GEORGE LYNCH And JEFF PILSON Are Working On Another 'Heavy Hitters' Album
January 8, 2022
Guitar-shredding virtuoso George Lynch has reteamed with his former DOKKEN bandmate Jeff Pilson for a set of new studio recordings that turn pop music classics into powerful metal anthems. The follow-up to 2020's "Heavy Hitters", tentatively titled "Heavy Hitters 2", will be released later in the year via Deadline Music, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
In a new interview with Tone-Talk, Lynch confirmed that "Heavy Hitters 2" will contain 11 songs, including a cover of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and "an original Christmas song."
Pilson told Tone-Talk about the upcoming effort: "It's us doing covers, which is really fun. We kind of get to experiment a little bit. So we're doing another one of those. And I don't know when it'll come out. But it'll probably be done in the next couple of months."
Regarding how far into the recording process they are at the moment, Pilson said: "We just did the seventh song. But we're only doing musical beds right now. We haven't done vocals. And there's only a few bass tracks. Brian Tichy is gonna add the drums when we're done with the 11 songs. So we're seven songs in with musical beds, if that makes sense."
As for how they approach the material that they are covering, George quipped: "Basically, what we did is we took stupid songs that guys like THE ROLLING STONES and CROSBY, STILLS & NASH and guys like that, but we fixed them. Now we did them right, like they should have been done originally."
"Heavy Hitters" featured guest appearances by BULLETBOYS' Marq Torien, FISHBONE's Angelo Moore, EARSHOT's Wil Martin and the aforementioned Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE). The effort contained Lynch and Pilson's renditions of Rufus and Chaka Khan's "You Got The Love", Carole King's "I Feel The Earth", DURAN DURAN's "Ordinary World", Madonna's "Music", ONEREPUBLIC and Timbaland's "Apologize", Martha Reeves and THE VANDELLAS' "Nowhere To Run", Prince's "Kiss", R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" and OASIS's "Champagne Supernova", among others.
A little over a year ago, George and Jeff's former bandmate in DOKKENDon Dokken criticized "Heavy Hitters" during an appearance on "The Classic Metal Show". After co-host Chris Akin named some of the songs which were reimagined by Pilson and Lynch, Don said: "But those are not heavy hitters. No offense, they are good songs, but those are vanilla tunes. [Sings 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)'] Did they rock 'em up or put some shredding guitar solos [in them]?
"They must be really bored," Dokken continued. "But, you know, everybody's got their mantra; everybody's got their financial things, I guess. If a record company is willing to give you money to put out pablum, then put out the pablum. But I hope my standards as a songwriter are a little higher than that. If I'm gonna do a remake, I'm gonna do something that was super cool, like 'Paint It Black' by THE [ROLLING] STONES or 'Revolution' by THE BEATLES or something that's awesome and do something like that. I'm not gonna do Carole King."
A few weeks later, Pilson responded to Dokken's comments during an interview with the "Rock 'N' Roll Icons With Bode James" podcast. He said: "First, let me give Don his due here. I'm sure he didn't hear it, and honestly, I'm not really concerned if he does or doesn't. But having not heard it, if I saw that list of tunes, I would say, yeah, there's some vanilla tunes in there. So that critique of his is true. The whole idea was to take tunes like that and make them cool, which I believe we did.
"I don't wanna go into Don's mind right now," he continued. "Yeah, I know him really well, and, yeah, I have an opinion of his modus operandi and what he's thinking. Let's put it this way: I wouldn't expect Don to say something nice about somebody he views as competition. I don't view him as competition. We're all musicians trying to do our thing. So I'm not gonna second-guess Don or try and get into his mind, 'cause I still love the guy — I really do. But he's always been like that; he will always critique things. That's his thing. That's fine. I wasn't so flattering of some of his DOKKEN records that he's done in the last [couple of decades]."
He added: "I still love Don, but I'm not doing this to please Don. [Laughs]"