KING'S X drummer Jerry Gaskill recently spoke with Tom Leu of Sound Matters Radio. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the recently published book "King's X: An Oral History":
Jerry: "We've been thinking about a book for a while. Other people have approached us, and we knew it would be a great idea to do. We just had to find the right person, and the whole right situation. For Greg Prato, the guy who did write book, it just seemed [like] the right thing. I remember doing some interviews with him, and he approached us about writing a book, and I said, 'Yeah, he would be great to do the book with.' We chose him, and it came together really, really well. It looks great."
On the amount of work that went into the book:
Jerry: "It was definitely a labor of love. A little bit grueling at times, because we did cover a lot of material. We went through every single song and talked about that, but it's fine. It's just conversations with somebody that you like on the phone, basically. I think it turned out great... I think it's a beautiful story."
On why major success has eluded the band:
Jerry: "That is a big question in the book by other people. There's a foreword by Scott Ian, and that's pretty much what he's saying — that is the big question: 'Why did KING'S X not become bigger than what they were?' That seems to be the question throughout the whole thing on everybody's mind, which is kind of flattering — kind of an honor to hear those things — but that seems to be the big question... I would like to have some of the money [that comes with] commercial success, but at the same time, I'm very thankful and I'm very comfortable with how the career's turned out, and is continuing to turn out. It's still going; it's not over. We are in a very nice place. I'm very thankful to be in the place where we're at. It's a good place to be."
On whether he and his band mates have ever strongly disagreed over the direction of a song:
Jerry: "There have been times when we definitely had different ideas and viewpoints on how a song should be or what should be in a song or how a part should unfold, but we're pretty civil about things. I don't remember any real knockdown, drag-out fights. Maybe it's gone on more inside than it comes outside. That's just part of working with people who all three have their own ideas. All three of us are kind of strong in what we feel and what we want to do, individually and as a band. When you have three people like that, there's going to be times when you just don't see exactly eye-to-eye — but it always works out in the end."
On his songwriting contributions to the group:
Jerry: "I'm always a little bit hesitant in bringing my stuff to the band, but I'm getting better at it. Ty [Tabor, guitarist/vocalist] and Doug [Pinnick, bassist/vocalist] are incredible songwriters. I feel like I'm a pretty good songwriter too, but it's just the way it is — it's just the way I feel inside myself sometimes. I feel, 'I'm the drummer'... Whenever I write a song, the drums are the last thing I think about. I never, ever think about the drums until the song is over and it's time to record it, and I go, 'Oh yeah — I've got to play drums on this too.' Drums are the very last thing I think about."
On favoring a smaller drum kit:
Jerry: "I think sometimes, too many drums gives you less choices. There's just too much to deal with. It would limit me to have that much, because I'd be thinking too much about what I have to do with all this stuff. For me, it's just not necessary. I'm not one of those gear guys. I'm not one of those guys who thinks about drums all the time. I just play, because that's what I do for whatever reason... For me, the smaller amount that I have, the easier it is. It feels more open to me, and I feel like I can have ideas flow better with less in front of me than I do with more in front of me."
On his current health:
Jerry: "I feel like I'm doing better than ever. I feel like I understand my body better. I've learned how to listen to my body, which is something we all can do, we all should do. Our bodies do tell us what it wants and what it doesn't want, and if we listen, we'd find out we can be a lot better. Our bodies were made to move, and they're made to rest. Those things are all very important. We have to watch the things that we eat... I've learned that from the experience of dying. I say 'dying,' because I actually did die. If I had been alone when the first heart attack happened, there's no way I could have possibly recovered. I have no recollection of even going down, but I went completely down. My wife was there; she saw. I have no recollection, and she'll never forget it. I'm moving on better than ever, but she still, in the back of her mind, sees me dying, so she's always concerned with everything even though I know I'm doing better than ever... I'm working out — I'm working out six days a week. I get up every morning; I go to my basement [to exercise]. I also see a personal trainer who completely changed my life. He taught me how to listen to my body. He taught me how to move my body properly, which is important."
On living a cleaner lifestyle today:
Jerry: "I drank a bit there for a while, but I never felt like I was too out-of-control. But I drank more than I should, and that will take a toll on your body. That's what I'll say to younger people — we have to watch the alcohol and the drugs, because when we're young, we don't realize that anything's going to harm us. We don't realize it's harming our bodies, because our bodies are very resilient. If we continue with that, it's going to catch up with us, and there will be a time when it could possibly be too late. As soon as we can possibly start taking care of ourselves by listening to our bodies, the better off we'll be."
On how he's changed from his near-death experiences:
Jerry: "I very much just try to stay away from stress. I see no purpose in stress. It doesn't matter, because most often, the things we stress about — the things we worry about and fret about — never happen to begin with, and it causes more problems to worry about things than it does just to do things. Just life your life, because those things are part of life. I think it's just a matter of [changing] how we deal with things."
KING'S X recently completed recording a new album, its first since 2008's "XV". It will mark the band's debut LP for Golden Robot Records. A late 2019 release is expected.