Kings X’s Doug Pinnick talks about new project “KXM” and upcoming debut album

Doug “dUg” Pinnick is probably best known as the bassist/vocalist for the hard rock/progressive band Kings X. Doug has also been a part of a number of side projects such as “Poundhound”, “Tres Mts.” And “Third Ear Experience”. Doug’s newest project simply titled “KXM” is a 3 piece super trio featuring Korn drummer Ray Luzier and legendary Dokken guitarist George Lynch. Media Mikes spoke with Doug recently about the group formation and the upcoming release of their debut album.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands formation?
Doug Pinnick: Ray was having a party at his house for his son and we all happened to be there. During a break from the party Ray took us to see his new drum room which was also set up to record in. George threw out the idea to do some jamming and I think him and Ray actually did end up starting things there. A short while later I get a call saying George had booked some studio time. Luckily we were all free and we got together and started working on the album. It all came together very quick. We would be in the studio for a couple days and then Ray would have to fly out to Singapore or somewhere to play with Korn. We are pretty happy with how things turned out and I am all ready to do another.

AL: What can we expect to hear on the album?
DP: I think people will hear who we are as individual players. My bass tone is something that can’t be disguised as it is what it is. George is a unique guitar player and he brings that element to things. He doesn’t do as much soloing as on some of his other projects but I think there’s still a good amount of that on this record. Ray showcased his intricate cymbal work which is something that hasn’t always showed up in the mix of his previous work but on this record, Oh man!

AL: Did you approach this album any differently than you would with a Kings X album?
DP: Yes. The approach we took was that no one could tell the others what to do. You had to be 100 percent trusting in the parts that the other members created. Whatever we did we all complimented each other. When I listen back to the recordings there are no preconceptions. This is the first group I have been in where I can almost step outside of things. (Laughs)

AL: Was this approach laid out before hand or did it evolve over time?
DP: When we started out we were talking about a number of different things. George had a bunch of material that he wanted to bring up but we decided to do this thing from scratch. George agreed and things turned out great. I have a whole hard drive of songs that we could have pulled from as well but we chose to start fresh. Started from scratch was something I was very adamant about.

AL: Can you tell us about the video for the song “Rescue Me”?
DP: I never know what song to pick as a single as I always seem to pick something different from everyone else. I sort of stood back from the selection process and let the label and Ray and George decide. Everyone thought “Rescue Me” was the song to release first and I was totally ok with that. We worked with some of the guys who have done work on Korn’s videos and Ray and George pooled some other resources to come up with this video. I just kind of went along with the process and every draft we got back was really great. They did a very good job at making me like me. That at times can be a difficult job. (Laughs

AL: Has there been any talks of touring the album?
DP: We have all been talking about touring. As soon as we can find time that works with everyone’s schedules you better believe that we will be out there. Why not? We all have a bunch of other things going on but when we find that window we are jumping in.

AL: What other projects do you currently have in the works?
DP: I will be singing in a Jimi Hendrix tribute at South by South West this year with Perry Farrell and Slash. After that I will be playing in Los Angeles at The Guitar Center convention with my blues band. I will also be doing some stuff with a few of my other side projects as well.

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The Marshall Tucker Band’s Doug Gray talks about New Album and Touring

Doug Gray is the Founder and Lead Singer of The Marshall Tucker Band.  He has been with the band for 40 years now and shows no sign of slowing down.  He recently released a solo album of lost recordings called “Soul Of The South”.  The Marshall Band will be appearing in Orlando, FL at the Orlando Jai-Alai Fronton on Friday April 13th, click here for more info on that show. Doug took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about the new album, touring and what else the band has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your new album “Soul Of The South”?
Doug Gray: This was a record that never had a name and was never going to be released. I started recording it within a year after Tommy (Caldwell) had gotten killed, our bass player, so around 1981. I wanted to go to Nashville and pick some songs out.  I had wanted to do something more rhythm and blues, since I grew up singing rhythm and blues.  I found a Michael Bolton song that he had written but never release, as well as a bunch of different songs. I thought it would be fun to do if not to keep my mind off things. I ended up with the Memphis Horns on there and a lot of other players from Nashville and also other rock ‘n roll bands.  Once we made a cassette of it…we never listened to it for about 28 years. After that time, one of the partners for the record label got a copy of the cassette and said we should pull try and pull some of these tracks out and release them.  So we put it out and people really seem to like it. It was just another experiment and so far it’s paid off.

