PIGS X 7 talk ‘Hot Stuff’, The Lovely Eggs, Pop Recs, Loving Mick Foley, hating The Young Bucks

By Sam Smith
By November 16, 2021 Features, Interviews, News, Wrestling

Pigs x7, are a metal band from Newcastle who made a name for themselves in 2017 with their debut album, Feed the Rats, which released to critical acclaim.

The band released their third album, Viscerals in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Viscerals reached 67 on the UK Albums Chart, which was a first for the band, and perhaps the first of many as their audience grows.

We asked Matt Baty how he defined success now that the band has developed a significant following in the UK. He said, “If I take myself back to when I first started playing in bands, then fast-forward to see where I am now, that fifteen-year-old would be totally excited to see this moment. To me that’s success.”

Matt admitted this is a question he ponders often but does what he can to focus on enjoying his work, rather than obsessing about success or what it means.

“If you focus too hard on what you’re not achieving, you risk losing that enjoyment. Rather than just enjoying being in the moment. Since I was fifteen all I ever wanted to do was play in a band, perform in front of people, go on tour to some cool places and meet some nice people. We do all that and that’s a blessing, that’s success to me.”

Pigs x7 recently covered Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ which was a collaboration with The Lovely Eggs. We asked Matt how did this cover come to be and why did they choose that track?

Matt said, “We were throwing ideas around about what we could cover, looking at songs that would be unexpected. Maybe catch people off guard a little bit. During the pandemic, it was just something fun and light-hearted to do during a rather sullen patch. The Lovely Eggs got involved because I just couldn’t do the chorus, I was not hitting the right notes at all. They were the first band in mind.”

With Hot Stuff releasing during the pandemic, we were curious to know if lockdown had changed Matt’s outlook on music or life in general. Or if he had developed as a person or a musician in any notable way.

“It’s been a weird stretch of time, I find it hard to measure because in some ways it feels like it flew by, but in another way, the beginning of it feels like it could be two months ago. I don’t know if I’ve grown personally, it’s hard, it was a horribly stressful and dark time for a lot of people. I feel like I got off easy, all I had to do was sit at home.”

Matt continued, “My friends and family have thankfully all come through it. When it came to work and music, there were things we just could not control. We were looking at tours and worrying if they’ll happen or not happen, but we just tried to remain present I suppose. We had three US tours booked but of course, these got canned. They’ve been parked for the time being, but they’ll come back around.”

As more people have got vaccinated against COVID-19, live music has returned. We asked Matt what motivates him now that the world is starting to return to normality?

“I had a few counselling sessions during the pandemic when things were getting a bit on top of me. I was talking about music a lot and how important it is to me. But I also spoke about other things I do instead of music or in lieu of it.”

“My councillor recommended having other outlets as well as music. This is because music can be quite intense. Some days can be more creative and productive than others. There are days when there’s a lot of wind in your sails, then days when there’s a lot less. I think everyone is the same in that sense, there are days when we’re there creatively and some days when we’re not.”

One of Matt’s interests outside of music is wrestling, he told us that this was one of the outlets he turned to during lockdown, but we were also keen to know where his love of wrestling started. Matt told us his own wrestling fan origin story.

“I was given a Hulk Hogan t-shirt that was way too big for me when I was around 5 or 6, along with a couple of Hulk Hogan VHS tapes. These featured matches against Macho Man Randy Savage, Andre the Giant and Sargent Slaughter. My grandad started buying me wrestling magazines, but I didn’t really have access to watch it other than the videos I had been given.”

Matt continues, “My grandparents then got Sky TV and I was able to watch wrestling when I was there. It was around WrestleMania 10, I remember Bret Hart vs Yokozuna was the headliner. I didn’t get to watch it live, but it’s still one of my favorite WrestleManias. I later got that on video too and watched it all the time.”

We then asked Matt a series of quick-fire wrestling questions starting with his favorite match of all time. He said, “Bret Hart vs Owen Hart was amazing, from that same WrestleMania show. But also, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon were in that awesome ladder match. That absolutely blew my mind at the time. Gimmick matches were few and far between back then, so seeing them do that was just crazy.”

Matt then admitted what his favourite match of all time was when we pressed him further.

“I love Stone Cold vs Brett Hart. That was the time everything flipped, Stone Cold was meant to be a heel, but by the end was a massive babyface and Brett had become the heel.”

