Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with PIG DESTROYER samplist Blake Harrison. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On the departure of drummer Brian Harvey:
Blake: "Brian had a lot of things going on in his life that prevented him from doing what we aim to do. As everybody knows, we've been in a pretty bad economic state lately. There was some issue with his job and stuff like that, and he just wasn't really able to give us the time and energy that we needed."
On MISERY INDEX drummer Adam Jarvis joining PIG DESTROYER:
Blake: "We talked to Dave Witte from MUNICIPAL WASTE and 500 other bands first. Dave had some issues with scheduling because music keeps him pretty busy, so we actually jammed with Dave a couple of times. We've known Adam for a long time. I live in Baltimore, and Adam also lives in Baltimore. When Dave bowed out, we asked Adam if he had the time and the energy to do it. He was very excited. Not just an all-round cool guy, he's an incredible talent. He's just got a rigid blast beat. [laughs] He's a very aggressive drummer. He's in MISERY INDEX as well, so he's always in shape and always ready to play. I think he just brings a little more energy to the band. I think we're very lucky to have him, and very lucky to be working with him."
On latest album "Book Burner":
Blake: "With this record we wanted to go a little more nasty, a little more lean and mean, and a little more grindcore — back to our roots. We wanted to stay away from longer, four-minute songs. A lot of songs nowadays are like five minutes but with this record we wanted to go for short and sweet, and just bring songs to the point. I think we achieved that. We made a conscious decision to try to make it a little more stripped down. I guess everything is just leaner and meaner, and just has a rawer grindcore sound."
On the album's title:
Blake: "We were tossing around the idea of record titles, and JR [Hayes, vocals] presented the story 'The Atheist' for us to see if we wanted to record it. We didn't come up with anything that we really liked, so after reading the story, I think it was Scott [Hull, guitars] who said, 'Why don't we just call it 'Book Burner'? It does tie in with the story.' That just clicked, and that was it. Without giving too much away, it's basically a story about personal liberties and personal freedoms. It's about the fact that there's people out there who make art, music and all kinds of things, and that these things are to be respected, and that they are under threat. Especially with the climate right now, it's a little more relevant… Maybe not so much since Obama got elected. The song and the story don't necessarily coexist. Well, they do coexist but I wouldn't say there's a direct correlation."
On the album's lyrical content:
Blake: "They share the common theme of desperation or something like that. 'Baltimore Strangler' is basically about a serial killer. JR went through a couple of versions of that song; he wrote it from both the female's perspective and the stalker's perspective, but he didn't like that. He then wrote it from just the serial killer's perspective. There's not really a thematic thing. 'Book Burner' ties in with the story a little bit — there's the deluxe edition which includes a short story by JR. That's about personal freedoms, and the fact that they can be taken away relatively easy and they're always threatened. I wouldn't say that there's a common theme. It's a PIG DESTROYER record; JR writes what he writes."
On the music video for "The Diplomat":
Blake: "Phil [Mucci] came to us with the idea. We discussed it with him, so initially it was actually him. We didn't really have too much to do with it. I think it's great, and I think it's about time we actually had a good video. Our other videos are okay, but they're kind of standard, just the band playing in a room with some images. It's a take on 1970s movies in tone with the color, and things like that. The Diplomat is the main character, and he comes to a new planet. It actually ties in pretty well with the lyrics; it's basically what the lyrics are about — mankind's nature, and how history repeats itself. Most people make the same mistakes, and that's basically what it's about."