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King's X

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It was in 1980 that three guys started a band that we'll now know as King's X. Those three guys, Doug, Jerry and Ty are back again with the eighth studio recording: Please Come Home....Mr. Bulbous. Read what vocalist and bass-player Doug Pinnick has to say about the new album and music in general.

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Interview With: Doug Pinnick (vocals, bass)

Date: Tuesday May 9th 2000

Where: This was an interview over the telephone. Courtesy of Metal Blade Records.

Other Band-members: Ty Tabor (vocals, guitar) & Jerry Gaskill (vocals, drums)

Band's Geographical Home: Houston, USA

Discography: Out Of The Silent Planet (1998), Gretchen Goes To Nebraska (1989), Faith Hope Love by King's X (1990), King's X (1992), Dogman (1994), The Best-off (1995), Ear Candy (1996), Tape Head (1998), Please Come Home....Mr. Bulbous (2000). Solo-project Doug Pinnick under the moniker Poundhound: Massive Grooves .....(Looonnnnggg title; 1998).

Available Through: Metal Blade Records

Official Website: King's X

Interview By: mpo

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What do you think of the new King's X album yourselves?

I like it myself (laughs). Uh, it's something we've been wanting to do for a while. A sort of go back to the Gretchen kinda era. We haven't done that in a while so we thought we'd give it a try this time. We're pretty excited about the turn out of it.

The writing of the songs is more like the three of you writing together nowadays. How is that?

We wanted to do that because we felt that we were -quite frankly- tired of doing each others demos all the time. So, we wanted to put it together and make it a joint effort and see if we can come up with something a little bit different than what we normally have. Each of us is concentrated on our own parts rather than dictating to each other what we wanted the other person to play. So, it was a total surprise to us with the thing each of us came up with and that's why we like it so much. I think it's still fresh for us too.

Is it a satisfying way to do it that way?

Yeah.

Okay. The title Please Come Home...Mr.  Bulbous is one of the weirdest titles in King's X history. Where does it come from?

Uh! You mean Gretchen Goes To Nebraska wasn't weird! (laughs)

One of the weirdest!

Yeah! It's another name that we came up with that was just kinda weird. We came up with that name about five years ago, I think it was. We thought about it and we just decided to do it.

Aha. And is there some kind of meaning behind it?

No.

Just funny?

Yeah.

It is funny (both laugh). Another weird thing about the album are all those ramblings in all those kinds of languages. Whose idea was that?

That was all of our ideas. What we did was, when we were in Europe last year touring, we asked a few of our friends from other countries to tell us their tongue-twister in their own language. So, we recorded it and that's what we put on the record.

Ah, that's why those Achtentachtig Prachtige Grachten!

There you go! You know what it is (both laugh).

An important part of the band has always been the Christian-related subjects. Uh, on the new album there's for example the song Move Me. What's the background of that song?

Uh, the background of it is....I used to have a really strong faith and now I think I don't have it anymore. I'm on the outside looking in. I don't really believe in it anymore. So, that song is about someone from the outside looking in to where he used to be.

When I read it, it seems to me there are two thoughts. On one hand it's "after it's gone", it's gone. On the other hand there's "God can you move me". So, that's the opposite.

Yeah. It is. We wrote the lyrics together. I wrote the verses and Ty wrote the chorus. So, that's how it came about.

Yeah. It's very interesting to know that. Uh, you said you came from a background about faith and stuff like that. What do you think is the essence of Christian faith. How do you look at it?

I was pretty confused about it because in the US you can't find pure faith. It's tainted with lots of garbage. At the end of the day I don't know what's true and what isn't anymore. So, I don't know what the essence is. If I knew what the essence is I might still be in it. As far as I can see it's not a good thing for people. It only controls them. It causes them to believe in things that will never happen for them, you know.

Yeah. I believe that Ty calls himself a Christian.

Yes.

When you look at him, what do you think what faith is?

I don't think about it. Many people think that faith in peoples lives is so important. But we've always been abled to get along each other and communicate without each others beliefs in the way. It's not necessary.

