Interview By Robert Cavuoto
King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor will release his all-new solo effort Alien Beans on January 12, 2018, via Rat Pak Records. Alien Beans is a double CD that features ten all-new studio tracks and a “best of” compilation disc featuring eleven newly re-mixed and re-mastered tracks from Ty’s previous releases.
With thought-provoking lyrics, solid guitar riffs, and Ty’s signature sound will surely resonate with all fans of rock music! Pre-orders for his new CD can be obtained at https://www.ratpakrecordsamerica.com/ty-tabor
I recently sat down with Ty to talk about his new double CD and what the future holds for King’s X.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about your new CD and coupling it with a CD of all your classic songs?
Ty Tabor: The initial idea when I was talking with my manager was to do another solo CD on a label. I had done a bunch of albums that were released online to my diehard fans; it’s financially a better approach as you get paid directly for each sale. While discussing the opportunity with my manager and Rat Pak Records we felt we should include some songs from my back catalog; my favorite ones. We also thought it would be a good idea to include two or three new songs. I started writing the new songs, and before long I realized I had a bunch. I kept writing and putting Rat Pak on hold; I told them I might have enough songs to do a full album plus a CD with re-mixed / re-mastered older songs.
Robert Cavuoto: What I love about the CDs is the wide variety of song types?
Ty Tabor: I think it took more work to bring the old songs up to speed sonically than to write and record the new ones! [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: Each song is rich in tonal texture which brings out the emotion. Do you spend a lot of time on your quest for tone?
Ty Tabor: I have a lot of go-to-tones and guitars to get me in the ballpark of what I want to hear. If I want some sort of clean jangly tone, I’ll turn my Vox AC10 amp wide open with a guitar that has soap bar pick-ups to give me a really good sparkle. I’ll combine that with a Les Paul through a dark, thick sounding Orange amp. You put the two tones together, and you get this articulation over a huge monster tone. Those two become one tone, and you think of it as one guitar. That’s how I like to work my tones. I have all these layered ideas that I have done so many times and didn’t think about it too much.
Robert Cavuoto: Is it harder to write a happy, sad, or angry song.
Ty Tabor: I think its way easier to write from anger. I think it is difficult to write music when you are happy. That’s always been a problem for me. [laughing]. I have to dig deeper to find something that is disturbing me. If I think of happy things I don’t want to write, I want to do happy things [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: One of my favorite songs on the classic CD is “Cause We Believed” as it points an angry finger at the world.
Ty Tabor: That song points a finger at all of us including myself. That’s an old one which I reworked, and it sounded quite a bit different from the original version. It’s the same parts, but sonically it’s bigger and more in your face. It is about pointing out things we get bombarded with. I wrote that song before having cell phones and tablets; a time when people read magazines. In those magazines, were ads that were always a lie. It was a false perspective of how things should be. It reminds me of a John Lennon story; if it’s true.
The story goes when John was watching TV he would always turn off the sound during the commercials. When he was asked why he said: “Everything you hear in a commercial is a lie.” I understand the nature of a commercial is to sell you on something. I was looking at all these ads including things in the religious world with Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. That is why I cited “their gold light fixtures, while 90-year-old grandmas are sending them their last ten dollars.” That kind of stuff really pisses me off. We came to the conclusion that we have pain and confusion because we believe all these things. It’s that sickness in America that I was writing about.
Robert Cavuoto: You named the CD Alien Beans, what does that mean?
Ty Tabor: It originally was a joke name for my studio when I started it back in the 90’s. I just purchased some digital gear and put it in an extra room in my house. [laughing] I was releasing things from the studio and had to say it was recorded somewhere. I didn’t want to say it was recorded in my house so I called the studio Alien Beans. Every year I have added on to the studio, and now it’s in a building by itself.
Robert Cavuoto: Where does your loyalty lie when writing songs? Who would get first dibs on a great new song; King’s X CD or your solo CD?
Ty Tabor: If I had a solo album coming out before a King’s X album I would put it on the solo album. If King’s X had an album coming out first, I would use it for that album. I would always give King’s X what I believe to be the best stuff. We all do in order to make it the best album. I don’t normally hold on to things waiting for King’s X because it’s been nearly ten years since we made an album.
Robert Cavuoto: Is there any talks of doing a new King’s X’s album?
Ty Tabor: We are trying to make plans and talking about doing a new King’s X album.
Robert Cavuoto: How has Jerry Gaskill been feeling?
Ty Tabor: He is doing great and in fantastic shape. Best shape of his life in fact. Three years ago after all this happened, he started working out with a personal trainer. Physically he is now in the best shape of his life. He is playing like he’s 20 years old again. It’s pretty phenomenal; he is super rock solid.
Robert Cavuoto: Will you be doing any solo shows or adding any more King’s X shows to 2018?
Ty Tabor: Hopefully both. I just hung up with my manager and okayed a run of show up the West Coast. King’s X normally goes out at least once every month with three shows. Last year we did a lot more as we toured quite a bit including Europe.