Legendary bassist and King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick is gearing up to add another highlight to his storied career, releasing his newest solo album “Joy Bomb” on October 15 via Rat Pak Records.
The upcoming album is dUg‘s first solo album of new material since 2013’s “Naked” and features thirteen brand new tracks. From the charging rhythms of album opener “Jon Boy” all the way through the barnstorming closing track “Making Sense Of The Bones,” dUg proves that age is nothing to him and provides an album packed with the groove, swagger, and soul that he has honed and perfected over his extensive career. Songs like “I Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Social Distancing,” and “Long Live Love” exemplifies his ability to think outside the box and expand his musical range.
“Joy Bomb” is available for pre-order in various configurations on all formats HERE.
Correspondent Robert Cavuoto spoke to dUg for an in-depth discussion about the writing of “Joy Bomb” and why he always puts such an extreme effort into seeking the ultimate expression in a song. Check out their conversation transcript below, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow Sonic Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.
“Joy Bomb” offers tremendous musical diversity with many different tempos. Was it hard to develop a sequence order, so it all flowed nicely the way it does?
[Laughing]. I’ll tell my friend who sequenced it that you said so. He has a gift for sequencing. He sequenced the songs for the Grammys two years ago, and his girlfriend placed the songs into the Grammys. I asked him if he could sequence my album, and he sent it back to me in a week! [Laughing] I’m glad you like it.
When writing and working on a song, how do you know which band it will work best in?
With my solo music, like with this album Joy Bomb, I write everything. With Kings X, I create demos of the songs and either bring them to the band or keep them for myself. With bands like Grinder Blues and KXM, we write everything from scratch. Everyone brings in ideas, and we jam them out until everyone finds their groove. We keep going one after another and then piece them together to make songs out of them. I like both ways, but my ego tells me to make a whole record and play everything on it! When you play with people, you have to take the backseat and work together to make the best music you can. That’s fun too. With Kings X, we’ve written a complete album together, which was fun because everyone gets to do their thing. For the last few Kings X albums Ty Tabor and I unusually write everything together.
It must be wonderful to do a solo album where it’s all your ideas?
Oh yeah, my first solo record was so relieving because I had all these songs that I didn’t have to present to my band-mates, who are very picky about everything. They would say, “I like that one, but not that one, and that one is just okay!” It can be hard on your ego determining what song will get done. So, for that album, I spewed out all these songs in a couple of weeks, knowing that someone wasn’t going to tell me there was anything wrong with it. It was so much fun. The thing I love about making music is that I get to switch things up because when you are sitting in the same spot, there is no more joy there, and you are not getting anyone’s point of view. Unless you are AC/DC, that is genius! If I were in AC/DC, I would play 16th notes all night long, but I like to mix things up.
Do you have a person you can trust to use as a sounding board to run the songs by?
Twenty years ago, I used to have a group of people I hung out with who would do that. We all got older and stopped hanging out on Saturday nights drinking because we all have wives and kids now. There were times they would ask me to send a file over email, but everyone was too busy to listen yet alone give me feedback, so I backed off. Now I always have roommates with who I can share ideas, and they will provide me with input like, “That’s cool!” [Laughing]
When crafting lyrics, what topics do you like to focus on?
Whatever I’m thinking about at the moment. Sometimes I’ll watch the news and come up with ideas like on the song “Social Distancing.” I was bombarded for months of hearing phrases like COVID, black & white, and red & blue. Everyone was so scared and fearful. I got a weird feeling when I went outside during the locked down, even with the highways being empty. I figured this is not the time to lose your mind! [Laughing]. The chorus on “Social Distancing” was low and didn’t go anywhere, so it won’t be a hit song played on the radio. I figured this is what it is that I’m trying to say.
“Equally Divided” and “The Poison” have powerful messages. Can you share some insights into those two songs?
“The Poison” is about all the food corporations that make, which is killing all of us, even people like me who are trying to be organic. I was watching the news again and went down the rabbit hole of how horrible the food we eat is. Even the plastic the food is put into is killing us! In the chorus, I say, “We pay, they kill, we eat the poison.” In the verse, I kept it really simple, “I don’t need to be right, I don’t have to put up a fight, I’m not your enemy, no one listens to me” I felt like everyone is the enemy and no one is listening to anybody. I just threw it all down on that song. It’s simple, nothing deep, just the way I am.
With “Equally Divided,” it is the same thing. I’m a guy who likes to find the middle and understand everybody’s side so I can make my decision. To also help someone from one side understand what the other side is saying so they can stop hating each other. I got to the point where I thought we are so deep into it; I don’t think we can ever come out of it that I have nothing to say. I can’t even say, “Why can’t we all get along!” No one wants to hear that. People don’t even believe it anymore! So, I thought of “Equally Divided” as it’s so frightening and exciting. I can’t do anything; as most tortured artists, we aren’t going to change the world, and I realized that.
You always expend extreme efforts to seek the ultimate expression in a song. Do you know what drives that artistic work ethic?
I need to get it out. I call myself a musical exhibitionist. I’m into my little world of craziness, and I’m willing to spew it out. It’s both good and bad. I grew up singing in front of my parents all day long, and at some point, they would tell me to shut and sit down [laughing]. On the other hand, my teacher put me in singing contests at six years old. There were always two sides to my life, the people who would listen to my bullshit and the people who would put me in my place. I always had to juggle between the two. I’m still doing the same thing to this day. [laughing]I’m pushing the envelope but not going too far.
Do you think we will see a Kings X album next from you?
Yeah, in 2022. It’s done as we just mastered it. It was recorded 100% analog except for ProTools. It was mixed and mastered on analog equipment, and sonically it’s a masterpiece! This is Kings X White album! It’s like The Beatles album with different sounds all over the place and sonically excellent.