Aha. And because it's still a part of the lyrics, do you ponder about it?

Yeah, it'll be a part of the lyrics just because those things are on our mind. King's X always writes about things they're feeling at the moment.

Yeah. About a year ago you said in an interview that you're gay. What happened with you after that?

Nothing! (laughs)

I expect you got a lot of letters from people....

At first I got a lot of letters from Christians who were very upset at me. That's kinda faded away now since no one said it anymore.

And how do you feel about the response from people?

I knew it would be something difficult for people to hear. So, I expected it. It sort of faded away now. So, I don't think anybody pays attention to it anymore. Hopefully the focus is back on the music again.

Okay....then we're gonna focus on the music! What current bands are an inspiration to you?

There are none.

None? So...let's look to the past. What bands are an inspiration?

Uh, Hendrix, Sly And The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, U2, Metallica. I can go down the list. All the bands and everybody in between that sounds like them. I love early music. The new bands are not inspirational to me but they do give me hope and give me...Well, I would say the new bands are inspirational because they keep reinventing music. That's what I try to do myself. I admire them and I'm always watching what new bands come up with. Their new interpretation of the same old thing, you know. But my inspiration does come from the past.

And if you consider the current bands, what do you like?

I like the Deftones, Slipknot, Soulfly.

Quite heavy stuff!

Yeah. Korn. That's my favourite stuff.

Another question. What are your influences as a bass-player?

Uh, actually the older bass-players. Chris Squire from Yes, Glenn Hughes from Trapeze, back in the Trapeze-era. Uh, Roger Glover from Deep Purple. John Entwistle from The Who. I think those. And Jamie Jameson from the Motown era, the bass-player for all The Temptations songs. Stuff like that. Those are my favourite bass-players. They inspire me. They were the ones who were there when I first started.

So that goes back to the sixties and the seventies.

Yeah.

King's X is always praised for its music. What would you like to say to a starting band about what's important in songwriting?

Things important in songwriting....hmmm.....I think what's important is your expressing exactly how you feel through the way you feel. I think it's important that people put their identity on their music. Somehow. That it doesn't sound like everyone else. I think that's....To add to that I would say that a lot of bands have very few influences. And as a result of that they sound like one particular band. Say for instance, all the bands that sound like Korn now. They all listen to Korn so now they sound like Korn. Well, if they had more influences, different bands, and blend them together, they may be abled to come up with something new, from more influences. I think it takes more influences to be original.

Right.

And you're always as strong as you're weakest link. Always play with good musicians. Don't play with a musician that just isn't good, you know.

Yeah! But sometimes it's hard to find the right musicians!

You just have to keep going until you do it. Kurt Cobain said one thing though. He said, if it's done with passion, he said, than it's good. It think that's a last. And I'd like to say, whatever you do, do it with passion!

Alright. King's X is now together for twenty years, I believe. Uh, first under different names like The Edge. Are you gonna celebrate this somehow?

Uh, every year we have a King's X birthday party. We just go out and have dinner. We kinda laugh about how long we've been together. So we probably do it again, in January (laughs).

Nothing for the fans?

No, not yet. We did the Ten Years Of Making Records about two years ago. We did a tour and called it that and put on bumper-stickers. So, but I don't know. We haven't thought about it yet. I'm glad you suggested that and maybe we'll do something about that.

Yeah. Maybe some kind of special live-album, double-disc?

Yeah! I'll think about that! It's been twenty years.

Yeah. Right. Twenty years and no line-up changes. (jokingly): Don't you ever get sick of being stuck with Ty and Jerry for sooo long?

Oh! I think that's the feeling when you're stuck with your wife and you love her (both laugh). I don't even think about being stuck with those guys.

So, generally spoken, it's always a good time.

Yeah.

Perhaps you can give a starting band a hint on keeping a solid line-up....

