How many of you felt real excitement the first time that you heard that 3 rock icons had come together for a project that they called some of the best music they have ever written? Rock legends coming together is nothing new of course, but this trio had a definite buzz going from the moment they announced their joint effort in a new group they called KXM. dUg Pinnick: the voice, the bassist, Capt. Charisma himself joined up with good friends Ray Luzier, the beast on the skins with Korn, and a man that had every guitarist shaking their heads with admiration way back in the early 80’s and beyond, George Lynch, the legendary axe master from Dokken, Lynch Mob and so many other projects.
No one knew what to expect from these guys except we all knew it would be amazing. Formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together while at Ray’s house for his son’s 1st birthday. They had no plan other than to jam and see what arose from those sessions. These 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut was born from those jam sessions and is now an important piece in each band member’s musical legacy. Make no mistake either, these high-caliber musicians deliver in spades on KXM’s debut.
From the opening drum riff of “Stars” to final chords of “Human Friction,” KXM is an album that resonates with fans from the band’s original projects all while garnering new ones. Songs like “Gun Fight,” “Faith Is A Room” and the first single “Rescue Me” have ben met with a loud roar of approval on social media and ever type of music magazine out there. The band shows their softer side on the ballad “Never Stop” along with their dark side on the tale of domestic violence, “Sleep.” Pinnick delivers soulful performances on every track while Luzier displays his wide, diverse skills on the drums. Lynch may have launched his best work to date on this one as his string bending, shredding, grungy jungle grooves and his bluesy jam abilities shine like no other work he has graced upon the musical universe.
KXM track listing:
2) Rescue Me
3) Gun Fight
4) Never Stop
5) Faith Is A Room
6) I’ll Be Ok
10) Do It Now
11) Human Friction
12) Tranquilize (Bonus Track)
13) Rescue Me (Radio Edit) (Bonus Track)
What most people do not understand is that these guys are accessible, grateful, and in my case have let me turn a typical interview session into a simple chat between people that understand the work, skill, and everything else that goes into what they do. Trust me, musicians do these things so much that the same questions become hard to hear and I try to push that aside so I can get to know the person as well as the musician. George and I chatted for almost an hour back in 2012 while dUg and I chatted for well over the time limit. We laughed, talked off the record (which I always leave that as is, private) and, as I did with Lynch, I made a new friend a bit along the way.
Pinnick is an amazing professional and talks about some personal things and is quick to laugh. So if you haven’t picked up the debut from KXM yet, you are missing out on some amazing music and songs from three incredibly gifted friends who turned some jams into a killer album. So with that said, check out what dUg had to say.
Interview with dUg Pinnick
Thanks for taking time for me today; I have been a fan of you since I first heard King’s X so it is a pleasure.
My pleasure and that is awesome man, thank you.
KXM, I have been stoked for this since it was announced, how did you guys all get together?
Ray Luzier was having a party for his son and we all went there for his first birthday. Conversation, one thing led to another and we decided to put a thing together and record some stuff. George Lynch kind of took the helm and found a place to record, and Chris our engineer and the whole deal, and the next thing you know we made a record. It took about 12 days I guess, it was longer than that because we did stuff at our houses, overdubs and vocals, bass tracks, stuff like that but the basic record was 12 days.
I talked to George in 2012. He is one of my Top-3 all-time favorite guitarists, what was it like working with him from your perspective?
You know George is so much fun to work with because, you know, when we put this project together it basically was; everybody does what they do and nobody tells the other person what to do or brings in anything outside of their own part. And so, when we got together to do this we just had this trust factor and we just started jamming and coming up with stuff. There is very little that we discarded, everything was used. It’s just so fun working with a couple guys that have been around for a long time, know what they want to do, and what they want to play. We didn’t have to struggle with the songs or people’s parts not fitting, it was like a glove, everything just seemed to work.
The music is off the chart incredible, every single track, can you talk about the creative process in writing and recording the album? Were there any rough edges or rough spots?
