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Do you use a pick or your fingers, Doug?
Pinnick: I use a pick mainly. I can use my fingers, but I’m not as accurate as I am with a pick.
You’re known for using 12-string basses, too.
Pinnick: I only have one right now. I sold the rest of them to pay some bills. They were my old, old 12-strings, so I don’t feel bad about selling them. Although I would have loved to keep them.
Did you get a pretty penny for them?
Pinnick: I don’t think I really got a lot for them, but they’re in good hands. It’s a Hamer collector who has them all, so I know where they’re at. The Yamaha, which I use live, was made specifically for me. John [Gaudesi], the guy that built it, made it for me in his spare time. There are people in high places that are King’s X fans and are really good to me and give me things and help me out. People in these companies appreciate what I do, and I appreciate them. Most of them aren’t going to make a lot of money off of me, so they’re not going to make a signature anything. I’m using Schecter basses now. I’ve been with them for a couple of years, and they told me they’re going to make me some 12-strings.
What are your main axes now then, Doug?
Pinnick: I used my Schecter Model-T bass in the studio, but I also have a Baron-H bass, which looks like a Telecaster and is kind of a hollowbody. They just started making that for me.
Is it prone to feedback because it’s hollow?
Pinnick: I don’t know—I like the way it looks [laughs]. Whatever I play, it’s more because I like the way it looks than how it plays. I get pretty much the same tone no matter what I play because of the pickups I use.
What are those?
Pinnick: It’s a Seymour Duncan pickup with three switches on it. There’s no name on it, but it’s the only bass “domino” pickup with three switches on it that you’ll ever see. I have it rigged up with two 9V batteries.
Does that get you super-high output?
Pinnick: Yeah, super high. They stopped making them about 15 years ago. I have five of them, and I’ve been taking them out of my old basses and putting them in my new ones, so I have a garage full of basses with no pickups in them. Maybe someone will come along and be able to make me something comparable.
How about you, Eric, what are your
Gales: I have an original ’62 Strat that I take out on the road. I also have a number of different guitars from companies that I’m endorsed by, and they’re all based on the three-single-coil configuration. I don’t particularly like to choose one that’s exclusive. I learned that from Jimmy Dunlop. He said, “Man, that’s why Baskin-Robbins made 31 flavors.” To me, it could be a Sears Silvertone and a Pignose amp—it isn’t what it is, it’s what you do with it. I’m not what you’d call a gear freak.
But you have a signature amp from Two-
Rock, a company that represents the holy
grail for many a gear freak.
Gales: [Laughs.] Right, right. But I just take what I have and work with it. See, amp-wise, I use my signature model Two-Rock, but predominantly I use the clean channel on it because I like to use floor pedals—I also use a Mojo Hand fuzz pedal and an EWS Brute Drive. But I do love the gain channel of my amp.
So why not just use the amp’s gain channel?
Gales: It all depends on how I feel. See, I purposely chose not to have an effects loop in my amp.
Your sound often incorporates a good
amount of delay, and without a loop, you
can’t place your delay after the amp’s dirt.
Gales: Exactly. Now I could go and have them modify the amp, but I’ve gotten so comfortable doing it this way. It’s a personal thing and not a matter of a better or worse way of doing it.
Had you guys worked with Thomas
Pridgen prior to this project?
Gales: Thomas played on my previous solo record on Varney’s label, so I’ve know him for about six or seven years.
Pinnick: I met Thomas once before this project—I’m good friends with a friend of his—but I never had a chance to really talk to him until I met him when we got together to make the record.
Is Pinnick Gales Pridgen an ongoing project?
Gales: Absolutely. We’re already talking about going back into the studio. It’s a side project, but it’s far more than a side project. The reason I say it’s a side project is that we’re not excluding the stuff that we do on our own.
Doug, earlier you referenced Living
Colour. Will Pinnick Gales Pridgen be
this generation’s version?
Pinnick: If it was 1990, we would have MTV and radio, and the war would be trying to get the band to sell lots of records. Nowadays, it’s like the Wild West, so I have no idea what can or will happen. We can make plans—touring, making records, and doing all the interviews in the world—but at the end of the day, it’s a new way of thinking. There are no guarantees [laughs].
With any star-studded lineup, one might
expect a clash of egos. Was there any
drama in the sessions?
Pinnick: [Laughs.] No, not at all. There was no time for that. We knew that we had to get the record done so everybody was on top of their game.
Gales: An important thing is that we didn’t want to take away any of the elements of who we were before we got together. If anything, we wanted to add to that. I think that’s exactly the point.
Pinnick: We were just excited to hear what the other guys would be contributing. With Eric and Thomas, they can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and it’s got style and passion to it.