Alternative Press Magazine 1998

from Alternative Press magazine
That's just one of the few catchphrases PiG, a.k.a. Raymond Watts, uses to describe his career. Jason Pettigrew catches up with the man who could be king of the industrial rock scene.

"I love America," admits Raymond Watts, holing up in the heated rear lounge of his tour bus on a 20-degree Sunday in Cleveland. "I love televangelism, the Home Shopping Network and Country music. But I really fucking hate this."
Watts, uinder his perennial nom de plume Pig, is making his proper debut as bandleader in support of his latest album, Wrecked (Wax Trax!/TVT). Although the 36-year old Englishman likes some aspects of touring, it's the hurry-up-and-wait parts that sizzle his griddle.

"I hate sitting on tour buses," he grumbles. "I'd rather be at home watching television. I can't imagine being in Dire Straits, where they tour for a straight year. Every night, they do the gig, go back to the hotel for a salad and a glass of wine, and go to bed. Then they wake up, and it's: 'Oh, we're in Richmond, Virginia. Let's sightsee?'"

American rivetheads will recognize Watts from his association with KMFDM, both as guest vocalist/lyricist and as remix consultant (he wrote the words to "Juke Joint Jezebel," the German heavy metal-disco committee's first flirtation with modern-rock radio). Yet Watts has had a diverse solo career of his own. Early on, he collaborated with Jim Thirlwell in both studio and live manifestations of the Foetus experience (Watts' stage name was Ray Scaballero). But Watts has spread his own aesthetic over the course of six albums--A Poke in The Eye (With A Sharp Stick), Praise The Lard (recently reissued by Cleopatra), A Stroll In The Pork, The Swining, Sinsation (released on Trent Reznor's nothing imprint), and now Wrecked. Essentially, Watts is like a sonic bag lady: He collects ideas from disparate music styles and reassembles them into weird sonic collages that still resemble rock music.

"One day I'll figure out how to reference every single music genre in one song, and I'll go, 'That's it! End of career!'" he announces. "But I never get that. I don't know anything about songwriting. Oasis--bless their cotton socks--are doing something people did 30 years ago. People have pissed on that lamppost particularly well, and it's not interesting to me. I want to marry genres that people haven't even seen dating yet."

Though previous Pig records have moved through various musical styles, Wrecked is a straight-up industrial-rock album, with smoking circuitry, prerequisite guitar crunch and Watts' evil sense of humor (check out "No One Gets Out Of Her Alive") in tile forefront.

"There's no master plan to Pig," says Watts. "We're playing for 45 minutes opening for KMFDM. There's no point in playing a whole bunch of textured stuff. The crowds would think, 'What the fuck is he going on about? Why is he playing jazz?' I'm still an unknown quantity at this point, and I want people to get a hang of the stuff. Hopefully, they'll go back and check out the other records."

Asking Watts to pin down his next direction is like trying to get an honest answer out of Kato Kaelin. The one thing that's certain is that Watts is actually enjoying his time onstage. And he feels that his current live line-up--Andrew Selway, Steve White and Julian Hodgson--might bring some new elements to the sonic slop-trough in his studio. But, just like any politician, he's allowed to change his mind.

"I'm 36 years' old, man!" he mock-complains while fidgeting about the bus like a caged animal. "It's all been a brilliant mistake. All Pig was supposed to be was my reaction against working with other people. You fuck around and do these things, and the first thing you know"--he sighs--"it's a record!" -ALT