Greg Prato for Guitar World spoke with King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor, excerpts from the interview appear below.

Guitar World: How does Shades compare to your previous solo albums?

Ty Tabor: It’s pretty different from Alien Beans [Tabor’s 2018 release]It’s a collection of songs that I think fit together, but when I hear it, it’s kind of a surprise to me – that that’s what I recorded and what came out. I was just going through a bunch of stuff, and this material just seemed right.

Guitar World: There’s a specific guitar pick that you’ve used solely throughout your career. Do you still use them?

Ty Tabor: I’m looking at about five of them right now in front of me on the desk at the studio. I guard these like they’re $5,000 bills. They’re very hard to get, and I’ve been playing with them my entire life. On the rare occasion that we run across the real ones, we buy them – whatever the cost.

The original ones – which I have – were originally made by Mel Bay. The ones that are out there these days that claim to be Mel Bay ones are nonsense – they’re nothing like the originals. The original Mel Bays used a different kind of material for the pick, which I’ve never found on any other pick before.

Mine have a gritty top half, where you can really hold it, and then the bottom half is very thin and flimsy. That means you can play in drop B without having to hit the pick hard across the strings, which can make it go out of tune. So, I can play with finesse with these, just because of the combination.

Most people, if they try to play with one of these, can’t even use them. But because it’s what I learned with, I developed my entire sound and style around that guitar pick. If I use a different one, I can’t really get the same tone.

Guitar World: What can fans expect from the upcoming new King’s X album?

Ty Tabor: I don’t know what they can expect, but I can tell them it’s the best thing we’ve done since we were young. 

Everybody really gave everything they had, for the first time in a long time. All three of us. We really stepped it up to make it the best we could.

That’s how we approached it, and I’m extremely happy with what we were able to accomplish at this point in our lives, because it does remind me of the magic of the early days.

Guitar World: In recent years, it seems like there is a new appreciation of King’s X – the band has had a book written about them, and now a documentary is being filmed. Why do you think this is?

Ty Tabor: I have no idea. Maybe it’s a matter of being like some kind of crazy anomaly, that these three dudes are actually still alive and still playing together.

Guitar World: What’s your next move, and what have you got planned now Shades has finally been released?

Ty Tabor: I’m already six songs into whatever my next solo album is going to be after Shades. I think it’s a bit heavier than Shades, and has a different vibe altogether. 

Because we’re not touring and I come to the studio every day, I am continuing to record and write – and try to just make the best of this time to be prolific and record as much as I possibly can. That’s kind of the state I’m always in – I always just keep moving.

Read more at Guitar World.

Ty Tabor’s Shades was released on March 4th, read more details here, and to listen to the first single, Sister Genocide, please go here.

Listen to the songs Come Home and Your Fantasy, below.

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