dUg Pinnick has been regarded for decades as a true musician's musician. As the lead vocalist/bassist of the power trio, King's X, Pinnick has received practically every accolade possible, from the likes of virtuoso's such as Billy Sheehan and countless others. But, while Pinnick, now at the age of 62, could easily rest on his past accomplishments like so many other aging musicians, he instead still remains passionate about creating music and challenges himself every day to be even better than before. And although massive commercial success has eluded Pinnick throughout his career, he still believes that one day, it will happen. And Pinnick might be spot on with his brand new project.
Recently, Pinnick teamed up with blues guitar superstar, Eric Gales and drummer extraordinaire, Thomas Pridgen to form the power trio, Pinnick Gales Pridgen (PGP). Their 13 song record, to be released on 2/12/2013, on Magna Carta Records, can only be described as hard hitting, rock n' blues masterpiece. Pinnick's harmonic wall of groove, and Gales tasty and ferocious guitar, coupled with Pridgen's rhythmic excellence, make this truly a super group. These three musicians have an undeniable chemistry, and are a musical force to be reckon with.
What follows is an exclusive interview with dUg Pinnick. During this chat, we discuss the PGP release, King's X, their appearance at the upcoming M3 Festival and much more.
RockMusicStar: You just released a new CD from and countless more. the new super band that you’re involved in, Pinnick, Gales and Pridgen (PGP). This CD (available on Magna Carta Records) is very impressive. There seems to be a real chemistry between all three musicians.
dUg Pinnick: Thank you. Yeah, Mike Varney (founder of the Shrapnel Label Group) called us and asked if we wanted to do a record. He handpicked us, and we said, “Yeah, sure.” We got together and we got all the material together rather quickly.
RMS: Were you friends with either Eric Gales or Thomas Pridgen prior to this group being put together?
DP: I’ve known Eric, for years. The Eric Gales band opened a tour with King’s X, back when he was only 16 years old.
RMS: Did you have any apprehensions about doing this project?
DP: No, not at all. People have been saying for many years that the three of us should do something, so we finally got the opportunity.
RMS: What was the writing process like for this release. I know that you wrote five songs by yourself, but what about the other songs?
DP: Yes, I did bring in five songs, Eric brought in some, Mike Varney brought in some and then the others we worked on together.
RMS: The vocals on the record are split between you and Eric, how did you decide who was going to sing what?
DP: It just happened that way. We just worked it out when we were recording it. It really was that easy.
RMS: How different was recording this release to that of a typical King’s X release.
DP: Well, this record was done in ten days, mixing included. We had to get all of the songs down in three days, so there was a lot of pressure. We had to get this done really quick. With King’s X, we get at least a month to get it done.
RMS: Those must have been some really long days in the studio.
DP: Yes, there were some long hours put into it, yes sir. (Laughs) The next PGP record that we do, we will have a little more time.
RMS: So, there are plans for another PGP release?
DP: Oh yeah, definitely.
RMS: Are there any tour plans for PGP at this time?
DP: There is always talk, but nothing concrete yet. But we are open to it, so we will see what happens.
RMS: Would you ever consider doing a bill in which PGP opens for King’s X?
DP: No, because I would be doing four different things every night, playing and singing two different times. That’s way too much.
RMS: In addition to PGP, you are also involved in a new project with George Lynch and Ray Luzier (whose currently working with Korn). How is that project coming along?
DP: We are already half way finished with the record, actually. We still have some songs to finish. George and I are finishing the melodies and lyrics.
RMS: Is there a name for the band yet?
DP: It’s going to be called KXM. But, names are so difficult to come up with after you’ve been playing in bands for so long. A lot of the names you come up with are just stupid. Laughs. Nothing really sounds great until you like the band and their music. George says, if the name sounds stupid being announced on the radio, it’s a stupid name. But, most of the good names are taken and everything we came up with, did not sound very good.
RMS: What does KXM sound like?
