KING'S X Frontman: 'A Lot Of My Peers, They Just Put Crap Out Now'

June 4, 2018

KING'S X bassist/vocalist Doug "dUg" Pinnick was recently interviewed by Izzy Presley of "Another FN Podcast". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his current musical tastes:

Doug: "I go back to LED ZEPPELIN and [Jimi] Hendrix and THE BEATLES sometimes, but I keep moving forward. I don't go back much. I learned from the old bands that I grew up with, but I'm looking for something new. I love PERIPHERY. I love MESHUGGAH. They're treading new ground. That's the new prog-metal and the new PANTERA. After them, there's going to be some other kid who's going to take that and take it some place else. That's what I'm into now — just, 'What do you got to show me, kids? Show me something,' because I've seen it all.

"I'll give a band two or three albums, and then I'm moving on. That's why I don't expect anybody to follow KING'S X. To me, after three records, if they're not going out and keeping me interested with their live shows or if they're not giving me new music — I mean, new, honest music, because a lot of my peers, they just put crap out now. I don't want to ever be accused of that, even though I think I have, maybe, done some pretty crappy stuff in the past. I feel like I'm stepping back up to the plate now. Sometimes you get depressed and you need the money and you just shit it out, but everything that I do is always deep down in my heart. Nothing's fake. I want to feel everybody's music. I don't want to fake music anymore. The '80s did that for me. I'm done with that."


Doug: "Here's how I look at it: Anybody that feels that they're not real can go fuck themselves, because those kids don't know anything else. They fell in love with LED ZEPPELIN, like somebody out there fell in love with METALLICA, and now his goddamn band sounds like METALLICA. Why do people hate on each other so much?"


Doug: "When the first record came out, I remember I brought it home, and Eddie [Van Halen] did 'Eruption'. At that moment in time, I think everybody's – every guitar [player's], every musician's — jaws were on the ground with so many thoughts. Number one, 'Who would start a record with a lead solo? That's balls.' Number two, 'He's doing something I ain't ever heard before.' At that point, we were in. I think that's what got me into them, but I didn't care for the songs, I didn't care for David's [Lee Roth] voice that much. I thought Eddie was a great, great, great [player], and they wrote great songs, don't get me wrong — and I know them all, because we've heard them all. I've hung out with David and Eddie. Our manager used to manage us and them too, way back in the day, with RUSH. It was the three of us. Love those guys. Eddie said he'd be a fan of KING'S X if his road crew didn't play us so much. I didn't know how to take it, but that's Eddie. I didn't have a lot of respect for [Roth's] voice, but I've seen him several times, and he's an amazing showman. I didn't think he had a good voice until I had to do a VAN HALEN tribute song, 'Light Up The Sky'. I tell you what — trying to sing him... I went in [and] I said, 'Okay, I'm just going to do me.' Didn't work. I said, 'I'm going to try to kind of sound like him.' Didn't work. I had to sit down and listen painstakingly to how he sang that, because there's no other way I could do it — how he talks and slurs through things. When I got done learning that, I had much, much respect for him, because he told a story in a way that was melodic. It was really different, and it opened my mind up to who he was."

On maturing as a musician:

Doug: "Somebody said, 'You find your strengths and get rid of your weaknesses instead of trying to strengthen your weaknesses.' Most of my career, everything that I hate about what I do, I've always been trying to fix it. Then one day, somebody said, 'Dude, your strengths are what we see. Your weaknesses, we don't care about.' I [told myself], 'Well, start focusing on the strengths and build on that.' All of a sudden, I feel more confident in songwriting and a lot of things that I'm doing, because what I don't like, I don't go back and say, 'Oh, you suck. You can't go back and make things right.' I say, 'No, it's okay. A lot of things suck — throw it away and put what's there what you like.' Mentally, it helps."

On how his approach to songwriting has changed over the years:

Doug: "I think more about what I'm writing — the structures, the melodies, the words. Not a lot has changed in the way I write, but I think about it more. In the early days, I just spewed out what I felt, made up a riff and made it work, and we did it. We put our heart into it, and it seemed like it worked for everybody that liked it. Now, when I make up a riff, I sit there and listen to it and go, 'Is this riff doing it for you? Do you think you can work on this a bit and make it a little more interesting?' I'll sit there and start messing around and go some place that I never went to in a riff before, a time signature, just something a little off. Music always gets me when I hear something real simple and they put something a little bit off. ZZ TOP's 'Tres Hombres' album was like that — it was straight-up blues, but it was some fucked-up progressive [songs], and it was really interesting. That's what I look [for] in music now. I've listened to music for so long, there isn't much new that I hear. You can figure out where it came from or who they got it from, but it's how you put it together, and that's what I think about more than anything now."

On his new solo album, "Tribute To Jimi (Often Imitated But Never Duplicated)" :

Doug: "It took two years for the Hendrix people to finally okay this. This record was done almost two and a half years ago. We're all Hendrix fanatics, so we went out and dug out everything we could find out about what he used, how he did things, everything. We went in and got pedals, amps, the whole deal, and tried to mimic those songs. There's been a million Hendrix tribute records, so I'm going, 'Well, if I'm going to do this, this has got to be a little off-center, because I can't make just another one.' I thought, 'What would Jimi Hendrix do if he was my age and he decided that he wanted to go back and do something from his first two records?' I thought, 'Number one, I would probably go back and probably not do it anything like I did it,' and then I thought, 'What would I do? I'll go back and mimic it exactly.' It was fun doing it. I've heard so many Hendrix tribute records, and all the singers just sing them — they don't do Jimi. I personally, even though I've been on a lot of these [tribute] records, I don't care for them because we don't know those songs. We don't own those songs. It's an opportunity to do stuff; it's a commercial for us; it's a place to get paid. Sometimes it's paid my bills. I just wanted to [make] a Hendrix record where people would sit down and go, 'Yeah, I like that.' Luckily enough, my voice sounds so much like his that [it] worked. I really like this more than anything else I've ever done. I don't like hardly anything I do, but I like this."

On whether KXM — his project with George Lynch and KORN drummer Ray Luzier — will ever play live:

Doug: "We probably never will. I want to — I wish we could — but to do that, we're going to have to take a couple of weeks off and learn these songs. We've never played these songs. We write them in the studio, and then I take them home, and I sing over them, and we put them out. When we do the videos is when I learn the songs. When we were doing 'Scatterbrain', I'm going, 'I don't know how to play and sing this.' By the time we went through three or four takes, I knew the song."

"Tribute To Jimi (Often Imitated But Never Duplicated)" was released via Rat Pak Records on May 16.

KXM recently recorded their third album, which will be released later this year via Rat Pak Records.

KING'S X continues to perform live on a regular basis but has not released any new music since 2008's "XV".

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