Douglas Theodore "Doug" Pinnick (born September 3, 1950), sometimes stylized as dUg Pinnick or simply dUg, is an American musician best known as the bass guitarist, songwriter, and co-lead vocalist for the hard rock/progressive metal band King's X. He has performed on fifteen albums with King's X, and recorded four solo albums. Pinnick has also participated in numerous side projects, and has multiple guest appearances to his credit. He is recognized for his unique vocals (which are characterized by a strong gospel influence), and heavily distorted bass tone (the product of multiple Ampeg, and Traynor bass amplifiers).
Doug Pinnick was born in Braidwood, Illinois then moved to Joliet, Illinois when he was fourteen. He grew up in a musical family where everyone either sang or played an instrument. He was raised by his great-grandmother, a devoutly religious woman, and was reared in a very strict Southern Baptist environment. He has seventeen half-brothers and sisters, from three mothers and two fathers. When he was in grade school, Pinnick participated in choir and played saxophone. As a teenager, he listened to classic R&B and Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, and Aretha Franklin. Pinnick sang in bands throughout high school, one of the earliest being a group called Stone Flower which he describes as "Chicago Transit Authority meets Sly & The Family Stone". While attending Joliet Junior College in 1969, Pinnick was inspired by hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Around this time, he also started listening to perhaps his biggest influence, Sly & The Family Stone. His dream was to form a band that combined all of these varied influences.
After attending college for roughly six months, Pinnick dropped out and joined a travelling gospel band called The Spurlows.
At one point in the early seventies, Pinnick moved to a Christian community in Florida. There, he remained involved in the music business by promoting small shows by Christian rock bands. He soon grew tired of that and moved back to Illinois.
In the mid seventies, Pinnick formed a band called Servant with keyboardist Matt Spransy. They were described as a progressive, art rock type of band along the lines of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The band played all over the midwest and put together a demo of original songs. Oddly enough, there was a band from Canada that also called themselves Servant who had actually scored a recording contract. Spransy joined the other band in the late seventies, and recorded a song for the 1981 album Rockin' Revival that he and Pinnick had written together called "I'm Gonna Live". Pinnick was also part of Alpha as well as his own Doug Pinnick Band shortly after Spransy joined the Canadian Servant.
In 1979, Pinnick was invited to join a band that was forming in Springfield, MO. with singer Greg X. Volz of Petra fame. He accepted the offer and re-located, only to have the band dissolve within a month of his arrival. He was soon offered a spot in guitarist Phil Keaggy's touring band, along with the drummer from the failed Volz project, Jerry Gaskill. Pinnick has a co-writing credit on the track "Just a Moment Away" from Keaggy's 1980 album Ph'lip Side. Pinnick toured with Keaggy for about a year before returning to Springfield and set about looking for a new musical project.
Pinnick soon became involved with guitarist Ty Tabor after seeing him play a concert at Evangel College in Springfield. Jerry Gaskill was later included and the band The Edge was born. In 1983, the band changed their name to Sneak Preview and released an independent, self titled LP. The trio evolved into King's X several years (and a move to Houston, TX.) later.
Since then, Pinnick has become one of the most respected voices in rock music by fans, critics, and peers alike. He is highly sought-after by other artists for album guest appearances, as well as membership in several side bands and recording projects.
In 1998, Pinnick confirmed his homosexuality, coming out during an interview for Regeneration Quarterly. Diamante Music Group cancelled distribution of King's X material in Christian retail stores following this information becoming public knowledge. In recent years, Pinnick has revealed that he now identifies as agnostic, in contrast to his Contemporary Christian music past.
Besides King's X, Pinnick became active with his own Hound Pound studio in Texas.
Pinnick's first solo project, Poundhound, released two albums, Massive Grooves and Pineappleskunk, with King's X bandmate Jerry Gaskill on drums on some tracks from the first album and all tracks on the second. Doug dropped the Poundhound moniker for his third solo album, Emotional Animal, instead crediting himself as "dUg Pinnick." The album, released by Magna Carta Records, features Gaskill's son, Joey, on drums. He released his fourth solo album, Strum Sum Up in November 2007 on Magna Carta.
