King’s X bassist shares tips as well as hints about their upcoming album
Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
March 30, 2020
By David Sands
dUg Pinnick’s name needs to appear front and center on any list of influential bassists from the last few decades. His group, King’s X released their debut studio album, Out of the Silent Planet, in 1988. A blisteringly intense and original mix of metal, funk, prog-rock and soul that takes ample advantage of Pinnick’s 12-string bass skills, King’s X’s music would go on to leave a lasting impression on many grunge and prog-metal musicians who followed their emergence in the late ’80s. Beyond his output with King’s X, Pinnick has also made music with Poundhound, Supershine, Pinnick Gales Pridgen, 3rd Ear Experience, KXM, Grinder Blues and Tres Mts (with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament) and worked alongside the likes Carmine Appice, Living Colour and Dream Theater.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman met up with Pinnick earlier this year at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, to speak about King’s X first new studio album since 2008, the continuing importance of bassists like James Jamerson and Duck Dunn, gear including his signature bass and distortion pedal and his advice on a bassist’s role. (Hint: it’s not just playing second fiddle to the lead guitarist).
Watch our interview with dUg!
See Jon’s blog, with key takeaways from this interview, here.
I think the lionshare of the responsibility falls on producers and engineers. Unwittingly perhaps, live and studio engineers fell prey to the search for the biggest, most dominant sounding kick drum; once that competition started (maybe 25 years ago?) bass players were then encouraged to play non- rhythmic parts so as to not interfere with the (oddly) all-important kick drum. Nashville is terrible for this; go to any live show from bar to arena and the loudest (and least musical) element is always the friggin’ kick drum. It’s as if they are transfixed by sub- sonic impact and can’t help themselves.