I'm at the Underworld to interview Pig. I've never seen a clear picture of the top Pig before, so I've decided to just venture into the soundcheck and see who's giving the orders. I advance.
"Oh, fucking GREAT, now THAT'S fucked, we might as well all fucking go home NOW! FUCK!"
I retreat. The naughty equipment's playing up again. hehe. Pig and I collide as he stomps out the door in rage. "I'm Slapper," I beam pleasantly. He squints
down at me suspiciously, then he pumps my hand furiously and whirls off muttering something about 8 tracks.
About 3 hours later, we've calmed down enough to manage an interview - sort of. First of all we
pound our fists against the bar a bit and rant on about how England's so completely fucking
CRAP and how the venues are so bloody RUDE and how the soundmen are thick as SHIT and how
fucking UPSETTING it all is; and then we tear at our hair a bit and roll our eyes before
tramping off to find a suitably inoffensive cafe somewhere.
I've found out how much you dislike the music business in general, what about the music press?
(Big sigh) "I don't KNOW, I don't really READ the music press. If its as STUPID as most of the
fucking record companies, managers, producers, agents and other cock suckers, then it's obviously not worth...(mutter mutter)."
Stop muttering. What about the stuff that's been written about you?
"Dunno. I have a press file, but it's only got the good stuff in it! (Hysterical laughter)."
(All through the interview Pig fidgets and sighs and pulls his hair and contorts his face into
stunningly melodramatic and entertaining expressions of woe, disbelief, fury and despair. And lust. Natch.)
Do you dislike being interviewed?
"Yeah, I do actually."
Well I dislike interviewing!
"It doesn't seem like you're relishing the feeling very much. Why do you do it then?"
To make up for and disguise the fact that this magazine is a big pile of self indulgent poo.
"You could do the whole thing as a kind of critique. Look, why don't we just turn this off and you can make up the whole thing, because you could probably come
up with a lot more palatable things to say than I could possibly"
SIT DOWN AND BEHAVE YOURSELF! I like the way you're ranting on. It makes good copy.
"It's - it's TEDIOUS and UPSETTING and (thumps table) DEPRESSING
to listen to my moaning. Maybe that's why people don't buy my fucking records. I know it's
fucking annoying when people go on about the old days, but in this case it's TRUE. When I lived in
Berlin, people were just more INTERESTED in music that pushed back the PARAMETERS, that was at
least TRYING something different, whereas over here if you don't fit under a certain
label then they're NOT FUCKING INTERESTED. I've recorded an album for this label in Japan, and
I have actually GIVEN A FEW CASSETTES TO PEOPLE, (thumps table), and the kind of response I
get from even the SO-CALLED LEFT-FIELD LABELS is that if it doesn't sound like NIN or
Ministry then they're just NOT FUCKING INTERESTED, it's..UUUUGH! (Hauls out promo tape, drops it
clattering on the floor, picks it up, throws it at me). You know, some people say, "Oh, we really
NEED people like you, it's GREAT, because you make music that's INTERESTING, but I've got to pay
my rent and I can't afford to do it!" "I've actually had people SAY that to me - "I can't afford
to take on somebody like you" FUCK THEM."
So perhaps it's time to move again then, some other countries are a lot more receptive.
"I've got this little place down in France, which is RIGHT down in the POOREST part of France,
quite near to Narbonne and Perpignan. We bought this little hovel round there - LITERALLY.
This is not romantic Year In Provence shit, this is HARDCORE FUCKING POVERTY. They didn't even
have a SEWAGE in the village until a year and a half ago. There was ONE kasi in the village
square, it's AWFUL. But I think that's where I'm going to go."
Because it's the best thing for your music? That's very commendable.
"Ah. fuck the music! FUCK, this coffee's strong! BLEAAGGH! But seriously, I do like the fact
that I have a kind of manager and a label in Japan and they're both really interested and like
what I do. And I like being there, the whole thing's BETTER - the gigs there are better, the
people there are better, the attitude there is better...."
I've often heard the Japanese will go mad for any western band.
"(Thwarted) Do they?....No, I don't think that's true. I know LOADS of people that can't get
released there, LOADS of fucking people." (Makes an expansive sweep of his hand and sends the
tape recorder flying across the table.)
What's with this Concrete Productions place? I couldn't get through to them.
"They've sort of gone.....away."
So who's Hyperium?
"They're a German label who've just re-released the "Shit For Brains" thing that I did with Jim
Thirwell. It's kind of like a Jim Thirwell remix, but the fucking previous label LOST the
master tapes and the Mike Mattews artwork. He did the cover to the 12" which was a Wax Trax!
release and it was also released by a German label. Hyperium wanted to re-release it, so they
mastered the fucking CD off VINYL, and it sounds like SHIT. I put it on and listened to half of
it and couldn't STAND it, it's so thin it's AWFUL. That was the "Shit For Brains" and "Pioria",
which was written by Jim and me and some other shit, I can't remember......anyway this is boring
- what do YOU want to talk about?"
You like classical music don't you?
"Yeah, it's probably more interesting that the hit parade. I like all SORTS of stuff, I like
EVERYTHING you know, I spend so much time just goofing off in front of crap TV, and listening to
Melody Radio - ANYthing. Fucking Radio 2 - ANY old stuff!"
You have a backing band tonight, but when you're recording do
you play all the instruments
"Yeah, I do it all myself, but I got in a Flugel horn player and
a guitarist for one or two
bits. These guys have never met until two weeks ago, I just
rounded them up!"
Are you classically trained in anything?
"Oh no, no, no, no, no, I can't play anything."
That's a bit unfortunate. Didn't your parents make you take
lessons in anything?
"No. My Dad played piano, and I can remember trying to get him
to show me, but I couldn't get my
head around it. I walked off in a tantrum.