MG: What do you like most about touring today?
DG: You know what, people that left us after the first five years came back in 20 years and said “Man, you are as good as you ever were”.  20 years later, you get parents that come with their kids.  Now I am even seeing pregnant women and I know there is going to be another generation of fans.  I think that is cool as can be.  The music is good and that is what it is. We just love going out their and sharing it with our fans. As long as the fans come, we will still get up there on the stage.

MG: I know the fans have their favorites songs but what are yours to perform?
DG: Well I think “Take the Highway” is one of the first original rockers. You go back and listen to it today and it sounds better now than it did on the record. The good part is that we actually are playing it better.  We did it as good as we could back then but we updated it as time went along.  We play it faster.  It wears me out singing it and it is just intense. Just so fantastic and it only gets better and better.

MG: Do you feel that The Marshall Tucker Band as evolved from when you started?
DG: We had no choice.  A lot of the times, guys get older and they don’t want to be on the road. Toy (Caldwell) himself told me, before he passed, he said “I am glad you got it, your the one that will keep it going”.  We don’t sell anything compared to people that walk around with submarines on their head [laughs].  But we are continuously selling CDs and digital downloads. We have opportunity for the next five years to be with Sony Distribution.  They see it just like the public sees it.  Am I proud that I stuck with it and do I believe in all the people I brought in this thing? You better bet your butt I do!  Everyone plays and everyone is a part of it.  That is what is important!

MG: I am a big Lynyrd Skynyrd and Zac Brown Band fan, would love to see you guys tour together in the future.
DG: We do stuff with Skynyrd all the time.  As far as Zac Brown goes, we do have a gig coming up with them.  Somehow Marshall Tucker always seems to get incorporated in the mix.  As far as big group shows, I would love to go to Philadelphia at the JFK Stadium and have 120,000 people there with us.

MG: What can we expect from 2012?
DG: Oh man.  December the 21st, we will be waiting to be lifted up into the sky with this Mayan calender thing.  We will probably be on the tour bus and no better way to go if you gotta go.  We are going out there and got a lot of concerts and festivals upcoming.  I love doing the festivals, whether we are playing for 4,000 people or 200 people it doesn’t matter. As long people show up they are going to be treated to some of the best music they have heard in a week.

MG: Tell us about next year’s Rock Legends II cruise?
DG: It is going to be cool, man.  It is from January 10-15th, 2013. The most important thing is that Paul Rodgers is now on the roster, he is such an amazing singer.  The Foreigner guys are gonna be there. Hatchet is on there with us.  We are just so excited for this.  There is going be some amazing four-hour jams on this cruise.  I have already spoke Rodgers and plenty of other guys.  I don’t have to even ask Hatchet or .38 Special because they can’t keep their asses off the Marshall Tucker stage [laughs]. We just jam and it is going to be fantastic.

Interview with Doug Lussenhop

Doug Lussenhop is the co-writer and editor of the new film “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”.  He has worked with Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim on various projects starting from “Tom Goes to the Mayor”.   Doug also goes by the name DJ Douggpound.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Doug about the movie and also  what he has planned for 2012.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get started working with Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim?
Doug Lussenhop: I got an internship with them when they were making “Tom Goes to the Mayor”. I had been wanting to break into the television/comedy business and happened to see an add on Craigslist for a comedy show wanting an intern. This was the only ad that I had ever answered and they called me back. So, I have been working with them since 2004. I started out as an intern but they were understaffed, so I started helping out with Photoshop and Final Cut. After a while I started getting into the animation stuff as well.

MG: Tell us about your involvement with “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”?
DL: I was one of the editors on the project and I also had a writing session with them. A bunch of us got in a room and talked about what we thought was going to work and what wasn’t. I added some funny bits to it.

