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What's new for King's X? You just released a DVD this fall. Are there plans to record a new studio album anytime soon?
I'm sure there will be a new studio album on the way sometime next year but at the moment we're not really worried about it. Doug just recently moved, and I'll be moving here shortly if all goes well. So we're taking a little bit of time off with that happening. But we're supposed to tour Europe in April [Editor's note - the tour was not confirmed at the time of the interview, but is now confirmed for seven countries]. We'll be touring to promote the DVD for a little while and once we're done with that, we'll get back and start putting together a new album.
Do you feel like your role in King's X has changed over the years?
I think that all of us in the band have gone in and out of roles over time as the band has evolved. Over the years we've been able to discover our strong points and our weak points and develop our roles to best fit the band. Right now, I've evolved myself out of the decision making side of things as best as possible. I'm trying to get myself away from having to deal with the little details and only have to worry about the music. I used to be the person who worked out all of the details of our shows and the way things are put together, but I've intentionally backed out of that role as far as I can. I've just been enjoying playing music more since backing out of that role.
Certainly your time spent working on side projects has proven that you truly enjoy making music.
King's X has a lot of time off and I like to keep playing and recording. Having my own home studio now has given me that option. Whenever I feel inspiration I have a place where I can go and record it. That's a really amazing situation to have and I'm very thankful for that.
Could you tell us how that studio came to reality and the role that's played in your side projects?
I first started the studio to record my first solo album, which was recorded back in the '90s. It was called Naomi's Solar Pumpkin and it wasn't even distributed worldwide, it was only sold online. It was my first attempt at a solo album, and it sold so well that I was able to sink that money from that album into the studio and started getting more gear. So it all started with that first solo album and that first record got me a deal with Metal Blade where I released my second solo album, Moonflower Lane. I actually re-recorded some of the songs from the first album along with a few new ones for the second record.
Then after the solo record deal happened, I started looking for other uses for the studio because I knew I would only be doing a solo album every couple years. At that same time I was contacted by John Myung [of Dream Theater] and I was really interested in doing some music with him, Rod Morgenstein [Winger], and Derek Sherinian [Planet X]. We weren't sure what kind of music it was going to be but we all knew we were going to do something different than what we normally do—that was the beginning of the Platypus and The Jelly Jam projects. The studio made those things possible because there weren't big budgets involved in these side projects at first. So to have a place to do all the recording and mixing without it being on the dime opened the gate up to new things and I started doing side projects. I did those two Platypus albums, Jelly Jam albums, a Jughead album, more solo albums, other local people's albums, plus I was mastering albums for people all over the world. It just blew up into a full-time job when I'm off the road and now I pretty much live in the studio. It started out as something just to record solo albums on and evolved into something that takes up every spare second of my life.
Do you use digital or analog recording equipment?
I use a computer for laying the actual tracks down now, I was using tape for a long time. It's all digital now but with some really good analog front-end gear going into the digital gear. I've got a couple key pieces of gear that I'm super proud of. Recently I got something from Demeter called a VTMP-2b, which is a really classic tube microphone preamp. John Myung purchased two of those, one for me and one for him, just for working on the new Jelly Jam album. And they don't make them anymore, so he had two of them specially made for us. So, I've got a brand new one of those and it sounds amazing! I've got a few choice little things like that which are really nice to have. So I use a combination of digital and analog gear that seems to be working pretty well.