June 12, 2008
The Boys Are Back!
Birmingham Rockers Lynam Return with TRAGIC CITY SYMPHONY
By The Atomic Chaser and The Rocker
Known as the "Heart of Dixie", Alabama is the 22nd state. The name Alabama is derived from an Indian word meaning "thicket clearers." In the world of rock music, legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd call Alabama, “home sweet home”. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan called Alabama "The Crimson Tide". Alabama is also renowned world-wide as one of the epicenters of the music industry. Many artists in the realms of Rock, Country, Rhythm and Blues have emerged from Alabama over the past 50 years, including Wilson Pickett, Toni Tennille, Percy Sledge, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas, the Southern Rock/Pop/R&B band Wet Willie, the Rock band Brother Cane, the Power Pop band Hotel of Birmingham, Bill McCorvey of the Country band Pirates of the Mississippi, and songwriter/producer Walt Aldridge. The Commodores and their former front man Lionel Richie both hail from Tuskegee. Rick Hall, founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals is a well-known producer of classic R&B, Pop & Country music from the 1960s through the 1980s.
In the new millennium, a trio of rockers, emerge from the Crimson Tide and have their sights on writing their own chapter in the book of rock. The trio is called LYNAM. The three piece is comprised of Jacob, Mark and Dave. They exploded onto the music scene in 2001 and released four albums. They have a following of dedicated fans in their home state called, "The White Trash Mafia". Two years ago Lynam released, 'Slave To The Machine' and it was like putting a lit match on gasoline! The buzz and impact that the release made was, not only felt on a national level, but was felt around the world. Rock critics welcomed the band with rave reviews.
In 2008, Lynam are back and they are hungrier than ever as they unleash their highly anticipated new release, 'Tragic City Symphony'. The new cd features cameo appearances from the guys in HINDER and Tom Keifer of CINDERELLA. Along with producer Jason Elgin, the band also enlisted legendary rock producers Mike Shipley (GREEN DAY, MAROON 5) and Beau Hill (RATT, STEVIE NICKS) on mixing. For those who have not discovered this, band listen up. Lynam have a, take no prisoners approach to their music. All of the old videos and concerts look like one big party. Everyone is having a good time and the music is about having fun. These days it seems like bands are whining about how hard it was growing up in suburbia instead of giving their fans a great show.
The Rocker and I spoke with Lynam's singer/guitarist, Jacob Lynam. He shared his thoughts about the band's latest release and how Lynam is going to shake things up once again! Here's how it went down.
AAM: Jacob, talk to us about the new record, 'Tragic City Symphony'.
Jacob Lynam: We are really excited about the new record. The drum sound on it is amazing. They sound like they were recorded in a stadium. In fact this album was made to be played in a stadium. Think AC/DC meets Metallica. The whole album is off the hook. I also got to work with my favorite mixer of all time, Mike Shipley. He did all the stuff with Def Leppard and worked with Mutt Lange. I was totally blown away working with him. Working with Beau Hill was also great. 'Tragic City Symphony' is a combination of old school and new school rock. We wanted to deliver an arena rock sounding album, mixed with a pop sensibility.
AAM: How long did you guys spend recording? How many songs did you actually write?
JL: We knocked out the new album in about two months. We tracked it with Jason Elgin, he is our producer. He's worked with bands like Collective Soul and Creed. He mixed most of the album. Then the rest of the album was mixed by Mike Shipley. We sent Mike a song called, "If You Leave" and sent a song called, "A Million Ways" to Beau Hill. We are huge fans of both of those guys so it was real honor working with those guys. They really brought the goods to the songs and made them amazing. We wrote about twenty songs for the album and the twelve that we thought were the best fit for the record, made it. Our producer, Jason Elgin, is like the fourth member of our band. He helped out in balancing the overall sound of the new record.
AAM: Did you approach the new album any different than, 'Slave To The Machine'?
JL: With, 'Tragic City Symphony' we didn't want to hold back. On 'Slave To The Machine', we were signed to Universal. Derek Scholman signed us. He's signed everyone from Bon Jovi to Tears For Fears. We learned a lot from him and used what we learned on the new record.
AAM: You say you learned a lot, like what for example?
JL: Whenever you do a record that the label is totally financing and funding, you know, you can't take as many risks at times. 'Slave To The Machine' turned out to be the record we wanted to make. It was raw, an in your face rock and roll record. On the new record, like I mentioned, we didn't want to hold back. So we incorporated instruments like, fiddles, banjos and mandolins. I have to say we've been met with less than enthusiastic response. Then when, "White Trash Superstar" got added to this radio station in New Jersey. The program director loved the song and added it their "Smash It Or Trash It" contest. For five nights, we beat out these other bigger name bands. So they added our song to their play list in heavy rotation. That gave us the spark that we needed not to hold back this time around. 'Tragic City Symphony' is for our fans and for ourselves.