Have you done many live dates over here?
"I've done a few, but they were pretty stupid. I got involved in
a bunch of musicbiz idiots who
didn't exactly help with the standing of Pig."
So you don't enjoy playing live?
"No, I DO enjoy playing live, but not tonight when NOTHING'S
FUCKING WORKING and half the
channels aren't THERE - half the music isn't THERE. (Lower lip
(Sceptically) Are you going to make an effort?
"I don't KNOW! Make an EFFORT?! It's one of those things you
can't quantify - EFFORT. Ohhh, I
don't know. I'm depressed." (Picks up glass. Puts it down.
Swivels my cigarette case.
Collapses dramatically on table. Circle then sticks finger in
cider bottle neck (Phallic
pre-occupation?). Picks up glass slams it down.)
Would you like some of my Cider Piglet?
(Rears back with a start and frowns) "Eh?"
It's just that I'm trying to drink out of that glass you keep
throwing across the table and I
thought you might want something to do with your hands so that
we can conduct this interview
like sensible adults, not spoilt, sulky little children. Are
you trying to keep yourself
anonymous behind the persona of "Pig" or not?
"Ohhhh. That's like that question "What are you like?" you
know? I don't KNOW what I'm like, I
don't KNOW what this is, it's just this THING, it's not a
fucking MEISTERPLAN. It's just me
burning off EXCESS ENERGY (thump). It's not a concept (prod),
it's just me and my
When you're working with a backing band, do you say to
them "Play This."?
They don't have any input?
"Not with this particular set because I'd already written it
all. They just have to learn the
parts. I used to have this real problem collaborating with
people; all the people I've worked
with I ended up having a MAJOR fucking RAUCUS with!"
Did you swear at them a lot?
"Yeah, from band members to soundmen to people producing -
(sends the tape recorder on a journey
again) - I mean like the guy who fft fft I mean I worked with
him for years skrrk skrrk and we
didn't speak to each other for TWO YEARS shplik shplik shplik
and now we're back together
again. What am I TALKING about? I'm sorry. I didn't sleep
last night. It's all fucking up,
it's TOO MUCH, I'm all DEPRESSED! (Sobs, lurches forward into
vase, and continues with yellow
Hyacinth in one ear)
You worked with Blixa Bargeld (Einsterzende Neubauten), didn't
"Well basically I was employed by his band to go and mix them,
which at that point was really
good. But you mean where he played on this record I
I was talking about "Haus Der Luger".
"Oh, I just recorded him and helped him do his vocal a bit and
shit like that. And also on some
of the other Neubauten records. It was just sometimes when they
were having problems and they
couldn't get a producer in at that time I'd go and help them
out." (Muffled bits about other
bands he's helped and jumping out of clouds.)
I heard you used to be in Psychic TV.
"No, I used to do tape loops for them in the studio and recorded
a few of their singles and went
on tour with them for a bit."
How did you come to meet Jim Thirwell?
"Well I was with Neubauten in New York and he was lurking around
backstage and we were having a
chat about this and that and the other and there was a fight
going on and we were both lurking
around in the corner trying to avoid it and we just kept in
contact and I've got a lot of
respect for him." (Applies a flamboyant sweep to the tape
SKREEEEEE fft. You're in another band called Hit Parade. That
sounds very poppish.
"It is TOTAL pop music. It's a friend of mine - he works for a
PR firm and he's really busy -
but he's had this long line of pop songs about gurls and bust-
ups and stuff like that. He
writes these songs and he has a record deal but he doesn't have
time to do them and I need to
earn money, so he comes in and sings the songs to me and I go
off...I mean it's so HORRIBLE.
And I kind of produce it and get in session musicians and mix it
and send tapes to the record
companies. They've released lots of things, like 3 CD's. I
just produce them. I just come in
and say "shall we go home now?" It's just STUFF, you know.
Are you ever tempted to make a formulated number one pop song
"(Splutter) A number one POP song? I'd be shit at it! YOU'D be
better than me at that! I HATE
that kind of music (fucking shit crap fucking bollocks balls
Yeah, but it would be very interesting and an easy way to get
"But it's actually a very DIFFICULT thing to do. There are some
guys that did that and decided
they wanted to make money out of it."
"Yeah, exactly, and they worked really hard at it for a fucking
What would you say to a groupie who propositioned you?
"That is something...I don't know, I really don't know."
There are supposed to be loads of Japanese groupies. They
follow you from city to city and book
themselves into the same hotels.
"No that's not true. Not in my experience anyway! I haven't
been propositioned, EVER! Why -
do you proposition musicians and stuff? I mean, I think it's a
MYTH, this thing."
No, I just think it's not so common over here.
"Do you think so?"
Didn't you come across any groupies when you were with Jim?
"No, there wasn't one groupie during the whole tour! Actually
there was a couple at this hotel
which was a kind of a rock'n'roll hotel, and they knew the guy
at the desk by NAME! And they
said "Who's in?" or something like that - you know, "Which
bands?"! I couldn't believe it! But
no, I don't think there's really a groupie scene...well
obviously you're the exception to the
Do you have any bizarre rituals you carry out before writing or
recording or brushing your
"This new album's called "The Swining". The swining is the
noise you get when you take a little
piglet about that big. You take a microwave, you put the piglet
in the microwave....and it has
to be a microwave with a revolving dish - you know those ones?
And then you cook it from the
inside out - basically you put it on defrost. And the sound of
it's little trotters (scrabbles
on tape recorder) as it's trying to stand up is called the
swining. And then it explodes. That
is the swining ritual that occurs at the beginning of every
Have you got anything else to say? Quick Quick Quick?
"Never go to Fife, Alabama."