Chaos Control 1996

Raymond Watts has been part of many musical projects over the years, but he's always gone back to his own band, Pig. After spending some time back in KMFDM, Watt's has returned as Pig with a new album, "Sinsation," on Nothing Records.

"Sinsation," which originally came out in Japan on JVC/Victor, isn't actually Pig's latest release. Watts has already finished recording a new album, "Wrecked." He isn't sure when it will be released and hopes to take it to Belgium to be remixed before it does.

"It's not a massive leap," says Watts about the sound of that album. "You can see that it's sort of spawned from the same mother. It's just a different kind of beast in a way. It's interesting for me to have been able to do this one and then kind of sit back and let the water go under the bridge before deciding whether it's right or wrong. There are certain bits that I'd like to tweak before putting it out."

Fans of Watts' past work will not be disappointed by "Sinsation." Compared to the KMFDM "Nihil" album, it's a bit heavier but still brings a strong melodic element to the mix of sequencers and guitars. Karl Hyde of Underworld is featured on one track.

Pig and KMFDM are not the only bands Watts has been involved with. Another major project has been the Japanese group Shaft. Watts finds that working on various different projects is a good way to "make life a little more interesting."

"Every now and then, you go involved in something where your role is more defined or less defined," he explains. "With the Pig thing, it's pretty much I oversee the whole thing, with the KMFDM and Shaft stuff, it's like here's a song, write some words to it or whatever.' That's how it works. It's just less boring, I get really bored quickly and it's nice to have a different agenda that people set up for you."

Watts was in the original KMFDM line-up, which he joined at around the same time he started Pig. After not working with the band for many years, he did a "KMFDM vs PIG" ep and then joined the band for the "Nihil" album and tour. But the fact that he’s not on the new KMFDM album doesn’t mean that there’s been a falling out.

"The way I went back to it with KMFDM’s 'Nihil' and the two tours, that was never anything that was meant to be written in stone and be permanent," he explains. "I think the whole nature of that outfit is that there are sort of various satellites that will kind of come into orbit with the band and maybe disappear and return a few years later, or maybe not return. There was never any question of whether that was going to become something that would have got in the way of doing Pig. Because obviously that's the first priority for me."

Chaos Control: How did you come to release the new album on Nothing?

Raymond: "I met Trent very briefly in London and the next time he was back he asked me and my band to open up for quite a few of their European shows. That was a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago. He was aware that there had been sporadic Pig releases on different labels, because I moved about a bit. He was obviously aware of the 'Sinsation' album because I'd given him a copy of it somewhere along the line and then last year when I was out with KMFDM we met again and it was just a little bit after that that it was suggested that it might be possible to work together with regard to getting it out on Nothing. It's got a lot of really interesting other acts on the label, so for the moment it just seems like the right thing to do. That's the long and the short of it; it just seems like the right thing."

Chaos Control: Will you be performing any material off "Wrecked" on the tour that you're preparing for?

Raymond: "Funny you should mention that. I was just talking to Steve, who's kind of an integral part of the whole Pig set-up. He does a lot of the guitar stuff, although Gunter from KMFDM played a lot on the new one. But Steve is kind of the main stalwart in the Pig camp. We were discussing this yesterday, because the most recent material is obviously on 'Wrecked' but that hasn't seen the light of day. So we'll probably do a couple of songs from 'Wrecked' and then some from 'Sinsation' but there were a couple of other albums as well that might have some stuff that's worth doing. But we'll probably keep it pretty much to 'Sinsation' material."

Chaos Control: How did Karl Hyde come to work on the track "Shell"?

Raymond: "The previous album was called 'The Swining' and I needed a guy to come in a play guitar. I did that in a cupboard, literally, in a tiny corner of my apartment. Somehow somebody just gave me his number and I called him up having no idea who he was. He did pretty much all the guitar on the previous album, and although I'd hooked up with Steve and he'd taken over that role pretty much, I'd just sort of vaguely stayed in touch with Karl and he wanted to do some writing. So he came in and we sat around and came up with that track. Wonderful guy. Obviously Pig is a million miles away from Underworld, but he seems to work on a lot of different projects, which is good."

Watts got involved with Shaft when he was in Japan working on other projects.

"They had this band, I think they'd had one track on a compilation, and said they were doing an album and asked if I wanted to get involved," he explains. "I wrote about two tracks from scratch, which was pretty nice, and then I'd sing on some of their stuff. So there were about 4 or 5 songs where I was just singing on their tracks, and a few that were straight out of the Pig archive, really. It was a great process. Some of the album I was really unhappy with, but some of it was really good. But it was just the process that was fun."

Watts said that he couldn't even really communicate with one of members of Shaft, so all they could do was "get trashed or sit in the studio and make a noise or get in stage and do something." But something that made the project fun for him was the budget involved; the group could afford to use a symphony orchestra, and Raymond could afford to bring in the musicians he wanted to work with.

"It's fairly eclectic, and some of it as I said misses the mark by a long mark and some is quite good," he adds. "It was fun, like go and do a promo, go and do a video, whatever the fuck you want. It was quite exciting to just to be just to fucking do whatever the fuck you want and not be scrapping around on a shoe string."

© Chaos Control