One of ThisIsNotAScene‘s grind specialists, Berns, got the chance to not only review Pig Destroyer‘s latest album, “Book Burner“, but also poses a few thoughts and questions to Blake Harrison.
Hello and welcome to this interview on behalf of myself and ThisIsNotAScene, I have to ask, what is the message behind the super creepy cover art for book burner?
There’s not really a message per se. It kind of happened that JR saw that piece a while ago and asked the artist if he still had it and he did. We just thought it was creepy and stark, so we went with it.
What was the approach to recording this new album? I was fortunate enough to review the album myself, and I found that it had a very metal edge to it, any specific reason for that?
We wanted to go for a leaner and meaner sound, a little more angry and less thrashy than the previous record. We wanted to have a short aggressive grindcore record.
Is it very demanding, being a grindcore band and then knowing that fans expect you to just push the envelope in terms of going harder, faster and more intense?
I wouldn’t say so, I mean we don’t write for anyone else but us. It’s kind of what we do, writing this extreme music, we’ve all grown up on that sort of thing and I don’t’ want to say that it comes naturally too us, but it’s kind of just something we do. Of course we want people to like it, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to be happy with our own music.
Has the writing process changed match over the years, from album to album, “Book Burner” being the 5th album and considering the gap between releases?
No, not really, I mean aside from like having a certain goal or sound in mind. Basically, Scott comes up with the riffs and demos them to us and we go from there. He will program the drums behind the guitar and present it to us and we’ll tweak it, JR adds his lyrics and then I add my blips and bloops.
I would like you guys to shed some light on writing process when it comes to a grindcore album, I myself am a massive fan of the genre and most people tend to think that because songs are shorter than other songs in the extreme music arena. What is your opinion on the matter?
The genre itself lends to extremity, I mean keeping the songs shorter is an aspect of the genre itself. We don’t intentionally keep our songs short, when we feel we’ve said enough, we move onto the next thing.
In relation to the new album and the “Natasha” EP, do you guys see yourself as taking your music into a new direction?
No, not at all, “Natasha” was an experiment, very fun for us to do, we love doom and music like that so we wrote a song in that style.
In a genre like grindcore, people tend to expect just one outcome? Do you guys ever feel constrained by that or just the need to just break that preconception and experiment with the sound and approach?
No, we’ve never felt hindered or constrained by the genre, I mean we kind of just do what we want to do, I mean again, we have to be happy with what we write and release.
In writing the new album did you guys aim for a certain amount of songs or do you tend to just go with the flow? What is the Pig Destroyer formula to producing an album?
We just kind of go with the flow, we needed a certain amount of time obviously to make it a full length, but when we felt we were done, we finished.
For the new album, are there any European tours lined up for next year? Obscene Extreme Festival maybe?
We are planning on going to Europe next year, we’re working on stuff now, but nothing is locked down enough for me to comment on it.
The band dynamic itself, do you guys all have different music tastes? Anything weird or out of the ordinary you guys like?
Nothing I would say that is weird, Scott likes jazz a lot, I’m a huge fan of 80’s pop music, JR likes hip hop, but you know, we have varying tastes just like anyone.