Doug Pinnick 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 fourteen albums with King's X, four solo albums, and numerous side projects and guest appearances to his credit. Pinnick is known for his gospel-like voice and his heavily distorted bass tone, played through multiple Ampeg SVT-4 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 even 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 ended up joining the Canadian version of Servant in the late seventies, and that band recorded a song that he and Pinnick had written together called "I'm Gonna Live". It appears on their 1981 album Rockin' Revival.
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 came 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.