Metal Contraband’s Chelsea spoke with George Lynch about the latest album with The End Machine, “The Quantum Phase” on Frontiers Music Srl, the sci-fi/dystopian roots of The Quantum Phase, adding Girish Pradhan to the lineup and what he brought to the table, the longtime partnership of George Lynch and Jeff Pilson, George’s signature Desert Eagle guitar and work with ESP Guitars, updates on Lynch Mob’s Farewell tour, Mr. Scary Guitars, and more. . Check it out below:


The End Machine: Jeff Pilson, Steve Brown, Girish Pradhan, George Lynch

Chelsea here on the phone with George Lynch. Thank you for joining me today. How are you doing?

Good, it’s actually not me, I have a pre-taped answer robot interview tape.

We’re getting into AI.

Yeah, it just gives the stock answers to every loaded question I anticipate. 

Well, I have a few different things, hopefully. 

Yeah, well, I’ll have an answer for it, I just have to push the right button after I hear your questions. 

Honestly, you’re embracing the future. AI is probably going to do that one day anyway. 

Right? AI interviews, you and I won’t have to be involved. 

We’re innovating here, but…

Well, then again, I won’t have to be involved in writing or playing any of the songs, either. 

Oh gosh, well hopefully, we’ll keep a more positive outlook. I think, you know, music will survive this crazy AI revolution we’re having going on. 

Yeah, we’re just gonna be slaves living in caves. Getting the minimum income thing they sent you, or a Soylent Green, bag of Soylent Green.

Good reference, honestly. 

What’s the movie? I just watched it the other night. The one where the train the train is like, in the future after, you know, the apocalypse or whatever, is circumnavigating the earth forever, and then it’s all divided into classes of people, and the rich elite are up front, and they have all the security in front of them, and all the poor people in the back, eating their little bricks of whatever they give them to eat.

Soylent green.

“Snowpiercer”, that’s it…soylent green. Got to write a song about it. 

There you go, exactly, you’re already creating new material while we’re doing an interview, that’s amazing.

I’m sitting here making money just while we’re talking, this is crazy!

*laughs* Honestly, no, a lot of that sci fi/dystopian stuff surprises everyone when it comes true though, but I mean, they’ve been predicting stuff for a long time that we’re seeing now, both good and bad. I mean, technology can be great, but there’s a scary side to it too.

Yeah, there’s a group of people, I think, that will be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. They’ve sort of worked themselves up into a lather anticipating so much, they’ll be like, “wait a minute, what happened? There’s no end of the earth? Shit”.  

Honestly, I feel like that happened, wasn’t that 2012 or something? And it was the end of the Mayan calendar, they were expecting, and it didn’t happen?

Oh, yeah. Some churches that announced that it’s all coming. Well, look at the Hale-Bopp people. They did some crazy stuff, all went to bed, committed suicide wearing the same kind of shoes or something, covered in sheets, waiting for whoever to come down from outer space. And here’s what’s crazy about it! They weren’t dumb people, I watched a documentary on it, they weren’t stupid people. So if people smarter than me can fall for that, I’m worried. 

Honestly, this is why a lot of these sci-fi and horror fiction stories come about, because of reality most of the time. It’s all tied together, you know, it’s not too far-fetched when you realize what people are actually capable of.

Yeah, it’s kind of scary. Well, getting to our record, that’s what our record’s all about. 

Yes, there you go, The Quantum Phase, new music from The End Machine. We’re talking crazy dystopian stuff apparently, but it sounds awesome when you’re doing it, and some fantastic new tracks, even a new lineup change. So to start off digging into the album a bit, can you give us just a little bit of background on the time between Phase2 and how The End Machine arrived at The Quantum Phase?