Yeah, like I said we got together the twelve day we did record, someone would play a riff, then everybody else would fall in and as soon as it made sense, we’d go “Okay, let’s make up another part!” (Laughs) We did and then we’d go “Okay well that’s cool, what do you think? Let’s put a bridge in here and we’ll figure out another part. Hey sounds good, let’s arrange it!” (Laughs again) We would just do what we needed to make it right and move onto the next song. Then a few weeks later I would get the tracks, write melodies, and vocalize. George would get his tracks, take them to his house, and overdub guitar. I did my bass tracks at my house too. So it was a lot of fun actually! Everybody says the record sounds really thought out, well it really wasn’t. After we made the initial songs? Then we did get to think out lyrics and melodies, and our extra guitar parts, perfect the bass lines, things like that. Ray is the only guy that couldn’t change anything. (We both laugh) Drums are always that way! They gotta go down first and they gotta be right!
I don’t think I have ever heard George or Ray play like they do on this album, you guys have a lot of elements, “Tranquilize” is just insane, can you talk about that one?
Cool! Trying to get that “Jeff Beck” thing going! Actually, the truth is, we have several jams that we have archived, and what happened was we needed a couple more songs. So George said, “Let’s just pull out this jam session” and he just threw some leads over the top of it and pretty much we sort of edited it and that’s how it came out.
With you guys it’s a mesh because you have a signature voice and George is just George!
Yeah! (We laugh some more)
Chris Collier produced it, how did he help you guys get the finished product or what did he bring out of you guys?
For me it’s his engineering expertise, he’s just a great engineer and mixer. He was just there to keep everybody focused. We all pretty much did the record together and he kept us focused. If we did get to a point where we weren’t sure about something we would say “Hey Chris, what do you think?” He’d give us his expertise and we would usually go with it. It’s always good to have someone on the outside you know that can see the picture better than we can while we are painting it. you know?
Yeah well, I don’t think you three need much babysitting!
Yeah, no we don’t. (More laughs)
“Rescue Me” is on my daily must play list, great video to, can you talk about the song? What’s it about?
Eh, it’s self explanatory. It’s just about reflecting on a life of roaming the world playing rock and roll music and never settling down. And realizing there is a void in my life because of that which obviously would be. So it’s just of course “Rescue Me”. People always say, stop looking and that person will find you. And I go okay, I stopped looking and ain’t nobody found me so decided to write a song about it, come on! Come rescue me! Come find me. I’m here! (We laugh some more)
*Author’s note – I spoke with dUg just ahead of the bands release of the “Gunfight” video which is embedded along with this article. I included the Q&A as it gives insight into the video as well as another one
And of course “Gunfight”, great song and you guys have a video coming out for that one too I see, any idea when?
We just finished making the video and they are editing it now. We also did one for “Faith,” we shot two last weekend. Can’t wait for you to see them, we did a lot of green screens and we have some top-notch video guys so I’m excited for that. I think it’s going to be pretty cool.
Are there any tour plans?
We planned to tour but there are no definite plans at the moment.
What else are you up to? I saw where Andy Summers said how much he loves King’s X.
Andy’s awesome. I have a blues band called Grinder Blues, we just got signed to Megaforce Records a few weeks ago, and getting revved up to start promoting that and get the record out. We have King’s X tours coming up, not actual tours, we do weekend blocks, so getting ready for that. You know I’m pushing my solo record and putting a solo band together to get out and do some touring. Uh, what else. I’ve got another side project. It’s a jam band called Third Year Experience, we put a record out about a year ago and it’s with a guy named Robby Rocks of Tribe Empty Tribe. It’s very ambient sort of long songs. I don’t sing much I play bass and Robby sings more, but it’s more like a jam like bands such as Magwai. You have to be invested in, you listen for 5 minutes before the vocals come in but I love it, it’s jamming.
That sounds good to me, I’m an old school Rush fan so I love the jam songs!
Awesome, well you would like this then.
Awesome, if you talk to George, tell him I still owe him that beer that we talked about.
Yeah! Well, we have to get one too so we will all get together for a few beers! (We laugh)
Thanks again for the time dUg, is there anything you want to say to the fans?
You are welcome. And thanks for following us and encouraging me and us at what we do and buying the music and keeping our career going. If it wasn’t for you guys we wouldn’t be here so thank you!