Maine Music News recently conducted an interview with Matt Montgomery (a.k.a. Piggy D.), who is best known as the bassist in ROB ZOMBIE and former guitarist for WEDNESDAY 13. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Maine Music News: Every artist either evolves or stagnates, sometimes losing fans of earlier work in the process. Can you articulate the vision ZOMBIE had for the latest CD ["Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor"]?
Piggy D.: I can try. He has become comfortable with his legacy in regards to what people expect from him. Take "Educated Horses", for example, musically, it was not much of a departure from the other stuff. However, people perceived it as a departure because he was not wearing any makeup or a giant claw. The perception becomes reality to the fans. Whereas I love that record, many people had stated they missed the old ZOMBIE. It really was not that different, but it seems like it is because of the lineup changes that we have had. I have been with the band 7 years, and John [5, guitar] has been in 8 years. We have all gotten to know each other a lot more. We have all figured out our roles on stage, makeup, costume-wise and image-wise. We are much more comfortable and have evolved together. All of that has fallen into place over the past 7 years. That, in a way, has influenced the music because Rob now feels more comfortable with whom he has around him, and the writing process has changed a little bit too. He is going back and revisiting old themes that he did with WHITE ZOMBIE and with his first two solo records. He has kind of gotten that sound back with the new team around him and a new vision. At least that is how I think it happened. There is definitely a good mix of the things that he is known for artistically plus a bit of experimentation on the new record, especially with song structures. I was just saying to somebody else, that the song structures are very atypical on this record.
Maine Music News: How did the writing process work out for the album?
Piggy D.: We all brought in a ton of ideas. I think I brought in 18 different song ideas for the record. John had twice that, and Rob had three times that. It was a little bit of a different process this time. The last record, "Hellbilly Deluxe 2", everybody was in the studio, every day, all the time, 5 days a week. Many of the songs were tracked live and the song structures really did not change. It was John 5, Tommy Clufetos [drums], and I playing the song a few times through before moving on to something else, and then Rob singing on top of it with minimal over dubs. This one, "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor", was different. Everything was tracked, and then it went through this process of riffs being replaced with other riffs from another part. Some people would perceive it as editing, but I really like to call it arranging. It was very careful and very precise as to what serves each song. The song that I did wind up contributing to was "Lucifer Rising", a song that was recorded for the last record. Tommy Clufetos played on it, Joey Jordison played on it, and then Ginger Fish played on it. That song was an idea Rob had five years ago. It went through everybody's filters until it sounded and felt right, and then Rob new exactly what that song was and where it fit.
Maine Music News: What is it like performing as a character? Is it liberating?
Piggy D.: It is, as much as people look at it like — oh, you are wearing a costume, and you are wearing makeup. You really get to be somebody else for that hour. People may not really want to see me in jeans and a t-shirt staring at my frets doing math problems with my guitar. I want to be entertained when I go to a show. I want to see something that I do not see every day. I have always been a theatrically influenced person. I love costumes and I love makeup. It sounds so trite, but it really is just an extension of my personality. I get to tap into the things that I have inside me but would never do in public. Everybody has that weird dream where they are walking through the mall naked. I get to do that and you can judge me, but no one is going to lock me up.
Read the entire interview from Maine Music News.