Legendary grindcore band Pig Destroyer is co-headlining the Denver Black Sky festival with Skinless at the Gothic Theatre on Saturday, December 5. Based out of Alexandria, Virginia, Pig Destroyer began in 1997 when vocalist J.R. Hayes, formerly of Enemy Soil, and guitarist Scott Hull, formerly of Anal Cunt and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, decided to join forces. Along the way the band's lineup has changed and its music has evolved with those changes. The band has long incorporated the grindcore base with noise and power electronics, resulting in not just a brutal but disorienting sound that enhances a sense of hysteria and mayhem. Their music establishes a tone and atmoshere that mere guitar, bass, drums, and vocals alone cannot
Longtime friend of the band and grind veteran Blake Harrison joined Pig Destroyer in 2006 to play electronics—a role he had not played in previous bands. But Harrison jumped into it as a good excuse to keep hanging out with friends and working on creative projects. Inspired initially by the way Godflesh and Napalm Death used tape loops in their music, Harrison feels that he's still constantly learning his craft and now works in sound design. Prior to joining Pig Destroyer, Harrison was familiar with power electronics pioneers Whitehouse as well as tribal noise group Current 93 and dark ambient project Moon Hidden Beneath a Cloud, but his horizons were opened further by his new bandmates. Like any good bandmate, Harrison is mindful of where his contributions fit in with the band as a whole.
“Because it's in a rock format, it has to be somewhat repeatable and can't be complete chaos,” says Harrison. “There's a band called Steel Pole Bathtub that uses a lot of samples. And of course Godflesh and Cop Shoot Cop used samples in a rock format. I don't want it to feel tacked on or step all over the music. I try to walk a fine line and I don't know if I reach that. I also really like Warlock Pinchers and even though it sounds really dated now, the Jello Biafra project Lard. For compositional stuff when I write I just write and I have ten things and maybe one will work.”
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For the Denver date, Harrison will go out on a limb with his own electronic compositions and debut his solo project, Tentacles of God, at Rhinoceropolis on Friday, December 4.
“It's an ambient piece I wrote, and it's being released on a friend's tape label at the show,” Harrison says. “It's H.P. Lovecraft-inspired. I'm glad I'm not doing it in my hometown. I'm still ironing out stuff so it'll be a catastrophe or boring or awesome. But I guess you could say that about anything.”
Denver Black Sky III featuring Pig Destroyer, Skinless, Havok, Ringworm, In the Company of Serpents, Nekrofilth, Khemmis and Axeslasher at Gothic Theatre happens this Saturday, December 5. Doors are at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m.. Tickets are $20 adv./$25 day of show and it is an 16+ event. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Gothic Theatre website.