Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs

New­cas­tle’s sludgy rock’n’roll de­viants talk new mu­sic, their Catholic roots and ac­tual pigs.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt - King Of Cow­ards is out on Septem­ber 28 via Rocket Record­ings.

“With any sort of mu­sic with me, you’re deal­ing with emo­tional in­ten­sity,” Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs singer-song­writer Matt Baty re­flects. “Re­gard­less of our ridicu­lous and ob­nox­ious name, there’s an un­der­ly­ing pur­pose be­hind ev­ery­thing we do, but it is shrouded in a mask of jovi­al­ity.”

The band that san­ity de­mands we call sim­ply Pigs grew out of nu­mer­ous in­ter­locked out­fits in New­cas­tle’s flour­ish­ing un­der­ground rock scene, not least the sludgy bleak­ness of

Khünnt, who share most of Pigs’ mem­bers. The lat­ter’s new, sec­ond al­bum, King Of Cow­ards, stands out not only for its mix­ture of doom-me­tal grav­ity and rock­et­ing rock’n’roll, but also lyrics that grap­ple with de­pres­sion, guilt, re­li­gion and love.

Hav­ing played drums in his pre­vi­ous bands, Baty found song­writ­ing chal­leng­ing. His un­usual, sub­con­scious tech­nique sees him pri­mal hol­ler­ing dur­ing band re­hearsals, which he then fi­nesses into words, as well as re­mem­ber­ing half-dreamt lyrics at the point of sleep. “It wasn’t un­til the fourth song that I no­ticed this thread of sin and guilt and vices,” he says.

These themes grew out of Baty’s Catholic up­bring­ing. “At

Catholic church and school,” he says, “ev­ery­thing you do has a con­se­quence. I don’t want to bash re­li­gion. It’s a very strange world, and there are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions. I just grew up with an over­rid­ing feel­ing of be­ing un­der the con­trol of some­one else.”

The al­bum’s clos­ing track, Gloamer, though, throws off the ear­lier crush­ing guilt to de­clare: ‘You are loved’. “That song’s my re­demp­tion,” Baty says. “If one or two peo­ple can be helped, I’ll be happy.”

King Of Cow­ards was recorded in largely idyl­lic cir­cum­stances, af­ter guitarist Adam Sykes spot­ted a lux­u­ri­ous Airbnb pad in Ital­ian moun­tain coun­try.

Its prox­im­ity to wild boar hunt­ing grounds caused a bit of a scare, though.

“Chris [Mor­ley] our drum­mer came snout to snout at one point,” laughs Baty. “He was out­side hav­ing a cig­a­rette, and started scream­ing about a bear. He ran in­side and – as far as he knew – locked Johnny [Hed­ley, bassist] out­side with the bear he was scream­ing about! We’re con­vinced it was a wild boar.”

Un­for­tu­nate as it is that a band called Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs can’t tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween a pig and a bear, the re­sul­tant al­bum was worth the porcine trauma. Baty con­sid­ers if writ­ing it turned his own guilt into some­thing pos­i­tive.

“Be­ing a front­man has forced me to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter,” he says. “The first cou­ple of gigs, I had my back to peo­ple through­out. And then I turned around and no­ticed how much peo­ple were en­joy­ing things. No one’s in these venues to have a bad time. In that sense, ev­ery­one’s sup­port­ing each other. If you can take that re­al­i­sa­tion into ev­ery­day life, then things get a lit­tle eas­ier.” NH

FOR FANS OF...“A lot of our other bands are slow and min­i­mal­ist,” Matt Baty says of their in­flu­ences. “But we love the mo­men­tum of Krautrock, and Motör­head and Black Sab­bath at their most pacey. They were com­mon in­flu­ences that we were look­ing to meld to­gether, and have some­thing with a bit more life in it.”

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