Right, well…Jeff Pilson and I have been working together for a good 40 years, if not more. And through all that almost half-a-century time span, we’ve done many different things, obviously. We did Dokken and then, we’ve had lots of other different projects after that. But really, for us, there’s always this kind of continuum, that there’s a common thread through all this. We just have this sort of vision that we share, that’s an unspoken thing that we keep aiming for. No matter what project it is, it’s really kind of the same thing, different elements involved, just different people and stuff like that. But it’s the same musical aspiration. And so it’s really fun and we enjoy working with each other, we have a blast, and this is just the evolution of that. The main difference, obviously, with The Quantum Phase, over previous End Machine records is that we have Girish now involved. So that has been transformational obviously, and also raised the bar quite a bit for us because, when we heard him, we started thinking, “Oh man, here’s this younger cat who gets the legacy stuff but still has all these modern capabilities and insights”. He’s just an amazing, amazing guy with all this incredible talent. We wanted to make sure we didn’t come up with like, the two old guys with the new young guy, like we’re some kind of freakin’ vampires or something. So we had to really up our game. And we had to make sure that our level of writing and our level of musicianship was on par with what Girish would bring to the table. And so it made up Jeff and I really step up and not be just like relaxing going, “oh, we can just do this again, and we’ll just do the same thing we did last time and it’ll be easy and be fun and we won’t push ourselves too hard”, that sort of thing. So I think really it was a little bit of a rethinking, you know, in the interim period between two and three of how we’re going to approach this record. Instead of just going into it like, well, we’re going to do another same formula, same people involved, same elements, we really had to kind of rethink it a little bit and do some tweaks and fine tuning and step up, you know, especially in the writing process so we weren’t like just resting on our laurels. We’re pushing ourselves a little bit to be a little more inventive, a little more creative, a little more progressive in spots. Interesting, smart. *laughs* Mostly we just want people to think we’re smart! That’s the main thing. 

There you go. *laughs* Well, I think, I think that definitely comes across, it’s funny how the perspectives are so different, because fans would say, regarding you and Jeff Pilson both as legends in the music industry, I mean, you obviously are well-established and have an amazing track record of amazing records that you’ve released over the years, so one would say that someone new coming into the band would have to step up their game to match you guys, but then from you guys’ perspective, you feel like you have to step up to match him, so honestly that just brings a great energy to it, that everybody just feels like they have to bring it to the next level, and I feel like that’s a great transformation to have moving forward with The End Machine.

I mean, of course! Better is always good.

Fair enough *laughs*. So how much did Girish contribute to the songwriting versus what you and Jeff did for this album?

So I general look at songwriting as writing the music and doing the arrangements is my job, or if I’m working with Jeff, our job. And then, it goes through the next half of that, which is the melodies and the lyrics, which is primarily the singer’s job. Now, it doesn’t always work out like that, for instance, when Robert was in the band, it was more of a collaborative effort. When I work with, let’s say, Oni from Lynch Mob back in the early days, Oni would do virtually everything, with some minor exceptions. Because he was brilliant, he was a poet, and he had it in the tank, you know? So with Girish, I would say that he was probably responsible for 90% of the lyrics and the melodies. He was very self-contained, both in composition and recording, he managed everything himself, with some input from Jeff and I. But the majority of it was Girish, honestly. 

Very cool, so that’s interesting that he brought a lot of his own self and his own personality into the mix of The End Machine as well. And I love that you and Jeff Pilson are still such an unstoppable team. I mean, it’s great to see you two consistently coming up with awesome new music, but at this point in your partnership as musicians, does it feel like you’re really attuned and locked into each other’s styles, or do you still find some surprises when you’re jamming, writing, recording together?

Well, we try to make sure there’s some surprises that are in there. It’s like a long-lived marriage, we’ve got to kind of keep it fresh *laughs*. But it always is. I’m sorry if this sounds crude, but…the sex is still good. I’m sorry, but I had to make that analogy because when we get in there and we start doing it, it’s awesome every time. I mean, we don’t ever have stale, bad, uninspired days. There’s no writer’s block, there’s no like, “Oh, we have to really struggle through this”. I mean, you know, it’s work, we have to try different things and this and that, but that’s the fun part of it. I love that. It forces you to try to come up with something better and like, “Ah, it doesn’t quite work, we need something better”, try different things. You know, it’s a process. But I used to struggle a lot more back in the 80s when, arguably, we came up with the best songs of our career based on what people recognize as the most important part of the body of our work over half a century. People will look to Dokken songs as the stuff that they most recognize and this and that. And now I think we are, arguably, better at a lot of things. We still haven’t written a song that’s as popular as those songs we wrote in the 80s, but that’s for probably a lot of different reasons. But I think as far as the craft of songwriting, we’ve learned a few things, you know, and we keep learning. I think one of the big lessons we try to teach ourselves continuously, remind ourselves, is that simple is better, but also keep it interesting. And that’s tricky, you know, so it’s just always a balancing. I listen to other legacy bands and their new albums sometimes, bands that we all grew up with and we love. And it’s like, how do you beat or even meet the expectations of people when they grew up with that other stuff? And now you’re 70 years old, and you’re not coming from the same place anymore, you’re driving around in a G6 private jet and got millions of dollars, or maybe it’s because you’re not hungry. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know of any legacy band that can do that. Maybe there is some, but I’m just not thinking of off the top of my head, but it’s a pretty tall order, you know? And that’s what we’re up against. So when we’re writing, sometimes we will refer back to our earlier material from decades ago and go, “Well, what were we thinking here and what were we doing here? Let’s kind of think along these lines and then we’ll work from that point on”. Without actually copying anything or plagiarizing anything. Trying to look for inspiration, pathways of creativity that may have been forgotten. It’s all a mind game. 

