Copyright Lynam, taken from https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152163675996648&set=a.356832396647.198641.15302171647[/caption]
60M IN Fort Worth: We’re talking to David Lynam, drummer and founding member of the band Lynam. Let’s start at the beginning. Where is everyone from? Are you all Alabama boys?
David Lynam: Jacob and I are from Birmingham, Alabama. I mean, Jacob kind of was shuffled around as a kid to Pascagoula, Mississippi and east Texas, but basically grew up in Birmingham. Mark grew up in Lizzard Lick, North Carolina but moved down here 15 years ago and has been an Alabama boy since. Lonny is from Los Angeles but growing up, lived in North Dakota, Houston, and southern Illinois. Jacob was in Mars Electric which was a band signed by John Kalodner (quite a resume). Mark played in a couple of cover bands before Lynam. Lonny played in countless sunset strip bands including Adler. I really didn't have a resume before starting this band. I played in a couple of local bar bands but that's really it.
60M IN FW: Genesis of the band. How did the current powers come to meet?
DL: You know, the day before we started this band is when Jacob and I met and that's no lie. We were each asked to run the door for a mutual friend of ours band called U.S (www.uscanus.com) They're still around today. At any rate it was a club that had a front door and back door so you had to put a door person on each door. We shook hands. I had heard of him before so I knew he was in Mars Electric. M.E. had just broke up days before (I didn't know at the time). I had a show booked the next night and had no band. I asked him if he'd do it and he said he knew of a bass player, Brian Jones, and that they could do it and we'd do it as a three piece. We showed up, Feb 28th, 2001 to a club called The Arena and Lynam was born. It wasn't until later in that year we started actually doing shows out of town and that original line up shifted because Brian couldn't tour with his day job. That's when Mark was brought in as our new bass player which is kind of coincidental because Mark had quit the band he was playing in shortly after we met at his show and was doing house trimming work. He shortly realized that there were no screaming girls at the end of a work day doing trim work … well … THAT kind of trim work anyway. Needless to say he was itching to join a band but not just any band. He wanted to join a band with an original project and coincidentally we had just released our first album, White Trash Superstar. He was handed it and he really liked it so that solidified the Lynam rhythm section for the next 10 years. We had a fourth member, Dee Dee Brown, who sang on that album and part of our next but after a couple of years of touring his voice began to give him trouble and he elected to step down to pursue a different type of career as a vocalist. I think it was around 2004 when he stepped down.
60M IN FW: So original material was a priority from the beginning? Tell us about the song writing process in Lynam. That fascinates me…the creative “machine”.
DL: Not the very beginning. The very beginning was just us going and picking up some money playing some covers. But a little under two months into it Jacob said, "Look, if we're going to continue, we're doing an original CD. I'm not going to be a part of a band that only does covers, no matter how much money it rakes in. Jacob writes in a very unique way. You're talking about a guy who does ghost writing when he's not writing for Lynam. He makes a good chunk of his living writing songs for other artists whom you'll never know or never read his name on their liner notes. When he writes melody, lyrics, and music all come to him at once. That's very rare as you may or may not know. So that being said, all of our albums have been written mostly in a three day period while we're at a place. The way it's typically gone is we'd play a place once or twice a year where we play two or three nights in a row. That allows a lot of sitting around time during the day. Jacob would pull out his acoustic and write us an album each time one of these weekends occurred. Bling Bling, Life in Reverse, Slave to the Machine … all written in a three day period. It's quite remarkable seeing him work when his creative juices get flowing. You never know when it's going to happen too. I've seen him in sound check come up with a song. “Tanis” was written at a sound check at the War Eagle Supper Club in Auburn one night. Coincidentally, we came BACK to the Supper Club to shoot the live shots for that video. Weird how things come full circle.
60M IN FW: Two questions in one. What the heck is “Tanis” and tell me about your drumming style? To say that you are one of the more entertaining drummers to watch is an understatement. You crash the cymbal on the downstroke and the upstroke. Twirling sticks, throwing sticks and I’ve personally seen you balance anything and everything on your nose, from a drumstick mid-song, to a hand truck during load in.
DL: Tanis is a lost city in Egypt that turns out never existed. In comparison, it's like a relationship. You think you're in a relationship with someone and as it turns out … it never existed. It was either a fantasy you made up or a misread completely. So that's what the song's about.
