Since their debut album, Out of the Silent Planet (1988), King’s X have amassed a loyal following and are one of the rare bands that not only fans and fellow musicians praise, but music critics as well. King’s X have always had a sound all their own and if nothing else are the embodiment of integrity. Doug (dUg) Pinnick (bass, vocals), Ty Tabor (guitar, vocals), and Jerry Gaskill (drums, vocals) have remained the only members since day one and their musical journey has been a long and rich one.
In this segment of “10 Questions with the Musical Mind ” we have the honor of getting feedback from Mr. Pinnick himself regarding his creative process both with King’s X and his other collaborations such as KXM which features dUg, George Lynch, and Ray Luzier.
Going back to the Van Halen tribute album in 2000, you did a killer version of “Light up the sky”. Was that song your choice, or was it “assigned” to you?
Thank You! It was chosen for me, and I accepted.
Do the three of you still write and arrange songs together? Or do the members bring in demos and ideas? Do you work on your parts separately?
We do it all of the ways you have asked. We never really had a formula, whatever works is how we do it, and also some songs are almost identical to the demos.
On the subject of writing, how does the process differ with KXM?
With KXM we write the music together by jamming them out, no one has any input on the other’s parts or performance. It’s totally based on trust and acceptance. And having fun. Then I write the lyrics and sing after that.
What is a bigger adjustment for you when playing with musicians outside King’s X, playing with a new drummer, or guitarist?
Locking into their particular groove. Without that there’s no magic.
Your bass tone is immediately recognizable. Have you always used a similar tone, like with Phil Keaggy?
Since I started playing thru my own amps I have been using that tone in some form or fashion.
Do you think your techs secretly hate tuning your 12 string bass?
I’m sure they do, because I hate to do it. LOL!
Which do think you will work on next, a future King’s X or another solo album?
What drew you to bass in the first place?
The tone, the sound, the feeling I get when I hear it. I had to learn how to do it. I absolutely love playing bass!
Do you tend to get ideas for lyrics first, or do you come up with chords and melodies first?
The finished music comes first, then the words and melody comes after. I like doing it this way because it forces me to make up melodies and words in a more creative way.
Where do you think you get the ideas for songs most often, do they usually come to you when jamming with others or when you are alone?
I hear music all day in my head, it comes naturally, all my life. I just tap in when I turn on my protools!
I want to thank dUg and Alexander Ford for their help in giving us a peek into the creative mindset of one of rock music’s iconic figures!