there once again – in fact I haven’t heard a phaser pedal tie an album together as neatly as this since Van Halen 1.
Where Do You Sleep At Night
More cool phaser (actually it sounds like a UniVibe) tones, a ringing chordal riff, and soulful 70s-style vocal performance from Logan. Really, so much of this album sounds like it could have been recorded in the late 70s, but an alternate-universe late 70s where they understood how to record drums properly. A subtle, short, tasty Lynch solo then back into the chorus. Probably not one of the album’s most memorable tracks but certainly not a bad song. It seems perfectly placed within the pacing of the CD.
More of the groovy rock-funk feel, combined with a Sabbath-y, ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ type of groove, topped off with an intangible Bowie/T-Rex vibe. Once again Lynch provides a crash course in how to get killer rhythm guitar tones from an overdriven amp, as opposed to a distorted amp. Big difference. Great middle section too, where you can really hear the monster bass tone. Then solo time! This solo has a great live, off-the-cuff feel. Oh and there’s the phaser pedal again. Man, if this album catches on like it should, Lynch is going to shift so many phasers.
We Will Remain
Oh my god! This totally sounds like an Yngwie or Rainbow track without the castles and demons. It has a similar feel to ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Light’ and a crunchy tone that seems to combine Yngwie and EVH. Cool backing vocals. It takes balls to take a song as cool as this and put it second last on the album. This is the kind of song that demands to be played on a big stage with lots of pyro. Coogan kicks ass on this track, pushing just a little ahead of the beat and daring Mendoza and Lynch to keep up. Great tremolo-picked, reverb-soaked pre-solo section, before launching into the solo proper and firing off lots of phaser-enhanced arpeggio flurries, then into some tasteful wah/whammy bar work. More killer vibrato. Then a short post-solo section which I guess I would label ‘Toms Of Doom.’ Seriously, crank this song up to 10 and rattle some windows, but don’t try this while driving. (Audio sample)
Before I Close My Eyes
A poppy, restrained way to close out the album. Warm, ringing chords over a steady bass line. Mind remind some listeners of Bon Jovi. Probably a good choice for a single for FM radio but man, FM radio listeners will have their heads knocked off when they buy the album and happen across ‘We Will Remain,’ ‘Time Keepers’ and ‘Madly Backwards.’ Another chick song. Interestingly, it’s the only track on the CD that fades out. Everything else has a rockworthy ending.
Mansions In The Sky (Bonus track)
Logan seems a little uncomfortable with the lower range of this vocal melody but as the song progresses and the guitar parts opens up, he moves back to where he’s comfortable and puts in a cool, animated performance. Lyrically, this track evokes Dorian Grey. Cool. Another track which could remind some listeners of Dokken, but with more naturalistic production.
So there you have it. Smoke And Mirrors track by track. I don’t know what kind of sentimentality you, dear reader, attach to previous Lynch Mob albums but this is definitely my favourite. You might dig Wicked Sensation more but for me the rawness of Smoke And Mirrors gives it that extra boost. The great moments are fricking awesome, and even the ‘meh’ moments never hit you as bad, they just don’t quite live up to when the band is really cooking. I’d definitely consider this an essential George Lynch album well worthy of pre-order.
Weblinks: www.frontiers.it / www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords / www.georgelynch.com / www.myspace.com/lynchmobrocks / www.Riot Act.com.au
Just got a whole bunch of info about the new Lynch Mob album, Smoke And Mirrors. Can’t wait for this one. Towards the end of the press release below, you’ll find 3 song clips. The samples sound very stripped down and rockworthy, and George Lynch’s guitar tone is nice and crunchy and, in true Lynch style, less distorted on second inspection that it may initially sound. Awesome.
Read my interview with George from last year here.
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the worldwide release of the LYNCH MOB come back studio album entitled “Smoke And Mirrors” to be released on September 18th in Europe and October 13th in the USA.
After seventeen long years singer Oni Logan and guitar wizard George Lynch found their way back together and again show their amazing abilities in some killer new Hard Rock songs.” I would say this new record “Smoke and Mirrors”, is the record we should have put out as a follow up to “Wicked Sensation”…better late then never I guess…”, says Lynch presenting the new record.
