KING’S X’s DOUG PINNICK On Changes In Music Industry: ‘We Learn With Whatever Comes Our Way’


In a new interview with Metallerium, KING’S X frontman Doug “Dug” Pinnick spoke about the decline of the music industry as consumers value access over ownership and experiences over assets. Asked how the industry has changed since his band released its debut album, “Out Of The Silent Planet”, nearly three and a half decades ago, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s pretty completely different. [Laughs] When our first record came out, there was MTV and there was radio, and that’s what everybody listened to. And now there’s not a lot of radio airplay and there’s no MTV. So there’s a whole new world and several new generations of kids out there that have a different take on the world, have different experiences that I’ll never have.

“Music always progresses,” he continued. “In the 1980s, they invented a drum machines, and so drummers had to deal with a drum machine. We learn with whatever comes our way. People don’t buy CDs anymore — they stream — so there’s no money to be made on streaming, so you go on tour to make money and you sell your merch. There’s always ways to make it work if you really wanna do this.”

Less than three months ago, Pinnick told Reno’s rock radio station Rock 104.5, that KING’S X has “never been profitable. We’ve never recouped all the [funds] that the record companies put into us,” he revealed. “Even [our current label] InsideOut, we owe them a couple of hundred thousand [dollars], ’cause they haven’t recouped from the last couple of records. [Our former label] Atlantic Records we owe five million or four million to — something like that… Three — I’m not sure. It’s in the millions somewhere they spent on us. Everybody that’s ever signed us has always lost money, and so we’ve never made any money off of record sales. The only way we make a living is going on tour, and hopefully when people come to see us play we’ll get a paycheck for that and merchandise. And KING’S X fans love to buy our merch ’cause they know that that’s what supports us. But other than that, sometimes — well, not sometimes. We all have to do outside things to make ends meet.”

He continued: “I just do side projects. I go get a record deal and pay the bills for a couple of months. Ty [Tabor, guitar] masters things; Jerry [Gaskill, drums] does stuff. None of us go to nine-to-five jobs; we don’t do that. But something about what we can do. We have value in the marketplace, so we can do clinics, we can do things like that. Or I do handwritten lyrics — KING’S X lyrics that I wrote, I’ll write ’em out on black paper in silver ink, sign it and put a date on it. I’ve written hundreds of them. … So it all works out. And at my age now, I get social security. And when I started getting social security about three years ago, that’s when I stopped worrying because my social security will pay my rent. The rest of it I can do. I can get on a street corner and play guitar and I can get five dollars. I can call a friend up and say, ‘Hey, I ain’t got no money. Can you feed me today?’ And they’ll say, ‘Yeah, let’s eat.’ But paying your rent — you want your rent paid; you don’t want to depend on other people. And also I have a dUg [signature] pedal and I have a signature bass and a 12-string bass, and people buy ’em. And so every now and then I get that six-month check, which helps. So it’s all good.”

KING’S X released its 13th studio album, “Three Sides Of One”, on September 2. The LP was recorded during 2019 at Black Sound Studio in Pasadena, California with Emmy Award-winning producer Michael Parnin.

The new KING’S X LP was mastered in June 2021 at the Bernie Grundman Mastering facility in Hollywood, California,

KING’S X was sidelined by several health scares in recent years, including Pinnick‘s two hernia operations and two near-fatal heart attacks suffered by Gaskill.

In October 2019, KING’S X canceled all of its previously announced tour dates for the year so that Gaskill could undergo undisclosed heart “procedures.”

“XV” was KING’S X‘s highest-charting album since 1996’s “Ear Candy”.

In 2005, VH1 included KING’S X in its list of “100 Greatest Artists In Hard Rock.”

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