Pinnick was also a member of the short-lived band Supershine, along with long-time Trouble guitarist, Bruce Franklin and Trouble drummer, Jeff Olson. Supershine released only one self-titled album in 2000 on Metal Blade Records. He sang lead vocals on the eponymous debut album by former Winger guitarist Reb Beach's band The Mob, released in 2005. He also stood in for lead singer Corey Glover on Living Colour's European tour in August 2006 while Glover was starring as Judas Iscariot in a tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Other vocal appearances by Doug Pinnick include Dream Theater's "Lines In the Sand" (guest vocals in the choruses) from the Falling into Infinity album, "Welcome to the Machine" from the An All Star Lineup Performing the Songs of Pink Floyd album, "Parasite" on an all-star tribute to Kiss entitled Spin The Bottle, as well as "Taxman" on a Beatles tribute album entitled Butchering the Beatles.
Pinnick appears on the 2008 holiday album We Wish You A Metal XMas..., a compilation album featuring many hard rock musicians collaborating on popular Christmas songs. Pinnick appears on the track "Little Drummer Boy". He performed guest vocals on the Black Sugar Transmission track "Runnin' Like a Dog", which was released on the band's e.p. USE IT in 2009. He also performs with King's X partner Ty Tabor, along with former Galactic Cowboys members Wally Farkas and Alan Doss, as a group called The Jibbs. They have a song, "Burns In The Rain", available via download to help relief efforts following Hurricane Ike.
Dug sang all lead vocals on Razr 13's (Austin, TX) debut record "Reflections" released in 2009. Professional wrestler, Vinnie Vineyard (Funkmaster V) uses a remixed version of Pinnick's "Coming Over" as his entrance music. Hal Sparks used several tracks off of Pinnick's Strum Sum Up CD as his musical accompaniment during his magic show performances on VH1's Celebracadabra that aired in 2008
Pinnick's side project, Tres Mts., with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam and Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks, released their album, Three Mountains, through Monkeywrench Records on March 8, 2011. He also sang backup on Pearl Jam's song "W.M.A." during Pearl Jam's April 3, 1994 concert, which King's X opened for.
On February 12, 2013, Magna Carta released the Mike Varney-produced Pinnick Gales Pridgen, featuring Eric Gales on guitar and vocals, Pinnick on bass and vocals, and Thomas Pridgen (formerly of The Mars Volta) on drums. The 13-track album features one cover song, "Sunshine of Your Love", originally by Cream, one short instrumental based on Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise" (German: [fyːʁ eːˈliːzə] ( listen), English: "For Elise"), and the remaining songs written by some combination of Pinnick, Gales, Pridgen and Varney. The follow-up, titled PGP 2, was released on July 8, 2014.
In 2013, Pinnick collaborated with friend Robbi Robb of Tribe after Tribe to form the Mojave, CA based jam band 3rd Ear Experience. They released two albums, Peacock Black and Boi, the later issued through Megaforce Records, within only months of each other. A third album, Incredible Good Fortune, followed in 2014 although Pinnick did not appear on it.
On March 11, 2014, Pinnick's all-star side project KXM, featuring former Dokken guitarist George Lynch and Korn drummer Ray Luzier, released their eponymous debut album through Rat Pak Records. In May 2014, Pinnick's side project Grinder Blues with the Emmy Award-winning Bihlman Brothers signed a deal with Megaforce Records and announced an August 19, 2014 release for their debut record.
Pinnick is a notable user of the 12-string bass, which is a bass guitar with four sets of triple-coursed octave strings, similar to a 12-string guitar. Pinnick owns a custom made 12-string bass, made by Yamaha, which he uses in the studio and in live performances. Pinnick was endorsed by Yamaha, although he briefly switched to Dean guitars in the late 2000s. Pinnick also recently endorsed by Schecter, and used two Model-T basses in 2011 for the Live Love over Europe tour.
He used Ampeg amplifiers exclusively, but the New York-based Tech 21 released his signature bass amp head, the dUg Ultra bass 1000. He also uses a complex rig set-up including many EQs and amplifiers. Pinnick is also a user of the Line 6 POD pro, which he uses for effects. Oddly, he uses the guitar, not the bass model of the POD pro effects.