Convulsion Magazine 1992

Factual: Pig aka Raymond Watts, is a name you should get to know. Frequent collaborator with JG Thirwell, and a member of an early incarnation of KMFDM, he has now produced two full length LP's and the recent "Stroll in the Pork" EP. Your friendly neighbourhood Convulsion took a trip to the big smoke for a couple of pints and a packet of pork scratchings with the leather clad super-hero.

Raymond's been back in the country for a year or so now, but previously spent a lengthy sojourn in Berlin. What prompted the move? "Vile situation in England, couldn't stand it anymore. The mid-eighties was really disgusting here, I just couldn't stomach it anymore. Musically I was really fucked off.

"The whole German scene was really happening at the time. (Ampvert) asked me to come over and work with them. So I got a little beaten up van and travelled over, set up the 8-track studio there, and did some work in Hamburg for a bit."

How did you come to get connected with KMFDM? "Sasha and En Esh came to the studio, they were doing this really wimpy white boy funk music. It was really silly, I don't mean that disrespectfully but it was a bit limp. That was the time when I'd just gotten hold of my first sampler and Jourgenson was doing his first tough shit. I was very inspired by what Adrian Sherwood was doing at the time. So I said, 'Well Guys, this is a sampler, and we can do what we like, and this is what we can sound like.' That turned into 'Deutchland' and I did part of the next record. Then I left."

What's your take on the current state of the art, as far as music's concerned? "I'm really fucked off with dance music" he rages. Whoa, seems like we've found a favourite topic. Raymond switches to full rant mode "To me its honed the dance scene to the finite point of being just insipid, unchallenging, tedious, boring shit. They've honed it down to this finite point of rubbish, it's like, he pauses before yelling, "this is balls!"

Calm down Raymond. He glares into his lager "There seem to be very few people who want to push back the boundaries just a little bit! Surely that's what it's all about. Isn't it?"

"Thirwells done it, he's always trying to push back those boundaries a bit. I'm a disciple of this kind of thinking. I want to push the boundaries back a bit, be a bit more eclectic."

Whats Thirwell to just now? "He's releasing another fucking triple live album (Male - out now). The last one was a double official bootleg, Foetus Corruptus, which was the one I played on, with Ted (Parsons, ex Swan, current member of Prong). There was also the Steroid Maximus, which is an instrumental album. That has one song which I co- wrote with Jim.

"I have total respect for Jim, I think he's fucking wild. I would be the first to admit that he's inspired me, his stuff is fucking inspirational."

Your records mix metal with classical samples, their a real mix of styles. What do you actually listen to at home in front of the fire? "To be honest, I don't listen to music much, but if I do, I'm a real sucker for gooey romantic stuff like Arva Part. He's a modern composer from somewhere in Scandinavia, more obviously I'm into the more romantic parts of Mahler, I'm really into Stravinsky because it swoops and swirls all over the place. To me, Stravinsky's Rites of Spring is more tough, more exciting than any fucking Megadeth or Metallica. It knocks spots of it. That's why I spend to much time snouting around for orchestral samples. I'm thinking if I put these guitars with those kind of aggressive orchestrals, maybe we'll be able to create something. I mean big thematic things that work over a period of time; not orchestral stabs."

"That's the stuff I prefer to listen to, honestly, and some metal."

What's your opinion on the way samplers are being used in general? "I find that the way people have been using these tools is so short sighted, still people are sampling out a one mile drum loop, cutting a bit out of a film. C'mon man, can't you do anything better than that? Theres a whole reservoir, that's about a hundred miles deep, that's why I snout around for all the orchestral samples. People still can't rise above using fucking orchestral stabs."

So what's you take on the whole industrial bandwagon? Raymond considers the question "It's a load of fucking BALLS!"

"I hate this pigeonholing shit, industrial", he sneers, "ptcha."

"People put Pig with those bands, we've got fuck all to do with them. Does shit float, or does shit stink? From where I'm sitting most shit seems to be floating."

Pig have been touring as a full band of late; we heard that you have had an interesting gig in London recently?

"Yeah, all the lights blew. It was great, we were down to one follow spot and one strobe. It was really intense."

You couldn't see that band at all?

"I never see the band, unless I crash into them. It was at that one that I collided with the keyboard player. I got covered in blood, all over my face. Great gig!"

Do the band have any input into the music?

"No," Raymond states flatly. "Pig in the studio is me. I'm far to unbearable for anyone to work with me. I really am quite horrifically fascistic, a nasty piece of work to be around," he smirks worryingly, "So I think its really unfair of me to try and co-operate with anyone. So it's me in the studio, and live I delegate. The band are brilliant. The guitarist played two tracks on the new EP. I've got a keyboard player who's also an actor. He's great, he doesn't know fuck all, he doesn't know if Pig are a left field band or what. But he can fucking play. I just got a bass player, who basically has great tattoos so I though I'd better have him in the band. The drummer, I got him basically because he had the biggest drumkit I've ever seen. I said to him 'Can you play it?'. He said 'Yeah' and I said 'You're in'. He's great. Pig, skinny white boys with attitude. Dig it.

by Stuart Barr

Convulsion Magazine