Tina's Interview 1996

My unedited interview with Raymond Watts

Pig is Raymond Watts, one of the founding members of the band KMFDM. Although no longer part of the band, Raymond did lead vocals on their album Nihil, and their single, Juke Joint Jezebel, which was featured on the soundtracks to several movies, most notably Bad Boys and Mortal Kombat. He has also worked with a plethora of artists, such as Einsturzende Neubauten, Coil, Psychic TV, and Jim ďFoetusĒ Thirlwell and lesser known projects such as Schaft and Sow. A recent addition to Trent Reznorís ever-growing Nothing label, Pig is Raymondís opportunity to take the reigns and steer the musical beast in whatever direction he pleases. Raymond started off doing work with various bands in the early 80s and became interested in the manipulation of sound. He started doing Pig because he was tired of the confines of working with others works. What started off as an experiment turned into the first Pig album titled, ďA Poke In The Eye With A Sharp StickĒ which was released on the Wax Trax! label in Chicago 1988. the album, Praise the Lard followed. The next album, A Stroll in the Pork was released on Concrete in England. Raymond then joined a Japanese label called Alpha and released The Swining, Sinsation was released in Japan on the Victor label in 1995 which was later released on the Nothing label in September 1996, a couple of weeks after the latest Pig album, Wrecked was released on Victor.

Free Press: From press release, it sounds like Pig is a new thing, and not something that had been ongoing for years.

Raymond Watts: Iíve also done other things. In 1994 we did an EP called KMFDM vs. Pig, which was kind of the beginning of stuff coming out in the States again. After that we did Nihil and touring with them a bit so there were a lot of other things going on all around.

FP: Why the name Pig? Is it just the PERFECT definition for you?

RW: Um. Because I liked it. Pig has a common reference point in most peoples perceptions.

FP: What is the story regarding the photos in the CD insert? I find the dismembered pig disgusting. Does it symbolize something or was it just creativity at work?

RW: I think the guy who basically put that artwork together, he went and put it together and what he did was he hadnít got quite a handle on the music being sometimes quite eclectic in the uses of sound. I think his idea was throwing different elements together almost like a Frankensteinish type approach where you have seemingly unrelated parts thrown together to create a hybrid type of monster. kind of chopping off parts of my body, stretching it, shoving it, cutting it, joining it with pigís feet, hands, not trying to make it quite sophisticated, as you canít see the join, but you can see the join.

FP: I also like how it doesn't sound like a KMFDM reproduction when you were working on Sinsation, was there a conscious decision to make it sound different. from KMFDM?

RW: It doesnít. On next album, Wrecked, Gunter Shulz, guitarist for KMFDM played guitar, that may somehow be more of a marriage of the kind of sounds between the two bands, then some people like not seeing that. I really like KMFDM, if it does sound like them if it doesnít. How can I rip off KMFDM when I wrote all the stuff with Sascha?

FP: Which do you prefer - singing or composing?

RW: I like the whole process of just doing stuff, I like it when itís just me, myself, and I just thrashing away in here. But now, having done like 5 or 6 Pig albums, I feel like, I enjoy getting other people in to do things like Karl Hyde from Underworld who did all guitars on The Swining album before Sinsation. Thatís when I started thinking itís good to get people in to get different kinds of characteristics. I just like being in here scribbling things down, working on stuff at my own pace. I enjoy that whole process. It would be nice if more of the stuff were available and would like to reissue it, but itís not of great importance to me, because Iíve done it.

FP: How did you end up on the Nothing label?

RW: When Trent came over to Europe in Ď94 and did a few shows, I had a little band and we opened up for them for about half the tour. When we were in New Orleans, with KMFDM, we hooked up with Trent had a chat, and then somebody came through and said, ďCan we do this album?Ē and they released it.

FP: Does nothing plan to re-release your previous albums?

RW: As I said, not as of yet. I donít have an organization really, I donít have a manager and I donít have a sort of system in place really. So Iím far too disorganized and not orientated to manufacture CDs and sell them and itís just basically, me. If there were like maybe managers and all these other people maybe these things like that might. But if maybe someone would give me a hand in re-releasing the old stuff then I think I have the rights to the old things, it might be possible to do, but at the moment itís going to be difficult to find stuff.

FP: Any plans to continue the Sow and Schaft projects?

