Corey Glover and Dug Pinnick are both rock star soldiers that seem simultaneously from another time and entirely relevant to the present. Both their original bands, Living Colour and King X made important records in the 80s and 90s and now both are playing shows together with their respective solo outfits. This past Thusday I caught them playing at the Cutting Room to a packed house and graciously agreed to sit down for an interview.
Starting the night I got to sit down with Corey Glover, whose band Living Colour are preparing their first record since 2009’s The Chair in the Doorway called Shade which is in the post-production phase. Glover said that Shade is their “homage to the blues” and includes two covers, Robert Johnsons’ “Preachin’ Blues” and Biggie Smalls’ “Who Shot Ya?” Each song links the band to their disparate roots, and the song “Who Shot Ya” addresses current social issues important to the Living Colour ethos.
Glover said that his role in Living Colour was to “channel” the rest of the band’s voices into his own voice. Later that night, I got to witness an inspired version of the hit single “Cult of Personality” which had Glover striking charismatic poses in his characteristic sweat suit, belting beautifully, occasionally going up to an untethered falsetto. He was surrounded by his solo band of “brothers from South Jersey” full of ripping guitar solos that had the waitresses headbanging to what I can only assume was on MTV in their childhood.
The rest of the interview was laid back and comfortably casual. We talked about Glover’s role as Francis in Oliver Stone’s 1986 Platoon. He reflected on the fact that so many huge names came out of that movie – Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp – and how honored and humbled he was to come out of something that meant so much to so many people.
We also discussed his friendship with Doug Pinnick, who filled in for Glover when Glover had to miss a Living Colour tour because of his stint as Judas Iscariot in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar – he said that Pinnick was a “no brainer” as a fill in, although Pinnick “fake hates” him for having such a high vocal range. Later, Pinnick confirmed this, and told me that, while it was flattering to be picked, he’s baritone, and Glover’s parts were in a tenor range.
Doug Pinnick, who also goes by “dUg” was the lead singer of the band King’s X. King’s X never really broke out in the mainstream but a lot of the bands from the 80s and 90s West Coast metal scene – Pantera, Alice in Chains, Faith No More – have King’s X to thank as an important influence. Pinnick says that King’s X helped put the “groove” into metal, and their 1989 classic Gretchen Goes to Nebraska paved the way for a melodically different approach to metal.
The stories and name dropping during the interview was incredible; Chris Cornell, Jeff Ament (who he worked with on Tres Mts), Layne Staley, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Thomas Pridgen etc. He had a story about every rock star I could think to ask him about in the L.A. scene, past and present. However, the best story came from Dimebag Darrell, who, on one night, called Pinnick up, and told him that “there would be no Pantera without King’s X.” That was a compliment that he’s held close to his heart.
On stage Pinnick was enjoying himself, going through solo material and joking jovially with the audience and his other band members, occasionally taking shots of Jack Daniels. His bass rumbled, shaking my insides, and his voice soulfully dripped over the metallic riffs that were groovy and funky enough to have people up and out of their seats, dancing in the aisle.
The best part of the concert was during their last song, the Jimi Hendrix cover of “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), which saw Corey Glover, Jimi Hazel, and Tommy Baldwin (Pinnick’s “musical soulmate”) join him on stage. However, before the song started Pennick asked for Jerry to come join him, and then people were chanting “Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” and one of the audience members got on stage behind the kit. Turns out it was an impromptu reunion with King X’s drummer Jerry Gaskill who happened at the show.
Needless to say, the night had a celebratory tone to it, and I left feeling somewhat drunk, not only on the expensive drinks, but on the experience as a whole.
Article: Steven Klett
Photos: Shayne Hanley