dUg Pinnick

posted in: April 2009, Articles | 0

dUg catches us up on his solo album, a couple of side projects and some pretty cool Kings X news

Photos courtesy of duG Pinnick

How are things going with Razr 13? Any new music on the horizon there?

We’re gonna do a new record but we haven’t talked about the date yet. That will be on down the line because I’ve got A.N.M. happening and a couple of small side projects I’m trying to get done, plus my solo record.

So you have new solo material coming out? Is it in the same vein as your last solo album Strum Sun Up?

Yeah, I’ve got all the songs written, I’ve just gotta get in my studio and get them pumped out. It’s kind of in the same vein as Strum Sum Up. What’s happening is that I’ve been through a lot with a friend of mine who I love to death, and he has a prescription drug problem. He almost died through it all and I did a lot of songs about dealing with that. Prescription drugs man, that’s something that’s a big problem in America right now.

Any plans to re-issue any older Kings X material?

We’re trying to get a box set going of the first four or five records, get them re-mastered and stuff, but I haven’t heard much from that. That’s really just a thought right now, but I’m trying to push it… We’ve got the live DVD coming out soon, it should have been out but we’re holding it up with a few minor details. We did a live DVD in London about a year and a half ago, so we’re real excited about that… that’s the next thing that’s coming.

How did you guys in Kings X go from being an ‘opening band’ to really breaking out and ‘making it’ and how do you stay at it for so long and still keep it fresh and relevant?

You gotta look at it like a marriage, you get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t learn to compromise, communicate and know your weaknesses and strengths, it just ain’t gonna work out. So I think with us, we laugh about it, we just always tell people we’re idiots. They’re my best friends now, we’ve lived together and been doing this for thirty years, and that’s a long, long time. We’re not like Aerosmith and those other bands that break up and come back together, and break up and have all these problems and then come back together again for the money. For us if it was about money we would have broken up a long, long, long time ago.

I don’t know why we’re still together… I think we believe in it, we believe in this you know, there’s something special here – a legacy of 14 records, plus we’ve got so many solo projects out. I’m just figuring if all else fails maybe we’ll just get that one hit that goes viral for a second and then everybody will get turned on to all the back catalog… ya know man, we’ve got some good stuff! For no other reason than to make a little money to pay some bills (laughter) or to be inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame when we’re ninety years old (more laughter).

How did you guys shake the ‘Christian’ label, do you feel that you have, or do you feel that you were ever labeled that way?

We were labeled Christian from the beginning, even though we didn’t want to be. We never even said that we were a Christian band, but we’ve been labeled that ever since we began. Nowadays I read articles and they say “that Christian band with the gay, black singer that had a Mohawk” and I think, “geez people, what about the music ya know?” They always have to bring these things up, especially the gay thing and I never made a big deal about it, not ever, not at all… I just did this little article about it in CCM, it was sort of like going to your parents and saying, “This is who I am, why do you hate me (laughter)”. I don’t know why…  I don’t know why I did it, ya know, I just busted out in CCM for some reason because I’m just kind of like that, I like to confront things. Other then that it’s never been a topic of anybody’s, even when we go out in public and play people never mention it or seem to have a problem with it, but whenever there’s an interview they always bring it up. Our lack of attendance and fans is not because I “came out”, they just faded away like most bands fans do ya know. I know Christians want to say, “Well he left the Lord, so the Lord’s not blessing him, that’s why they’re not doing so good. That’s just the bullsh*t attitude of some Christians who feel justified in someone else’s downfall or pain, and those are the people that are gonna go to hell… those people don’t like themselves and that’s the problem.

Did “coming out” affect the fan base at all do you think?

Well, I know it did affect the fan base. I mean prior to that the big argument in youth groups was “are Kings X Christian or not?” They don’t give altar calls, they don’t say Jesus in their songs, etc. That was a big controversy, but still the rockers were latching on to Kings X because they didn’t have anybody else. Stryper was gone and here was Kings X, this new band that everybody seemed to like, and it was like people said “they’re ours, they’re Christians,” and they went out to tell everybody that we were Christians and that was not what we wanted. The reason I didn’t want us to be known as a Christian band was because I knew the moment we did anything wrong we would be crucified, ya know? Jesus preached mercy and God is forgiving, but Christians just seem to turn their back on you… not all, now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean all Christians, just the ones who are vocal, you could put it that way.

What advice do you have for bands starting out today?

People ask me that all the time and I just say “dude, I don’t know.” Just get out there and do what you can and always know that it just ain’t about the money. If you’re looking for fame and fortune and everybody to love you, your not gonna find it anymore – if you want that you gotta go play the game and be Lady Gaga or something. Find someone with money behind them, but even then you don’t know if you can do it. You gotta find a record company with money, but the record companies aren’t handing out the money because they’re afraid they aren’t gonna make any, it’s really scary out there.

So, my advice would be just go make music and do what you do and keep pushing, don’t give up… and if you do give up, don’t feel bad about it, at least you had fun. Someone asked me one time “what was it like when you made it?” and I said, “I made it when I picked the bass up and played my first two notes”, that’s when it started and it’s been that way ever since. There is no making it or not making it, or being successful or not being successful, if you’re doing what you love to do and you’re making a living at it, then you’re the envy of the world.

How has the digital age helped/hindered you as an artist?

At the beginning that ruined everybody. That was like when grunge came, or when someone made a drum machine and all of a sudden drummers didn’t have a job. It’s like the internet came and now all of a sudden we don’t have jobs… but ya know, that’s progress. That’s just the way it is, and I hate it, I’m not happy about it. It’s like in business, someone makes Cornflakes then someone comes along and makes something better, they’re gonna stop eating Cornflakes. It’s all business, even though people want me to take this personally, you just can’t, even though my music is personal and what I do is personal, but when it comes to business, yeah, we understand… you build a better mousetrap they’re gonna go buy it, bottom line!

Like with the internet these days, whatever you wanna see in a band, you just go to you tube and you can find anything from some piece of sh*t band all the way up to great stuff. So I think as people we just have to look at it a different way, how do we market ourselves now because people have seen us at our lowest point on you tube So I think now bands are trying to regroup and go out and do a good show and get people to come out and see the real thing instead of watching it on you tube.

Another thing too are some bands, like us, are planning on doing the ’favorite record’ that everybody bought… like going and doing the Gretchen Tour, just going and playing the whole record. I went and saw The Cult do the “Love” album and it was great, it was awesome because that’s my favorite record by them. I would love to go do a couple of songs off each album, but to give the fans that tour would be something! Make it an evening with Kings X, or even storytelling you know, but basically going back to the question, we just gotta find a way to market ourselves, the internet changes everything for everybody, not just musicians.

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