Doug Pinnick bio ‘What You Make It’: heavy metal cruise reading

(you know, for the all that time you’ll be spending in your cabin!)

Click here to buy!

Doug has earned a vacation, right? He’s been working in one band or another for as long as most of us have been listening to music. And he’s done nothing but pick up the pace of late, writing, recording, and touring in multiple acts over the course of any given month.

Well good news! In nine days (Feb. 24) Doug leaves from Miami on a cruise to Jamaica.

No. It’s not quite a vacation. He and King’s X are one of the featured bands on the Monsters of Rock Cruise (MORC) 2019. But still, I’m sure it’ll be nice.

This isn’t his main band’s first performance as part of a floating festival either. Back in 2016 King’s X was part of KISS Kruise VI, joining Whitford/St. Holmes, Skid Row, The Dead Daisies, and others on the featured act’s undercard.

Tesla is headlining MORC. Skid Row is part of the festivities again. New to sharing a boat with King’s X, but familiar to all dUg fans, is Richie Kotzen.

Also new for this voyage is the perfect onboard reading material: ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick.’ You can download it for Kindle or buy a hardcopy in case you get a chance to grab an autograph from the man himself.

Either way, if you’re going on this cruise you’re in for a treat. Just look at the lineup!


Tesla, Tom Kiefer, Extreme, Queensryche, Saxon, Skid Row, Y&T, UDO, Kix, Danger Danger, Richie Kotzen, D∙A∙D, Pat Travers Band, The Quireboys, The Wildhearts, Rose Tattoo, Killer Dwarfs, Vain, Bullet Boys, Faster Pussycat, Jetboy, and the list goes on…


More good news? Even if you’re not on MORC you’re going to have plenty of chances to see dUg in action this year. And recording of the NEW KING’S X RECORD gets underway.

The boat returns to Miami on Mar. 1. Two days later Doug takes the stage in Pompano Beach, Fla., as part of the 2019 Experience Hendrix tour, wrapping Apr. 6 in Wallingford, Conn., at which point he rejoins Ty and Jerry in the studio to begin making their first new music together in more than a decade.

dUg takes a brief intermission in the first part of May from crafting new King’s X to roll with 3rd Ear Experience from New Orleans (May 1) through Texas, Arizona, and California. 3EE is a desert jam collaboration led by dUg’s long-time friend Robbi Robb. The two first met when both were on Megaforce and have had overlapping musical journey’s ever since (as chronicled in ‘What You Make It’).

And finally, King’s X leaps back into live action with a string of northeast dates at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ; NYC’s Gramercy Theatre; and the Tail Winds Music Fest with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Black Stone Cherry, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, and Sass Jordan.


Enjoy the rock! Enjoy the read!

Komatsu – ‘A New Horizon’

The super massive mothersludgers from Eindhoven returned last year with their latest full-length offering on Argonauta Records.  The album titled “A New Horizon” is a fantastic slab of stoner rock heaven.  Mo Truijen’s (guitar/vocals) voice is majestic and powerful as it soars over dense layers of massive groove.  The instrumental track – “Surfing A Landslide” is a moody psychedelic number that takes the listener on a hazy and heavy ride of epic proportions.  The track sequencing alternates beautifully between mid-tempo stompers (“Infected”, “Komatsu”, “I Got Drive”) and slower doomy songs (“10-4”, “Love Screams Cruelty”, “A New Horizon”).  Arrangements are clever and captivating.  Great melodies and memorable hooks that keep the listener engaged.  The tones are thick and heavy yet capturing an astral airy vibe at the same time.  In a genre that can seem over-saturated at times, KOMATSU offers the right amount of character, grit, musicianship, and song writing prowess to distinguish themselves.  All killer and no filler.  Crank this record to 11 and rock the fuck out. – Aamir Hydari

I agree fully with Aamir and would add that every one of these songs is a multi-layered feast for the ears. Little weirdnesses abound but never intrude (or get hokey), pulling you in further the longer you listen. Sometimes it’s spooky. Sometimes it’s spacey. But it’s always HEAVY.

Check the album out here.

And the rest of Aamir’s list here.

King Chiefs – ‘Blue Sonnet’

My friend Aamir put out his annual Top Albums list late last year. I’m finally making my way through them and was so impressed by his first selection I’ve decided to share it here.

