Challenges and instinct: an interview with Dave Curran of Pigs

Dave Curran

Amongst plenty of raging creatively incendiary triumphs to have bruised the year, the Gaffe EP from noise rock band Pigs stood out with ease, its trio of tracks a thrilling rapacious bridge between the band’s acclaimed debut album You Ruin Everything and the bands coming follow-up release scheduled for early next year. Consisting of Unsane’s Dave Curran, Jim Paradise from Player’s Club, Freshkills and Hellno, and renowned producer Andrew Schneider (Cave In, Converge, Made Out of Babies, Unsane, Keelhaul), Pigs confront the senses and imagination with a unique and instinctive fury of intensive sonic weight and antagonistic adventure. To find out more about the origins of Pigs, the member’s numerous and constantly commanding projects, Cheap Trick and more, we had the pleasure of talking with guitarist and vocalist Dave from the NYC band.

Hello Dave and welcome to The RingMaster Review, many thanks for taking time to chat with us.

Firstly can we get you to tell us about the beginnings of Pigs, how you all met and the spark to form the band?

Jim Paradise and I had known each other for years from playing in Players Club together.  In 2008 I had demo-ed 20 or so songs playing guitar, and let Jim hear them.  He then suggested we start a new band.  Pigs was born.  We started out as a 2 piece then hired Bob Russell on bass and Eric Cooper on guitar.  Bob could unfortunately not tour because of his work, and Cooper moved to Texas.  Enter Andrew Schneider… Andrew and I met while he was recording a Keelhaul record at his studio.  I asked if he would record the next Unsane record and join Pigs on bass, he said yes and yes!  He’s been with us ever since.

You were heavily involved in other bands at the time of coming together, and of course continue to be, so did Pigs simply come out of filling spare time between projects or was it an idea long in thoughts and the waiting?

I had some down time and wanted to start a new project where I played guitar again.  We all clicked from the onset and decided to keep at it.

Initially the band was a quartet and now of course a trio; how has that leaner set up enhanced the band if at all?

10 million dollars divided by 3 is better than 10 million dollars divided by four?  Not sure if it’s better or not, it’s just the way it wound up.

You have just released the outstanding Gaffe EP, a three track incendiary bruising which for us feels like a natural offshoot of your 599359_727999003883154_249750389_ndebut album You Ruin Everything whilst pointing at an incendiary evolution in process. How does it feel from the inside?

I like the EP.  There was no conscious effort toward any evolution; I suppose that’s just how things go in general.  I like challenging myself, as do the other guys, which hopefully leads to a more interesting end result.

How has your sound moved from the first album, is there any aspect which you feel has found a particularly distinct step forward?

I’d like to think our sound would simply progress every record.  It’s something you have to work at but when it’s fun it should be no sweat.  We always throw around tons of ideas and keep the ones that strike as interesting and, more importantly, don’t sound like anything we’ve done before.

Does Gaffe present a fair representation or promise of what your current writing and sophomore album will hit us

Sure!  Hard to say though…  There will be some surprises…

How do songs come about in Pigs?

It depends, some I write at home and bring ideas to practice for us to work on.  Often we just write together.

Are there situations where ideas maybe thought up for your other projects have found a perfect home with Pigs or in reverse, ideas created as Pigs you felt would work better in your other bands?

Nope.  All Pigs songs were written for Pigs.

How much time is there for Pigs in comparison to your other projects; is there an element of urgency to everything about the band, a need to explode in every aspect just to fit things in or is it a more relaxed situation time wise?

We’re all fairly busy when we’re home, but we always make time for writing and touring.  It’s just a more focused schedule but nothing terribly stressful.

Does the band in some way give you a creative freedom maybe less accessible in your other projects and bands?

We all went into this with no structured plans for Pigs at all.  We basically keep songs that feel right to us.  Then again I’ve never felt musically stifled in any other projects I was in.

pigsAs mentioned earlier Gaffe is three song storm containing two original and one cover. The new songs have, as well as an evolution in sound as talked of, a more defined voraciousness to their creative ‘scourge’ and intensity. Something you feel also?

Well, 2 songs are covers actually.  Cheap Trick and Betty Davis ‘If I’m in Luck’.  But why not!  Voracious and Scourgey as all hell!

You mentioned there the Cheap Trick song, a brilliant cover of Elo Kiddies, a song with for us where Cheap Trick meets Alice Cooper meets KEN mode. What sparked your choice of the song and how did you approach it to make the track something with a unique Pigs feel?

I’ve always wanted to cover that song since I was a teenager.  It wasn’t going to happen with Unsane, so it seemed appropriate. I don’t think there’s a secret formula to feel of it, we just learned it, tuned down and played

You have just completed a European tour with one of our favourite bands, French noise metallers Sofy Major. How did that go?

