Tina's Interview 1997

Free Press: Why did you leave the Nothing label?

Raymond Watts: Well, Trent had known about Pig for a long time and basically thought that it might be a good idea to raise the profile. And it seemed to be something that might be a good gesture because we didnít get releases here and it raised the profile. But in fact, they were a small label, and theyíve got very big artists to work with, like manson which became a huge huge act, theyíve got big artists to deal with. And being kind of small and obscure and stuff, we felt mutually that they had gotten the ball rolling for Pig in the States here and there was this other album to release and this tour came up, and we mutually agreed that maybe other people could be more pro-active in the Pig situation. So we just went, "Well we did this one, thatís great, thanks a lot, these people can probably put more into it."

FP: So it was a good split.

RW: Oh god, yes, we did it on the phone. We just had a chat about it and that was it.

FP: Are you going to stay on the Wax Trax! label?

RW: This album's on Wax Trax!, we're going to start on another album in early January which will be for Wax Trax!.

FP: Are you happy to be on tour in the USA?

RW: Well this tour Iím happy I don't really like touring that much. I find it a bit, I just get bored so I kind of drink excessively. I just end up getting into a fever and stuff. But this tour is a really good tour to be on, because you know KMFDM Iíve worked with them a lot, they're old friends and we know this crew really well, I did two tours with this crew. They treat us well, the crew, we don't get this shitty sort of youíre a support act you can't use this, you can't use that cause weíre all pals. So this tour is different from your average tour with a band in our situation, as small and underground as we are. So I like this tour. But the boys have been having fun weíve got a great band now, Pig had lots of incarnations, before we had lots of members coming in and out. And weíve hit upon the right kind of formula, the right people, it's not going to change at all. We've been getting into a all sorts of weird fucking situations. It started before we even left London. Filth and degradation. We even left half our fucking equipment, so these people had to literally run to the plane carrying our digital 8 tracks. And then we got ripped apart by customs....

Steve White: We got fist fucked by customs.

RW: Well I didn't luckily, but our crew got well penetrated, not once but twice. It's been really fucked up. Since then we haven't really recovered. And we've this stream of weird band members being found in toilets and inside pens with really weird what we think were women. So there's been this really long trail of filth and degradation and of course Iíve been on my best behavior. They make Spinal Tap look like, well, Spinal Tap.

FP: How is Wrecked different from the past albums?

RW: It's kind of more in tune with the one Nothing released called Sinsation but then up to that point you know, the path has been very twisted, and weíve gone over more odd and different terrain in as much as a lot more eclectic kind of, basically a much wider mix and range of styles form the other albums that have been released on little labels in Germany and Japan and London and Holland and places. They're all done on a much more kind of sort of experimental basis in a sort of a way. But after a while, we go, "Well fuck man, we've pissed on all those lampposts lets try to get on hand on this greasy pole and see if we can just sort of wave it around in a certain direction and motion and create something." The last two albums have been a little bit more - there are still some Pig trademarks such as the orchestral stuff and tough guitar licks. I think a lot of the old stuff, albums like Praise the Lard, A Stroll in the Pork, and The Swining, there would be a mambo track and then a music concrete track, and something that was as more like more straight ahead sort of stuff. So the other albums were much more kind of varied and some people got kind of freaked out about that because they didn't know where it was coming from. And so now um, a little bit more sort of...the thing is, Steve here has been working with me on the last 2 albums so we've got more of a kind of two people pulling in certain directions and spin around round each other a bit he's been co-writing the music with me. And now he's just doing loads of programming and shit.

FP: Why were the songs "The Book of Tequila" and "Fuck Me Iím Sick", which were on the Japanese version of Wrecked replaced with the songs, "No One Gets Out of Her Alive" and "Contempt" in the American release?