Lynch Mob were formed by George Lynch, one of the few genuine guitar heroes of substance to emerge from the Los Angeles scene, after DOKKEN split up in 1989. The band’s first album” Wicked Sensation” went on to sell over 500,000 units in the US and featured the talents of singer Oni Logan, Anthony Esposito on bass and another former DOKKEN member Mick Brown on drums. After a tour in support of Queensryche, Logan opted out, with Robert Mason taking his place on the follow up self titled release. However Lynch and Brown eventually returned to Dokken releasing 2 studio albums until he left again in late 1997 putting together a several new incarnations of Lynch Mob and exploring new sounds with different projects.
However Oni Logan and George Lynch would found themselves again in a studio in the summer of 07. “We weren’t sure what was going to happen” recalls George, “but as soon as I heard what Oni was coming up with just off the top of his head, I knew the old chemistry was still there. So we spent many months writing. The first batch of songs had almost a Southern Rock feel to them and there was quite a bit of acoustic and slide work on those. They also had a genuine 70′s vibe. These first songs had elements reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Stones and it was all very bluesy. We lived with those songs for a while then went in and did a second round of collaboration. We had tightened up as a band after touring over the summer and we consciously wrote the newer material with the “Wicked Sensation” record in mind. So we updated the earlier songs a little and wrote a few more “adventurous” track and went in to start recording”.
Joining the new line-up are bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) and drummer Scott Coogan (Brides of Destruction, Ace Frehley). More than a band, this team is guaranteed to create one of the most explosive shows you can ever experience and shines big time on the brand new recording which is set to bring back Lynch Mob on the map of the most exciting Hard Rock bands around! “Marco Mendoza is literally a gift from Heaven” continues Lynch. “How they figured out how to stuff all that talent and goodness into one person I’ll never know. they must have made a mistake at the factory! lol… then there’s Scott Coogan on drums…. baby of the band.. he’s very solid, very “Bonhamesque”. not sure if that’s a real word!”
“Smoke and Mirrors” tracklisting includes:
21st Century Man, Smoke and Mirrors, Lucky Man, My Kind Of Healer, Time Keepers, Revolution Hero, Let The Music Be Your Master, The Fascist, Where Do You Sleep at Night?, Madly Backwards, We Will Remain, Before I Close My Eyes, Mansions In The Sky (Bonus Track).
Lynch Mob are ready to embark on a World Tour in the fall 2009 to follow up on the successful performance at the ROCKLAHOMA 2008 and to promote “Smoke and Mirrors”. “We have been expecting to go out in a support situation with a bigger act in the fall of 09 to coincide with the release of “Smoke and Mirrors” and were also expecting to visit Europe as well. It’s been way too long since I’ve played Europe and we need to tour there extensively… last time Lynch Mob toured Europe was with Queensryche… and I think that was 1991!” concludes George Lynch.
Get back to real Rock with Lynch Mob new album “Smoke and Mirrors” !
George Lynch seems to have taken a leaf out of Eddie Van Halen’s book and started to offer guitars that he himself has had a hand in making. But while Eddie’s involvement in the Charvel EVH Art series was limited to striping the guitars, Lynch is really getting his paws dirty on these axes. He starts with stock ESP/LTD models and goes to town on them. He even winds the freaking pickups!
One of these guitars, named ‘Evil Western,’ is on eBay right now. CLICK HERE to see the listing. Here’s what George says:
After years of playing guitar and working with various woods, pickups, strings as well as every aspect of the guitar, I’ve decided to build my own. I felt it was time for me to have a hand in all aspects of my creation and vision. I felt it would be more meaningful to create a product in which the “process” of creating the guitar and its theme would be the most important aspect. This way the fan would know how much time and effort spent on that guitar exclusively.
I christened this guitar “Evil Western.” It is built from the highest quality of Mahogany, ESP Super V George Lynch signature series model. The guitar consists of a 3 piece body and 1 piece neck. The Guitar’s hardware is uniquely distressed. The pickups are also uniquely wound and engraved individually by myself. The neck is a wide and flat gun oiled sealed neck. The Evil Western is dressed with Dunlop 6100 fret wire. Additionally, my guitars come with a Certificate of Authenticity, hard shell case, a dvd of me building the guitar and winding the pickups, and all the particulars regarding specs, playing guitar live, etc.. My signature, the serial number and the name of the guitars are engraved into wood under pickups and under the control panel.
Regarding the Evil Western’s tone, playability and vibe….the tone of this guitar is extremely warm, dark and chunky (sounds like a candy bar), and the unique pickups personally wound by me add the perfect “spank.”
Scroll down a little further to see a video of George talking about the process.