PIG DESTROYER: "End Time Swine"

By Lord Randall

PIG DESTROYER. Not only a name that should inspire fear in the local constabulary and barnyards, but in anyone who’s never heard grindcore done at its best by its finest. Take what NAPALM DEATH started, toss in a taste of SPAZZ / MAN IS THE BASTARD-style powerviolence, and make it rock. "Book Burner" sees the swine slayers return with a new drummer, a new lease on life, yet the same high quality grind they’ve been at for over a decade now. Lord Randall catches vocalist J. R. Hayes on the way to the tuxedo rental store.

Wormwood Chronicles: As everyone knows by now, PIG DESTROYER lacks a bassist, but more than makes up for it with (as ZZ TOP says) ‘Tone, Taste, Tenacity’. Part of that is the addition of Blake Harrison to the fold in 2006. For those listening to the albums that haven’t seen the band, what is Blake’s role in what we hear on record?

JR Hayes: Blake's role is setting the mood and just being that extra little bit of chaos. I love his vocals, too. You'll be hearing a lot more of them in the future. Plus, he handles a lot of other important jobs behind the scenes. He takes care of the bullshit and the dirty work so the grindcore machine can run. He's also a total maniac.

WC: "Terrifyer" was a definite concept album (at least the "Natasha" disc), but do you find each album to revolve around at least a loosely-based theme? Is lyric-writing something you kind of have a target going in, or do you just light up the flamethrower and hope something catches on fire?

JRH: I'm just always trying to come up with lyrics, so when Scott finally starts churning out songs I've got a lot to choose from. That way I can spend the majority of my time on the arrangements and not have to stress about coming up with ideas. As far as the writing, I think it goes both ways for me. Sometimes I know exactly what I want going in, other times I'll just go stream of consciousness for ten pages and see if anything cool happens. Then pick it apart later or maybe smash it together with some other shit I've got laying around. There's definitely no strict process, that's for sure.

WC: Everybody (even in pre-internet days) was all “J.R.’s lyrics are demented/creepy/psychotic/drug-addled/whatthefuckever”. Were you/are you intentionally trying to purge yourself of anything inside, or did it at first kinda surprise you that everyone didn’t think shit like that? 

JRH: Even when I was really young, I gravitated toward dark things. Death metal, horror movies, fucked up books. There's certainly nothing unique about that. I just try to do a different take on it, make it more emotional and mysterious, instead of graphic and obvious.

WC: Speaking of banned books, the Henry Miller quote starting ‘The Bug’ inspired me to reread "Tropic Of Cancer" (about 2/3 of the way through now). Actually, in 1986, the original manuscript of Tropic… was auctioned off for $165,000. I also see a bit of Bukowski in your lyrics.

JRH: Bukowski was the first poetry I ever read that I liked. I'm also way into Celine, John Fante, Nabokov, Hunter S. Thompson, JG Ballard...

WC: You’ve said before that there’s no way anyone should put their entire life on the line for anyone else, because in the end both parties will be let down. Still hold true as it did then, or even moreso now? 

JRH: Did I say that? Wow, I'm an asshole. I'm actually getting married in a few weeks, so I wouldn't say I feel that way any more.

WC: Back to "Natasha" for a minute here. Did it need to be a separate disc, a separate story? Was there ever any intention of tacking it onto the end of "Terrifyer", or was it always to stand on its own? 

JRH: We wrote both albums at the same time, I've always thought of them as two parts of a whole.

WC: What led to the band’s/label’s decision to release "Natasha" on her own in 2008? Also, I noticed Blake listed as a member in the lineup. Of course he was in 2008, but did he do any work on the original "Natasha"? Anything reworked for the 2008 release? 

JRH: That was Scott's thing, he was never happy with the original mix, so he wanted to do it again and re-release it. I wasn't really into the idea, cuz generally I don't like tinkering with old shit, and like I said, "Natasha" and "Terrifyer" are kind of a package deal as far as I was concerned, but Scott felt strongly about it so I said go for it. Once I heard the finished product I was glad he did it. The man knows what he's doing.

WC: What can you tell those who haven’t read it thus far of the short story that accompanies "Book Burner"? 

JRH: I'd rather just let people read it for themselves, it transforms into a couple different things, so I don't want to spoil the surprise.

WC: How do you see the US grind/extreme music scene as having grown or devolved from back when PD began? Is it still thriving, or a genre that’s already eaten itself, leaving us with the excrement? Any difference in the EURO or US grind scenes that you’ve noticed over time? 

JRH: I'm really stoked about the grindcore scene. MAGRUDERGRIND, WORMROT, WEEKEND NACHOS, CLOUD RAT, BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE, TRIAC, EXTORTION…there's so many great grind bands out right now. Plus you've got ROTTEN SOUND out there destroying everything. What more could you want?

WC: What’s next for J.R.? For PIG DESTROYER? For America? 

JRH: Me: Getting married in a couple weeks to a gorgeous woman. Trying to put the finishing touches on my novel. PIG DESTROYER: Playing Canada for the first time ever and drinking a ton of alcohol. Playing UK for the second time and drinking a ton of alcohol. America: Crushing debt. Nonsensical politics. Amazing food. Pretty much the usual.