My drumming style is much like anyone else's style they develop. To me everyone has people that motivated them to pick up an instrument so naturally in the process of learning your instrument you emulate your idols. While doing that you're still learning so it's impossible to mi
mic their style. In the process of trying to mimic your idols you develop your own style. I'm just a product of the guys that I love watching. Zoltan Chaney, Dave
Abbruzzese are those guys. I will sit on YouTube for hours and watch them. Literally, hours will go by and I won't even notice. Youtube's a great thing. Love it!
[caption id="attachment_7613" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo Credit: Alan Matthews[/caption]
60M IN FW “Tragic City Symphony” was a really big release for Lynam and it’s when I came to know about you. Talk about it and how it came to be.
DL: After releasing our fourth album, “Slave to the Machine”, and the success that it brought we wanted to go bigger. We wanted a very polished, big production sounding album. We were heavily into Mutt Lange and his production. We studied who he used for engineers. We researched studio tricks that would make e
verything sound bigger and better and we went to work with a handful of songs that we felt were our strongest to date. Now everybody says that but we really felt it. We thought Tragic was the cd that would make us known worldwide. We even got Mike Shipley, Mutt's right hand man, to mix a very special song written for a friend of ours, If You Leave. We, of course, couldn't afford Mutt, but we did pool together enough money to get Mike (R.I.P.) to mix that song. We also had Tom Keifer of Cinderella agree to play a solo on the CD and within 48 hours, he drove down from Nashville in his own car and recorded all of the slide guitar you hear in “Enemy” and drove right back up to Nashvillle. We were excited as hell. He was on our wall growing up. Weeks later we were on tour with Hinder and had
an off day in our hometown of Birmingham. Everyone had been drinking all day and we said, "Hey, if we can arrange a car service to drive us over to Tarrant, you guys want to do some gang vocals on one of our songs?" Everyone had just enough alcohol in their system to agree to it so away we went. Jagermeister in hand, we knocked out the gang vocals in 20 minutes. So the "Woah oh's" you hear in Enemy are us, Hinder and some of their techs. It's crazy because we got so many people to accompany us on that song and we never released it as a single. Jacob did all of the writing for Tragic City Symphony. I came up with the name of that CD. It stemmed from our city's nick name which is The Magic City. How it got that name I don't know. At any rate, given the crime rate of Birmingham proper, I thought it's more of a tragic city than a magic city. Then I woke up one day with the title, "Tragic City Symphony." It just had a nice ring to it and it made sense to me so I shared it with Mark and Jacob and they liked it so that was it.
60M IN FW: Is this where you really gained ground concerning fans, or am I just late to the party?
DL: We gained a lot of fans with Tragic and a lot of fans with Slave. As strongly as we feel about Tragic, our fan’s favorite release to date has been “Slave to the Machine”.
60M IN FW: Since Germany may not be familiar with Lynam YET, tell us about some of the artists you’ve worked with.
DL: We've been very fortunate to have toured and become friends with a lot of our heroes. From Cinderella, Janie Lane, Slaughter, Vince Neil, Stryper to current bands like Godsmack, Papa Roach, Hinder and Theory of a Deadman even with country acts like Parmalee … we've had quite a run and we realized something recently … it doesn't have to be over. We feel our popularity is as strong as it's ever been. We've kind of found our niche' in the rock n' roll world and we're comfortable with who we are. Our new release, Halfway to Hell has gotten STRONG reviews. We've not heard a negative review about it yet. Now I don't know if that's because everyone has bad taste in music or we've finally hit our stride but we'll take it, nonetheless.
60M IN FW: Band member changes…Mark Dzier left for a bit.
DL: Mark got picked to star in the movie Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise. We kind of MADE him take that musical position. He was on the fence about it. We were like, "Dude, we're not releasing any more albums. We're just going to tour regionally probably from here out, TAKE THE DAMN POSITION!" It was more money than he could make with us. It was steady work. It was easy. I mean, there were no loading in or loading out headaches. Travel was taken care of. He didn't have to sweat tour bus break downs like we did, owning our own tour bus. It was just a head ache free pleasant transition as we saw it and we later found out we were wrong. It just wasn't his bag. As Mark has said MANY times, "Touring in a musical, is the FURTHEST thing from touring in a rock band."
60M IN FW: I can’t tell you how cool it was to see him in the movie. So Mark is doing Rock of Ages and Cody Elliott joins.
DL: Cody was an animated character for sure. We hired him completely on his image. That's the truth. The guy couldn't play bass for shit but we gave him a couple of months to learn our songs we play live and gave him a deadline and we'll be damned if he didn't learn them so he was our guy from 2011-2013.
60M IN FW: Yep. Then Mark returned.