Terrible, those guys are jerks…  Ha!  Not at all, great band, great guys.  The tour was very fun, can’t wait until the next one.

…Any memorable moments?

All of them.

What comes next for Pigs, can you give any hints or secrets away about the next album?

New record in the late spring – early summer of 2014.   Whistling solos, tell all your friends…

That’s it for me except Melvins tours.  Andrew has a bunch of recording coming up as well as the re-opening of Translator audio soon!

Once again thanks Dave for sharing your time with us. Any final thoughts or words you would like to leave us?

No problem.  I suppose ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ would be a final thought…

Read the review of the Gaffe EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/pigs-gaffe/

www.pigsnyc.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 03/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sons of Huns – Banishment Ritual

SONSofHUNS_Will_Bragg-6233

Riff clad and groove shoed, Banishment Ritual is one of those albums which is so hard to tear yourself away from once it has its eager and rapacious hooks deeply entrenched within the ears and passions. Sculpted by Oregon trio Sons of Huns, the eleven track release is as virulently contagious and thrillingly magnetic as any stoner/heavy metal confrontation to come along over recent months and though its originality can be argued and debated the album is a ridiculously easy to devour magnetic treat. Since 2009, The Portland band has been firing up and building a keen and potent home fanbase since forming but now with the release via EasyRider Records of the riotous Banishment Ritual, expectations are simply rife with the expectation that the band will soon be recognised and cooed much further afield.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Peter Hughes, drummer Ryan Northrop, and bassist/vocalist Shoki Tanabe (who has recently departed the band to be replaced as touring bassist by Aaron Powell of Belt of Vapor), Sons of Huns has already earned a major reputation for their live performances which has seen them grace numerous Portland festivals and stages supporting the likes of Red Fang, Andrew W.K., Danava, and also comedian Brian Posehn. The band’s 2011 self-titled EP drew potent acclaim as did the 7” single Leaving Your Body, but you feel as debut album Banishment Ritual stomps and ravages through the ears like a sonic terrier on heat that everything before was mere foreplay for the real thing.

The title track opens up the storming exercise in persistent dramatic riffery and rhythmic entrapment with an eager swagger and Cover Artfiery breath if not the rabidity and aggressive attention grabbing shown in later tracks. A warm blues squall wraps the guitar enterprise whilst the vocals have a strength and expression which matches the sonic intensity and melodic tantalising veining the track. It is a compelling accomplished start which lays down the appealing canvas for greater things to play upon starting with the following Argenteum Astrum.

The second track is a delicious flame of sci-fi inspired adrenaline coaxed stoner rock ‘n’ roll, a merger of Motorhead and Red Fang with the sinews of Black Tusk rippling throughout its contagious charge. The band is equally unafraid to twist and shift things around within the charge, a slow melodic croon teasing the senses midway in for a mesmeric enticement that tempers and compliments the sturdy riffery and thumping rhythms. It is the first of a few pinnacles closely followed by the mighty seduction of Heliolith, a track where grooves entice places which should never be felt up in public and riffs cage thoughts of escape with resourcefulness and irresistible addictiveness.

The dual assault of Horror In Clay and I’m Your Dad bring the album to another peak, the first with a blues crafted energy and rampancy which flirts with the passions through evolving gaits and inquiring sonic imagination whilst its successor, the best track on the album is pure undiluted bruising rock ‘n’ roll. Part early Queens Of The Stone Age and part Black Sabbath with a spattering of Trucker Diablo, the song emerges as a unique and exhilarating blaze of voracious enterprise to ignite a greater rabidity to the already spawned hunger for the album.

Following the decent but out of place amongst the other tracks instrumental Waking Sleep, Sons of Huns unleashes another incendiary device for the passions with the intensive infection of Planet No. 9, another track where grooves are as epidemically inciting as the riffs and rhythmic confrontation. With strong vocal harmonies to aid the always enjoyable delivery of Hughes and Tanabe, the track storms the barricades with charm and insatiable energy aligned to aggressive endeavour and addiction forging adventure. Seriously challenging for best song on Banishment Ritual it gives a tall order for the rest of the album to live up to.

Both the smouldering lure of Lord of Illusion and the garage rock escapade of instrumental Rollin’ the Dice make a fine if unsuccessful attempt, the pair as many of the tracks breeding a psychedelic air to their stoner and blues emissions, whilst Super Kanpai Rainbow steps up to the plate with an impossibly infectious temptation of garage punk and metal merged into a psychedelic psyche taunting with sonic colour as vibrant and transfixing as the imagination spawning its intriguing and thrilling offering.

