Originally published in ‘zine issue #21, 1998
The following is an interview with Pig Destroyer* from Virginia, a grindcore band which has brought out its first demo (now out of print), and its first split 7” with Orchid is out now on Amendment Records. P.D. has recorded a to-be-released CD for 625 Hardcore which I highly recommend picking up, and the same goes for the 7”. P.D. is a three piece and has been playing shows locally and out of state for some time now, and features intelligent, Assück-esque and yet original lyrics, and manic, insane song arrangements.
D.U.: All the members in your band are current or former members of bands that, shall we say, have some, if not importance, standing in the scene. But at the same time, you guys are trying to make a new start and make out like this is a new band with three new guys.
Scott: Well, which it is. Are you asking if that is what we’re trying to do? It’s always fun to start a new band from the ground up, even though we sort of leapfrogged some of the problems that some bands have encountered. It’s probably just because we’ve all been in other bands. We’re not trying to make this a project. This is definitely a full-fledged band in essence.
J.R.: Being in other bands gives us a better idea of what we want for this band, so we have a head start.
And I assume that since you are mentioning those other bands as little as possible, you want to not ride the coattails of those bands. You don’t want to get a gig just because you’re the band with ex-members of so-and-so.
J.R.: Well, a gig’s a gig, though.
Scott: I don’t know what that means, but it’s cool. It sounds good.
J.R.: It doesn’t really matter how you get it.
That’s why you used fake names on your demo.
Scott: That’s exactly why we used fake names on the demo, but that cover got blown pretty early on.
J.R.: People in the scene gossip, those bastards.
“Hardcore sounds the same no matter who puts it out.”
Along those same lines, earlier on I got the impression that you wanted to open up on every gig you played, becasue you’re a new band and you want to pay your dues.
But I don’t know that you’re pushing to play first anymore. Do you feel that you’ve paid your dues enough and now you want choice spots on bills?
Scott: No, we’d still be perfectly happy playing first.
J.R.: I don’t like to play first because I want to pay dues or because I want to do some weird thing. I like getting it over with so I can watch the rest of the show. That’s my philosophy.
Scott: Well, my perspective is, we don’t mind playing first, because yeah, we’re definitely young, and there’ve been a couple shows that we played where we wanted to play first, but we didn’t for whatever reason. That’s cool, whatever. I mean, our set’s, like, only 10 minutes anyway, and I don’t think we’ll ever get over 10 minutes. As much material as we cram into 10 minutes is as much as maybe other bands’d cram into 23, 30 minutes, with space and talking and chattering and shit.
Speaking of which, I notice that there is almost a total lack of any chatter on stage.
Scott: Well, that’s ‘cause [pointing to J.R.] he’s a gimp.
J.R.: I’m a gimp. Um [pause] are you gonna ask me questions about why I do that?
Scott: He did.
J.R.: First is because I sound like a fairy on stage. Second is, anything that I have meaningful to say, I say in my lyrics in a much more eloquent way than I could possibly ever do on stage, so I keep my mouth shut. Poeple come to see me play, not to hear me bullshit. So we’re up there to give them hardcore, not lessons in life. If they care what I think, then they’ll read my lyric sheet or they’ll ask me when I’m off stage. I’m not gonna preach to anybody.
Yes, but doesn’t that make you run into problems like, “Is that Enemy Soil up there on stage right now, or is that Pig Destroyer?”
J.R.: If somebody thinks we’re Enemy Soil and buys an Enemy Soil record, that’s fuckin’ fine. I have no problem with that, ‘cause they’re supporting the scene somehow. But anybody who doesn’t know who we are can ask the guy next to them who might know. I don’t see it as that big of a dilemma.
Scott: Just as easily as our cover was blown, in the course of a show, people will go, “Is that Enemy Soil?” “No.” I mean, in the specific example of Enemy Soil, I think that people pretty well know that we aren’t Enemy Soil. We aren’t a four piece, so anyway—
Speaking of a four piece, you guys are a three piece. I think that is one of the reasons that you get compared to Discordance Axis among other bands, but also because of the sound.
Scott: Yeah. [pause] Oh—comment. Well, you know, I guess it’s not an unfair comparison. I don’t specifically write tunes in the style of, and I don’t actually think that they wind up sounding like, Discordance Axis. I probably grew up listening to the same shit that the guy from Discordance Axis did, and that is Voivod, and that is where all the watery diminished fifths come from, so I’ve always been doing that. I mean, I don’t shy away from the comparison to Discordance Axis because they’re a great band, so that’s cool with me.
So what’s next for your band?
Scott: Well, we [might] record a split CD with Servants of the Earth, which is Jay from Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s other band. And then we got a couple of split 7”es which we have to write tunes for and record. They’re gonna be with Phobia and Pg. 99.
Are you catering to the “we’re gonna stay underground” attitude as it applies to you guys, say, getting a phone call from Relapse or Earache or somebody?
J.R.: Hardcore sounds the same no matter who puts it out. As long as the music’s good, I don’t really see what it matters. Labels aren’t really a big deal. I don’t have any, like, economical or fame aspirations for the band. I just wanna play hardcore.
Scott: I certainly don’t care about any of that label bullshit. That’s just, like, artificial and petty. I mean, as long as people dig it, and as long as the people putting it out dig it and don’t have hidden agendas for what they want to do with it—and in this kind of music, I don’t think that you could really put out stuff unless you really liked it, ‘cause you ain’t gonna make a whole lotta shitload of money of it—I don’t have a problem with anybody, really. Although, with Earache, I actually generally don’t think that most people [working there] really dig the stuff they’re putting out. I mean, that’s just my experience.†
Anything you want to throw in, sparked by earlier comments?
J.R.: Since I don’t talk on stage, we’re Pig Destroyer.
Scott: We have records. They’re available in the back. ■
*The logo here, taken from the ‘zine issue, isn’t the actual Pig Destroyer logo. I don’t remember why I didn’t use the band’s proper logo in the ‘zine back then.
†in one of his old bands that had affiliation with Earache