Prior to KING'S X's June 30 performance at New York's Gramercy Theatre, guitarist Ty Tabor spoke with Heavy New York. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the status of the group's in-progress new album, their first since 2008's "XV":
Ty: "We've got most of an album already recorded, and we're going back to L.A. in August for a couple weeks to finish it up. That's how close we are — we're almost done."
On how making the album compared to other KING'S X recording sessions:
Ty: "I think every album is a little different. It just depends on where everybody's at, and how much music is brought in [versus] how much we're going to need to create on the spot. We've done things so many different ways that there really is no one way, but this latest record, we did it more like the old albums where we all brought in a whole lot of music to be gone through, and we just gravitated to the stuff that we liked the most and got all excited about. Before we knew it, we were recording 17 new songs that we loved. It's been a lot of fun... We're going to try to put as much of this on the record as we can [and] have at least a double vinyl [release]. We're already there on the double vinyl, most likely. A lot of new music."
On the group's reputation for delivering memorable live performances:
Ty: "I don't think we actually think about it or try to do anything [special], but it sort of just happens that we do change things up live a bit – out of boredom probably, if nothing else. We never do the jam on 'Vegetable' the same any two nights, nor 'Over My Head' or any of the jams, actually — 'A Box', 'Cigarettes', all of those go different places every single night, and we never know where that's going to be. That's my favorite part of the show, because we call that jumping off the plank, where you've just got to go for it and reel it in and make it work some way. It's scary, because you sometimes get really out there and don't know how you're going to bring it back, but that's the whole fun of it. You do eventually as a band connect it and make it get to where it needs to go, and we just follow each other in signals. We've been playing together so long that it's just something we do second nature now."
On his guitar solos:
Ty: "It's completely improvised. If I were thinking about it, it would just be horrible. None of us play from the calculating side of the brain. We play from the side of the brain that is all emotions and doesn't have all the answers and is the scariest place to be, because it's not calculated and not worked out. That's how we like to play That's how we get something out of us that we enjoy, and is different... That's the idea — to try to be as real and organic as possible in the moment."
On continuing to grow as a musician:
Ty: "I personally am always trying to come up with a different way to look at the same things I've been doing. For instance, I'll switch up guitars if I start getting comfortable with one. I'll grab another one that I'm not comfortable with just because it forces a different thing out of me. When I struggle, I seem to like it better when I hear [something] back than when I'm comfortable. I like to throw wrenches in things. I like to try different tones — maybe ones that aren't natural for me to play with, just to try to spur on new ideas. Just changing up the color of things forces you to get out of your normal element, and suddenly, you have something new and didn't see it coming. That's the way I try to get it out of myself — trying things make think different on purpose instead of what I'm comfortable with. Nothing ever comes out good for me unless I'm struggling with something or having a problem with something or stressed about something. Those deep feelings are what bring out art and music to me. When I feel great, not much is coming out."
On the group's longevity:
Ty: "I don't know what helps us keep staying around for so long, other than we love playing together still. We're like brothers. We're family. We've been through life together, everything. I was 18 when I met these guys and started playing with them. It's been a lifelong thing, and I think we're all scared of the idea of it ending someday. We want to play as much as we can, keep it going as long as we can stand up and do it."
KING'S X's new album is tentatively due in late 2019 via the Australian independent record label Golden Robot Records and its partners in the U.S., Europe and Japan.