If you were to ask me who the two most soulful singers in hard rock were, the first two names that would come to mind would be King’s X frontman and bassist, dUg Pinnick, and Living Colour frontman, Corey Glover. The minute I heard that hook from King’s X’s song “Over My Head” off their Gretchen Goes To Nebraska CD, I knew this was a voice I would be hearing a lot more from in the years to come. Little did I know I would be going to see Slayer with that very singer a couple of years ago in Camden, NJ. The same goes for Corey Glover. That opening riff of “Cult Of Personality” into Corey’s powerful vocals and awesome dreads was something that would resonate with me for the years to come as a young musician. Again, I would end up sharing the stage with Corey when he sat in on vocals for the Jersey band, Sekond Skyn.
Well, this spring, these two iconic hard rock singers decided to team up for a small regional tour for the first time. The tour hits Crossroads in Garwood, NJ this Friday night (5/15). I got to chat with both of them about the tour. Here’s what they had to say about touring together:
So, what brought this tour on? Why not a collaboration on a CD first, then a tour?
dUg Pinnick: Well, I had some free time and I told Smitty [Michael “Smitty” Smith from Zenergy Entertainment] I wanted to do some touring and so he said, “I’ll work it out.” One day he called and says, “Hey, let’s do this with Corey!” And I went, “Sure!” It was that easy!
Corey Glover: Well, we’ve been threatening each other with going on the road for a very long time. So, now we just pulled the trigger and said, “Fuck it! Let’s do it!” We might collaborate on a song or CD, but for right now, we’ll tour first to see how it feels.
It’s a dual solo tour, so each of you is playing a set. Do you end the night with a jam with both of you on the stage?
CG: Yes, we’re still trying to coordinate what that is. We’re basically going to bring our own set and then try to come together and form Voltron (laughs).
DP: Well, we had mentioned it. I don’t want to do it. It has nothing to do with Corey. After I get done with my set, I’m done. I want to hang out and have fun. My voice cools down and then I can’t sing very well. Corey suggested we do something during my set, but we’ve been trying to get my set together and I don’t want to disrupt that. There’s a flow there. I’ve already got a friend of mine with me. His name is Tommy Baldwin, he’s 19 and he plays guitar and I get him up on “Voodoo Child” every night and he just smokes at that’s our encore thing. And so, I’d like to keep it like that.
What will your sets consist of?
DP: It’s a whole 90-minute set of songs from all of my solo records. No King’s X. No nothing else. Just my stuff. I have five solo records out and we chose the fucking slammingest songs out of every record. Dude, this set is killing! It’s very brutal!
CG: I’ll have mostly solo stuff. Maybe one or two Living Colour tunes, but for the most part it’s my own stuff and some covers that I like to do.
How have the crowds been receiving you guys together?
DP: Nobody’s going to come and see me unless they know my music because that’s just the way we are. So, everybody there knows the songs. And people are going, “They couldn’t have picked a better set,” and other people are going, “This is a whole new level.” People are having a good time.
CG: Good! It’s been fun so far. The band is sounding great. It’s been great!
Could this lead to a King’s X/Living Colour tour down the road?
CG: Maybe, it depends on our schedules. It wouldn’t be the first time. We’ve toured together before and it won’t be the last.
dUg, last time we talked, you were promoting your solo CD, Naked, and you were about to start working on KXM. What else do you have coming up? Is there another KXM record in the works? New King’s X?
DP: Yes, coming up in the future, I have a new KXM in the works. We’re going to do a new Grinder Blues record also, and I’m working on a project that I can’t tell you about right now, but you will love it. And no King’s X right now. Jerry [Gaskill] and Ty [Tabor] are doing their solo records and anytime anybody asks them what’s up with King’s X and a new record, they always tell people they’re not ready. So, Ty and Jerry are not ready to make another record. I’ve been ready. That’s why I’ve been doing so many projects without them.
