Interview With King's X - 10th April 2011

Photo Of Kings XJames caught up with Doug Pinnick from King's X in Wolverhampton to talk about the bands 30 year career, plans for the future and much more.

You have been together as a band for over 30 years now, what would you say your main high and low points have been so far?
Our lowest point was probably when we couldn’t get a gig, our highest point? We’ve had a lot of high points; Woodstock ’94 playing for 300,000 people, touring with AC/DC for 4 months which was just... I watched them every night too and they took us out to dinner, I got to jam with them because Angus couldn’t make sound check and neither could the bassist so they asked me to fill in.

When you first started out many people labelled you as a Christian band which you have never considered yourself as, how did this make you feel and have you shook that tag off now?
Nah we never considered ourselves as that, when we started out we were Christians and had that belief so it was reflected in the music. Over the years though we don’t believe in anything anymore, I’m pretty much agnostic, atheist and I believe in aliens. Aliens are coming back, if you replace all religious teachings with aliens; all encounters with gods angels and everything else, replace that with aliens and it all makes sense ha ha!

When you formed the band did you ever think you would still be going as a band over 30 years later?
I never thought I would or wouldn’t. I’ve been doing this all my life when we got together we’d just been playing and playing, we never think about that. The only thing that’ll slow us down is we’re getting older, I’m 60 and eventually my body isn’t going to be able to do it anymore; like I tell people we’ll be there in our wheelchairs and walkers “Give me my bass!”, we’ll keep tuning lower ha ha!

After so long of touring over the years does it ever get too much for you? Is it hard being away from home for so long?
Not anymore, for me it’s not. We’ve been doing this for so long we’ve worked all the bugs out so all the arguing, fighting and all the problems have been gone for years now. I love touring; I think the only thing that will stop us will be if people stop coming to see us, if they’re not coming why play? We’ll figure something else to do but it will always be music.

You released your last studio album ‘XV’ back in 2008 are you happy with how it has gone down with your fans and the press since the release?
I think so, I didn’t pay attention. Again we’ve been doing it for so long, my friends will say “Are you excited to go on tour?” and I’ll be like “Oh yeah right I’m going on tour tomorrow, oh ok” it’s like getting up and going to work every day I like my job so I just go do it and smile when I’m done. Then I’m like “Oh was it a good day? Did we do a good show? It was ok. Did the crowd love it? Yeah” so ok keep going if they didn’t then we’ll have to fix this or that.

What would you say your favourite song from the album is and why?
I really don’t have one. I think a lot of people’s favourite song was “Pray for me”. That song was about Christians will always come to me saying “Come back to God, come back to Jesus, we’re praying for you, we hope you come back to the fold”. So I say ok, I don’t know what to say to them so I decided to write a song about it. I touch all Catholics, Christians, the Jewish religion and the Muslim religion and say if you believe then pray for me that’s it, let me go live my life everyone can be happy that way. If I come back to the fold it means they’re prayer was answered and if not it doesn’t mean anything because I’m not coming back anyway ha ha!

Have you started work on a follow up to the album? And if so what can we expect from it?
Well what we do is keep writing all the time. I’ve probably got about 20 new songs but I’m not sure King’s X is going to do them. We’re thinking about just getting together the 3 of us and just wiping the slate clean and writing a record with no preconceived demos or anything like that. The other songs I’ll put them on the solo record or something.

Do you find it easier to create new music now you are older and have been through the process many times?
We’re more concerned about repeating ourselves and not trying to recreate something we did a long time ago; we’re not the same people or the same band anymore so we never know what we’re going to do, we never know how the records going to come out so we just get together and it’s like “That was fun, that was different” then fans will say, “I like that record” or “I don’t like that one” well that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Now you have so much material do you find it hard picking a set list?
Yeah, the easiest way we do it is we pick the easiest songs to play. If it’s hard to play live we don’t go for it ha ha!

What do you have planned once this tour comes to an end in London on Tuesday?
Going home, probably work on a new record. I’m going to work on a new solo record; I have another side project with 2 guys from Fishbone and 2 guys from 21st Century Spies called Anti-Nigger Machine, it’s an all black band so we’ll work on that. I just came off the road with a side project with 2 guys from Pearl Jam called Tres Mts, we got off the road with them 2 days before I came on the road with King’s X so I’m just out playing having a good time.

You have shared the stage with many bands in the past but who has been your favourite band to play with so far?
I guess AC/DC was number one; but every band we’ve played for we’ve had a great time and they’ve been good people. We did scorpions, Pearl Jam and we did a show with Alice in Chains a long time ago; goodness we’ve toured with a lot of people I can’t even think, but AC/DC was the best.

What’s your take on the digital revelation killing off the music business?
Oh god, it killed it. I look at it this way since the internet came everyone has the chance to listen to all the great music that there has ever been. So for the next 10 years I say let everyone digest this new music because its new to them because in another 10 years there will be another revolution of music. When the young kids decide what they really want and they have a voice, be out there doing it like we did and like everyone else did; right now the music industry sucks. Nobody wants to buy anything because they want it free. I think the rules have changed what it is nowadays you give your music away and you charge them to come see you and buy your merchandise and that’s how we make a living now. As for record sales that’s over I think, just give that shit away now ha ha!

Social network sites seem to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?
You know it’s a really cool thing. Like I said before we don’t have control over it and nobody knows what’s really going to happen but it’s a revolution; it’s changing everything, the playing ground has been levelled. We’ve got to figure out how to do it all over again, which is really cool because the record companies and the corporations dominated everything and controlled everything we did, nobody made any money. The rich kept getting richer and we kept putting out records but now we have a chance to make it on our own. When we figure it out I hope it’s going to be good.

Where do you hope to see King’s X in a year’s time?
I stopped hoping. We did just about everything that there is to do but have a number 1 record; we’ve got to do lots of things, we’ve got a lot of fans who love us so I just want to carry on doing what we’re doing. The adventure continues, I look at it as an adventure you don’t know what you’re going to get. When people your age come and hang out to talk to us it means a lot you have no idea, because we’re an old band.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Let me think about this... I guess I’d be a zebra, because a giraffe’s neck is too long I don’t know what I would do with that. Also because I’m biracial and the nickname for biracial people is zebra so yeah, I’ll be a zebra.

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
We love you, we love you, and we love you. Thank you for being there for us and your support. We’ll always be thankful they are the best, they really are. There was this poll on a rock website “Who has the most rabid fans” and it was King’s X unanimous we don’t have a lot of them but they’re crazy, you’ll see in there. They like to sing a lot and get excited there’s no slam dancing or violence it’s a love fest but they love to sing.

Interview By James Webb
 Band Members

Doug Pinnick
Jerry Gaskill
Ty Tabor
 Latest Releases
King's X - XV
Release Date - 20th May 2008

1. Pray
2. Blue
3. Repeating Myself
4. Rocketship
5. Julie
6. Alright
7. Free
8. I Just Want to Live
9. Move
10. I Don't Know
11. Stuck
12. Go Tell Somebody
 Band Related Links
King's X Myspace