Yeah, no, that’s wonderful. There were so many interesting points you brought up there, but…it is an interesting position to be in, when people have their expectations of your classic songs that they heard first, whatever introduced them to you, but then you also have newer generations who are maybe just hearing this now for the first time, and then will go back and explore Dokken, Lynch Mob and the original music. But I feel like that’s…all of the points you made are things that just come with growing and evolving as musicians. Like, of course, it’s not going to be exactly the same perspectives you had when you first wrote a Dokken album or a Lynch Mob album or something, but it’s acknowledging that you are the same person, your roots came from there, and this is where you are now in life writing this new music. So it’s inspired from new directions and new things. So I just love all the perspective you gave us on where you guys are coming from with this. 

Yeah, it can definitely open up some whole can of worms thought-wise because, you know, you could arguably do an experiment and say, okay, well, I’m going to put myself as best I can in the exact same position I was in 1986, let’s say. And, well, what does that mean? Okay, well…I’ve got to get rid of all the money in my bank account, I’ve got to drive a shitty car, and live in a shitty place, and have a shit job, and wear these funny clothes and get a stupid haircut and…what else? You know, do all those things. But the world is different. All the molecules that comprise and compose your body and your brain are all different. Everything’s different. Your memories are different. So your experiences are different. It wouldn’t make any difference, I don’t think. So, I don’t know, I mean, I think the way things happened back then and the way things have happened since are all just…I think the best things happen when we don’t think too hard. 


The worst things happen, I’ve noticed, is when I’ve tried to sort of figure it out and use my brain. That usually doesn’t work out too good. I gotta stop that “thinking” thing.

Well, music has parts of thinking, but a lot of music is feel and intuitive, what comes out of you musically, creatively, so I get what you’re saying with that.

Probably should get an operation where it cuts off that thinking part. I’d better go see my neurologist next week. Cut that little cord right there so I can be better as stuff.

I think people like you just as you are, but it would be interesting to see what kind of music came out of that, I don’t know…

Then again, yeah, hopefully that’s reversible in case it doesn’t work out. 

Just sew that back together again. So I also wanted to ask you, because I was recently at NAMM and covered the convention, your Desert Eagle, I saw, was on display at the ESP Guitars Room. And since you were one of the first ESP signature guitarists, can you talk just a little bit about your history with the company and also what went into this Desert Eagle signature?

