Interview by Robert Cavuoto
The wait is finally over for King’s X fans; the band will release their new studio album, Three Sides of One, on September 2nd.
Don’t consider this a comeback, as the band has never left. Three Sides of One consists of twelve unique and diverse songs contributed by all three band members, masterfully executing as a cohesive unit that could only be King’s X.
These lifelong friends communicate in a language with shared memories, inside jokes, and dreams fulfilled. King’s X partake in a similar musical conversation informed by over four decades together as a band. dUg Pinnick [bass, vocals], Jerry Gaskill [drums, vocals], and Ty Tabor [guitar, vocals] lock into an unspoken groove where each element shapes a signature sound singular to these three individual souls alone. No other band in history has pushed hard rock, alternative, metal, progressive, and soul into a galaxy quite like the one King’s X occupy.
I had the pleasure of interviewing dUg as we took a deep dive into the creation of the new album, their collaborative effort, and the magic of how dUg creates music; whether with King’s X or with his many solo endeavors. Check out our conversation, and remember that for more interviews, please follow My Global Mind on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
Robert Cavuoto: It’s a pleasure to speak with you again for this King’s X release. We spoke twice last Fall. Once for Grinder Blues and then for your solo album, Joy Bomb. After 14 years, is this a King’s X comeback album, or have you guys never left?
dUg Pinnick: We never left. We just didn’t make a record [laughing]. I think “comeback” is such an overrated word. Nobody comes back!
Robert Cavuoto: I am fortunate to be one of the first to hear King’s X’s music in 14 years. Why has the wait been so long, the fans?
dUg Pinnick: The band didn’t wait to make a record because they didn’t feel we could make anything better than what we had done in the past. We also didn’t want to disappoint anybody. When they were ready, I was always ready to create anytime; I had no problems. I had to wait on them. So, I did three KXM records, two Grinder Blues records, two Pinnick, Gales & Pridgen records, two solo records, and a Tres Mts record.
Robert Cavuoto: You have been quite busy.
dUg Pinnick: I keep busy. A lot of people thought that maybe I was holding the band back! I’m not going to sit at home and twiddle my thumbs for 14 years! We are touring and playing all the time. It’s just the life of a Rock & Roll player!
Robert Cavuoto: When the band came together in the studio on this collaborative effort, did it feel magical?
dUg Pinnick: Nothing ever feels magical, and I don’t even know what that is. We enjoyed making the record and had fun. They will tell you, and I will tell you the same, it was the “funnest” record we have ever made! We took our time, got a producer, Michael Parnin, and did everything by the book when it came to recording. We created what we could emotionally and in an old-school way. We are all happy with the result. We hope that other people put that tag on it as well.
Robert Cavuoto: It’s a very honest record, and the songs don’t seem forced or contrived.
dUg Pinnick: I always go for that! It’s a given! If I don’t know anything about what I’m singing, I’m not going to sing it. Why sing about something you don’t know? I have never been in love, so why should I sing about someone I’m in love with? I only write about what I see and experience. We don’t write lyrics to write lyrics. Lyrics come when they come. They have to work in the song as well. I can come up with some pretty stupid stuff or some pretty basic stuff, but if I do, fans will know and call me out on it.
Robert Cavuoto: I love the fact that there are three unique voices and styles of music on this record, yet it still sounds like a cohesive band.
dUg Pinnick: We all came in with songs and then made them our own. Some songs would change while others stayed exactly the way they were. It’s all about the magic of doing the song, and we had a lot of fun with it. It was great to be a bass player in someone else’s song and do what I feel my part is.
Robert Cavuoto: With the singing of the songs, can I assume that the person who brought the songs in was the one who sang it?
dUg Pinnick: Yes! We figured, why sing someone else’s song?
Robert Cavuoto: Is that the way you have handled things throughout King’s X’s career?
dUg Pinnick: No, I sing a lot of Ty songs because I was the lead singer in the band! For a while, I thought Ty should sing his own songs. I always felt that when he sang his songs, there was an emotion there that I couldn’t create. When I sang his words, I turned it into dUg. I always felt fake doing it; that is why I cannot sing about something that is not in my heart. That is why we don’t do that anymore. On Dogman, Ty wanted me to sing everything. He felt that the consumption should be a bit more consistent so that fans who listen to King’s X know what they are getting. One of the things people say about our lack of success is that we weren’t consistent in our songs. Others felt that was disingenuous, Prince was like that, and he survived. I just think, “Do what you do!” and keep doing what you are doing. It’s what is in your heart.
Robert Cavuoto: How many songs were demoed to get to these twelve?
dUg Pinnick: Ty came in with four, Jerry came in with three, and I came in with 27 [laughing]. We would play one of mine, one of Ty’s, and one of Jerry’s, then do another round. Ty wanted to keep going until they ran out. We needed more songs, so we played more of mine. We recorded ten of my songs, and only some of them got on the record. We knew some of those weren’t quite ready, and we had enough songs. Maybe we’ll put them on the next record. I still have about 30 songs. I know Ty and Jerry both have some more songs to use on the next record.