Corey, last time I saw you, my band, Sik Twizted Smile, opened for you in Clifton, NJ when you were a guest vocalist for the guys from Sekond Skyn. I believe you were also doing solo dates around that time. Can we expect a solo CD on the way? I know there’s some new Living Colour on the way…
CG: There is a new Living Colour record on the way. Last year, I put out solo record, which is a little different than the stuff that I usually do as far as music. The new Living Colour will be out in the fall. The Pledge record is out everywhere and hopefully this fall, I’ll go back into the studio and make another record.
Now that you can cross collaborating with each other off the list, who would you love to collaborate or tour with next?
DP: Well, Richie Kotzen and Doyle Bramhall and I have committed to doing a record. We haven’t really sat down to discuss the details, but this is on the plate. And also, me and Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction, we’re going to put a project together too. The good thing about being out in L.A. is that it’s so nice to be loved. Everybody loves me out there and everybody wants to do something. Until people get sick of me, I’m going to keep doing projects until someone says, “Oh, no. We’re done with dUg. We’re tired of him.” But at this moment, I just want to do as much as I can. I just want to become a household name.
CG: Oh, there are a bunch of folks. The last couple of years, I’ve been hanging out with the guys from Sevendust. I would love to do stuff with them. There’s a bunch of them that I’ve known forever that I’d like to write with. The guys from Anthrax I’ve known forever, Alex Skolnick, we’ve played with a bunch of times this year. We’ll get in wherever we can fit in. Dream collaboration-wise, I’d love to work with Smokey Robinson. I’d love to see a D’Angelo and Living Colour collaboration. That kind of thing, where he plays keyboards at a gig.
Who is inspiring you today, musically?
DP: Today? Nowadays? Coldplay and Meshuggah and Mogwai. Those are my three bands right now that I’m trying to morph my writing into that kind of a way. Seriously, Coldplay and Meshuggah and Mogwai; can you imagine if I can write something out of that? There will be some really great songs! There’s not much out there on the radio, but those three bands are just doing it for me. I get goose bumps and tears and when I get that, dUg is getting some influence from them.
CG: It’s funny. I try not to listen to music anymore really. The thing about listening to music…If it’s not something that I already have or I already own and I already listen to, I like to go out and find new music. I like to go out and hear new music rather than someone tell me, although there are some bands that I’ve heard on YouTube and SoundCloud and that kind of stuff that’s made me turn my head and go, “That shit is great! I love that!” There’s a band out of a L.A. called The Memorials. They’re a great band. I heard something on YouTube and was like, “Wow!” The drummer’s amazing! They’re great! They’re just an amazing, amazing band! There’s Carolina Chocolate Drops. It’s more “rootsy” stuff that I’ve been listening to, actually.
In both of your illustrious careers, what would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment to date?
CG: Being a father. Nothing else compares to that for me. My career as a musician and a singer has been great and amazing and all that I can ask for. Being a parent is something else for me. Nothing can prepare me for what that entailed. I have two kids and my son Corey sings in a band and sometimes he leaves home for weeks at a time and then he comes back.
DP: Here’s the truth, and I don’t want to call it an accomplishment, but for me personally, the music is 100 percent what I do and what I love to do, but at the end of the day it’s all about people, and my greatest accomplishment is when people say, “I put the gun down when I heard Gretchen,” or, “I was going to kill myself until I heard ‘Don’t Believe It’ and now I’m here,” or, “I wasn’t spending any time with my kids until you preached about taking care of your kids and loving them and now I’m a great dad.” Those are my accomplishments. To see people’s life changed. For me personally, the music came out a little out of the box and really inspired the whole music community. Gretchen did and I know that and they tell me that and I see it and I think that’s my biggest accomplishment. I still run into people with different musical backgrounds and bands and they’re all King’s X fans and they mention Gretchen. Some of the most staggering people from Mick Jagger to Dave Grohl to Iggy Pop to Geezer Butler to Paul Stanley to Eddie Van Halen to even David Crosby all love King’s X. I can go down the list…
Catch Corey Glover and dUg Pinnick together live at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ on Friday, May 15. For more info, visit facebook.com/coreyglovermusic or dugnation.net.