DP: There is a lot of percussion going on. And I bring a big fat groove going. And George is doing his thing on top of it. I think that you are going to like it. I just want to really make sure that the melodies and lyrics are right, because without that, it’s all a waste of time. All good songs must have great lyrics and a great melody.
RMS: Well, that’s what you do, I’m sure that I won’t disappoint.
DP: I hope not.
RMS: Is there a projected release date yet?
DP: No projected release date yet. We are going to shop it around. I wouldn’t mind just putting it out ourselves, and taking the money and run. But we are going to shop this around, and we’ll see what happens.
RMS: With the music industry the way it is now, why not just do it all yourself, you would probably sell the same amount of units anyways?
DP: Yeah, well I’m putting out my next solo album by myself.
RMS: Just a download, or a physical release as well?
DP: At first just a download, and then a CD and record too, hopefully.
RMS: That’s cool. Now let’s talk about King’s X. You have a couple gigs coming up, one of which is at the M3 Festival. That’s a bit unique for King’s, in that you really don’t fit in as a glam-metal band. But, you’re certainly a band from the 80’s.
DP: I agree, but we are always lumped in with hair metal, or even thrash metal. Anything that’s 80’s, even though we are not that type of band. But, you got to take what you can get.
RMS: It’s going to be a cool gig. Are you looking forward to it?
DP: To be honest with you, I don’t really know much about it, as far as who is performing.
RMS: Well, it'd an annual festival. This year, the Bret Michaels band and Twisted Sister are co-headling, along with Loudness, TUFF, Steel Panther and WASP (with a handful of others). It’s one of the best festivals of the year. They usually sell it out every year. It’s a pretty big deal.
DP: Wow, yeah I need to check that out.
RMS: Yeah, when I saw that King’s X was on that bill, it made me think back to the time when you toured with Motley Crue back in 1994. In retrospect, how was that tour for King’s X?
DP: It was different because John Corabi was singing for Motley at the time. So, their popularity had dropped quite a bit. We went from playing arenas to playing outdoor sheds and playing to not that many people. But, it was a fun tour. But it wasn’t a lot of craziness, for the most part. It wasn’t the typical crazy tour that Motley had in the past. We basically just went back to our busses and hung out. Me and Tommy use to smoke a little weed, and listen to music together on the Motley bus after almost every show.
RMS: Cool, so I always ask this question, do you plan on writing an autobiography any time soon. You have had such an interesting career, I really think that it would be a good read.
DP: Yes, I’m in talks with a guy right now. He has some ideas, and I have some ideas as well. I also have a bunch of friends who know all the dirty stories. I’m going to get them together and get all this stuff together.
RMS: Back to your upcoming solo release. Do play all of the instruments on it?
DP: Yes, everything except one lead, on “In The Truth,” which my roommate Tracy Singelton plays on. He played in Fishbone. So I have a studio set up in my bedroom and I recorded everything right in there.
RMS: Have you ever been approached by an established band to join as either a bassist and or vocalist?
DP: Right when I started King’s X, the band Kansas approached me and asked if I wanted to join their band. I declined because I really wanted to do King’s X. Ritchie Blackmore asked me to join Deep Purple as a bassist. I told him no as well. I also ran into David Crosby and Stephen Stills one time, and they said, “We know who you are, and we wanted you to be in our band. But, you were already in a band.”
RMS: Wow, those would have all been very interesting.
DP: Well, you never know, if I bump into them again, maybe something might happen.
RMS: Ok Doug, my last question. You have been very prolific over that last few decades. Have you ever considered retiring, or do you plan on playing until your last breathe?
DP: I will be working on music until my very last breath. The older I get, the more life experience I get to write about. There are still a lot of things that I want to do. The older you get, the easier it is to discard all the crap, and get to the 'meat' of a good life. We learn from our mistakes, and things get a little smoother at the end. I don’t have that much further to go, I’m 62 years old. But I want to spend the rest of my life having a good time and being happy.
For more information on Pinnick Gales Pridgen, please visit www.magnacarta.net
Special thanks to Barbara Lysiak for setting up this interview.