Rolling Stone | April 17, 2003
By Andrew Vontz
If George W. thinks he’s got his hands full supplexing evil ones WWE style, then he might want to peep a few time management tips from Liam Lynch, the new Howard Hughes of the digisphere. After shooting No Doubt and Tenacious D on tour for their DVD’s, Lynch banged out all of the music for MTV’s Clone High while working on the five shows he has in development with the Jim Henson Company and co-writing the Tenacious D movie, which he is set to direct this summer. “It will melt your face off and it’s rocktasstical,” says Lynch of the D project. “Will Ferrell will probably be in it and some great scenes to classic and new Tenacious D songs. You can also see how the D came to be.”
While he was at it, Lynch put the finishing touches on his 20 song major label debut, Fake Songs, and produced a pants-pissing funny feature-length DVD of animations, shorts, and behind the scenes footage that will come free with the album. Like a blood-hungry rock’n’roll lion minus the platform boots, Lynch is a creature of the night that works until 8 a.m. in the editing suite and recording studio he built (himself!) in the detached garage of his LA home and then gets up at 1 p.m. to do it all over.
To aid him in his fanciful journeys through space and time, Lynch has five Macintoshes with wireless internet hookups, 10 sets of fake teeth, 140 episodes of Doctor Who, 23 rubber masks, eight wigs, four cats (who all have their own theme songs), two gaming systems, a live-in artist girlfriend with a degree in physics, and a drug-free lifestyle. “I’m constantly in a nonreality state of mind so you don’t really need to get stoned,” he says.
Two days after completing a recording session with Ringo Starr, Lynch, a slight, unabashed geek in tattered black rocker gear, kicks back in his office chair and watches a video of the session that he stayed up all night cutting after the session for inclusion on the DVD, which, by the way, won’t be one of those bullshit DVD’s filled with more fluffers than a Valley porn shoot.
No, this DVD has shit that will actually make you laugh. Or shit eating flies, rather. The animation Flyz features a pair of flies who try to convince a spider not to eat them because they themselves are poo eaters. A vignette called Time Taggers features Lynch playing a hipster homey time traveling through history to spray paint his ‘Zero Hope’ tag on a cathedral and Stone Henge.
Like his DVD and his album, everything Lynch has done he’s done himself, and on a budget that puts El Mariachi to shame. He cut his first studio album before he was fifteen using money he’d raised washing cars, had a recording contract in Nashville before he was 21, and studied with Brian Eno, George Martin, and another Beatle, Paul McCartney, at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts during the mid-‘90s. While at LIPA, Lynch created his hit MTV series Sifl and Ollie in his bedroom at LIPA using a pair of socks and a video camera.
Unlike many of today’s plasticine stars who are ready to beat an assistant with a cell phone over a hangnail, Lynch is humble, self-effacing, and driven by a relentless quest for fun. He loves watching television, especially commercials, and writes some of his best material while playing video games. “Video games use the same parts of the brain that playing instruments do,” says Lynch. “If I need to think about something and get away from the work, I’ll play video games.”
Like a more upbeat, ATF-free version of the Branch Davidian compound, Lynch’s unpretentious LA home comprises a self-contained digi-Valhalla. A door at the back of the garage’s editing suite leads into a soundproofed digital recording studio that has a set of drums his close friend Dave Grohl gave him. “He’s like Animal from the Muppets when he air drums in your car,” says Lynch. “If you get hit you’re dead.”
Lynch views his sci-fi themed work spaces as time travel modules akin to Doctor Who’s time traveling Tardis telephone booth. His Doctor Who fever runs so high that he will be given a replica of the Tardis as part of his record deal that will be the gateway to Dimension: Lynch.
“Everything that happens in the two rooms is about time travel in some way,” he says. “Time doesn’t stand still in my studio.