All About Brotherhood: Pig Destroyer


Fresh off their Friday set at Temples Festival and ready to head into their debut performance of Natasha, US based Pig Destroyer have really managed to capture the true breadth of their style over the two days. While they may straddle grindcore and doom, styles that so often seen as opposing, both have a chaotic element that holds them together. The music may be violently aggressive, but the band themselves are surprisingly laid back and fun as we quiz JR, Blake and Jarvis on everything from how a set comes together to whether Agoraphobic Nosebleed will ever hit the UK with a show.

You’ve already played one set at Temples festival, how has it gone?

JR – Good, very good. It was one of our best ones in a little while actually.


You’re playing a double set, how did that come about?

JR – We’ve had a couple of releases that are along the slow variety and they had a doom day going on. They asked if we wanted to take part, we figured since we were already here we’d give it a try. We’ve never done a set like this before so we thought it would be interesting.


How did you decide how to divide the sets?

Blake – With our band it’s kind of always like a timing thing. Recently we had a couple of dates scheduled in Germany and France and they fell through. Temples had somebody drop off and they offered us a second day. We’d been discussing doing it anyway so we really needed a finite goal or we’d just never do it.

JR – We need a kick in the ass at times.

Blake – We started working it out.

JR – For a long time we thought Natasha wasn’t really doable for us because there’s a lot of noise passages that aren’t necessarily musical. We didn’t know if we’d be able to tie everything together rhythmically. We managed to work it out at least to the point where we could practise it.

Pig Destroyer EP album cover

Do you have any challenges bringing the noise elements of your music into the live environment?

Blake – I guess that depends on how much I’ve had to drink but yeah, sometimes. It depends you know, it’s kind of… I don’t want to say a freeform thing, but its just ‘lets do it’. Depends how much time we have and what’s going on.

JR – How the PA system works as well. It’s noise so there’s a chaotic element to it, and that’s why we do it, we like the chaos to it. You don’t want to get too nitpicky about something like that.

Blake – It’s got to have a little freeform vibe to it.


Pig Destroyer has two very different styles; do have any difficulty pulling together shows? How do you decide what goes into each set list?

JR – We do have a lot of songs. We have songs that we definitely personally like to play. I think sometimes we lean on those rather than what other people want us to play. We don’t play our video songs very much or our hits but we just have songs we prefer to play ourselves. It’s usually not hard to get a regular set list together. The slow stuff, this will be a new experience for us.

Blake – Might be the last time…

JR – You never know! We’ll see how it goes.


What influence came in that caused you to split out into two such differing genres?

JR – I think it’s our personalities, it’s very representative of our personalities, both directions.

Blake – Also, really early grindcore kind of lends itself to that. If you listen to Godflesh it’s still rooted in grindcore and it’s not fast, it’s just churning.

JR – It’s two sides of the same coin, the way we look at it. We like it really fast, we like it really slow.

Blake – So does my wife! [laughs]

JR – Yeah, there you go.


You all seem to have a lot of different bands; do you find it hard to juggle your various workloads?

Blake – Not me.

Jarvis – Luckily we have management and people that can get everything in order for us so it’s a lot easier when there’s people helping out. Last week at Maryland Deathfest we had multiple sets, and getting from one venue to the next can get chaotic sometimes.

Blake – I think JR and I are the least busy in that respect. I’ve got Hatebeak but that’s not a real live project. I know that Jarvis has started jamming with a couple of other guys.

Jarvis – Yeah but that’s just fucking around. I don’t like to bite off more than I can chew, because we all have other things in our lives going on outside music.

Blake – This would be a great question for Scott if he were here.

Jarvis – He’s the ultimate mulitasker.

Blake – Doing Agoraphobic and Pig Destroyer, it’s been a lot of work lately.


Agoraphobic Nosebleed at Maryland Deathfest, by Hillarie Jason Photography

Is the UK ever going to see a live show from Agoraphobic?

Jarvis – Probably, probably. I would say we might even come back next year. You never know, right about this time.


We’d love to see a show over here now that Maryland Deathfest had one.

Blake – Well it was the first show and it was only a week ago.

JR – It was a killer set.

Jarvis – Yeah it was a lot of fun and we put a lot of work into it. We were kind of worried, same thing with tonight playing Natasha for the first time but it worked out. We’re going to keep playing, that’s for sure.

What do you want people to take from a Pig Destroyer show?

Blake – Black Eyes.

JR – Bloodshed is always good. We don’t anyone to die, but if they come close then that’s cool. [laughs]

Blake – Basically just having fun. Our music may be kind of serious but as people we’re easy going. Obviously we’re not raking in the millions here so we’re having fun and we want the crowd to interact with us and have fun. We don’t fly half way across the world for no reason.

JR – The crowds over here are great. They love grindcore. We just love playing for people that have the same interest as we do.

Blake – The same passion.

JR – That’s what it’s all about, brotherhood. We’ve been all over the world at this point and metal shows are about the same wherever you go. Even if the culture of the country is totally different, you can go to a metal show and it’s a universal language.



Sleep of Monsters – Produces Reason



Babylon Whores are the single most underrated band of all time, and Cold Heaven (Misanthropy, though recently re-released on vinyl by Svart) is the greatest undiscovered gem of all albums, so it is with anticipation most foul that Sleep of Monsters’ debut Produces Reason (Svart) saunters into our musical consciousness, being as it is the new vehicle for the distinctive crushed velvet pipes of Ike Vil, former ‘Whores mainman.

It can often be unfair to compare a new venture to a participants old wares, but when the vocal cords are as instantly recognisable and perception shaping as Vil’s it’s hard not to. Accompanied by songwriter and guitarist Sami Hassinen (Blake) and former members of Waltari and HIM, Produces Reason kicks off with a pair of rockers, as if Ike’s former occult troupe had been polished by the HIM hit machine, ‘Nihil Nihil Nihil’ dark, catchy and understated, with a strong vocal chorus hook.

As the album unveils, the rock element is toned down and replaced by a more gothic, sedate feel, led by Vil’s characteristic delivery and melancholic lines, and flashes of Sisters of Mercy, Beastmilk and even Simple Minds decorate their Gothic rock. ‘Christsonday’ liberally dips its toe into Queensryche’s ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’ and emerges with the guitar motif intact, dropping the familiar lick over their death rock, while ‘Magick Without Tears’, the true closer for this album (additional track ‘I Am The Night, Colour Me Black’ is superfluous and dynamically doesn’t work) kneads in the vocal talents of the “Furies”, a trio of female vocalists whose harmonies proliferate the album at various points, over a Pink Floydian organ-led flick.

Managing to retain the core elements of its participants former endeavours, weaving and celebrating their individual talents and ideosyncracies, Sleep of Monsters have produced a credible dark pop debut, reflecting the pasts of its’ creators, and one that leaves the promise of something even more grandiose and fruitful in their future.



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