KXM’s new album called Circle Of Dolls is coming out on September 13th via the Rat Pak records. We had a chance to chat with guitar maestro and all-around awesome human, George Lynch about the new album.
As with their last album Scatterbrain, the new album is full of songs with fantastic performances by George Lynch, Ray Luzier, and dUg Pinnick. Where Scatterbrain gave an overall upbeat feel, Circle Of Dolls feels a bit more introspective. The songs sound more spacious and contemplative. I asked George if the band felt a different vibe on this album? He mentioned “It’s definitely got a darker mood to it. I don’t know what to attribute that to. Maybe we were depressed (laughs). I’m just kidding of course. We always have a lot of fun in the studio. Cutting up and stuff and joking around, so that wasn’t the case. I think really quite honestly without reading too much into it, it’s just a crapshoot. Because we are working so quick”.
In recent interviews with Ray, he mentions that Circle of Dolls used the same recording approach as Scatterbrain. That approach is to forgo pre-production and record a song a day. I asked George if the band favors that approach for expediency given all their schedules or do they enjoy the immediacy of capturing the creations as they emerge. George responded “Actually both. We are under a time constraint when we do these records”. He then added “It is a feature of the band. It’s kind of the defining feature of the band.”
Much has been said in other interviews about the chemistry between George, Ray, and dUg. Each of them have played with a host of amazing musicians. I wondered if George could expand on what makes his relationship with dUg and Ray special. George replied, “Well, you have three somewhat unorthodox musicians”. Adding “We all have tremendous respect for each other and we’ve always admired each other playing and we also like each other as people. Ray and dUg are really, really good people. Me, you know, I’m kinda whatever”.
I’ve been listening over and over to the new album Circle Of Dolls (author note: watch for a review coming soon!). I can’t get over how detailed, nuanced, and rich each song is. What blows me away is that the band starts jamming and creates these marvelous songs in a single day. Take for example “Mind Swamp”. It features this octave effect on the guitar making the opening riff vicious. I was curious if George could provide some insight on song development in the studio. George told me “It’s all a reaction. None of it’s premeditated.”
Another great track full of contrasts and contours is “Cold Sweat”. It starts off with those big heavy chords of the chorus and then slides into this old school funky 60’s rock riff which had me thinking of James Bond. I wanted to know how that song feels to George. His response was “Frustrated”. He continued “Because it’s kind of the aardvark or duck-billed platypus you know; it’s got all these parts that I don’t think really fit in a satisfying way for me. It’s interesting, but interesting isn’t enough.”
I knew going in that the entire band gets asked this question over and over, but I had to check-in and see if there is any chance for a KXM tour in support of the new Circle Of Dolls album. George told me “My stock answer is to go ask Ray (laughs). We are all ready and willing, but the thing is; I keep having to explain this; Korn is not somebody we can call up and say “Hey guys, you need to take a break so we can go out and do a KXM tour.”
Back in 2016, the classic Dokken line-up (Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown) played several shows in Japan which eventually was released on the DVD Return To The East Live. I asked George if there was any chance of a similar tour in the United States. George stated “Your guess is as good as mine right at this moment. Nothing like that is happening, but I would like to think so.” (Author note: I know need to call Jonathan (Korn) and Don (Dokken) to see about getting Korn put on hold for a bit and getting a KXM / Dokken tour setup. It’s worth a shot right?)