Completed by final stoneresque fire of Oroboros, The Sword meets Led Zeppelin to give a whiff of its heat, Banishment Ritual is an outstanding release which makes a stronger persuasion with every encounter.  Maybe not strong on originality but towering in every other aspect, it is an outstanding full length debut placing Sons of Huns towards the frontline of stoner/blues metal.

http://sonsofhuns.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 03/12/2013

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Lucid Skies – Hounds EP

Credit - Tyler Frith

Credit – Tyler Frith

Though seemingly tagged as metalcore, Canadian fury Lucid Skies has a presence which primarily forges ferocious hardcore with metallic spite and melodic enterprise, the resulting sound which not only grabs attention but gives it an exhausting uncompromising examination which veers from imaginative seduction to unbridled and bruising antagonism. The Hounds EP is the impressive second release from the Edmonton quartet, following the Grudge Match EP of last year, and though it is not faultless it is promise soaked and strikingly invigorating.

Formed in 2009, Lucid Skies took little time in drawing notice their way with a sound inspired by the likes of Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, and Holly Springs Disaster. Started by guitarist Jesse Berger, the band was soon at full complement as Berger enlisted vocalist Nick Ogden, bassist Sam Jackson, and drummer Justin Smith. With impressive live performances seeing the band share stages with bands such as with Fall City Fall, Blind Witness, Fall In Archaea, and Breaking Fourth Wall, the foursome has continually enhanced their reputation, the debut EP sparking additional  keen attention which Hounds can only accelerate as the band continues its emergence.

The self-released Berger produced EP, opens with Shotgun Mouthwash and immediately has ears and senses up for its raucous Lucid Skies - Hoods Album Artworkconfrontation. A guitar grazing behind a vocal sample makes the first move before expelling a sonic breath around inviting crisp rhythms and the snarling vocals of Ogden. Group shouts pounce to back up the frontman to great effect and with riffs grilling the senses and rhythms building their punchy commanding presence the track sears the air with metal bred sinews and punk spite. Musically the song sees the band play with their intent and ideas to make for an appealing if restrained adventure, certainly compared to other tracks on the release, whilst the breakdowns and predacious attack of the riffs only add to the lure of the strong if unspectacular starter.

As soon as Left Hook makes its presence known you sense that something extra is at work, an indefinable essence maybe but one which adds an experimentation and bravery absent from its predecessor. The artillery of drum invention from Smith is an instant contagion whilst the grazing riffery only adds to the developing drama and intrigue. Into its muscular and provocative stride, grooves mark the heavy charge of the song whilst the vocals bring the expected venom with relish and power. The bass of Jackson is a throaty bestial stalking within this mix adding to the impressive incitement, though the breakdown to the back end of the song is clumsy but as the promo used was digital one wonders if it might have been a glitch in the transfer. Nevertheless the closing straight hardcore rage brings a great track to a healthy finale and a certain hungry appetite awoken for the EP.

With Eyes is the best song on the release and the most inventive, its body a continual movement of ideas and bold design. Its opening is straight forward enough, a decent hardcore raging but once it drops into a djent inspired prowling of the senses with the guitar a savage provocateur it ignites, grooves and hooks taking us on a keener escapade. Like in the previous songs things wait until the second half to whip the ground from under the feet and light up the imagination with unexpected skilful quests of exploration. The bass is unleashed to intimidate the ears alone, apart from the corruptive influence of the excellent beats of Smith, it developing a delicious groan to its notes which is matched and accentuated by the guitar to addictive effect, so much so that as the track returns to its initial fiery foraging of the ears it is at first a disappointment, but one soon forgotten as the track unloads the rest of its excellent bruising.

Hounds does not venture into the unknown or the band’s imagination enough for personal tastes, that shown up by the third track and its success when doing so, but also the vocal delivery of Ogden is something needing some enterprise too. His attack is excellent and tones as nasty and corrosive as you would wish but also needing some variation to really shine. It is a genre thing, hardcore and metalcore, to unleash one directional squalls so it is hard to be too critical but it is no accident that the best bands do find a vocal diversity to join a musical variation, something Lucid Skies certainly owns.

Completing the EP is Count Me Out, a track with mountainous rhythms and a spiralling sonic beckoning which is soon badgering the ear with intensive and merciless voracity. A metal seeded antagonist with a tempestuous appetite and combativeness, the song like the opener does not sparks the fires as the other two making up Hounds but undoubtedly continues the marking out of Lucid Skies as a stirring force to keep a close eager eye upon. The potential and existing promise of the band is impossible to ignore and their suspected ascent one which will have a hungry audience in times ahead with the Hounds EP, a name Your Own Price release at the band’s Bandcamp profile, an excellent place to climb on board the ride.

http://lucidskies.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LUCIDSKIES780

8/10

RingMaster 03/12/2013

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