King Chiefs – Blue Sonnet (Roosevelt Row Records) – Hands down my favorite release of the year.  Power, beauty, soul, fuzz…it’s all here.  See my write-up on this awesome band here – 

‘Blue Sonnet’ is the Phoenix-born but San Diego-based band’s second album, following 2015’s ‘Tomorrow’s Over’ (released as Chiefs). ‘Blue Sonnet’ was produced by Landmine Marathon guitarist Ryan Butler at his Arcane Digital Recording studio in Chandler, Ariz.

You can listen to and buy the record here:

Like what you heard? Check out Aamir’s full list.

dUg Pinnick’s Grooviest Tracks

Happy 2019! Last year was big for King’s X, marking the 30th anniversary of its ‘Out Of The Silent Planet’ debut. The band book-ended the occasion with dates in its home state of Texas, including a sold-out Jan. 19 stop at Trees in Dallas. Touring between the Texas runs brought King’s X through Arizona, California, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania (a Sellersville sell out!), with Milwaukee and Chicagoland wrapping up the year.

Word began to emerge in August that King’s X first new album since 2008 would be recorded in 2019. Recording plans became more tangible when King’s X’s signed to Golden Robot Records, an Australian super-indie spearheaded by A&R legend Derek Shulman. A February 2019 release of ‘King’s X: The Oral History’ was also announced.

In the meantime, work started on a King’s X documentary. A film crew followed the band through Texas, shooting many old haunts and talking to friends and associates from the early days. Doug is excited about the project, describing it as a deep—sometimes almost too-close-to-the-bone—dive into what has made King’s X the band it is.

Between all this, Doug could be forgiven for letting his non-King’s X work slide. But 2019 will see him not only hitting the road as part of both Experience Hendrix and 3rd Ear Experience but finishing new solo material, new KXM, and new Grinder Blues.

It’s with an eye to this end of Doug’s musical life that I’ve put together a bracket comprised of Doug’s non-King’s X music. Unlike last year’s King’s X grid, I didn’t have a method in developing this one. I included the songs performed on the Texas Poundation tour, figuring those were Doug’s favorites from his solo career, but otherwise just chose the tunes I liked best.

Just like last time, however, my hope is that the ‘tournament’ will provoke some great conversation and provide an opportunity to listen to some tunes we might not have heard in a while or, for some of them, maybe even ever.

The new year is here. Let the fun begin!dug bracket

King’s X hitting Texas, Milwaukee, Chicagoland

What better way to celebrate the return of cold weather than to rock!?

King’s X evidently agrees, booking a series of Texas and Milwaukee-Chicagoland dates sure to please both dedicated fans and any newcomers looking for shelter.

The fun kicks off with a homecoming show south of Houston at Scout Bar on Nov. 30. Upping the ante for this one is Beaumont-Houston powerhouse Peace and The Chaos: Blake Sticker, Kenneth Q. Turner, Lenwood Sonnier and Wally Farkas. Those last two names should already be familiar to any King’s X fan, but the other fellas are going to blow your mind. You ain’t seen sangin’, slangin,’ and bangin’ like this in I don’t even know how long.

S-O-U-L Power Rock!

Peace and The Chaos are the flag bearers of this newly (like right this second) established genre. See them first so you can spread the word and be cool like that.

The Texas swing continues with stops at Canton Hall (Dallas) and Come and Take It Live (Austin). PATC will be on the Austin bill but not Dallas. They will, however, be playing a FREE 5 pm set at Good Records in Dallas before the King’s X action kicks off.

It’s a Saturday (Dec. 1). You hearing me? Go. To. Both!

Dec. 6-9 brings King’s X shows in Milwaukee (Shank Hall), St. Charles, Ill. (Arcada Theatre), and Chicago (Reggie’s). The Arcada show features guitar wizard Vinnie Moore (UFO, Alice Cooper, Vicious Rumors) as support, creating a muso’s dream bill.

Get your tickets to any and all of these shows below. Then keep scrolling for a taste of what you’ll be experiencing once you’re there!

