An Interview with George Lynch: Rescuing Rock With KXM

By now, many of you have heard of the new supergroup featuring singer and bassist Doug “dUg” Pinnick from King’s X, guitarist George Lynch from Dokken/Lynch Mob and drummer Ray Luzier from Korn, collectively known as KXM. For those of you who might be living under a rock, Pinnick, Lynch and Luzier created this powerhouse trio, who created its name from the combination of each member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob.

KXM released their self-titled debut back in early March, and the band’s debut single, “Rescue Me,” has really hit the ground running, garnering the group much deserved attention as well as charting high on the Billboard charts and becoming the featured artist on the syndicated radio show Sixx Sense. KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray chatted about jamming together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that this trio of musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was born from those jam sessions and is now an important piece in each band member’s musical legacy. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM deliver all the power and punch that one would expect from these high-level players, which you can hear from the opening drum riff of “Stars” to the final chord on “Human Friction.” Songs like “Gun Fight,” “Faith Is A Room,” the more mellow “Never Stop,” the darker sounds of “Sleep” and the first single “Rescue Me” have become instant fan favorites.

Back in November, I had the opportunity to hang out with dUg Pinnick at a Slayer concert in Camden, NJ and I asked him about the project, but he kept pretty mum about it. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call the legendary “Mr. Scary” himself, George Lynch, and he was more than happy to talk about the project. Here’s what he had to say:

With all of your legendary bands still pretty active, what made you decide to put KXM together?

Well, it certainly looked good on paper, right? (Laughs) But it’s not like somebody sat around and said, “How can we create the next supergroup?” It was really just that we’re friends, we were hangin’ out and we were actually at Ray’s house, and Ray has a studio in his house and it was all set up and so we just started jammin’ privately, and we thought, “You know what? This is interesting. Maybe we should kind of pursue this.”

We just threw down a couple of ideas. You know, they were just seeds of ideas. They seemed cool for spur of the moment. So then we wholeheartedly pursued it and it was difficult to put it together because of time constraints, and we’re all crazy busy doing lots of other things, but it happened, obviously. And really, it was just us hiding away and woodshedding in the studio for 10 days and creating something from nothing.

Were you guys fans of each other’s music before even writing together?

Yeah, I told them we should’ve called the band Mutual Admiration Society (laughs). We’re all so far up each other’s asses it’s ridiculous. It gets sickening after a while. It’s like, “Why don’t you guys just get a room!”

Now, with all of your busy schedules, how did you guys find the time to actually write together?

Well, the writing was the recording. We didn’t have time to write separately, so we just said, “Let’s go on a wing and a prayer here and throw caution into the wind,” and booked a studio and just lived there. We only had a 10-day window because then Ray had to go back out with Korn, dUg had some King’s X dates and I had some shit going on. So we were like, “Well, if we don’t do it now, we’re not going to be able to do it for another six months. So let’s just do it, okay?” And it was touch-and-go for a while and we had to move some dates around until we actually found that window, and we got in that morning and we didn’t look back.

I gotta tell you, when it was all over, we didn’t know what was gonna happen. It could’ve just fell apart because we never played together. So, when it was all over, I was kind of the last guy out of there with the engineer, and they had already left. It was up in the mountains in a really remote area. It was dark, the stars were out and it was cold up there. I just finished loading everything up and it was really fast. It was such a productive 10 days. It was so beautiful and we had so much fun doing it, and we did so much great work, we were just like, “Wow!” It felt like months had gone by because we slept there, we ate there, we had good laughs and we created such a good body of work, and I hate that it ended. It was kind of sad like a hangover factor where I was like, “Wow, what just happened?” (Laughs)

I’ve listened to the CD a few times and the songs that resonated with me were “Rescue Me,” “Faith Is A Room,” and “Never Stop.” Did you expect the songs to come out the way they did or were you kind of surprised with the end result?

We were just surprised. We were shocked because the first day, we were like, “You know what? This is cool!” We actually wrote a song the first day. I think the first song was maybe “Burn.” I had the baritone on and we tried the baritone first and I wasn’t digging it, so I went back to the Tiger and stuff, but it was cool! I tell everybody to kind of just spark up and everybody was like, “Okay.” We were still slightly apprehensive, but then the second song came, then the third song came, and two to three days into it, by the third day, we were like, all in. We all kind of had that fire and gleam in their eyes like little kids in a candy store.

We worked tremendous hours because we were so enthusiastic because the results were just starting to be certainly unexpected. You never know what you’re going to get until it’s over, especially when it’s done that quickly. For a record that takes six months, you have time to change studios, change engineers, change the way we’re recording or having to rewrite the song. We didn’t have that luxury. We’re gonna get what we get. We have to write and record at least one song a day or we’re behind schedule.

Just think about the talent in the room…

It would have been weirder if it had gone badly. Think about that kind of firepower—Ray Luzier, dUg Pinnick and myself, not to pat myself on the back, but I’m just saying that with all of our experience behind it collectively—100 years of experience—it better be freakin’ good!

