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King's X

Hard Rock/Metal

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About King's X

According to international music critics and rock gourmets, King's X are among the most unusual acts in the history of rock music. The technical skills of the three band members, Ty Tabor (guitars, vocals), Doug Pinnick (bass, vocals) and Jerry Gaskill (drums, vocals), are above reproach, their creativity has impressed fans and media alike. Next to King's X and Rush, there is currently no other rock trio capable of producing such a dense and at the same time transparent sound, the musicians from Texas continuing to lend with amazing elegance a noticeable lightness to their powerfully and dynamic compositions. As on their fourteen previous recordings, their latest album, XV, is another prime example of classy groove rock featuring a homogeneous liaison of great melodies, driving rhythms and tough guitars.

For Ty Tabor, XV is a very special album because, more than ever before, the musicians allowed themselves enough time for the preparations: "On this record, we decided to write all of the music ahead of time," he says. "In the past we wrote a lot of our music in the studio. And any songs we wrote before coming into the studio were usually in need of a bit of rewriting. So this time we set aside several months just to write and see what we would come up with. I think we were able to bring in the strongest set of songs in a long time." Months before the band members got together to analyse their material for the first time, most of which was finished by that stage, each of them had embarked on their own songwriting sessions. "We wrote individually and demoed our own songs until we got to the studio. We then worked on them carefully with everyone putting their ideas in. And, at the end, just for the fun of it, we wrote a song in the studio which ended up as 'Go Tell Somebody`."

Tabor, Pinnick and Gaskill have every reason to be satisfied with their latest offering. The 14 brand-new tracks take their listeners on a journey through a number of rock music territories. Some owe their fascination to a classy guitar riff, others to a haunting groove or an intricate hookline, the vocals always remaining at the epicentre of the music. "It is a very different record for us. It touches on a lot of different things from our past, but doesn't sound the same. It seems to me that these are more complete songs. Some are short and sweet, some are more adventurous and unpredictable in some ways."  

XV saw the band repeating their successful collaboration with the legendary sound engineer, Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Dokken, among others). "We worked with Michael on our last one, Ogre Tones. We liked the surroundings and Michael is just a great guy," Tabor explains, "anyone who knows Michael loves him. So we decided to work with him again, and he decided to work with us again." King's X were particular, not only when it came to their choice of producer, but also the recording process. Instead of putting together lots of pieces like a jigsaw puzzle, these three excellent musicians allowed themselves the luxury of recording large sections of the production in a live atmosphere again. "Me and Doug sat around the console area, while Jerry was behind glass in a drum room," Tabor tells. "We could see him while he played. We did the basic tracks live. Sometimes we needed to go back and change a sound or part or something, but they all went down live as usual." To give the vocals, which were recorded subsequently, their special touch, King's X involved a number of friends and colleagues. "Anyone who came to the studio to visit was thrown into the vocal booth and had to sing with us on something. So there are some different voices mixed in there."

So there are in fact two things to celebrate: The fifteenth album by a band who continue to make a point, and fourteen brilliant tracks which prove that this kind of rock music never loses its topicality. So, because their new recording is one of the freshest and most dynamic cuts in King's X's career to date; XV is just the beginning, in a way!