MG: How does the film differ from the TV series “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”
DL: It’s a lot different because with TV there wasn’t as much polishing. It is a lot smaller and things are faster. With the movie we had to make the story work. The television show is more of a sketch show where you don’t have to worry as much about putting all the pieces together.

MG: Tell us about your experience at Sundance this year?
DL: That was really fun. Just to see the film in a real theater was awesome. The crowd laughed at all the right moments and I think they got it. I think some of the people were there just because and they didn’t really have a clue what was going on.

MG: You are also known as DJ Douggpound, tell us about that side of you?
DL: While I was in college, I was in a few bands but nothing was very successful. I always knew I had some sort of idea of what would work. I had also messed around with stand-up but I wasn’t too good at that either. So at the first Tim and Eric live show, I mixed them together with telling jokes and adding in samples. Things seemed to work out ok with that.

MG: Any plans for releasing a CD of your music?
DL: I do have a CD and we have made a bunch of them. I don’t really know how to work my website but I need to figure out how to make that work. It’s one of the things on my list do.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2012?
DL: Right now I am working on season 2 of “Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule”. I am also working on another show for Adult Swim called “The Eric and Andre Show” and that should be out later this year. I have a podcast up as well that I do with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher called “The Champs”. You can find it on iTunes, it is really fun.


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Interview with SafetySuit’s Doug Brown

Doug Brown is the vocalist/rhythm guitarist for the pop/rock band SafetySuit. The band recently released their second album titled “These Times” via Universal Republic Records. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Doug recently about the bands history and the new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a little background on the band?
Doug Brown: The band formed a century ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2004 we moved to Nashville, Tenn. where we started playing out quite a bit. In 2007 we got signed to Universal Records and in 2008 we released our first album titled “Life Left to Go”. We toured on that album for about 3 years which brings us to now where we are now just releasing our new album “These Times”.

AL: What can you tell us about the new album?
DB: This album is the next step in the SafetySuit journey. With the last record I don’t think people could really tell what type of band we are. Some people thought we were a pop band while others thought we were a rock band. I think we have a little bit of both and are a pop/rock band as opposed to a rock/pop band. The pop is trying to squeeze its way towards the front of our sound but we give it emotion and intensity which is what is missing from some pop style songs.

AL: How does “These Times” compare to your previous release?
DB: I think this record is an evolution. This album is us figuring out what people were reacting to after 2/3 years of touring. We wanted to make the things that people were reacting to the predominant thing on the new record. We were really aware this time of what we were putting in each recording as we wanted the songs to be very accessible. With the last record we added a lot of stuff to the tracks to make them bigger but this time we went with a less is more approach.

AL: What do you think was the hardest part of the recording process?
DB: The recording process it’s self was a really long process. We started at the beginning of 2010 and didn’t finish until the end of 2011. It’s hard to come into the studio and record a fresh sounding album after being on the road for so long. We recorded half of the record and then brought the label down to hear it. This was the first time that we as a band stopped and listened to what we were doing. We realized it was not very good so we scrapped the entire thing. The second time around we made sure that we had good people working with us with fresh ideas. We were constantly checking the tracks to make sure they were what we wanted.

AL: Is there a track off the album that sticks out as a favorite?
DB: Probably the title track “These Times”. I think that song musically captures what we are trying to do as a band. The song has a good guitar hook and lyrics that are focused on a real subject. I think this song has the heart of the band behind it.

AL: Will the band be touring to support the album?
DB: I don’t have any specifics on the tour just yet. We are working very hard right now on locking down a few things. We are planning a small club tour in February and then we have some opportunities for some larger tours in March, April and May. I can’t really tell anyone much more than that until things are finalized.

AL: Is there anything else going on with band in 2012?
DB: We just released our video on for “These Times” which was pretty exciting. It was also pretty amazing to be the number 1 album on iTunes for a couple days. During the months until spring we plan to do a lot of press and promoting to get the album going. We hope to do a Vh1 premier of “These Times” in the next month in a half or so.


