When we sat down with Matt Baty of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs a matter of hours before their set at The Camp & Furnace, Liverpool at the 6 Music Festival we had no idea what an interesting man he would be to chat and then later to follow up this fascinating chat Pigs x7 played our favourite set of the weekend. Here’s what Matt had to say about the band, the name, the future releases and the inspiration behind the concepts of the lyrics.
Hi, how are you? Your work has had a lot of support from 6 Music, how did it feel to get asked to play the 6 Music festival?
So far I’m feeling good, I’m very tired, we played in Cardiff last night and we set off at midnight to get to a Travelodge at 4am. It’s good to be here, it’s amazing to be asked to play, it’s very exciting and for that reason I’m sure it’s going to be really, really good.
To our knowledge you are by far the ‘heaviest’ act on the line up, I would suspect that has happened multiple times in your career; how do you approach a performance when this is the case?
I don’t think we approach it any differently, we just do it.
It goes without saying that your name catches attention, in recent years we’ve had death metal band Party Cannon with their cartoon font, names such and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and a host of bands using full capital letters for their names. In a culture of endless instant access music how much of impact do you feel this might be making on band names and branding? What have been the positive and negative impacts of your name?
‘We picked our name out of a load of ridiculous names that me and Jonny came up one day when we were having a really bad day and we were trying to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves laugh writing down ridiculous band names and this one somehow stuck.’
We don’t really think about those things too deeply so I don’t feel qualified to answer [the question] to be honest. We picked our name out of a load of ridiculous names that me and Johnny came up one day when we were having a really bad day. We were trying to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves laugh writing down ridiculous band names and this one somehow stuck. There was maybe a time very, very early on when we thought “do we need to change the band name?” but we didn’t. It was unanimous that we didn’t. We didn’t set out with any intentions or real objectives for what we wanted the band to be. We had ideas on the musical direction we wanted to go in but we didn’t think too much about anything else.
Could you give us one of the other names on that bad day?
No, possibly not, they may not be safe for your ears.
You said about considering changing your name in the early days, was that because of negative feedback about the name?
‘If you’re at a festival and you see [our name] on the line up and you’ve not heard of us and you don’t want to go and see that out of curiosity then maybe there’s something wrong with you.’
I don’t think I’ve ever read anything too negative about the name. The way I see it is if you’re at a festival and you see [our name] on the line up and you don’t want to go and see that out of curiosity then maybe there’s something wrong with you.
As we earlier commented we can’t hide that you’re not another indie band and we and other critics have been very complimentary of your work but Adam Sykes (of Pigs x7) said yourself that “If anything I think we’re incredibly derivative.” What do you think has been the reason you’ve been able to penetrate some mainstream media in ways that other heavy bands aren’t?
‘I think what’s great that’s happening with our band is that it shows there is a hunger and a thirst for people to enjoy this music that might not otherwise come across it. If you put this music in front of people, ‘wow this is great and I’m surprised that I really enjoy it’ and I think that’s a beautiful thing.’
I feel that sometimes the kind of music that we play can be very serious and a bit dark whereas there’s some sort of levity in what we’re doing. That’s not to say there’s not other bands out there doing it very well too because there are; maybe it’s just our name! I think there’s something about the sonics of what we do as well, we’re in the thick of it but I don’t experience it as something abrasive or dark and I think that’s possibly opening our doors to a wider audience who feel like they can enjoy it as well. I said earlier on in an interview that quite often music like ours gets cornered and tucked away in specialist shows or journalism which is great but I think what’s great that’s happening with our band is showing there’s a hunger and thirst for it. People are enjoying our music that might not otherwise come across it. It goes to show. if you put this music in front of some people they might think ‘wow this is great and I’m surprised that I really enjoy it’ and I think that’s a beautiful thing.
We’re led to believe that your album King Of Cowards covering some of the 7 deadly sins, but the album has 6 tracks and 8 small images encircling a large circle image on the album, can you talk to us about the album and it’s concepts?
In terms of the artwork we got sent that by Sophie Hollington who is an amazing artist, we came across her work a little bit by chance and she took the concept of the album, sent us the album artwork and it was so amazing that we didn’t want to make any amendments to it whatsoever.
‘I had a catholic upbringing… It took a lot of battling with my internal monologue to realise that people aren’t bad, so this was my way of taking ownership of those concepts and twisting them into my own narrative.’
The 7 seven deadly sins is a longer story; I don’t want to get into bashing religions or people’s beliefs because that’s not a cool thing to do. Everyone should find ways of getting through life and working things out in their own way and that’s totally cool by me, so long as their not enforcing it on other people it’s fine. I had a catholic upbringing, I went to a catholic primary school and from a very, very young age we had some quite deep and intense religious education lessons; fire and brimstone, heaven and hell, good vs evil – all from 4 years old.
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that it’s had some effect on my personality development, and the way I am now even. That starts to spew out into the lyrics as well; it started on the first album with pseudo religious themes and carried on with more intensity with King Of Cowards as well. I think it’s my way of processing some of the concepts that I tried to analyse as a child; you’re basically born a sinner, you’re a sinner for existing and being human on this planet and that’s not really something I subscribe to in anyway, not now. It took a lot of battling with my internal monologue to realise that people aren’t bad, so this was my way of taking ownership of those concepts and twisting them into my own narrative.
As well festivals you’re playing a stream of October and November dates on the ‘Where Are You Playing Next Tour?’ It seems often tours now are coupled with releases, will we be getting any new music from you this year? What can you tell us about it?
‘[The new material is] coming together nicely and we’ve got tentative release plans for early next year.’
You’ll not be getting any new music from us in October; sorry that’s a spoiler. We are working on new material and it’s coming together quite nicely. At the moment [we’re] playing a new song in the set, we might not play it today because we’ve got a slightly shorter set so we might just play the party bangers everyone has been enjoying for the past few months. But, yeah it’s coming together nicely and we’ve got tentative release plans for early next year; at the moment we’re still at drawing board stage with a lot of ideas apart from that one song which we’re really happy with.
Whats the name of the new song?
‘[The new song] is called ‘Crazy In Blood’, that title makes me smile a little bit because it kind of reminds me of ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce and actually when we started playing it live a couple times instead of singing ‘Crazy In Love’ I sang ‘Crazy In Love’.’
It is called ‘Crazy In Blood’, that title makes me smile a little bit because it kind of reminds me of ‘Crazy In Love’ by Beyonce and actually when we started playing it live a couple times instead of singing ‘crazy in blood’ I sang ‘crazy in love’ by accident but I’ve nipped that in the bud and I’m getting my own lyrics right now.
6 Music have blown us away with this line up, who has caught your eye that you will be going to see?
Julian Cope who’s performing on our stage today will be amazing, The Comet Is Coming, John Hopkins who we’ve missed; I’ve been really enjoying Little Simz new album too.