11/30/18 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar –
12/01/18 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall –
12/02/18 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live –

12/06/18 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall –
12/07/18 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre –
12/09/18 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s –

Excerpts from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’

“One of the stops on the road with [Morgan] Cryar in 1984 was Sulphur, La., where Dane Sonnier had a 10th grade English teacher who knew he and Lenwood (then 13) played guitar and told them about the show. Dane and Len’s parents bought them tickets. They had good seats in a little theater and even as a backing musician, Doug’s stage appeal was inescapable. After performing, the band came out to talk with the audience. Dane met Doug and the two struck up a conversation, exchanged addresses, and became pen pals. Doug’s mail to Dane would be addressed to Dane “The Child Prodigy” Sonnier and encouraged his pursuit of music.”

“The seeds of branching out [for ‘Strum Sum Up’] were sown when Doug initially returned to the 10 songs that hadn’t been used for ‘XV’ to finish them. He’d always found his guitar playing sloppy and wanted to hear what the songs would sound like cleaned up. The whole process was also taking a lot longer than he wanted. He called Farkas, who at the time was living just down the street from Doug at Ty’s house.   Farkas went to Poundhound [studio] to lay down some tracks. Doug showed Wally how to play the parts, then hit record. “We knocked out all the guitar parts, double-tracked and everything, for an entire album’s worth of material in a day,” remembers Farkas. When Doug played them back, listening to just Farkas and the drum machine, he was blown away. There was life to his solo music, and all it took was a real guitar player!”

Hard copy and Kindle editions of ‘What You Make It’ are available NOW on Amazon.

You can also buy the hard copy through Barnes & Noble.

“Not your generic ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ biography designed to cash in on some nostalgia. Smith has done a superb job capturing the life of [an] iconic and respected musician.” –

“Smith manages to cover a lot of ground and provides an insight into one of the best musicians of our time. [‘What You Make It’] is highly suggested if you are a fan of King’s X or Doug Pinnick.” – Read, Rock, Repeat

“This isn’t a eulogy to a ‘big time Charlie’ rock star. Rather, the book tries to explain the journey of a man who looks to music to save him from a certain amount of life confusion. It’s atypical, which is surely a good thing in these days of formulaic, plodding biogs…. Smith writes with knowledge and enthusiasm.” – Rock Candy









King’s X Most Beloved Song Ever: ‘Over My Head’

Back in July, to have some fun with Doug’s wonderful fans, I set up a 64-entry bracket to determine King’s X’s most beloved song ever. And after 10s of thousands of votes cast, the winner is: ‘Over My Head’!

This outcome will likely not come as a surprise to anyone who has seen the band live, ‘Over My Head’ having long held a place of honor near the end of a King’s X set. The band regularly extends the song past the 10-min mark, Ty and Jerry holding down the groove while Doug calls the congregation together for a combination sermon and sing-along.

The victory is also appropriate given the bracket’s mission: to find King’s X’s MOST BELOVED song. ‘BEST song’ is a category that can be debated forever, with a tournament attempting to address the topic likely doomed to failure from the start.,

‘Over My Head’ beat out Gretchen Goes to Nebraska album-mate ‘Pleiades’ for the top spot, 56% to 44%.

The 64 songs selected were a combination of the band’s most popular, its live standards, fan favorites, and my own favorites. I briefly considered seeding the entries, but decided that could slant the contest too much towards my own preferences and put them in an online randomizer instead.

As it turned out, I’m pretty sure ‘Over My Head’ had this from the beginning.

Enjoy a few different performances of it at the end of the post, starting with the studio version from ‘Gretchen Goes To Nebraska.’


“Back in Katy after the tour, Doug and Ty started songwriting, Sam cautioning the band about the potential for a sophomore slump. “We can’t have that,” he said. “You got great acclaim on the first one, and everybody’s expecting the second one to be crap. I want to hear everything you’ve got.”

The band pulled all its demos, going back years. Among them was a 2-track recording of ‘Over My Head’ Doug had made using a microphone, a tape player, and a recorder. He had faced the speakers toward each other to record one another, used a Mattel drum machine, and wrote the whole song, almost just the way it came out in the finished version. Doug didn’t like it. He thought the chorus didn’t go anywhere and that the song as a whole didn’t work.

He had thrown it in a pile with the rest of his perceived misfires and there it sat until Sam’s demo roundup.

When Doug heard it start as he was playing his songs for Sam, he moved to skip it, describing it as “a piece of crap.”

“No,” said Sam, “let’s hear it.”

Ty, Jerry, and Sam all loved it.

