Editor’s Note: If you like a mix of Black Sabbath meets Turbonegro meets Melvins, then you’ll really dig PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS(PIGSX7). This band recently released their latest single for “Hell’s Teeth”, and they are set to captivate the world with their unique mix of classic rock with stoner rock with a touch of garage rock vibes. In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Adam Ian Sykes of Pigsx7 discusses mental health and cystic fibrosis, their album “Viscerals” and coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and self-quarantining. Fans can find Pigsx7 at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Adam, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today. How have you been coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine era?
Adam: Thanks for having me as this gives me something to do! I’ve been staying isolated for the past 125 days, so I’m not really sure what’s been going on too much in the outside world, but I think things are starting to get back to normal, whether that’s a good thing or not.
Madness To Creation: Is it because of your cystic fibrosis on why you’ve been quarantined for the past 125 days?
Adam: Yeah, because of the virus as well, that’s why I’ve been staying indoors.
Madness To Creation: How has your band adjusted through this pandemic in terms of band schedules, etc?
Adam: We haven’t really gotten together with me unable to leave the house, I think that we’ve been kind of taking things a bit slowly and a bit cautiously, but we’re writing together but separately, trying to put some ideas together, in which we can hope that we can start touring next year maybe. When “Viscerals” came out, our last album, which came out about three months ago, we started to have a campaign for that, we tried to celebrate the release as much as we could without actually touring.
Madness To Creation: I know your band hasn’t really done any Instagram or Facebook Live performances given the situation, how have you had to adjust promoting the album on your social media accounts?
Adam: Well with the gig(s) getting cancelled, we got together with a few friends and made some sort of a live video, and we just got pretty drunk and they joined us for the night.
Madness To Creation: Off of “Viscerals”, I love the song “Reducer”, I love the video, it felt like an old Black Sabbath video, can you take us into the song from your perspective and how does Pigsx7 come together to create a song when you all enter the studio?
Adam: It depends on the song, it’s a five-way collaboration. Sometimes 1, 2 or 3 of us might write a vast majority of the song separately and everyone else fills in their parts, with “Reducer” it was Johnny and Chris who were working on and I’ve been listening to a lot of Japanese psyche-rock at the time. With the video, we were trying to think of ideas and we were struggling and going back to your mention of Black Sabbath, and it was done at that club, it was all green screen and we shot the video ourselves, and it’s all edited together and one of the guys that runs the label, he did all of the video work and it was filmed using analog monitors and we really dug the outcome of it.
Madness To Creation: When you create your riffs, what is your mentality when you structure the arrangements of the songs?
Adam: I just bring a level of trust. Usually somebody brings a fresh level of perspective to the song or album and I just trust in it. Personally, I do all of the lead guitar in the studio while I’m recording, I just write on the fly and see what comes out. Matt Baty will write the lyrics and melodies separately, we focus on the lyrics and melodies after he puts down the vocals, it keeps it creative and exciting for us, that’s kind of the way that we do it.
Madness To Creation: In your guitar work, what’s one thing you’re proficient at and one thing that you want to hone your craft even further?
Adam: I wouldn’t say that I’m extremely proficient at anything, I just try my best. I’ve never been a particularly great guitar player, but I think I can write a decent riff, hopefully I can quickly learn, I wouldn’t say I’m very proficient. I’m sure there’s lots of things that we can hone our craft on. I guess the good thing about the lockdown is that I have a little bit more time to make riffs.
Madness To Creation: How has this lockdown impacted your mental health? What are some personal challenges and personal growths that you have had through this?
Adam: It’s been difficult at times, I think the important thing for me is keeping perspective and try to focus on the positive and that’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, I’ve kind of been a naturally cynical person, and that’s something that I’ve struggled with and the important thing is to focus on where you are and also is very important to remember that it can always be so much worse, and I have to be thankful that it’s not. I just have to remember that I’m not a health care worker, I mean they go to work every day and risk their lives every day, and I thank them, I just have to keep this in perspective and that’s what helps me. With the talk of keeping perspective and staying positive, at times that’s obviously very difficult and it’s important to not let that perspective lead to guilt. Self-care is just as vital.
Madness To Creation: One concern that I have about this is the amount of people in the industry that are not working, what can we do as a society or what should we do to keep the industry going?
Adam: I think in terms of where you are in the U.S., I’m kind of guilty of not being as educated on this topic in terms of venues, however in the U.K, it is a dire situation and we are facing the situation where these venues could close, I think the best thing that we can do is by pressuring the government in order to try to get more help and I think people doing ANYTHING to try to help is good. I guess we’ve been lucky that there’s a lot of people doing a lot of good things here and I think the music venues trust have done a lot to help the local venues, we still have a lot of work to do I’m sure. I’m sure that’s the same in the U.S., I’m not sure what the answer is, but I think it’s important that people do help because without the venues, and I’m not just speaking for myself or my other musicians, without the venues, the world could be a pretty sore place to live in.
Madness To Creation: Music can be such a soundtrack to our lives, what bands, artists or albums help you get through when situations get difficult in your life?
Adam: A couple of years ago, I was going through a really rough time and there was this band from the U.K. called Lankum and I grew up with folk music and I think their music is some of the best modern folk music that there is. There’s a lot of crossover with them even with people that listen to darker music, but I digress, but now it depends on the day-to-day stuff, like I like psychedelic music, that helps a lot, but Lankum is such a wholesome group.
Madness To Creation: I love the claymation video for “Rubbernecker”. Can you take us into the creation of that video and what do you get out of that song?
Adam: There’s a character in that song that is a clown and he’s watching all kinds of things going on, and with the video, we got in touch with Rafael Bonilla Jr, and in the video, there were a lot of images that we wanted, we wanted it to be set in hell, because we thought with this character that it would work well and Rafael added a lot of his own ideas, and we were happy with the end result.
Madness To Creation: What’s the first thing that you want to do when this pandemic is over?
Adam: Play a gig! We had a few American dates lined up, but obviously it wasn’t meant to be this time around, but just playing a gig would be incredible right now. It seems like that it would solve almost all of my problems, almost. I’d like to get back to Japan next year as well, even if it’s just visiting, I think that’s very high on my list.
Madness To Creation: Fun question for you, let’s say Boris Johnson gets into the mosh pit at a Pigsx7 show. How do you react?
Adam: That’s a good question! *laughs*, let’s just say that he wouldn’t be welcome at the gig, we’ll just leave it at that. And as inclusive and welcoming as we are, Boris is not welcome.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add in regards to the band or the album “Viscerals”?
Adam: You can get the album from our webstore at www.pigsx7.com . Hopefully we will be over in the U.S. next year, we’re going to try to get those dates rescheduled as soon as possible!
And there you have it! Check out their latest single entitled “Hell’s Teeth” below:
- Photo Credit: Jade Sweeting