Robert Cavuoto: “Nothing But The Truth” has been dancing in my head since I heard it. What is that song about? Is it one of my favorites.
dUg Pinnick: A relationship that wasn’t happening [laughing]. When someone strings you along, they don’t want you to leave, but they don’t want you to stay. You try to be what they need to be; then they push you away. It’s bullshit, and everyone goes through it. People don’t want to tell you the truth in relationships, and that’s the most important place where you need to be honest.
Robert Cavuoto: I’m typically more into the heavier songs, but that one got me.
dUg Pinnick: It’s a heavy song lyrically and a heavy soul song [laughing]. That’s all I think about when I write music. When I first heard Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, I thought, this is where we are going with soul music; we are getting heavier. Then the black community turned their back on it. I said, “F*ck you all. I’m going to make the heaviest soul music I can, whether you like it or not!”
Robert Cavuoto: How would you describe yourself as a lyricist?
dUg Pinnick: Hmm, I know I like complicated lyrics because I have many different trains of thought. My personality type is the type that covers all bases when it comes to thinking about things. When an average person tries to explain something to a person, they will get it across in two sentences. I tell a story from so many different angles. People don’t understand that about me, so I just confuse them. I write the same way; people read one line and think that is what I’m trying to say when it’s just one thought of what I’m trying to say and where I’m trying to get. So I confused people. I like that. Bob Dylan wrote the same way. My mother wrote poetry, but she wrote like Johnny Cash, very simple. I can write “simple,” but I have always wanted to say things that keep people interested. To make them think. If a sentence in a song can change a person’s way of thinking for the positive or for freedom, then that’s all the better. I’m just selfish; I’m just spewing out what I think about. I have enough ego that people want to hear it [laughing].
Robert Cavuoto: Your writing is multi-dimensional with the way to approach lyric writing.
dUg Pinnick: I try to use metaphors, and I say things about what I believe. When I’m saying. “I’m shouting out at God, calling out saviors,” I was trying to make a statement that there are so many saviors that people believe in that I would not know who to call on. When I’m saying. “I’m shouting out at God,” whoever it is that controls this universe and our lives, I’m asking for help. The way I say it, you take it in any direction you want with your belief system. I even try to be universal about God in my songwriting. The thought is that we need someone to fix it because I don’t know if we are going to do a good job of it on our own. That is my point, and most people miss it.
Robert Cavuoto: In previous interviews, we talked about your musical influences with the blues, gospel, and rock. What is your view on the link between music and spirituality?
dUg Pinnick: Music is metaphysical and tangible. When you can sing the right melody or the right words, you can make someone cry or excited. That’s powerful! I don’t think anyone of us has correctly learned how to emulate that. I’m aware of the power it has. I try to emulate it in a positive way.
Robert Cavuoto: I agree with your early lyrical statement, “I’m shouting out at God.” I think we need God to plant a seed in someone’s head to solve the world’s problems. I don’t think anyone now has the answer right now. Perhaps God can plant a solution in an infant’s mind, and a solution will be created years from now.
dUg Pinnick: Exactly! We need a Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy. Someone not afraid to stand up and be killed for it. In this age of disinformation, “I ain’t dying for nothing!” You just don’t know anymore. You have to follow your gut feeling to see what is true and go with that.
Robert Cavuoto: Just don’t say it out loud for fear of being canceled.
dUg Pinnick: You know, you can’t anymore! You can’t say anything even if it’s positive because it can be taken the wrong way! I have a jacket with the American flag on it, which I bought in Poland. It fits me perfectly, and I love the jacket. It’s my favorite one. I was going to the airport and went to put it on, and though I’m not walking through the airport with the American flag on my back. I’m already a patriot. When I was a hippie in the 60s, I wore the American flag patch on my jacket and was called a disgrace. You can’t win!
Robert Cavuoto: When creating songs, do you write on guitar or bass?
dUg Pinnick: I write everything on guitar but first, I pull out my drums machine and make up a beat. I ask myself, “Do I want to put a four on the floor, do I want an AC/DC vibe, how am I feeling?” Once I get something I like, I grab my guitar and find my spot in the groove. I’ll keep working on it. The bass is probably the last thing I put on a track before vocals. Anything I write has to have a groove and a beat; it’s what the emotion is as it’s the driving force. After that, I can put something on top and be creative. It’s like building a cake or making a meal. It’s so much fun. Some people sit down with a guitar and write a whole song, and that’s fine. For me, it leaves everything wide open, and I’m forced to fit in with something I have already created. That is why I love writing music, as it’s an interesting picture of something I have built; whether anyone sees it or understands it, it’s a piece of art.
Robert Cavuoto: Did you experiment with your sound using different amps or instruments in the studio, as the record has a lot of different tones?
dUg Pinnick: Yes, we talk that every song needed to be its own song; musically, tone-wise, and in every aspect. That’s what Michael did. The drums sound different in different songs, and my bass is drastically different from song to song. Usually, that is not what I like to do, but we just trusted Michael. Ty has a signature sound that he is married to, and Michael pulled us outside the box.