Watch: GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM Performs With New Singer RAY WEST In Woodhaven, Michigan
July 10, 2022
The new lineup of GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM performed yesterday (Saturday, July 9) at the Uncle Sam Jam in Woodhaven, Michigan as the support act for DOKKEN. Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below.
Last month, George Lynch announced that he had recruited Ray West (SPREAD EAGLE) to sing for GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM. Also joining the legendary DOKKEN axeman in the band are Jimmy D'Anda (BULLETBOYS) on drums and Rob DeLuca (Sebastian Bach, UFO, SPREAD EAGLE) on bass.
Speaking to Andrew Daly of WWMusic about how he enlisted West for the project, Lynch said: "Well, I've known about Ray for a while because he was good friends with [former LYNCH MOB singer] Oni [Logan]; they kind of came up together. In the pre-LYNCH MOB days in Florida, Oni and Ray had a lot of history, and they were kind of at the same level, but Oni hit a little harder than Ray did as far as making an impact and making a name for himself. But it's really interesting because they're kind of out of the same mold. So, with Ray, he is just a great fit for the band, you know? And so what happened was Rob DeLuca has been in the band for a while as the bass player, so when we lost [singer] Andrew [Freeman] to GREAT WHITE, Rob said, 'Hey, you should check out Ray.' And I hadn't even thought of it, but Rob said, 'Check him out. He might be a natural fit. And so I did, and he really is. I mean, I probably couldn't have designed a better fit in a laboratory."
Asked what he feels Ray will bring to the table, George said: "Well, LYNCH MOB has been a revolving door for sure. At this point, there have been more people that have been in this band than haven't been in this band. [Laughs]. And so it hasn't always been the perfect guys that I would have liked to handpick. It's almost like, and I don't want this to sound negative in any way, but it's always been more of a matter of convenience at times. It's like this: when you get a different member of the band, be it a drummer, singer, bass player, or whatever — and this happens with a lot of people I've played with — it doesn't always click. But I think what is a little different about Ray is that it's like I'm putting myself back in time.
"When we formed LYNCH MOB initially back in '89, the world was our oyster. We had worldwide tryouts and we really took our time because we wanted to just hit it hard right out of the box. Without all the hype and expectations, I think I have a little bit of a sense with Ray that he could have been that other guy instead of Oni. And that's not to say there was anything wrong with Oni; it's more a testament to Ray, that I think he could have easily been the guy back then.
"Honestly, I can't think of any weak spots with this guy. There are some guys who can't cut it in the studio, or they can't do it live because they're not much of a frontman. You see some guys who don't write lyrically, or they're not a poet in that way. Some guys just don't have the chops for melodies; they just don't have a sense of that. Or they can write lyrics, but they're not poets. There are all these different things, and stylistically, yeah, you might have a guy that's just a monster machine, but he's got no soul, and he lacks that thing that really fits with the legacy of the music. So, with all those things, for me, you have to put that all together, and again, I think with anybody else that has ever come through the door, toured, and done record, I've enjoyed every minute of that, and I appreciate everybody that I've played with. Through the years, it's been a wonderful experience and adventure, but I think Ray is kind of like the cap on the end of the bookshelf. I mean, of course, you never know, and I guess nothing's forever, especially in this band. [Laughs]. We could be having this conversation again six months from now, and maybe the turnstile turned again, and we had to get a new guy. I am not anticipating that, but I've learned well enough that with this band, you just never know. But for the moment, I'm really appreciating the fact that we hooked up, and that we're going to do this, and I'm very excited. I know Ray's very excited too. He's over the top and we are too, and I think that's a little bit infectious.
"When you become a little bit older like me, it starts to become a little bit harder to get around. The result is it takes me a little bit more to get my motor going, so it's kind of like, 'Well, we've had thirty-five guys in this band. Okay, this is number thirty-six. Let's see.' But, you know, I really am genuinely excited, and we're always excited about having new guys and getting fresh blood. But this one is even more of an exceedingly animated thing for us because I think Ray is gonna bring some new life into our whole little world here. And we are planning on doing a record; we just signed up to do another album. It will be through Frontiers [Music Srl], and this will be my first official ELECTRIC FREEDOM record."
It was only six months ago that Lynch introduced the previous GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM lineup at a concert at Count's Vamp'd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lynch, D'Anda and DeLuca were joined at that gig by Freeman. At the time, Lynch wrote on social media that he "finally put together" his "perfect band."
