Hello Raymond and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Your recent tour in North America happened just a couple of months back and the critical acclaim from “The Gospel” has not died down as of yet. Were you expecting such a heavy and positive reaction for “The Gospel” after not having put out an album in such a long time?
Raymond Watts: It’s great to be talking to you, and thanks for getting in touch. In answer to your question I must say I was never expecting such a positive response to The Gospel and it’s great to hear that people like it. However, I must say I never really think about what others will think of what I’m writing or the whole process would become (even more) bogged down in self consciousness and vanity...And I suffer from enough of that already! Seriously though after not having released a
album for such a long time it was really great just to write and not fall into the fear of ‘sacrificing of the good on the alter of the best’. Which I’m sure we are all guilty of sometimes, especially when it’s over ten years since your last album/book/painting/run/swim or whatever!
Prior to The Gospel, the last album you put out under PIG was Pigmata. But that didn't mean you weren't busy; you were working on a bunch of other musical endeavors at the time. Was there anything that got you in the mood or put you in the right mindset to write out a new album?
Raymond Watts: Mmmm, the word ‘busy’ is open to a wide interpretation here...I was doing things (a lot of it not to do with music), and I have always written words. But I think what you’re referring to is some of the music I wrote for people like Alexander McQueen, the fashion shows and films along with the exhibitions at The Met and The V&A. Strangely though it was the unlikeliest things that got the The Gospel made and the US tour happening. Really, a set of co-incidences that led to this all happening again that were just bizarre in the way the stars aligned. The collaborations with Marc Heal on the Compound Eye EP and the
Just by its name The Gospel seems to be themed around religion. Were you trying to tackle any tough subject matters with your new album, or is it just meant to be humorous and satirical?
Raymond Watts: Well it doesn’t require a vision from above to see that there is some reference to the dogma and diatribe found in organised religion and their texts. I do find religion and the bible fascinating, in its trouble and torment and the rhythm and lyricism of it. I am personally not a fan organised religion but I love the architecture of its language, its churches and ceremony.
Two of the singles from the album came along with a music video. The first was 'Diamond Sinners' and then came 'Found In Filth'. Why did you choose these two tracks to get the treatment? Were they your favorites? Did they really symbolize what you were trying to do with “The Gospel”? Or was it some other reason?
We did 'The Diamond Sinners' first because it really did seem to just encapsulate the the album in one. Also Z. Marr and myself had only just written it so I hadn’t got bored with it! Also I wanted to do it because I like it’s words, and the allusions to the gutter and the stars. 'Found In Filth' on the other hand was much more ‘rock ’n’ roll’, very different and glammy. A brilliant riff from Mark Thwaite and it just had to be done. Mark is a joy to work with, he just sends stuff over I add water, bung it in the oven and hey presto!
So far I've seen nothing but positive remarks from both fans and critics alike when speaking of “The Gospel”. Have you seen or heard anything but that? And after being in the music industry for such a long time, how do you feel about critical reviews of your work? Do those words ever influence what you do next?
Raymond Watts: I would really worry if I worried too much about critical reviews...Like my own ideas I never take them too seriously, and would certainly never let them influence me...(as the politician said to the lobbyist).
You've always been able to combine a plethora of genres in your music from the get go. Most notable on “The Gospel” there's a mix of industrial with blues and rock'n'roll. For “The Gospel”, did you take musical influence from any other bands or did you just sit in the studio until you found the perfect combination of material?
Raymond Watts: "The perfect combination," I love that! I wish it were so. Alas, I count my misses not my hits on this one, but it is what it is and overall I’m proud of it. You’re right in saying that I like to blend different genres, but that’s probably just because I have a low boredom threshold. In the past when I’ve worked with other bands I do get a bit itchy when the same old formula is rolled out more than once musically. Luckily when I’ve been writing the words, I see it as my own car, and I can crash it however the fuck I like.
And in bigger and brighter news – at least for those who are over in the UK – You're going back on tour with Mortiis. Are you excited to be hitting the stage with Mortiis? Do you think you and Mortiis will collaborate for any songs while on stage?
Raymond Watts: I am looking forward to the UK tour with Mortiis. I doubt we’ll collaborate on stage but I’ve enjoyed the remixes Z. Marr and myself have done for them. I think it’s a great line up!
I read that both you and Mortiis have remixed one of each other's songs for new remix records. Yours will be titled Swine & Punishment and will be released in May. Who else will appear as remixers on this album? And will there be any original songs on the album?
Raymond Watts: Swine & Punishment the
Other than all that has been said so far, have you anything else in the works at PIG headquarters?
Raymond Watts: I couldn’t possibly tell you what we’re working on currently...It won’t kill you, but it will thrill you.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you the best of luck on your upcoming tour! Cheers!
Raymond Watts: My pleasure. Thank you.
You can currently grab up tickets for the "Swine & Punishment" tour HERE and can grab your copy of THE GOSPEL HERE.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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