RW: The Shaft project was two Japanese guys, the guitar player, Imai Hisashi plays guitar on the new Pig single I was recording last week in Japan and another Japanese guy, Atsushi Sakurai guesting on vocals with me. The Sow project , I wrote all the music for the Sow album and Anna Wildsmith did all the words. The next album I kind of didnít want to write all the music on it, so what Iíve been doing with Anna is, weíve got some other people in and weíve written the music for one track, Test Department wrote another, Gunter Shulz is writing music for one track. Weíre spending the second week of April mixing stuff with Sow. Itís going to take some time to finish it.

FP: Any plans to release any singles or do any videos?

RW: We have some videos. Iíve quite a few Pig videos. last one was a video for Painiac, a song on Sinsation, you havenít seen it yet, but itís there in the States. Itís pretty much a narrative, itís just a straight performance in a way. I feel that because there was quite a lot of fire in it, MTV thought it was maybe it was something they didnítí quite like, so we hauled in shit loads of gasoline and stuff and had a lot of flames going on. We did a video for song called Everything off of Wrecked.

FP: Any plans to tour in the near future?

RW: Nope. Iíd like to tour, itíd be a good thing to do. in the next 2 -3 weeks I have to get a band together, weíre doing a couple of shows in Japan and something in London as well. But nobody wants us in the States so I donít think we should bother coming.. I would like to tour, just got to find a tour someone wants to put us on.

FP: Who would you like to tour with?

RW: I donít know. I donít really get out to see bands. I enjoyed the last two KMFDM tours, as much as you can enjoy sitting in a fucking bus and going 35,000 miles in 4 1/2 months and having one day off every 4 weeks. It was a well organized tour. Obviously Pig is like one hundredth the size of that, so it probably wonít happen.

FP: A lot of good bands get looked over because the media ignores them.. I own CDs that I canít find in record stores. But in your case, fans may say, ďOh, theyíre on the nothing label, they must be good.Ē Everyone loves Trent Reznor and he has great taste in music.

RW: Trentís a good songwriter, I think heís got a lovely voice, heís got a great sound. I really admire him. But that doesnít mean that things on his label are good. But if it exposes people to acts that otherwise they wouldnít get exposure to then thatís a good thing. I suppose introducing people to quite interesting bands that other wise they wouldnít get to hear. Whoís on nothing? Prick, Pig, Meat Beat Manifesto, Nails, Manson, Coil, Coilís got an album coming out. Itís all been recorded, just has to be released. I donít know if Pig has a big enough profile over there. Whatís your angle on that?

FP: It all depends on who you ask, a lot of people will see the nothing label and go, ďOh I wanna hear this!Ē I didnít know when Sinsation was released in the states because there was virtually no press about it. And on the Internet thereís about 2 different. Pig webpages.

RW: Chris Foldi runs one of them, heís got an interesting band, State of Being. If I knew how to work anything the Internet, I would do it, but I donít. I donít know if itís the kind of stuff that would be put on the radio, but on the Internet, you can put sound on there. Iíve got all these bloody sound and synthesizers and I canít figure out the Internet!

FP: Last question: Are you a vegetarian? A couple of my friends thought I should ask this because it would be amusing if you were, yet had dismembered Pig all over your album.

RW: I have been, but Iím not at the moment, at this point, Iím trying to turn myself into the most large Lord of Lard, Iím trying to turn myself into something that weighs like 20 stone, I donít know how much that is in pounds, but itís like hundreds. Iíve been sitting in the studio not moving and I just want to turn into a kind of vending machine I just want to put fatty, high cholesterol, politically incorrect, disgusting, slimy, chemical- ridden food and beer and other kinds of definitely bad for you materials and general shit into my system. No, Iím not a vegetarian anymore. Iím just a kind of tedious kind of person. Fois gras and pig ears and kind of raw fish by the gallon and try to stuff as much patť and beer and sushi and stuff like that as I possibly can. I just figure ďIíve got to go the whole hog nowĒ. Iím just cramming it all in. Itís like the equivalent of the earliest stuff when I would sit there for hours and hours working on it and people say, ďThatís real fucking strange and itís difficult to listen to but it sounds like thereís six songs happening on at the same time in one piece of music and it has one title and there are six songs all going in different directions.Ē Itís trying to cram as many squares into the tiniest holes as possible. It just is a question of...kind of musical physicality - putting sort of six parts into the space of one and just cramming it in there and so thatís where the music has gone on the first album and Iíve been whittling out the music a bit, trying to reduce that, but have gone about the same way - just resorting to eating and drinking my way into the same situation.