In August 2021, Lynch spoke to Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio about what it has been like to play select shows around the country with his newly christened touring entity GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM. He said: "It's liberating, actually, to be quite honest with you. To have a new band and a new name and a name that — I mean, just the power of the name, 'cause with the new name, which is GEORGE LYNCH'S ELECTRIC FREEDOM, it really is electric freedom. I didn't even think of it that way, but [then-ELECTRIC FREEDOM bassist] Michael Devin and I were were talking the other day on the way home, and we were, like, 'This really defines the band.' And it really does. Because we're plugged in, we do a lot of kind of just off-the-cuff improvisation during our show, which you don't see very much in rock and roll anymore — not since the '70s. And we're big fans of that; that's what we were raised on. So it's, I think, more alive and vital than your kind of average thing where you go see a band and they're playing songs they wrote 35 years ago. And sure, it's great — you wanna hear the songs, and that's all good. But these guys have been flogging these songs for decades. I've been doing that too. And that's not what I'm about. I mean, I can do it. But I like to bring the audience another perspective and another dimension to what can happen onstage, and that is the creative moment in real time — experiencing that and witnessing that, and for me to play that and the band to play that... And I think the crowd appreciates that. And not just at the moment, but more in retrospect, when they think about it. They think, 'Wow, actually, that was pretty cool.' Every time you come see my band, it's gonna be different. It's gonna be different members [and] we're gonna play different material."
In early 2021, Lynch offered a lengthy explanation for why he was ending LYNCH MOB during an interview with George Dionne of Metal Express Radio. Addressing questions about why it took him three decades to call it quits with LYNCH MOB, George said: "When we first formed the band in '89, the name had sort of already been around. While I was in DOKKEN, it's what I called our little group of guitar fans — I had picks made; it was kind of a little subculture within DOKKEN. When we started working on developing and building the band after DOKKEN broke up, that was just the name that we always thought we'd use, 'cause it was a perfect fit — it's my name, and it describes it pretty well. And, of course, the negative connotations were always there, and I was aware of 'em, but not as aware as I probably should have been. [Laughs]
"I had made numerous attempts over the decades to kind of let that name go and had walked that back for multiple reasons — usually because of business considerations," he continued. "For instance, if you try to go out on a tour and not use the name, promoters aren't gonna be happy with you changing it. People aren't gonna know who you are. They're not gonna show up, because what's THE GEORGE LYNCH EXPERIENCE, or whatever you call it. Or record labels are not interested, because it's a brand that they can count on and sell a certain many albums or whatever.
"For instance, the LYNCH MOB record 'Smoke This' that came out, I think, in '99 or 2000, that was not supposed to be a LYNCH MOB record; that really wasn't anything to do with LYNCH MOB. At the end of the day, after the record was done and we were delivering it to the label, they insisted on using that name as insurance. And if I hadn't agreed to that, we wouldn't have had a record. That's the kind of pressure I'm talking about.
"But then, with the onset of everything that's happened in the last year, I didn't have that kind of pressure anymore," George added. "I could take it or leave it at this point. And I didn't really feel comfortable with it; I didn't feel comfortable with the name. 'Cause I'm a very progressive person politically, and it just so flies in the face of everything I believe in, and it makes it hard. It makes it hard to have relationships with people and explain yourself, and I got tired of rationalizing it. I think the music is bigger than that, and it's had a great run.
"Another reason, too, is the band fell apart again. The band has fallen apart so many times, I can't even count. And it was just, like, 'No more Oni [Logan, vocals], no more Brian Tichy [drums], no more this guy, no more that guy. Oh, great. Now what do I do?' It's, like, 'Okay, build another band from scratch, call it LYNCH MOB?' No. How about just build something new? It gives me a lot more freedom to basically play anything I want live… I can go out and play everything from my catalog — new, old, covers, jams, you name it, and go deep and have fun and change it up every night."
Oni first hooked up with LYNCH MOB in 1990, but exited the group after the release of its first album, only to rejoin the outfit in the late 2000s.
Logan is featured on five of LYNCH MOB's eight albums, including 1990's "Wicked Sensation", as well as 2009's "Smoke And Mirrors", 2014's "Sun Red Sun", 2015's "Rebel" and 2017's "The Brotherhood".