DL: Mark returns in late 2013 and the response was overwhelming. Our fans had missed him. We never knew! I mean, he's just a bass player, right? I mean, I wouldn't expect an outpouring of controversy if I left the band and it's my last name. That said, you never know how important someone is until they leave and then they come back. The online love and support that he received as soon as we posted a picture that he was back playing with us was overwhelming.
60M IN FW: Then, Lonny Paul comes via Adler. I’m a big fan of his rock image as well.
DL: Lonny was the piece of the puzzle that we didn't know was missing. When Adler's summer tour plans in the UK and South America got canceled due to Steven's health everyone kind of had a band to go back to and play with except for Lonny. Without even a slight hesitation, Jacob and I were like, "Let’s have him play with us." He's such a cool guy, nice guy. I mean, being easy to get along with will get you farther in a band like ours than anything. We may be hiring guys for the wrong reasons but we hold a lot of weight in image, personality and then playing ability. Not saying Lonny can't hold his own playing. He definitely can. As a matter of fact, he's a GREAT player and even more importantly, A SONG WRITER. He's even got a song he wrote on our new EP.
60M IN FW: How did you guys get hooked up with Steven Adler?
DL: Jacob met Steven at Janie Lane's funeral. A mutual friend, Jay Ruston, introduced Jacob and Steven and Jay said, "THIS is who you need to hire to front your new project." Jay shortly after sent over a copy of "Is this a heartbreak or loaded gun" to Steven and that's all he needed to hear. He contacted Jacob and the deal was sealed.
60M IN FW: With Steven on drums, you obviously had to step aside and become tour manager.What was that like?
DL: Look, honestly, I was just happy to be employed. I knew Jacob touring with Adler would risk me being out of work for the time being and he assured me that he'd find a place for me in the outfit. I mean, drumming, obviously wasn't a possibility but as it turned out, I pulled TRIPLE duty. Drum tech, tour manager and Steven's personal handler, WHICH HE NEEDS. I didn't realize what a huge undertaking that would be but I got it done.
60M IN FW: So then Steven’s health fails and Adler is done?
DL: Adler's not broken up. They're just not going to tour until Steven's healthy. Ya' know, Steven's pretty lucky that he has three guys in the band that care about him enough to not go out on the road when he's not in the condition to hit the road because there are a ton of slimy musicians who are only looking out for themselves and would squeeze all of the blood from that turnip they could. The whole band, me included, all made a pact. Steven's health is of top importance. If he's not fit to tour, we don't tour. Everyone's kept their word on it too. That's important that people know that. Everyone in Adler is truly looking out for Steven's best interest. We all refuse to be in a bus with Steven and wake up to him dead in his bunk or him off lost in a random city. It's not going to happen on our watch. So, for now, Adler is a studio project until further notice. And as we all know in this business that can change in a moment's notice.
60M IN FW: Tell us about the live experiences like “Shiprocked”, people throwing chairs off of cruise ships and getting arrested. All fans want to know as much as you can say about crazy road experiences.
DL: You know, I won't go into details about bands that have gotten kicked off of these cruises but man, it's not 1985 anymore. Being at the top of the charts doesn't mean you can throw tv's out of hotel windows into the pools. That kind of behavior comes with consequences nowadays. Look, on Shiprocked, Motley Cruise, Monsters of Rock, Kiss Kruise, all of these cruises have some bands that get to thinking they're above everybody but for the most part they're all cool and easy to get along with. Those who aren’t get dealt with and that's that. We have seen some shit though. We've seen dudes flipping out throwing chairs and plates and bedding off of the ship into the ocean because they're drunk. We've seen wives shacking up with someone else and their spouses finding out and causing a HUGE scene. We've seen folks get thrown in "Boat Jail" as they call it. We've even seen people get left in port in another country. Left to fend for themselves, to get back to America but all in all, it's just a big party on the ocean. They're all fun. Just being on the road in general … if you're out there long enough stories just fall into your lap. You don't have to go chasing them down. We've recently met fans at our merch booth, had them offer us up a night's stay at their place and us take them up on it. You'd think a band that'd been together for over a decade would decline that sort of offer just based on longevity in this business but we took 'em up on it and figured, "This will be a chapter in our book" and so we did it.
60M IN FW: Oh man! Where did this happen?
DL: It was crazy. It was in North Carolina and the folks couldn't have been nicer. We are glad we did it in the end.
60M IN FW: Craziest places you’ve ever played?
DL: We've played a Ku Klux Klan rally before that was disguised as a rib cook off. We've played weddings, class reunions. Hell we're known for playing at a sold out amphitheater one night and the next night in a wing joint for 100 people. It's just the way it goes when you play music for a living. It's not always a party and it's not always balls to the wall sold out shows.