I have to say that you were a bit more laid back on this CD. It wasn’t as solo driven as we’re used to hearing from George Lynch from Dokken or Lynch Mob.

Well, I didn’t have the luxury of time. I didn’t have my week or two weeks to go in and really woodshed with solos. I didn’t have that. So it was pretty much off-the-cuff, shoot-from-the-hip stuff, you know, I’d get it right, okay, next song. So, it was an all-improvise, I was just reacting to the music and playing along with it, but that wasn’t the priority. It wasn’t meant as a vehicle for solos, but I get your point. I mean, I threw heat in here and there, but there were moments where I had to decide whether I wanted this take or did I want that take? In one sense, one take would be a lot more speed and a lot more guitar showing off shit, and the other one would be more basic and bluesy, but talking a lot more and it would fit the song better.

It wasn’t always my decision. I mean, I could’ve made it my decision, but I didn’t. We collectively decided “that’s” the better solo. It doesn’t impress guitar players at maybe GIT as much, but fuck ‘em (laughs). They’re not paying my rent. I tried to be mature in my selection in what was proper with some exceptions.

Is there a favorite song on the record?

No. I mean, they have things about them that I love and I’ve listened to the stuff now so much that I always get to this point on the record where it’s finished, I played it and created it, and then listened to it a thousand different times, a thousand different ways, and I can’t hear it anymore. I just can’t look at it objectively anymore. And that’s why all of the wonderful and positive responses we’re getting across the board from people like you and reviews and friends and family, they’re all reacting the same way in a very positive way and just over the top in being so genuine about it, because I’m used to that, but in this case it’s much more than that. People are going out of their way to call me. It’s so genuine and heartfelt that they really need to express their appreciation for the work, and I’m getting that from everybody.

So, this is a different animal. I’m not gonna go out and by a Ferrari just yet, but I might wait till next week (laughs). I’ll get a new pool put in, put a new roof on the house, probably having sushi every night, maybe hire a maid. You know how it is. This is more than a supergroup. This is a super-duper group!

With everyone’s busy touring schedule, is there room for KXM to actually tour?

That’s the next gigantic challenge on top of all the other micro-challenges is to make sure that happens because it is absolutely necessary, but we’re up against a stone impenetrable wall called Korn, which is a wonderful thing for Ray and we all love Korn and they’re one of my favorite bands and it’s all beautiful, but in reality, in the context of KXM, we have to try to find a way to make that happen.

We have some ideas. One is a very short secret worldwide tour, where we go unannounced and play these shows and then record them and film them for posterity and release that so people who aren’t able to go to these shows, which there will only be a handful of shows at select venues with high quality production (laughs), and at least it’s on DVD and it keeps oxygen flowing through the animal here. Give people a chance to see it if they can’t come to a show.

One last question before I let you go, and you know as a fan I have to ask it. Is there any chance at ever seeing Dokken again? Or should we all stop asking?

Now, listen, we’ve worked really hard to create a landscape of opportunity for that to happen, and we’ve been shot down every time. And that’s always because Don [Dokken] wants all the money. That’s all it is, which is ridiculous! Dokken was always, through my enforcement a lot of the times, was a quarter-split band. We all split everything equally. I think that’s what made it work. I really do at the foundational level, and there are reasons for that. I’m not saying that it works for every band, but in our case, that’s what worked and that’s what needs to happen, but Don will never agree to that. And that’s why it hasn’t happened in the last decade and a half.

It will probably never happen. Yes, we came close a number of times. We had meetings with big agents, managers, and record companies throwing massive deals at us and worldwide tours and a TV show on VH-1. Just a lot of energy went into all these things and Don would be there every single time and pretend to play along with the condition that it will be an equal split, and so all of these people put their work and energy into it. And even getting into the studio, we do that and we wrote songs, and in the 11th hour—which he always does—he does the bait and switch and then changes his mind—which we knew he was gonna do—and says, “Well, now that we’ve come this far and put all of this work into it, you know what? I can’t really accept 25 percent. I need 40 percent or 50 percent,” knowing we were already invested in it, which is his little trick. We know that now about him and we’re not giving him the benefit of the doubt anymore. So, every time this comes up, that is the first thing that has to be addressed. Until we have that foundational agreement, where he signs first before we put any energy into it, we have nothing to talk about. That’s where we’re at.

So, on the last T&N record [featuring Jeff Pilson and Mick Brown from Dokken], we actually called him up and we said, “Hey Don, listen, it’s me, Mick and Jeff. We’re here, we’re doing this. We’re writing and the songs are beautiful. Let’s get you in the mix and make a fuckin’ Dokken record!” Dude, come on, really? How long you gonna wait? Till you’re 70? Nobody’s gonna care! You’re gonna suck even worse than you do now. So, let’s just do it now! And here we are.


KXM’s self-titled debut album is available now through Rat Pack Records. For more information, go to