Part 1 of my King’s X Experience.
On Thursday, May 16, 2013, I was scheduled (thanks to the wonderful Ebony Richardson over at Century Media Records!) to do an interview for Amps and Green Screens with dUg Pinnick, lead singer and bassist for King’s X. They were having an extremely trying day, but Alex, my band liaison was able to get me in to sit and chat with dUg right after sound check. He could not possibly be any nicer, and was very cool and understanding, and made me feel completely at ease as I fumbled my way through this, my very first rock interview EVER. I am grateful to all who made this possible. So, here it is. My interview with dUg. Enjoy!
Amps: So, dUg, you have a new album just released, called Naked. Jerry’s working on his second solo record, and Ty just played leads on two songs for Geoff Tate’s Queensryche album. Fair to say you guys like to stay busy?
dUg: Well, I currently have four projects: My solo record, a band called PGP w/Thomas Pridgen,who plays drums in Mars Volta. George Lynch and Ray Luzier , drummer for Korn, we have a group, and we’re working on a record right now, and I’ve got a jam band that’s out in Joshua Tree called Third Ear Experience. We get together and jam for hours, like 30-45 minutes a song. I never stop, no time to stop.
Amps: I know you’ve been suffering through a hernia. What’s the timetable for your surgery?
dUg: I’m gonna have it after the Chicago dates. We’ve got enough money now to do it. I’ve just gotta not scream till then.
Amps: With all the projects the three of you have going on, and the life that IS King’s X, how do you balance the band vs. life?
dUg: Well, for me, this IS life. I think Jerry and Ty have to juggle things around because they have wives and families,so they have to balance. But for me personally, I got nothin, I just do what I want to when I want to, whether I’m broke or not (laughs).
Amps: How does it feel to have such a rabid fanbase that came running when you needed to raise money for your operation?
dUg: Overwhelming, completely. But you know, every time I post things on Facebook that are deemed “worthy of responding to” (laughs), I just get lots and lots of responses. Like, I said, “Hey, I’m thinking about putting out a solo record, anybody interested?”, and I got like, 700 hits, so that was pretty cool.
Amps: You’ve made some interesting setlist choices this tour. A Box, Vegetable, Thinking and Wondering for example. What made you choose to play such deep cuts?
dUg: Occupational hazard because of my hernia. I can’t do “Black Flag” and be yelling all night long, so this is like the lower register, where I’m not screaming, and I can make it through the night. If we did some of those other songs, oh man. We’ll be able to do “Over My Head”, though. But, you know, it’s gonna be the crowd singin’ a lot, and they love to sing, so we go let em do it (laughs).
Amps: Tape Head was the start of you writing more collectively, more of a group effort, as opposed to everyone coming in with their own ideas like on previous works. Have all the records since been done that way?
dUg: Well,Tape Head, Manic Moonlight, Mr. Bulbous were done that way, but the last two, Ogre Tones, and XV were everybody bringing in demos.
(I mention that I think XV is one of their best albums all-time, and he responds): Wow!! Ok! A lotta people say that, I wonder why that is.
Amps: How has it been, making music for such a long time, and to have this fiercely loyal fanbase other bands only wish they could have?
dUg: It’s a long time. It’s funny watching people come when they’re 15, and now they’re 35 and they got kids that they’re bringin’ to see us, it’s insane.
Amps: So you’re doing this mini-run now, and then you’re gonna go get well. When do you think you’ll get together to write and record? Any timetable?
dUg: We don’t know. We’ve got some offers to do a new record, so we’re talking things over, but we just decided to give people a break for a minute, and I think it’s good for us to go, and do what we do, then when we come back…you know, we don’t wanna make a crappy record. We wanna make one we really can be proud of. Last few records, I mean we put our hearts into ’em, but it’s “making another record”. You know, it’s like, after awhile, it’s another record. This time, we wanna go, “Wait. Let’s go in, and try and go in another direction, just spend our whole life in there and do it, you never know.” It might come out crap, but we’ll see.
(In response to my saying that no two King’s X records sound alike): No. And this one won’t either (laughs). We’ve got more flavor to put in the pie now.
Amps: So…what does the future hold for King’s X, immediate and long-term?
dUg: I don’t know. I know we’re not breaking up. We’re always gonna make music, we’re just going at our own pace. Before, it was “You GOTTA put out a record every year, or every two years”. This time, the internet’s changed everything, so we’re just trying to figure out the new ways to do it. Maybe put it out ourselves, I mean we have record companies who want to sign us, but at the end of the day, you put your record out yourself and you make more money, so, we’re talking about all that, trying to figure it all out, and that’s what’s taking us so long. It’s just, wanting to do it right.
Amps: And is it the fact that you guys are so strong in your beliefs and your refusal to conform to the “normal” way of doing it that factors in here?
dUg: We couldn’t be normal if we tried, that’s what people love about us (laughs). We are the quirkiest band in the world!