Published Oct 30, 2012Virginia grindcore masters Pig Destroyer have finally released their latest album, Book Burner, the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2007 record, Phantom Limb. As founder and guitarist Scott Hull recently explained in an interview with Exclaim!, the band have seen their fair share of challenges in the last five years, including their first lineup change in over a decade.
The five-year gap between the band's fifth album, Book Burner, and their previous is the longest they've ever endured. "There was a lot of stuff that happened between Phantom Limb and when we finally got Book Burner done," Hull says. "The first of which was getting out of our practice place, and for that we had to build a whole new studio, and for that I had to buy a whole new house with my family.
"We kind of had fallen into a slump with Pig Destroyer because we moved and we had gotten done with our tour cycle for Phantom Limb, and I think it was difficult for us to get back into the groove of practising and writing again."
Issues with their drummer, one of their core members, also set Pig Destroyer back from being able to move forward with a new record. "I don't think Brian [Harvey] was really into it at the time," Hull explains. "The economy was pretty bad back then and that kind of took a toll on him. He pretty much just worked non-stop and he didn't have time for anything else. So there was a good, solid year of a lot of practice cancelling and just us generally not getting anywhere, creating a bad vibe with the band, and at the end of that issue we decided we had to part ways with Brian.
"We were already a few songs into Book Burner at that point. So at the end of 2010, beginning of 2011, we were faced with, for the first time in 13 years, getting a new drummer and that was a bit of a scare for us because we'd been a pretty solid core for 13 years or so."
After replacing Harvey a few times with drummers that didn't end up working out, Pig Destroyer recruited Adam Jarvis of Baltimore, MD death-grind band Misery Index. Hull says that Jarvis had a tremendous impact on the band from the start.
"He sort of breathes new life into the band. He gets in, he learns the material, he's very proactive about doing that and very proactive about practising and being on top of things. So he's never one to show up for practice not prepared for anything. If you even give him the vaguest notion that we might need something new from him next practice, then he immediately goes home and takes care of it."
Hull explains that, while it took Pig Destroyer a few years to get back on track, the addition of Jarvis has made the wait worth it. "He's really been good at driving us forward in areas where we've sort of been dragging in the past."
Hull adds, "And he's an awesome dude, I mean he fits in personality-wise, and that was the most crucial thing for us, actually. Not only to find a drummer that can play the stuff that we need and continue to push forward in terms of skill and speed and whatnot, but somebody who fits with us personally because anybody that doesn't fit with us personally is just going to make the band situation kind of a bummer and we definitely didn't want that, especially coming from the situation we got out of."
Book Burner is out now via Relapse.