60M IN FW: Let’s talk about the new EP! “Halfway to Hell”! I love it! It stays in my CD player.
DL: Well we had kind of decided to call it quits on releasing full length CDs. We didn't have plans on recording any more music for a good while but hearing the response from folks who heard we were kind of done releasing new music for a while motivated us to get back in the studio. More so, a lot of our idols that we grew up listening to reached out to us and told us what big fans they are of ours. That made us want to go back and record. Plus there were a couple of songs written for the Adler record that Steven didn't want to use so we decided to let that be our starting point as far as writing goes. >From there we just tried to narrow down 5 songs to record and we couldn't even do that. We settled on 6 and cut 'em and went into the studio and finally wrapped it up. The EP has been in the works for over a year but we've just had a hard time lining up studio time with our producer because he stays so busy. That said, we're proud of the finished product. All except for that snare drum in Wrong Side of the Grave. That is actually a demo that we just didn't have time to re-record so we put it on the EP but for the record our producer had nothing to do with those drum sounds.
We're considering recording four or five more songs and re-releasing it as a full length if we can get the time. It's the first cd we've released in a while without a ballad or two on it. It's all killer, no filler. Short, concise songs with strong hooks and catchy melodies. Not too heavy, not too light.
60M IN FW: Great definition for Lynam. “Short, concise songs with strong hooks and catchy melodies. ” And “Cold” is a great single. Tell us about how it was chosen as a single from 6 strong songs and give us a little insight into the video.
DL: We, as a band, selected Cold as the new video because we felt like it was the strongest song. And look, it may not fit the format of traditional active rock radio but we felt like, "You know what, if this wasn't a song by Lynam and it was another band's song, we would still listen to this because we think it's a good song." We cut the video for it in Nashville a couple of months ago. We shot all of the live footage in one day and the story line took a couple of days. A chick named Kendal Brown starred in it. She's also doing some work on the ABC show “Nashville”. We know her fiancé. He's a drummer in a rock band we've played with so that's the connection with her.
60M IN FW: Upcoming plans? I mean, I thought you guys were dead. Now I buy “Halfway to Hell” and there is more buzz that ever.
DL: Look, honestly we've gotten a lot of buzz on this new EP because ONE we stated we weren't going to release any more full length albums and people took that as we're never releasing any more music ever. We are … we just think that the way of the future is to not necessarily do full lengths any more. In this day and age you put together just a handful of songs and release them. Keeping a steady stream of music and activity coming from the band seems to be the way things are heading.
60M IN FW: I see you publicizing your radio show from time to time. I’ve even tuned in. Great thing…the internet.
DL: You know, I have a morning show I do on Raggradio.com and that's kind of a fun thing I do just because I've always enjoyed radio. It's WAY more entertaining when I'm on tour and getting to interview bands out on the road we're playing shows with. But even when we're not I do the show by my lonesome and have fun with it. It airs every morning from 6-10a.m. CST on raggradio.com.
60M IN FW: Cool that’s the middle of the day in Germany! Three final questions. What’s it like being a new dad?
DL: I'm telling you … people will tell you how much fatherhood or motherhood will change your life and you think you know but you just don't truly know until you experience it. It's the greatest thing I've ever experienced in my life. I truly would take a bullet for my son without hesitation. I love him more than words can say. He makes me happier than anything else I've ever dealt with.
60M IN FW: If you could sit at a table with anyone and have dinner who would it be?
DL: You know it'd probably be my dad. He passed way when I was 12. With my career choice, which is something I doubt he'd ever pushed me to pursue, and me being a father I would just have an insurmountable list of questions to ask him. We probably wouldn't get much eating done on account of my 5,000 question interview.
60M IN FW: What would the meal be?
DL: Oh I'm not picky, my man. I'll eat anything that's reasonably healthy. I'm not a red meat eater due to a kidney disease I have but I'm a big fan of food so it's hard to disappoint me.
60M IN FW: Anything else?
DL: Please go listen to our new EP “Halfway to Hell”. However you can get it, we don't care. Steal it online, burn it from a friend or buy it from iTunes. We just want to be in your iPod. AND COME SEE US should you ever get the chance. We're hoping with all of the overseas press we've done for this album cycle that it'd lead to a tour overseas. The Adler project definitely led to us doing a lot of overseas press for this album cycle. GnR fans are ALL OVER THE GLOBE as we've found out. Most of the interviews lead to questions about Steven and the Adler project but we'll take what we can get.