“I play chords on the bass like a bluegrass or country picker would. It really works with the 12-string”: Dug Pinnick on pushing hard rock’s boundaries with King’s X

Portrait of Doug Pinnick of Kings X in a photo studio in Chicago, Illinois, September 20, 1991.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the league of progressive power trios – Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mountain, Rush, and Primus – King's X is an unsung MVP. Since the 1980s, the Houston-based group has pushed hard rock's boundaries with drop tunings, lush vocal harmonies, and heavy blues-based riffs delivered with soul music's stomp and swagger. 

Among its three talented vocalist/instrumentalists, dUg Pinnick can be loosely described as the band's frontman. But the lanky southpaw's commanding onstage presence – made even more compelling by his unusual 12-string basses – is undeniably captivating. 

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.