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Q&A With JD Pinkus - Keep On The Grass

Updated: Oct 29

JD Pinkus, or just 'Pinkus,' the mighty bassist with bands like The Butthole Surfers, Melvins, and Honky, just to name a few, was kind enough to take a few minutes to discuss with us his latest solo album Keep On The Grass and what may be in the works next for the artist.



OMB - Can you give us a little behind the scenes on the making of Keep On The Grass? Where was it recorded, how was it recorded, what inspired you and so forth?


Pinkus - It was recorded as live takes for each song. Danny Barnes, my Banjo Guru and dear friend asked me to do a recording for him. I think he meant a ‘field recording’ thing, now that I look back at it, but I wanted to do it live with my effects I like to play with. He went with it with me. He recorded me and then took it home to mix it. I used his mastering fella,  Garey Shelton. He did a great job and I love Danny’s mixes. 

OMB - Do you feel differently performing solo compared to your other projects? Do you feel more vulnerable with your solo work?


Pinkus - Of course... when you get done with a show you know how you did. No one else in the band to blame it on if it goes bad and no one to celebrate if the show was proper... you drive to the next show knowing you just gotta do the best you can and enjoy some new best friends you know you’re gonna meet. 


JD Pinkus - Keep On The Grass Album Cover

OMB - After some time away from the initial release of the record do you have the same feelings regarding it as you had a couple years ago or have they changed at all?


Pinkus - I think we took a picture of the songs I wrote and played on those two days. I think they’re a lot stiffer than the way I play live but it’s what my live versions come from. I was a little freaked out releasing such personal info about me on this release but my son told me, ‘it’s the most you I ever heard’...

OMB - Before the COVID19 pandemic you toured for this record. Do you have any fun stories to share while on the road supporting Keep On The Grass?


Pinkus - I did 58 shows by myself covering a large portion of the country and a lil bit O Canada. The most freeing tour and feeling I’ve ever had as a human and a musician, me and my ‘91 F-150 with my screens and bed roll.... I’m still processing the last tour I was able to pull off before ‘lockdown’. I guess I enjoy alone time sometimes...

OMB - While playing live you often use screens behind you. Did you create the content that plays on the screen while you are performing and can you talk further about the video content? 


Pinkus - I was talkin to my wife about solo folk. She had mentioned how some folk find it uncomfortable staring at 1 person for 40 minutes- an hour and a half.... I got that. I wanted to give folks something else to look at. My friend Pat Casey helped me put visuals together for my show. I sent him my set list and we went from there. I took his video and altered it for the second half of my tour... I like the idea of song swaps and casual shows with no visuals but it’s nice to have the option. My video shows are me playing a set list designed to link up with the visuals. Sometimes it’s nice to break free of that, too. 

OMB - How have you been handling the current pandemic and lack of gigs?


Pinkus - Masturbation and Bonsai Plants.... OMB - Do you have a favorite track from Keep On The Grass and if so why is it your favorite?


Pinkus - I thought I did but then the other tracks got jealous. 


OMB - There seems to be a decent amount of effects on the banjo at times while you're performing and on the record. Can you describe how this is done on the album and how you do this live?


Pinkus - Yes, I do it spontaneously planned... then I hope for the best.  OMB - Most people likely know you for your previous bass playing. When did the banjo grab your attention, and do you feel as comfortable performing and playing it as you do bass?




Pinkus - I don’t see myself doin a solo bass album anytime soon. Banjo helps my songwriting brain find a way to express itself without the need of other humans. I like that. 

OMB - What is in the future for JD Pinkus? Will there be another solo album, any other projects you're working on you would like to discuss?


Pinkus - I have a couple of projects. The next solo banjo album, ‘Fungus Shui’, is in the works already. A full length album of epic hit songs, that  maybe someone will hear. I also have songs that were writ for a Butthole Surfers album that’s not happening anymore. I took the songs and asked some friends to contribute on it. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m proud of the songs that came outta it.  Those will  come out later next year under the name, JD Pinkus ‘Candy Leg’....


For More information and to listen to the music of JD Pinkus you can visit him on his Bandcamp, Offical Website, or YouTube channel.

#jdpinkus #keeponthegrass #pinkus #musician #solorecord


 

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