Interview: Pig Destroyer

In general, being in Pig Destroyer is a blast man. Those guys are my best friends and it’s always fun. 

Grindcore legends Pig Destroyer have long been revered and respected on the grind scene, ever since they first came into the consciousness of grind fans they have been firm favourites. Their last album Head Cage came out a couple of years ago and fans have been eagerly anticipating new material from the band.

Gavin Brown caught up with the band’s electronics maestro Blake Harrison to talk about all things Pig Destroyer, including fresh material and how the band are keeping busy, the reaction to Head Cage and potential upcoming live dates as well as discussing his other projects Tentacles Of God and Hatebeak.

E&D: Are you working on any new music during this lockdown period?

Blake: This is a tough one. I’m ALWAYS working on my HP Lovecraft inspired project, Tentacles Of God. I try to keep that low pressure, since no one really cares about it anyway. I recently finished a contribution to a Matmos record, Krinkles (with Jay Gambit from Crowhurst) and Sterile Prayer (a versatile collab on Black House Records). Pig Destroyer is finishing up an EP of our 2 Adult Swim Tracks and our song from the Decibel Fexi Series. The “B” side will feature some noise tracks with a contribution from Igor Cavalera. We also have a live record coming out, not sure when. Scott has been working on new Pig Destroyer material, so we’re keeping busy.

E&D: Have you got any rescheduled tour dates so far? Hopefully you’ll still be playing at Damnation Festival in Leeds in November.  

Blake: Basically everything we have/had booked for the year is rescheduled until 2021. Haven’t heard anything about Damnation Festival yet though.

E&D: You were due to to play a complete performance of the Prowler In The Yard album at the Decibel Metal and Beer Festival last month, obviously that had to be postponed, but is that something you will do in the future?

Blake: The plan is that we’ll still do it for the rescheduled date. Moving forward after that depends on if we pull it off and how we feel about it. We feel that we have a lot more music in us and don’t necessarily want to retread old ground. But I’m sure we’ll play it after the Decibel Metal and Beer Festival.

E&D: Will you look at doing any other performances of your other albums in  the future?

Blake: Probably not. I think Scott said “If someone asks us to play Terrifyer in its entirety, I’m going to tell them to blow it out their ass”. With jobs, families etc, it’s a little difficult for us to focus on new music, AND old music and our lives. But you never know.

 

E&D: You have just done a fan shot video for the song ‘The Cavalry’, can you tell us about the video and when we can expect it?

Blake: My basic idea, was that everyone is stuck at home. I thought it’d be a good idea for the fans to do something creative in these very strange times. We got over 300 submissions in a weekend. Not really sure when it’ll be released, probably in conjunction with the announcement of the new EP. Our man Frank is on the case and editing it as we speak.

E&D: Your last album Head Cage was released in 2018, what has the reaction to the album been like so far?

Blake: I gotta say, it was pretty polarizing at first. There’s not a lot of blast beats on it and it wasn’t produced by us, so the reactions were a little iffy at first. Over time, it seems that the general consensus is that it’s a good record though.

E&D: How did you come to join Pig Destroyer in the first place?

Blake: I’ve been friends with the guys forever, I booked their 4th show or something. I’d travel out of town with them quite a bit, and when the discussion came up of adding a “noise” element to the band, I IMMEDIATELY volunteered. I’m still figuring out my place in that respect, the songs are so good and catchy, that I don’t want to just step all over them with static or whatever. I guess you can say it’s a growing process.

E&D: Were you in any other bands prior to Pig Destroyer?

Blake: A couple, none of note really. I was the original singer of Triac, and I was in a band from Baltimore called Daybreak.

E&D: What was your musical upbringing like?

Blake: I didn’t have a lot of music at my younger years. I have an older brother, but he was and is more of a casual music fan. I found punk rock at an early age and it was all downhill after that. We’d go to DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, New York, Richmond, Philadelphia. Anywhere there were shows or record stores. I grew up in SUPER rural Maryland, so I’d go to shows just to check out music, whether I had heard of the band or not. Found a lot of cool stuff that way.

E&D: What did you want to bring to the band and their sound when you first joined the band?

Blake: Basically to add a non-traditional aspect to the music. As I said before, it’s still a process.

E&D: Have you always been into both extreme music and electronic music?

Blake: Basically, since I was about 13, if I liked it, it rocked.

E&D: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Blake: This is a tough one, early Earache releases for sure. Amphetamine Reptile. I like a lot of 80’s pop and rock. Everything from Frank Zappa, to Prince, to the Beach Boys.

E&D: You played bass on Pig Destroyer EP Mass & Volume, is that something you’d want to explore again with the band or another project?

Blake: I’d say yes, but you know life gets in the way. Every now and then I have a wild hair up my ass and after a few beers I talk some people into jamming with me, but mostly due to my time it never materializes.

E&D: What has been the best tour that you have ever done with Pig Destroyer?

Blake: We don’t really tour in the traditional sense. Mostly just weekends and one offs. This is a tough one man, there’s usually something absurd or fun that happens. Hard to pin down.

E&D: What have been some of the most memorable moments in your time with Pig Destroyer?

Blake: Sleeping in Björk’s house is up there. Recently we covered a Dwarves song and Blag Dalhia, the singer got on stage with us. In general, being in Pig Destroyer is a blast man. Those guys are my best friends and it’s always fun.

E&D: Can you tell us about your Tentacles Of God project?

Blake: It’s really a backburner type of thing that I don’t put too much focus on. HP Lovecraft inspired ambient music isn’t exactly in everyone’s wheelhouse you know?

E&D: Will there be any new material from Tentacles Of God in the future at all?

Blake: Maybe, I’m always working on it, like I said, I don’t put a lot of pressure on it at all.

E&D: What have been some of the highlights in Hatebeak and are you still doing stuff?

Blake: Being in People magazine. Being in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Hatebeak is fun for me and MRK, we’ll probably do some stuff in the future, but who knows? Never say never.

E&D: How did Hatebeak start in the first place?

Blake: Basically, I’m a goofball. Thought it was funny. MRK and I found the parrot and we did it as a joke. Never expecting it to even sell 1000 copies. Just us being goofy really.

E&D: What was the experience of working with Misery Index on their track ‘The Devils Onion Ring’?

Blake: The experience? Ha. They were recording that like 3 blocks from my house and called me to come into the studio and roast them. I had ZERO notice. Was fun though, I love those guys. Also, Adam Jarvis is afraid of ghosts.

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