King's X Release A Career-Spanning Set

Originally published in Guitar World, January 2011

Long-running prog-metallers document their live show on Live Love in London.

King's X guitarist Ty Tabor remembers fondly the first time the Texas-based progressive metal band played London. They had just released their first album, 1988’s Out of the Silent Planet, in the U.S. to the sound of crickets chirping. “Nobody in the States cared at all,” he says. “We were playing shows to three and four people. It was so disheartening.”

Undaunted, Tabor sent a copy of the record to the highly influential British heavy metal magazine Kerrang! “They went wild for us,” he says. “Before you knew it, we were invited to London to play a packed house at the Marquee Club. We couldn’t believe the reception the U.K. gave us. That really raised our spirits.”

Once touted as rock’s Next Big Thing, King’s X (which also includes bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick and drummer Jerry Gaskill) have been through enough record company changes and career setbacks to flatten most groups. Still, Tabor, whose gritty, muscular guitar sound predated grunge and has been widely imitated over the years, insists that the trio is tighter than ever, both musically and personally. As for their undiminished popularity in Britain, Tabor says, “For some reason, Britain and Europe are just a little more open-minded about music.”

And so, when King’s X decided to document their live show last year, they headed back to jolly old England to play a sold-out gig at the Electric Ballroom. The resulting double-CD/DVD, Live Love in London, is a career-spanning set that includes such fan favorites as “Over My Head,” “Summerland” and “Black Flag,” among many others.

“It was a great night, a fantastic audience, and we played really well,” says Tabor, who is looking forward to taking “a bit of a break” before recording a new studio disc in 2011. “I need to get away from the guitar to get inspired. Not for too long, but a short while is good.”

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