AAM: Where did the title come from for the new record?
JL: 'Tragic City Symphony' is something I came up with. Reason being, is Birmingham is referred to as the 'Magic City'. Everything downtown is like art shows and side walk festivals and stuff like that. We just changed it to tragic city symphony because it tells a story. We have a lot of strings and stuff on this record. It's just a play on words that fit the overall sound of the album.
AAM: Talk to us about the special guests that appear on the new album.
JL: We have Tom Keifer from Cinderella. Then we have all the guys in Hinder doing gang vocals on a track with us.
AAM: How did you get hooked up with Tom Keifer of Cinderella?
JL: How we hooked up was, when Poison and Cinderella were on their 20th Anniversary tour. We played some shows with them. One night Tom was walking off the stage, I told him that I was a huge fan and gave him a copy of 'Slave To The Machine'. Tom Keifer is one of my biggest influences ever. A week later, when they came back we were back stage and Tom said that he loved our cd. He loved how the album sounded and wanted to talk to our producer, Jason Elgin. About a month later I get a call from my manager, he gave me Tom's cell phone number and told me that Tom wanted me to call him. We spoke and he told me that he hadn't taken out our cd out of his player. His lives in Nashville and we live in Birmingham, so I invited him down and asked him if he would play on the record and said he would.
AAM: Who are your musical influences?
JL: Our musical influences are spread all over the place. Our bass player's favorite band of all time is Steely Dan. Our drummer’s top three bands are The Cult, Motley Crue and U2. Then my influences are, all the arena rock bands like Cinderella, Def Leppard and Motley Crue, but I am also a big Blue Grass music fan as well.
AAM: One of the songs off the new record "White Trash Superstar", has a banjo intro, it that you playing banjo?
JL: Yes, that is me playing and that is where my love for Blue Grass comes in. The whole song has mandolin, fiddles and banjos in it. It’s totally a rock anthem like Def Leppard's, "Rock Of Ages". I feel like we did something really special with that song.
AAM: What is the "White Trash Mafia"?
JL: Our fans that would come out to our shows, would joke around and called themselves, 'The White Trash Mafia'. We have such a diverse fan base and we love them all, we were actually going to use that as the title of our first album. It is also the name of our fan club.
AAM: You previous release, 'Slave To The Machine' is banafide rocker. The songs featured something not heard on American rock radio, good hooks and blazing guitar solos!
JL: Yeah, I agree with you guys as far as the guitar solos go. For a time there and this is not a knock on Nirvana, but it seem like in 1991, a lot of the grunge bands came out and made it okay to "suck". I am not saying that Kurt Cobain wasn't a good songwriter and god knows Dave Grohl is a phenomenal drummer, songwriter, singer, everything. He is absolutely amazing. But there were some bands out at that time that could not play their instruments. No melodies, no guitar solos, no hooks. I am not saying that a guitar solo has to be in every song, but there has to be song. Melodies, guitar solos and hooks are what you will hear in our music.
AAM: What do you guys do on your down time?
JL: We try not to have too much down time. This is what all of us do for a living it’s our job. We look at it this way, as long as we're playing that means we are eating. We love doing what we are doing.
AAM: An upcoming tour with Warrant, Lynch Mob and Cinderella. You guys must be stoked.
JL: Yeah, that is going to be a fun tour. Jani Lane, who is back with Warrant, is a close friend of the bands and was a major factor in us getting that gig. We've written songs together. Jani is an amazing person and we love him to death. Yes, we are really stoked about the tour.
AAM: For someone who has never seen a LYNAM show, what can they expect to see and hear?
JL: You can expect strippers in cages and lots of pyro, just kidding (laughs). When you come to a LYNAM show you can expect a good, straight ahead rock and roll show. We go all out from start to finish.
AAM: If you were not rocking the world, what would you be doing?
JL: I can't think of anything I would doing other than music. If I wasn't a musician, I'd still do something in the music industry.
AAM: Parting comments...;)
JL: Thank you to all our fans and thank you guys for your support. We truly appreciate it. We'll see you guys when we come to L.A.
The Rocker and I along with All Access Magazine would like to thank Jacob Lynam for sharing his time with us. Take it from us, when it comes to straight in your face, uncut, unbridled sonic fury rock and roll, LYNAM is one band that delivers the goods, tenfold. LYNAM will be hitting the road this summer with CINDERELLA, a re-united WARRANT (featuring singer Jani Lane) and LYNCH MOB. LYNAM will be touring in support of their new album “Tragic City Symphony”.
For more info on LYNAM: www.lynamsucks.com