RW: Just to make it a bit different. I like those songs. The weird thing is, actually I didn't want to put "Contempt" on it. I wanted to kind of hold it back, and there's another track, called "The Keeper of the Margarita", we wanted to do something with that. To be perfectly honest, what Iíd like to do is collect those tracks, "The Keeper of the Margarita", "The Book of Tequila", "Fuck Me Iím Sick", "Prime Evil" and a couple of the other ones from earlier stuff and make a nice bunch of songs and it'd be quite nice to put them together and stick them out. You know, "Contempt" is a kind of joke in a way. "No One Gets Out of Her Alive" is where I want to get the total Pig sound, want it to be symphonic, atmospheric, riffy, I want to shove everything in. "Contempt" was a reaction against that. Itís a kind of parody of a certain type of music in a sort of way. Youíre going to be disappointed cause we're playing it tonight, you're going to be real disappointed. Sorry to disappoint you in advance.

FP: Why did you choose those two songs?

RW: TVT really liked "Contempt" actually, they didn't get the joke. It just means to me that we can stick out "Fuck Me Iím Sick", or "The Book of Tequila" later. Itís all right in my book.

FP: Are the remixes of "Find it Fuck it Forget it" different on the American version, versus the Japanese version?

RW: Yeah. they are. We're playing "Find it, Fuck it, Forget it" tonight as well. We do a sort of punk version of it. We do it differently.

FP: Are there any plans to release the EP Prime Evil on Wax Trax?

RW: I donít know. To be perfectly honest I was talking to Danny from Wax Trax! today and I was talking exactly about what we've been saying, about taking this song and that song, so I think we should collect that stuff and stick it together and put it out, just a little 5-track EP. Because there are a few people who've got Sinsation and then they've got Wrecked, and it'll be really difficult to get Japanese imports, the others don't exist anymore, like Red Raw and Sore, The Swining, there's a label out on the west coast who've just released a shitty bootleg version of Praise the Lard. All this obscure stuff to get a hold of I think itíd be a good idea to take some stuff, like the Prime Evil stuff and stick it out. Oddly enough we were listening to it last night.

FP: Are there any plans to re-release older Pig albums?

RW: Like I said, Praise the Lard was supposed to be released by myself and maybe some of it was supposed to be remixed. But the thing is, then this Cleopatra label, they bought it, unwittingly. Brian the guy who runs the label, is a really nice and honest guy and he's been really supportive since this error was made. This company in London for some reason thought that they owned Praise the Lard, when they don't have ownership of the album whatsoever, sold it, took an advance from Cleopatra, gave them shit artwork that wasn't even the artwork for the CD that they released. It says there's 10 tracks on it when there's 12, they took the artwork, they fucked the whole thing up completely. Took money in advance and then I heard from people: "Oh man, youíre re-released Praise the Lard?" I went "What? What are you talking about?" So we followed it back, to Cleopatra, they said, "Oh shit, we're really sorry," I mean, they honestly didn't know. And we followed it back to these criminals in England who now refuse to give me the money...the people who bought the CDs, it's not a bonafide release. Funny enough though, it was done for like 1000 bucks in 1991, and I did it all by myself. and they say it's the definitive Pig album. It's kind of low budget and it's very low-fi but it's kind of you can see that itís trying to do things, like big band and orchestral stuff.

FP: What inspires you to write music?

RW: What inspires me to write music, just reacting against things. I used to work in musical collage, I used to be in soundscape which is, creating, pissing around with tape machines and tape loops and stuff like that. Iím not really writing songs so to speak cause I think there are people who have done that really well, and I couldn't compete on those terms. With the advent of sampling and stuff, the ability to scoop into this musical stratosphere and take orchestral, big band stuff and use all these different things and sort of collide them together. The effect you get when you collide different musical genres together, that to me is the thing that I find exciting, like if I go, "Stravinsky and Anthrax." then I start thinking, "Now what would that sound like?" Thatís what it's driven by.

FP: Do you play any of the instruments on the albums?