We then asked Matt the question everyone finds the most difficult, who’s your favorite wrestler of all time. Here was his response. “That’s really hard, as a kid I wasn’t really into Brett Hart, but looking back and learning about him, I think he’s probably my favorite of all time. I know he’s a cantankerous dude, but there never appears to be any flies on him. There doesn’t appear to be any grubby backstage stories. He just wanted to wrestle and do it well.”

“Bret wanted to put on the best possible performance he could and took it really seriously. This is probably why so many people backstage thought he was an arsehole to work with. Like, he was just so unrelentingly professional. Yeah, Bret Hart. Even when I think of my favorite matches, many of them have Bret in them. The double turn with Stone Cold for example.”

Matt also wanted to tell us who his favorite modern wrestler is, “I’m really getting back into Bryan Danielson. He seems to be having a bit of a renaissance. I’ve been watching AEW since the start and every single match is amazing. Just from start to finish, really engrossing, so he’s another favourite of mine. “

We then asked Matt who else he admires, either from classic eras or modern wrestlers. He said “When I think of my current favourites, it’s a lot of newer wrestlers. I mean they’re not really legendary yet are they? I like someone who’s got a fair dollop of charisma, like MJF, he’s so good right now.”

“I know he’s not new, but I also love Mick Foley, I’ve even been to see his stand-up comedy. There was a free meet and greet where we could get a quick photo with him. It was a whole arena; it must have taken him ages. He was lovely. I told him my girlfriend bought me the ticket, he told me that people who come to his shows don’t have girlfriends.”

Matt told us his favorite feud of all time was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Mr. McMahon.

“Stone Cold and Vince was so intense and so good. It was also the main thread running through the Attitude Era, so that was just the basis of so much good stuff.”

As Matt grew up during the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars, we wanted to know if he saw any parallels between WCW and AEW, and which promotion he preferred.

He said, “I didn’t watch that much WCW when I was a kid. It did feel a bit more exciting though when I did get to see it. But I think that’s because I didn’t get to see much of it. I’m really into AEW though.”

We then asked Matt the big question; WWE or AEW? In his response, he didn’t even hesitate. “AEW all the way. I had stopped watching WWE a few years ago. I first stopped watching RAW and SmackDown and just watched the PPVs, then I was just watching the big ones, you know, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, The Royal Rumble.”

Matt continued, “Then it just dropped down to WrestleMania, then I was just bored of it. I did pick up on NXT though. I really enjoyed that for a while, but a few months before AEW started even NXT started feeling like a grind. It just felt a bit dull. AEW’s not perfect, but I feel like they’re striking more of a balance between the wrestling and the more ‘novel’ stuff. During the pandemic, I felt like they were leaning more into the novel, but there were some glorious moments.

We wanted to know who Matt felt was the most underappreciated wrestler in AEW or WWE right now. Matt told us exactly who he feels needs to be pushed to the moon, “Eddie Kingston. I know he gets a lot of pops and people love him, but I, and a lot of other people, put him in a category of just a brawler, a no DQ guy.”

“I knew Kingston had a lot of charisma and was a great promo, but that match he had with Bryan Danielson was brilliant. It was a straight-up wrestling match and he even seemed to lead it. It felt so legitimate. Eddie is one to watch in AEW.”

After asking Matt who he felt was the most underrated wrestler, we then had to ask him who he feels is overrated. “I think the Young Bucks are the most overrated performers. I like the really silly stuff, but only in small doses. I also like their style of matches, just not every single week.”

Matt said about the Young Bucks, “They’re often in these four-person tag matches, where there are eight people in the ring, nobody is tagging in or out, then it goes on 20 minutes. Then there’s always three babyfaces just standing there while four heels kick some guy’s head in. It just makes no sense. They did have that amazing cage match against the Lucha Bros, but I can’t sit through most of their stuff on the weekly show.

To tie Matt’s love of music with his love of wrestling, we asked which wrestler would benefit from having a Pigs x7 track as an entrance theme. Matt said, “Malakai Black, but listening to his current entrance music, I don’t think we’re heavy enough for him.”

Tony Khan, if you’re reading this, we think Malakai Black needs some Hot Stuff.

Words: Sam Smith / Interview: Dom Smith


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