Well, I think I’m the first endorser with ESP, or maybe it was number two, back in the early 80’s, mid 80’s, when I started with them. And one of my best friends in the whole world is the CEO of ESP, but he was originally my guitar tech for like 10 years in Dokken. And then he went from there to work at ESP, I helped him get a job at ESP on 48th Street in New York, where they used to be. And he worked his way from the ground up, literally the mailroom to the president over the years, and he’s been CEO now for decades. It’s just a wonderful story, and still the worst guitar tech I’ve ever had in my life, but he was my best friend so I didn’t care. So, we’ve designed quite a few different signature models over the years, some of which were very, very successful and some of which were very laughable, which is a whole other story, all the ones gone wrong. But the newest signature that just came out at NAMM that you spoke about, that’s called the Desert Eagle, as you said, and that is really a variation of the Kamikaze signature model, George Lynch signature model. And there’s been many variations of that over the years since, which was my first signature model with ESP in the mid 80s. I think the first Kamikaze came out from Japan in ’87, I would say. And there’s been, you know, different color variations, and spec variations over the decades. So this is another iteration of that, with some significant variables. The theme is a sort of Native American theme, which is something that I think about a lot, and try to deal with some of those issues, around Native American issues. I did a film about that, a small documentary film called Shadow Nation that dealt with those things. So part of the profits go to Native American causes, which is a good thing. And so yes, they just came out with this. It’s my main guitar that I use live now, and I truly do love it. And the reason I love it is not only because of the specs and everything, and the neck profile, and the shape of it, and the sound of it, and the pickups and the type of body, and the feel of it and everything. But it just does everything I needed to do in one guitar, because these days, for the most part, I’m doing what’s called fly dates. And most people don’t know what that is, but in the old days, we’d get in a tour bus and we’d go leave for months at a time and come home. And we’d just travel the country on a bus. Nowadays, we don’t do that so much. We’re mostly just flying commercially and we fly out for, let’s say, a long weekend. We’ll leave on, a Thursday, we play Friday, Saturday, Sunday, come home Monday, that kind of thing. Weekend Warrior stuff. And I can really only take one guitar, and they’ll have a backup for me when I get there, in case I break a string or something. That one guitar is my Desert Eagle, or one of my other Kamikazes, because it has the humbucker in the bridge, it has the single coil, and it has the Floyd Rose, the tremolo bar, so it does everything I need it to do. It has all the basics right there, for clean, dirty, solos, and rhythms. So it’s a multi-trick, Swiss Army knife guitar. So it is fantastic, it’s what I use every show. My main axe.

That’s great to know that it comes from a good place musically, and something solid that you believe in, but also goes for a great cause, I love that that’s tied into it as well. This has been amazing talking with you, I wish that we had more time. I don’t want to hold you away from your other interviewers as well. 

Thank you, yeah.

Of course – I did want to ask you about Mr. Scary Guitars, everything you’ve got going on with you know the final tour of Lynch Mob. Lots of topics we could get on. Just to wrap it up, I guess, can you give us a little summary of what’s on the horizon for George Lynch, whether it’s End Machine, anything with Mr. Scary Guitars, Lynch Mob, just a little look into your life for the horizon. 

Lynch Mob is sunsetting in March of 2025, so we are branding this tour that we’re doing for the next year as the Final Ride tour. It’s being heavily promoted, and we are going to be playing our asses off and trying to hit every nook and cranny in the country to give everybody a chance to see us one more time before we put it to bed. And the band is just beautiful, killer, we bring it and you will not be disappointed. We mix it up every night, we change the set every night, keep it interesting for ourselves and the fans. And so that’s happening.  We have a record that’s been out called Babylon, and we will continue to work that and do more videos for that. Mr. Scary Guitars is doing very well, it fills up all my voids in my calendar whenever I’m home. When I’m done doing interviews today at two o’clock, I head over to the shop and I get to work, and I’m working every day on those, and making my guitars for people, which I love, love doing. It’s like meditation for me. It’s just a really beautiful thing. Outside of making records and touring, it’s just kind of a thing that I really love because it’s a very immediate reward. You know, I do some creative work, somebody appreciates that and they pay me for it. And it’s this very direct thing where my client and I communicate back and forth. They get to put their ideas in, and we come up with this kind of unique one-off thing, whatever it is that they want. Yeah, it’s a wonderful thing, so I really enjoy doing that. And I do have another record that just got finished recently that’ll be coming out, I’m sure, later this year on Frontiers Records, and that’s called Cassandra’s Crossing. I won’t say too much about it, because I don’t want to confuse it with all the other stuff that I’ve got out there. *laughs* It is something that people can kind of look forward to, and when they hear it, I think they’ll really dig it.

Well, thank you for your time. It’s awesome to hear your passion for music, passion for guitars and building, and just all the projects that you’re involved in. So thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to share all this with us, and you have a great rest of your day. 

You too, Chelsea. It’s been a pleasure, thank you very much. 

Thank you, hopefully I didn’t repeat too many of the same questions you keep hearing. 

No, you put different questions out there, I had to actually give you real-time human answers from my brain, instead of my pre-recorded canned responses. That was great, kept me on my toes.

There we go! Well, I’m glad I could get some of that out of you. I appreciate it. So I’ll let you go on with your day, best of luck with everything, thank you.

You take care.