RW: I don't really play anything, I just sit there with a bunch of samplers. I used to play but Iíve given up now. To really play an instrument you have to really work at it. for example we got GŁnter Schulz from KMFDM to play on the last album, because he's really fucking good, and I couldn't practice for 4 hours a day. I play things differently or crudely. Before that Karl Hyde from Underworld played guitar on the albums. The guyís a really good guitarist. It's a excuse for me to get people in. It's my excuse for a social life I think.

FP: How do you go about writing songs, or rather the lyrics to the songs?

RW: Things I get like "Find it Fuck it Forget it" in my head, and to me that's the end and I have to find a way to get there, or it's a beginning I have to find what it should be. I wrote a song on The Swining called "Symphony for the Devil", it's a 15 minute, kind of, I don't know what the fuck it is, but I knew it had to be something that went sort of orchestral you see what I mean? They kind of define themselves in a way.

FP: Do you have a lot of fun doing remixes?

RW: Sometimes. I did a remix of KMFDM for "Rules", I enjoyed that one, because I went into big band shit, in the middle, I went, "All right, lets get into big band territory!" I don't do lots of remixes because I find lots of them are boring and crap, just rubbish. I kind of enjoy remixing my own stuff I suppose, that's something that I like to do.

FP: Like "My Sanctuary"? Did you do the remix for that?

RW: Yeah, I did the remix for that. That wasn't a radical remix, that was a reworking. We redid a song called "Blades", a song on Wrecked, we should do that live, it'd be quite good that way.

FP: Do you have any plans to do any videos?

RW: Weíve done quite a few videos actually already. We did one for a song for "Everything", did one on previous album for a song called "Painiac", the previous album, we did one for...did we do one? We did about three or four. I know there's one for "The Fountain of Miracles". Yeah and then we hooked up that last guy with Sascha Konietzko, he's the guy who has just done the new KMFDM video. He's a brilliant English guy, called Philip Richardson. One of the things is that people never fucking get to hear about our shit. We had a really good video for "Painiac", the one with the flames and shit and MTV didn't want to show it unless we edited it. It would have cost 2000 dollars to edit it, and Interscope in their infinite wisdom thought that it wasn't worth the investment. I think they wanted a couple of things taken out. And Interscope was running things for Nothing. It was really nice that Nothing wanted to put out our records, but they're busy dealing with this shit, and we had everyday Interscope people dealing with our shit. We just paid 15,000 pounds on it. We do everything pretty low budget. I think that "Painiac" was 20,000 pounds, because that fire shit really cost us a lot. The guys come down, from some huge movie studio. and they go, "All right, we're going to be here for 45 minutes, it's going to cost you five and a half thousand pounds, so you better do your shit now." The last video we did was for "Everything", we had thousands of flies in it and they all died on us, so then we just got loads of mutilated dead bodies in there and said, "Well MTV will never show that one." Anyway, where are we?

FP: What can we expect to hear from Pig tonight? A mix of old and new songs?

RW: No, basically stuff from the last two albums. If we were playing for an hour and a half we'd have songs like "My Sanctuary" and "Blades" and those kinds of things but we don't have that time and most people don't know who the fuck we are, so we're keeping it to the simple things. I can't afford to go into big band orchestral shit, because people, especially in different parts of America, theyíll go, (in a Southern accent) "What the goddamn hell is that boy? What kind of music is that? We want rock music boys!" We don't have big canvas so instead of having a small canvas and covering it with a lot of colors, we put up a big square with a line of black down the middle and go, "Can you understand this guys?" and if they get into the door that way, then they might go out and get the albums and they'll get into the other stuff that way. You don't know the album called The Swining do you? It has a mambo track on it called "Black Mambo", I love doing songs like that, or "Toxico", which is off Praise the Lard, it's like a "shoo-be-de-be-bop, shoop-do-wa, shoo-be-de-be-bop, yeah, yeah." That's the thing, Iím really into all of that, but here we are, KMFDM crowd, I mean, one thing that I find it's a great crowd and they go wild, but it's young white adolescent boys music here. you don't see a great multiracial mix in the crowd here.