Doug still didn’t like the song, but took their word regarding its qualities and moved on.”

Excerpt from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick”









King’s X Most Beloved Song Ever: Sweet Set List 16

We’ve narrowed it down to the Top 16 most beloved King’s X songs ever! A bracket of 64 has been cut 75% by your votes, leaving the cream of the crop.

The choices are going to border on the impossible this time around, so I decided to have a little fun before getting back for the grudge matches.

Sixteen songs make a good rock set length in 2018. These are the 16 songs King’s X fans love most and I decided it would be cool to try and make killer set list from your choices. The results are below. I also found clips of each for your listening pleasure.

The more observant among you will note there are 18 songs on this list.

I took the liberty of re-adding ‘Pray,’ which didn’t make it out of the Round of 32, because it’s my favorite, it’s my setlist, and you guys got to pick all the rest of the songs!

The night also ends with a cover as the extra-special, set-closing, crowd-won’t-stop-cheering second encore. Not sure this is something King’s X has made a habit of (‘Manic Depression’ maybe?). But again, it’s my setlist and I think they’d do a great job with the song I’ve chosen. Just imagine it with the King’s X twist, Doug’s voice and bass tone, Jerry’s drums, Ty going off playing both the keyboard and guitar parts on his axe….it’d be awesome!

Let’s rock!



We Were Born To Be Loved

Black The Sky

We Are Finding Who We Are

It’s Love



Flies & Blue Skies


Out Of The Silent Planet


What Is This?

Fool You



Over My Head


Neven Been Any Reason (Head East cover)


Good night!

————————- says ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is “not your generic ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ biography designed to cash in on some nostalgia. Smith has done a superb job capturing the life of [an] iconic and respected musician.”

Buy it here!

King’s X playing NYC, Asbury Park, Sellersville, Amityville

King’s X is playing a last batch of summer dates between now and the end of August in the northeast US. Dates include Sony Hall at Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, the iconic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, and home-away-from-home, the Sellersville Theater 1894. Doug’s bass rig will also be exorcising any demons remaining in Amityville along the way.

It was a busy spring for the band, which performed regularly April-June, and after laying low for July the quartet of shows below is at hand. Tickets are available in the links.


Aug. 22 Sony Hall, Times Square, Midtown Manhattan, NYC

Aug. 24 Stone Pony, Asbury Park

Aug. 25 Revolution Bar & Music Hall, Amityville, NY

Aug. 26 Sellersville Theater 1894, Sellersville, Pa.


December dates have been announced so far for Chicago and Milwaukee. Details will no doubt be posted at

Watch ‘Black Flag’ from King’s X Nov. 22, 2016, show in Sellersville.


Jon Zazula attended the ‘XV’ tour stop in Sellersville, Pa., sitting in the next to last row. He hadn’t seen the band in at least 5 years and when they broke into ‘Pray’ Zazula was blown away. “It reaffirmed my belief that this was one of the greatest bands that ever lived,” he says. “That song kills me.”

—Excerpt from ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’

Hard copy and Kindle editions of ‘What You Make It’ are available NOW on Amazon.

You can also buy the hard copy through Barnes & Noble.


‘Dogman’ dominates Round 1 of King’s X song clash

The first round of ‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’s’ effort to determine the most beloved King’s X song ever is complete, and what a ride it was!

Of 32 remaining songs from the original pool of 64, fully one-quarter (8) are from ‘Dogman.’ The next highest contributor was the band’s debut with 5 songs. ‘King’s X’, ‘Gretchen Goes to Nebraska,’ and ‘Faith, Hope, Love’ each tallied 4. The last 7 were divided between ‘Please Come Home…Mr. Bulbous’ and ‘Ear Candy’ with 2 a piece and ‘Tape Head,’ ‘Black Like Sunday,’ and ‘XV’ with a sole representative making the cut. ‘Manic Moolight’ and ‘Ogre Tones’ got skunked.

There were even two ties. ‘Chariot Song’ (from ‘King’s X’) and ‘Move’ (‘XV’) finished in a deadlock, as did ‘Sometime’ (‘Ear Candy’) and ‘What Is This?’ (‘OOTSP’). Some participants voiced their surprise at the strong performance of the more recent song in each matchup. To my mind, however, the newer numbers’ live strength (and frequent performance in the case of ‘Sometime’) provided a nearly deciding edge.