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Interview with Doug Jones

Doug Jones is known for his roles in the “Hellboy” series, “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”.  We had a chance to interview Doug Jones about those projects in May 2010, check it out here.  This time around Media Mikes chatted with Doug about work on the web series’ “The Guild” & “Dragon Age: Redemption”, his upcoming film roles in “Dust of War” and also his coffee table book coming out called “Mime Very Own Book”.

MG: Tell us about working on the web series “The Guild”?
DJ: I absolutely love “The Guild”.  The whole phenomenon of the web series is something new to me.  I got caught up with the first four seasons of “The Guild” and fell in love with it.  Felicia Day is such a great writer and she also plays the lead role of Codex.  When she asked me to play a reoccurring role in season 5, I jumped at it.  I have been in episodes 6 and 7 so far.  I will also show up in a couple more in early October.  This season “The Guild” members are at a gaming convention and Robin Thorsen’s character Clara kind of wonders over to this Steampunk booth.  I am on one of the three characters at this booth. We have these British accents, act very snooty and we totally overdid it. We are just having so much fun with it and it is just so well written. Oh my gosh, its great. I have never laughed that much on a set ever.

MG: You are working again with Felicia Day with “Dragon Age: Redemption”
DJ: Being the big game/geek queen, she is also a big fan of “Dragon Age”.  So she is developing a web series based on “Dragon Age II”.  We have a decent budget and it is actually like “Lord of the Rings” made for the web. It was very epic for a web series.  I get to play the main bad guy named Cerberus.  I am Qunari Mage and for people that play the game that would make sense to them.

MG: Last time we spoke you just finished “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” and now it is released, are you excited to have it out for your fans?
DJ: I am so happy about this film.  It is a biography on Serge Gainsbourg, who is an iconic singer songwriter from France and he was total cultural benchmark. I get to play the most fun character.  It is a biography but I get to be the fantasy element in this.  I play Serge’s alter-ego.  I am cartooney exaggerated looking version of what he didn’t like about himself.  This was a really wonderful and fun role for me to play. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his death, which is pretty timely to put the movie out now.  I am happy that it finally got its US release.  It started playing in Los Angeles and New York on Labor Day and is opening in new cities every week until November.  You can find out more information about this at my website

MG: You just finished filming “Dust of War”, tell us about that film?
DJ: I get offered a lot of independent films from young filmmakers.  I love young filmmakers that are energetic, passionate and have a true vision for storytelling. “Dust of War” was written and directed by Andrew Kightlinger from a small town in South Dakota.  This town was a perfect place for our story, which is a post apocalyptic story after the crash of society and it was caused to crash by something outer worldly.  So you have this “Mad Max” setup and good guys on the run from bad guys.  The formula has been done before but this script and these characters really grabbed me.  I absolutely LOVE them. I got to play a character named Jebediah Strumm.  I am the counterpart to Crispus Hansen, who is played by Tony Todd.  We got to play these traveling minstrels who try and bring life back to this miserable world.  We get to protect and interact with the leads characters.  I am very pleased to have be able to work on “Dust of War”.

MG: Tell us about your coffee table book called “Mime Very Own Book”?
DJ: Oh my gosh, I had so much fun with this project.  When you fill your schedule with film and TV projects and you take out three days out of a photo shoot for a coffee table book it is something very different.  This is a photo book of 250 pages of me as a mime.  We do a lot of pop culture send-ups.  We make fun of famous works of art, movie posters and famous photos in history.  For instance, there is one of me with my arms photoshopped off as “Venus de Milo”.  You will see me in there as the Mona Lisa.  You will see me in boxing shorts knocked out with myself standing over me as Muhammad Ali.  It goes on and on.  We also explore different puns like “A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”, “Once upon a Mime” and “Mime over Matter” [laughs].  The list just goes on.

MG: Any secrets you want to leak to
DJ: Currently, I am on my way to a costume/makeup fitting for a contract I signed yesterday.  So, I have a new movie shooting late October.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the title just yet.  I can tell you it is fun romp with me in creature makeup.  It will be the first time I am back in creature makeup in two years. So I am looking very forward to it.  It is a huge studio film with big stars in it and it is going to be funny as hell.