November 15, 1980
Doug Pinnick and Jerry Gaskill met while both were touring with the Christian rock band Petra, while guitarist Ty Tabor met Gaskill at Evangel College in Springfield, Illinois after having played bluegrass in his family band. The three formed a band called the Edge in 1980, initially specializing cover tunes (ranging from Top 40 to Beatles, The Police and U2). The Edge played the Missouri bar scene for a few years based out of Springfield, MO. Many of these recordings still exist today in the King's X fan community. The band changed their name to "Sneak Preview" around 1983 and released a self titled LP under the same name. The material was pop 80's rock but is still of great interest to King's X fans as the genesis of some King's X songs come from this album. Notably the track "The Door" which became "Picture" on the band's Ear Candy album released 13 years after the initial track was recorded. At the promise of a record deal the group moved to Houston in 1985. The original deal fell through but the band met up with Z.Z. Top video producer Sam Taylor, who took them under his wing and suggested the name King's X, after a local band he was fond of in high school. After several attempts, King's X finally scored a deal with the independent Megaforce label. The show at Cat Club in New york City (1987?) is slated by the band to be the showcase performance for Jon and Marsha Zazula of Megaforce.
Now, secure with a record deal, they released their debut album, Out of the Silent Planet, in 1988. Critics and musicians took notice of the band's unique blend of Beatle's style vocal harmonies with Black Sabbath power riffs mixed with a non-overbearing spiritual theme. The track "Over My Head," from Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (the second album, release in 1989), received a moderate amount of airplay on radio and MTV, and the band found widespread favor with critics and fellow musicians (many fans consider the second album a landmark). The third album, Faith Hope Love by King's X, was the first album to reach the Top 100, due in part to the single "It's Love," and its success led to a major-label deal with Atlantic records. Their debut there, 1992's King's X, did not do as well as the previous album and was marred by the band's "break up" with Sam Taylor. The band, in search of a fresh direction from the reign of Taylor, teamed up with producer Brendan O'Brien (Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam) for 1994's Dogman. Atlantic seemed to have better marketing on this one with a line up of sold out shows including an appeareance at the Woodstock '94 festival (the live version of Over My Head from this performance was released on the band's Best Of Album in 1997), various TV appearances (MTV "Headbangers Ball" and "Hangin' with MTV", The Jon Stewart Show, The Dennis Miller Show), and a brief tour opening for Pearl Jam. The next release, 1996's Ear Candy, saw the band fallen out of favor with Atlantic records. The band orignally had support at the label from Doug Lienig but now that he was gone the backing dissapeared. Many rumors of the bands demise were fostered and even printed at this time. Take the first track of Ear Candy, The Train: "Last time aboard the train that goes around the world". A tour followed Ear Candy and the venues and crowds were noticeably smaller. The band was ready for a change.
To part ways with Atlantic the band put out a "Best Of" album which in retrospect should have been called "Best of the first half of our career". The Best of album featured reamastered tracks (done by Ty Tabor), three new songs, and a live track (from Woodstock, mentioned previously). The band did a few gigs during this time playing their "hits". After purveying many offers the band landed on Metal Blade records with whom they have had a working relationship with for some time (and also the label has supported other Houston rock groups notably Galactic Cowboys and Atomic Opera, both of whom share a long history with King's X).
In 1998 King's X released their debut album with Metal Blade records titled Tapehead. The album was recorded and written in a matter of days and was completely produced (including artwork etc) by the band. An extensive world tour followed, marking the first time the band had toured europe in approximately 8 years. The second Metal Blade release Please Come Home... Mr. Bulbous was released on 5.23.2000 and once again the band toured Europe and the United States extensively and as always hang out after the shows being more than gracious in meeting their fans. 2001 marks the first year one of the band's solo projects has actually toured. "Poundhound" (Doug's solo project) launched a US tour on 4.8.2001. King's X is set to release their third effort on Metal Blade 9.25.2001 entitled "Manic Moonlight". A six week US tour is planned. King's X has also reportedly set up another record deal with Metal Blade records. Long live the Kings...
Thanks goes out to David Koblentz, who wrote this bio. You can check out his website at www.kingsx.net.