Sadistic Vindicators

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APMD (All Pigs Must Die) is a band committed to uncompromising sonic warfare. Its sound and lyrics assault the listener in a fury of blackened death filled anthems.” Yep, I lifted that straight from the band’s Facebook page, thinking it a perfectly apt description of the aural terror inflicted upon the listener by All Pigs Must Die. One of a growing number of bands that blend gnarly death, d-beaten crust, and vicious hardcore in a way that is somehow fresh and exciting, APMD swoops in like an elite commando unit, executing its mission with deadly efficiency, leaving as quickly as they arrived, and with not a soul left alive in its wake. That’s what is in store for you with each and every spin of Southern Lord full-length debut God is War. Featuring members of Bloodhorse, The Hope Conspiracy, and Converge, this is one band does not – in the most direct way I can put it – fuck around. Adam Wentworth provides the debriefing.

We’ve got to start with that great name. What led to your naming the band All Pigs Must Die? What was the idea behind it?

It’s taken from the Death In June album of the same name. Kevin has used the theme of “pigs” in the past with Hope Conspiracy, as a reference to irreversible corruption and soullessness, and given the tone of the music we were writing, that particular name seemed fitting.

And while you’re it, what’s the story behind the four of you leaving your respective musical corners and coming together to form All Pigs Must Die? Was it a case of being able to express yourselves in ways that didn’t quite fit with what Bloodhorse, the Hope Conspiracy, and Converge could offer?

No, it didn’t have anything to do with feeling unable to express ourselves in our other bands or anything like that. We were all shitfaced at a holiday party and I’m not sure how it came up, but we decided the four of us should do a project together. There was no big plan, or reason other than “we’ve all played in bands with each other, but never this exact group of people, so let’s try that.” We figured we’d record an EP and leave it as a project. The idea of playing live was not even talked about. It was just a drunk idea at a party.

How did you approach the full-length compared to the debut EP, as far as the writing and recording was concerned?

There was no difference in writing for either record. Some of the material on the LP was written for the EP, but we were short on time in the studio so those songs were carried over. We sort of stumbled upon an effective writing process right off the bat, which is largely based on our geographical separation and limited time to play as a full band. We record demos at home, bring them to everyone else, demo it as a band and fine-tune it from there. We are all in the same room so infrequently that it eliminates any scenario where you’re standing around going “uhh what should go after that part?” It just helps keep the gears going.

Do you see the difference as a progression, assuming you even think in those terms?

I don’t think we plan on changing our writing process any time soon. But I definitely think we’re progressing as a band in terms of how we play off of each other and have a better sense of what the other guys are going to do with any ideas you bring them for songs.

Are there particular songs that you feel best define the All Pigs Must Die sound or perhaps ones you find most notable for whatever reason?

I’ve never thought about a specific song that absolutely defines our sound. I think “Hungry Wolf, Easy Prey” stands out to me because it was the first song we wrote for All Pigs Must Die, and I don’t think it sounds like a band trying to figure out what it is. “Third World Genocide,” “God Is War” and “Pulverization” are really fun to play and cover most of the bases we touch on musically.

As for the album title, God is War, it seems to be one that could work on multiple levels, none of which seem particularly flattering to what some would refer to as the man upstairs.

The title is an altered line from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. The meaning behind it is much less of a focus on religion than the artwork would lead one to believe; it’s more about human nature. The title is a reference to the apotheosis of violence by mankind, and how that violence fits under the umbrella of religion and becomes “just” to the masses.

That cover art is so fitting.

It’s not really a subtle cover.

Kurt Ballou seemed the perfect choice to record the album. What is it about his ability to make bands with a caustic, feral sound on stage actually come off that way in the studio?

I think he’s able to pull that off so effectively because he goes through that same process with his own band. He’s got a great ear and excellent taste and his recordings reflect that and have character to them. It seems like some records have the player taken out of them and it’s just surgical perfection everywhere. Kurt definitely pushes you to get the best take, but he’s not trying to get things to a robotic level. He knows us as players, he knows where we’re coming from and he knows what we’re looking for so he has been the obvious choice for us. We have a great working relationship with him that I don’t see ending any time soon.

How did the union of All Pigs Must Die and Southern Lord come about? Do you see the label as a good fit for you?

Greg got in touch with us I think after someone turned him onto the EP just to say he liked the band and thought it was cool we self-released a 12″. We kept in touch with him over the next few months while we were recording the full-length and things progressed from there. We’re very pleased with Southern Lord. It’s the first label I’ve personally dealt with that says “you can do whatever you want” and then actually lets us make the final call. They’re very supportive. It’s great.

You’ve mentioned Samhain as one of those bands that still rings your bell to this day and that was part of the overall inspiration for All Pigs Must Die. It’s one I don’t see often these days when bands talk of your influences.

There’s a simplicity to Samhain that I think struck a chord with all of us. Doing more with less. They’re one of the bands that we all look to for ideas on the most stripped down way to get from A to B. They were able to sound dark and ominous without being atonal and overly harsh.

What was it about Integrity that really did it for you?

One of the things that stands out to me about Integrity is that despite being so crushing and harsh, they still had hooks. Their songs got stuck in your head. If you dissect their songs it’s really simple stuff, yet it’s incredible effective. A lot of their material still holds up today.

What about Slayer, Discharge, and Bathory? These are all admitted influences.

Yeah, we steal liberally from all three of them. I think those three have influenced us each in separate ways, from song structures to playing style. Watching videos of Lombardo play and then watching Ben [Koller], there are so many similarities in how they play.

If there is one thing you want to come across to the listener when listening to All Pigs Must Die what is it and why?

Hopefully younger kids that hear us might come to the conclusion that you can be heavy using actual riffs and song structures, and that chugging an E chord at various rhythms synced up with the kick drum for an entire song actually sucks.

You’ve got one word that best describes All Pigs Must Die to someone that has never experienced the band. What word do you use?

I don’t know, I’m awful at describing music. “Aggressive” might be the most all-encompassing term if I had to choose one.




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