“Well, I'd agree that Phantom Limb was more thrashy,” says Blake Harrison, who handles noise and samples in the band. “We just kind of wanted to get a little more fierce, a little more lean and stripped down.”
Book Burner is the first Pig Destroyer disc to feature Adam Jarvis on drums; Jarvis also plays in modern-day grind heroes MISERY INDEX, so he's no stranger to laying down blast beats, and—like he does in Misery Index—laying down blast beats with style, and finesse. His performance on the album is predictably awesome and pushes the band to a new level, which is impressive considering they've always had great drummers before and already operate at a high level of grind goodness. (And Harrison confirms that Jarvis is no hired gun, he's a full-time member of the band now.)
“It went great,” says Harrison about doing their first album with Jarvis. “I mean, just listen to the record (laughs). Seriously though, working with him is great, not only is he an amazing talent, he's a great dude, a lot of fun. Most of the songs were written before Adam joined so the process was basically the same.”
Also the same this time around is the undeniable fact that Pig Destroyer are just different. Really, they're not the same in a sea of grind bands who are pretty interchangeable. It could be the creepy poetic lyrics, the over-the-top viciousness of their sound, or the ever-present thrash/crossover influences (like I say though, those are less prevalent this time around). Whatever it is, Harrison is modest and tight-lipped about what separates them from the pack. He says it's not an intentional thing.
“No, I wouldn't say we try to be different,” he says. “We're not or really haven't ever been a 'four on the floor' grind band. We try to keep it interesting, I'd say.”
And speaking of those creepy lyrics, man, it's always been a prominent part of the PxDx persona, that overwhelming vibe that there's some seriously good fiction being written here, not the usual metal fare indeed.
“It's all [vocalist] J.R. [Hayes] and his inspirations. He's an amazing lyricist. It's not an intentional thing, it's kind of just what comes out,” says Harrison, adding that Book Burner is not a concept record, even though it has that feel to it. “There are underlying themes that touch upon each other, but no, it's not a concept record.”
And fans of the band will be happy to know that maybe, just maybe, there won't be such a long delay between releases this time around. The band often takes their time getting new albums out (and the result of their work is apparent, and admirable, and as much as I tease, I'm happy that there are bands that take their time between releases), but Harrison says that they might start putting together new songs sooner than people might think.
“We'll be playing some shows in support of the record. We should start writing soon, and it shouldn't be that long between albums,” he says, before adding as a slight disclaimer, “But you know we've kind of always worked at our own pace.”