George Lynch has defended his right to speak out on political issues, saying that it is his "incumbent responsibility" to work for the betterment of his friends, neighbors and fellow human beings.
The legendary DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB guitarist recently caught flak from some of his fans when he slammed President Donald Trump in an interview, calling the billionaire real estate mogul an "idiotic monster" and an "egotistical, self-aggrandizing, complete piece of shit" who "doesn't know anything."
Asked by Tom Leu and Sound Matters Radio if he has any concerns about alienating part of his audience with his comments, Lynch said (hear audio below): "When people say, 'Just shut up and play guitar,' I mean, wait a minute — I'm a human being. It doesn't mean what I do — selling shoes or making tacos or writing music — it doesn't matter. I have an incumbent responsibility to work for the betterment of my friends and my neighbors and fellow human beings. I feel compelled to do that just as strongly as I feel compelled to play guitar.
"I don't think those same people would criticize me if I professed their point of view," he continued. "So, am I speaking to someone that does not realize that when somebody suggests that I shut up and play guitar? I mean, isn't that sort of a hypocritical position to take?"
Despite this, Lynch does admit that he is apprehensive about possibly angering some of his supporters with his inflammatory remarks.
"I'm not gonna pretend that that doesn't matter to me, because one side of what I do is my job, quote-unquote, my business, quote-unquote, and I support a large family and I've got kids in college," he said. "And there's a lot that I've gotta maintain here. And so there's the practical matter of income and running my work and my business as a business that's profitable. And when you're faced with alienating potentially 30 percent of your audience, that's something you've gotta think about. And I'm actually having to deal with that issue on a couple of different fronts very recently. I won't name the band, but there's a project that I'm currently involved in and there's some debate as to whether to withdraw some political videos that we were doing regarding a song that has political messaging. And the label just squashed us; the label said no. 'We are apolitical. We will not allow that. And you have to rethink this and redo it.' To me, that's insane.
"Would anybody have done that to [Jimi] Hendrix or CROSBY, STILLS & NASH or Bob Dylan or a myriad of other rock and folk artists in the late '60s and the seminal gestation period of rock and roll that really mattered?" he added. "Could you imagine having a policy like that? I mean, that's what defines rock and roll; you can't have rock and roll without that. It's not just a commodity. It is a commodity, but more importantly, historically, it was actually a tool and a vehicle for change — for ending the Vietnam war, advancing civil rights, for environmental issues. I mean, come on."
Lynch was criticized earlier this month when told Australia's "Scars And Guitars" podcast that "progressives are more compassionate people by nature — we're wired to sort of be more empathetic and care about things outside of ourselves. We are about other people; it hurts us to see people in pain or suffer," he explained. "So they call us 'snowflakes.' But people that are wired, on the right, the way their brains are wired, they don't have that sense of empathy. I'm not saying it's good or bad — I'm just saying it is. And these people are the ones that have the guns. And they're willing to use them. And it's becoming pretty frightening."
Lynch is currently promoting "Circle Of Dolls", the third album from his KXM project, which also features bassist/vocalist Doug "dUg" Pinnick (KING'S X) and drummer Ray Luzier (KORN). Released on September 13 via Rat Pak Records in the U.S. and Frontiers Music Srl in Europe, the disc was recorded at Steakhouse Studio in North Hollywood, California with co-producer/engineer Chris Collier, who also helmed the group's first two releases.