To break the ties I engaged the King’s X Musical Appreciation Society because, like, who else!? The rematches in the new venue saw the more seasoned material win easily, advancing to the Round of 32.

The passion of King’s X fans was evident throughout Round 1.

‘Flies and Blue Skies’ vs. ‘A Box’ pitted two of the band’s most atmospheric classics against one another. ‘Flies…’ won (55% to 45%), but fan comments included:

“It’s like picking your favorite child. So many great memories made while listening to either of these songs” and “Flies…gives me chills – ‘There is life / There is death / And the difference between either one / Is one single breath.’

The opposite end of the spectrum weighed in with: “Can’t believe this result. ‘Flies…’ is a bottom 5% song for me.”

Another voter noted the superior quality of the demo version of ‘A Box’ from Doug’s ‘Songs From the Closet’ release on Molken.

‘Fool You’s 58% to 42% win over “I’ll Never Get Tired of You’ also generated a lot of discussion.

“Didn’t think I’d pick a ‘Dogman’ track over a ‘Faith Hope Love’ track, but here we are,” said one. Another remarked, “This is a tough one. I’m saying FY for raw power. The other is kinda sappy,” prompting the response, “I like the sappy one because sappy works if it’s honest. And the song has special meaning for me.” Others heralded the personal meaning of both songs, one describing ‘Fool You’ as the best dUg vocal ever.

But perhaps the biggest stunner of all was ‘Black Like Sunday’s 54% to 46% win over ‘Freedom.’ The shock was instant and strong: “I can’t believe this.” “This is a shocker.” “Seriously?” “Wow. Just wow. What a result. Just flabbergasted. Although, to clarify, I don’t dislike the winner. Just…” “I like BLS a lot, but Freedom is just an all-out better tune.” “Freedom is a MUCH better song.” “Freedom is much better. Oh well.”

To all of which I remind, this is an effort to determine King’s X most BELOVED song ever, not it’s best. The latter task would be truly impossible.

In that vein, some of my favorites also took a beating. My choice came up short in all the contests below:


Bebop 14%, She’s Gone Away 86%

67 10%, King 90%

Vegetable 44%, Move Me (Parts 1 & 2) 56%

Lost In Germany 52%, Fall On Me 48%

Out Of The Silent Plant 56%, Groove Machine 44%

Mr. Wilson 19%, It’s Love 81%

Marsh Mellow Field 16%, The Train 84%


And if Round 1 had some tough matchups, wait ‘til you see some of the pairings in Round 2. People are already talking up the ‘Summerland’ v. ‘Goldilox’ tilt—pitting perhaps the band’s two most iconic songs against one another—and that’s just one of many choices sure to bend the grey matter of even the most devout fans.

Let’s get back to it!

Hard copy and Kindle editions of ‘What You Make It’ are available NOW on Amazon.

Hard copies are also available at Barnes &

King’s X most beloved song ever

Let the games begin!

Much of the fun I had writing ‘What You Make It’ was getting to talk to Doug about songs he wrote and/or recorded and the albums on which they appear. Some he liked at the time but isn’t so fond of now. Some he didn’t like that much back when but have since grown on him.

King’s X has a devoted following. It’s fans love talking about their own favorite songs. And with so much great material to choose from such conversations can be very wide-ranging!

To celebrate both the book and Doug’s fans I’ve assembled a bracket to help determine the most beloved King’s X song ever. This isn’t meant to be definitive (how could it be with one person deciding which songs to include?!), just a fun pastime to encourage discussion.

I included both my personal favorites and songs others seem to like a lot even if they’re not high on my list. I thought about seeding the songs but decided that would add one layer of subjectivity too many, slanting proceedings too far in the direction of my own likes and dislikes. Instead I put the 64 songs I decided to include in a randomizer and placed them in the bracket you see here in the order it generated.

Now it’s time for you to get your favorites to the top! I plan on having one poll each day on ‘What You Make It’s Facebook page until the whole bracket has been completed and the most beloved song ever is crowned. Life being life I might miss a day here and there, but since it’s all for fun anyway, no biggie.

Please share at will. The more King’s X fans we have participating the more representative the outcome will be.

‘What You Make It: The Authorized Biography of Doug Pinnick’ is available NOW!