Uh.....I would say, for a solid line-up, make sure you have a singer who has passion and you have a great drummer. The rest of the band, they can do anything as long as there's a great drummer and a singer with passion, your band is gonna move on.

So, you can change Ty Tabor...(laughs)

Uh, no, I can't say that! A guitar-player is very very important. I'm just saying that the guitar-player doesn't have to be the great virtuoso to be in a great band. I think it's important that the singer and the drummer....The drummer has to have the timing right. He's got to put the groove down. The singer is the one who's the heart of the band. So, those two people are very very important. The bass-player and the guitar-player...What I'm saying, whether they are really great of whether they're mediocre, you can still have a great band if you have those two other elements.

Okay, very interesting to hear your view on that. I want to look into the future a bit. You're involved in two other things like Poundhound, your solo-project, and Super Shine. What can we expect from Poundhound and Super Shine?

Super Shine was a project I did with Bruce Franklin from Trouble. It basically sounds like Trouble with King's X vocals (laughs). The Poundhound.... I'm finished with it. I just finished mixing. I hope to have that done in a couple of weeks. Uh, that's a continuation of Massive Grooves. I'm happy with it. I had a good time writing it, you know. There's not much to say about it. It's more groove from Doug (laughs).

So, it's more in the vein of King's X.

Yeah.

So, you're doing King's X, Poundhound and Super Shine, with the last two being projects. Which of these is your favorite occupation?

Well, none of them I consider an occupation (laughs). Those things....this is fun. I did them all for fun and I still do them all for fun. So, I can't say what's my favorite. You know, each one is like, important to me. So, I put my heart into all of them.

Okay. And it's not because Poundhound is your solo-project you can put more into it and that you like it more?

No, because Poundhound is been in existence for ten years. All my demos that I did for King's X I just called that Poundhound. As far as I'm concerned Poundhound is still just demos for King's X but King's X is not gonna do them anymore because from now on King's X is gonna write together. So, I don't have to write for King's X so I just keep writing songs anyway like I always did. And there will be more Poundhound albums coming out. I can't say it's my favourite but it's just a part of me.

So, it isn't really a byproduct of King's X?

Uh, not a byproduct as much as just another part of me. Because there's a lot of music in my head. There's a lot of things that I wanna do. There's so much energy that I have and so many ideas that I just can't put on King's X. There's just not enough time.

Yeah, okay, I understand. Very soon you will tour with King's X through Europe. What can we expect from the King's X tour?

Hopefully this tour we're gonna do a lot of Mr. Bulbous and Tape Head. Last time we came through we did sort of a best-off. We did all our old songs and all the songs that most people wanted to hear  since we hadn't been here for ten years. We played a lot of things for the people that missed us for so long. With this next tour I think we're doing the newer stuff.

I never been to a concert of King's X so can you explain how it is, the vibe of the concert?

Uh, it sort of is like going to someone's house and sitting down and hanging out with them. The crowd knows all the words and they sing along. They're not crazy. They just kinda stand and watch. And we give them the music and they love it. We're real loud and we have a very good soundman. So, the sound is very good. And it's a concert more than a crazy event, you know. Because most King's X fans are musicians. So, most musicians wanna watch and listen rather than jump around and get crazy. So, we enjoy the excitement from the crowd, when they watch us play, from their own way.

I understand that last year you toured with the Galactic Cowboys. Uh, what do you think of their music?

Well, they've been friends of mine since almost twenty years. So, it's very hard to listen to their music with an objective attitude. They're my friends and we've  been around each other for so long. I've always like the Galactic Cowboys, especially their first record. Before they put out that first record, I used to go to the rehearsals and listen to them. There I heard all these songs and I thought they were so amazing. In the early days all the harmonies and the heavy heavy riff. Uh, but those days are past.

Yeah, I heard they're gonna split up today.

Yeah, I knew that a while ago.

What do you think of that?

Well, it's what they had to do. They wouldn't have broken up for without a reason. So, I would guess that they just  kind of wanted to go as far as they could with the rock 'n roll. I think they all want to do other things now.

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