FP: I am the token black person at these sort of concerts. You are so right.

RW: They're great kids and stuff, but by maybe seeing us rock out, they'll follow it back and they'll hear "Black Mambo", "Toxico", or "One Meatball", which is a stompy outtake on old blues tunes and has a muted trumpet solo in the middle. Then that's like more like how we can get them into it. I can't do 'One Meatball" or "Black Mambo" for the KMFDM crowd. So we go, "All right, we can rock like mother fuckers." So we basically go, and they can respond to that, (in a southern accent) "I might check out these Pig boys." You know what Iím saying? You know what I mean? I don't know. There seems to be a lot, quite a lot of polarization of attitudes here, musically and culturally. Itís weird. The situation, the racial situation in London, the thing that has done more to integrate the whole thing has been done through music. Like when I was a young kid, I was really into The Clash, and The Clash was really into reggae. So I got into reggae music, so you get these white kids getting into reggae the reggae scene. So that works. It really has worked to do more to integrate the different racial mix. So we've got Asian kids who have been influenced by reggae, which was influenced by kind of white dance music, and that's really cool. Here there just seems to be, I don't know much, this is my fourth tour of the states. It's basically a sea of white faces here, which I do find a bit depressing in a way.

FP: Well tonight you'll have a bit of color. In the North you wonít find as many Black people at these sort of concerts, as you will at shows in the South.

RW: Exactly! I had this impression that basically everyone in the north was all tolerant and it was only in the south where the people were rampantly racist. When we were recording NIHIL, we took a day off and we drove out of Seattle. Seattle is you know very white liberal politically correct sort of thing, that kind of white PC thing. I donít like that kind of thing. So we went out of town, me and Sascha and En Esch and we stopped looked at the beautiful scenery, it was a park and rest area and it was really beautiful and guys in checked shirts and beards with their wives drinking beer and having a barbecue. and they just came up and said, "What did you say about my fucking wife boy? I heard what you fucking said, you weirdo faggots, where do you fucking come from?" And it's three guys, just because we were wearing leather, and this is in fucking Washington state, I thought theyíd be a bit more civilized and they just wanted to kick my butt. I find it so fucking weird this country.

FP: I know, I live here. David Bowie comes to mind, "Iím Afraid of Americans". Iím with you David!!!

RW: What? Is he afraid of Americans?

FP: Well he has a song called that.

RW: What's it called? "I'm afraid of Americans"? (laughter)

FP: Why arenít you going to finish the leg of the tour with KMFDM?

RW: I don't know. Rammstein. Originally it was supposed to be us. Originally it was supposed to be KMFDM headlining, us and then Rammstein. And Rammsteinís connected to a friendly little company of Sony who did a little bit of muscle flexing. They didn't want their boys to share the stage with another, so that was it.

FP: Who are the other members of Pig?

RW: Steve, he's the guy I work in the studio with, Steve White. And he works with an outfit in London called the Monkey Mafia, they do remixes for U2 and stuff and they're on a label called Wall of Sound. And he has done a lot of stuff with him. And Julian Hodgson, the other guitar player from a band called Censor, just a guy and a girl, really big in Europe. He's just been working with some of those guys. And drummer Andy Selway works with all sorts of cool people. But like I said, there has been lots of incarnations, but this seems like, we're going to stick with this. When we went to Japan earlier, we had different people. We have personnel changes all the time, I think about 17 different pig bands, but this lot I think we can stick with.

FP: Will you come back for another tour of the USA after this one?

RW: We've been offered a couple of things but I think Iím going to basically wait for the right thing. This is the right tour for us to do this is the right thing. Iím not really very, Iím too old, Iím too fucking old. Iím 36 Iíve been doing this a long time. Iíd rather be at home watching the television. And me and my beautiful wife Louise, we have a garden, and that's what we do. Look after the garden and our grumpy cat.