Metal Skull: Pig Destroyer In The Black – Interview With JR Hayes

Have you gotten to see the grind generation switch? You’ve got Repulsion, Brutal Truth and Pig Destroyer on this show. It’s almost like three different generations of bands.

Yeah, I was thinking about that when I saw the ad on the Relapse site, that it’s a classic line-up of bands and it kind of makes me feel like the first time we went to Japan we went over there with Anal Cunt, Nasum and Napalm Death, and we were just thinking, if you’re a grind fan, we couldn’t be playing with any better bands than this. We’ve been really fortunate in that respect, I don’t really know why, luck of the draw, but we’ve been able to associate with a lot of our favorite bands. And lost a lot of good bands along the way, too. There’s a lot of really great grindcore bands that have broken up. Then you’ve got bands like Phobia that just keep on churning along. I think that in any scene of music you’ve got the lifers. When I think about metal, I always think about OverKill. OverKill’s never gone away. They’ve always been there and they probably always will. They’re like the Motörhead of thrash metal.

How aware are you guys as a band of your own growing reputation?

I think we kind of stay away from it. When we play shows and stuff, we love to interact with fans and hang out, and it’s times like that where we get a sense that we have a lot of fans. A lot of really dedicated fans as well. A lot of the kids who like our band are really fanatical about liking our band and you have to love that. But we don’t tour that much and when we’re home, you know, I don’t really go on the Internet and look at that sort of stuff. We don’t get out a whole lot, so we tend to stay kind of isolated from it, but obviously when you go somewhere and you play to a bunch of people, it wakes you up a little bit.

You mentioned the Scion Rock Fest and you did Deathfest and Hellfest in France and all these festivals. What’s the difference for you in the way you look at the show between playing something with X-number of bands over however many days, as opposed to a show like this, where it’s just three killer bands?

It’s just different kinds of shows. My favorite kinds of shows are probably playing a basement for a July 4 party or something. Keg outside, maybe somebody sets up a bonfire or something like that. To me, that’s the best kind of show you can play. But then, when we get to play the big fests, we think about it as an efficiency thing. When we did the Hellfest in France a few weeks ago, we hadn’t played Europe in a few years and even when we went to Europe the first time, we didn’t play very many shows there, so for us it was a good opportunity to play to a lot of people at the same time and a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily see us, who wouldn’t come to a club show we were playing.

But if we’re at a fest, maybe they’ll come check us out just for something to do. Maybe even by accident. But I think when you play a small show with a couple of grind bands, it’s nice to go out and know all the crazy grindheads are going to be there. You know exactly what you’re gonna get at a show like that. It’s nice to just have your fans there and everybody knows what’s up. But then, we like to play shows with weird bands, too, because then you get to play to different audiences. Every show’s a little different. We’ve played with emo bands, and you name it, we’ve probably put in a show with somebody who plays that type of music. We’ve played New York a half a dozen times, maybe more. We always get a good crowd there, people are always really cool, and obviously we’re playing with two really great bands. A lot of our label people will probably be there. It’ll be a good time. It’ll be a party.

Pig Destroyer are playing with Repulsion and Brutal Truth at the Blackened Music Series at Masonic Temple in Brooklyn on July 31. For more info, check out or

JJ Koczan can also be found lurking at Tell him we sent you.