Pigmy Love Circus
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The Power Of Beef
6/15/2004
 
Biography
MEMBERS:
Michael Savage (vocals)
John Ziegler (guitar)
Peter Fletcher (guitar)
E. Shepherd Stevenson (bass)
Danny Carey (drums)

In a rock scene dominated by neo-garage hipsters and corporate bland merchants, leave it to the gloriously subversive Pigmy Love Circus to bust through the clutter with an album entitled The Power Of Beef. More than 15 years after rolling into town, the Circus (vocalist Michael Savage, drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Peter Fletcher, bassist E. Shepherd Stevenson and guitarist John Ziegler) still provide plenty of thrills, as proven by their electrifying Go-Kart debut. They serve Beef raw and juicy, delivering slabs of meaty riffs and tasty butcher-sized hooks with lustful glee. The album hits retail on June 8th. “It’s big, fun, burly biker rock,” laughs Pigmy drummer Danny Carey, who produced the album in his Hollywood loft during downtime from his other band, two-time Grammy-winning multi-platinum rockers Tool. Carey, who was a Pigmy during the early ‘90s, re-grouped with his old band for a benefit show at the House of Blues a couple of years ago, and (in between Tool commitments) has been working with them ever since. “We’re lifelong friends and hang out all the time, so it felt really good to be playing with these guys again,” says Carey. “We picked up right where we left off.” As word began to spread, block-long lines of rabid fans gathered to watch the revitalized Pigmys tear through L.A.’s club scene. When a one-sided record contract was offered, the band passed and Carey suggested they make the album themselves (a deal with Go-Kart followed). “We knew what we wanted and had the means to make it on our own,” he says. “So we did.” The result is The Power Of Beef, a twisted and irreverent balls-out heavy album that’s been described as “Motorhead-meets-AC/DC-at-a-ZZ Top-barbecue.” Explaining the album title, vocalist Michael Savage says, “I was thinking about the power of beef and all the different things that apply: a big engine, a big gun, a big dick, whatever. It’s my poke in the ribs to all the politically correct people out there.” Savage ties sordid stories to the band’s cranked riffs and gargantuan rhythms, detailing the seamy side of Southern California (“Murderer”), Cajun folklore (“Swamp Creature”), blue collar burden (“Livin’ Like Shit”) and west Texas outlaws (“Pistolero Sleep,” which features Carey’s brother Dale on sax). “He’s an amazing storyteller and gives the album a great vibe,” says Carey. “Rock is supposed to be dangerous and silly and dark and happy and violent and perverted,” says Savage. “But everything is so homogenized now. I marvel at the corporate ca-ca that’s being stuffed down young throats. They tell them what to like and how to dress. Right now, it’s the whole mop top, bell bottom thing. If you’re not part of it, then you’re not cool. That’s what’s great about the Pigmys: we appeal to everyone who’s fed up with fashion and just wants to rock.” The Circus first came to town in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, honing their bruising sound on a seedy L.A. club circuit alongside Jane’s Addiction, L7, Hole and the Melvins. Three albums quickly followed, but their non-conformist, belligerent punk demeanor saw them shun major label offers to become road dogs in the U.S. and Europe. Their following extends planet-wide and grows with each legendary gig. If all goes according to plan, they’ll amplify their fanbase with The Power Of Beef, the album Stevenson calls the first to capture the energy of the band’s live show. “There’s nothing like a Pigmy gig,” he says. “It’s a ferocious show for people who like to get rowdy with an old school rock band. Savage breaks out guns and all sorts of props to entertain the crowd and they eat it up and let their inhibitions go. We know how to entertain and put on a loud, kick-ass rock show and you can tell that by listening to this record.” What about the kids who come to the shows expecting Carey to play Tool-like tracks? ”You can instantly see that they’re horrified,” laughs Carey. “The Pigmys are about raw energy and power, where Tool is a little more cerebral. As a musician, it’s great for me because each band provides something that the other doesn’t. But you look out at the crowd during the first song, when Savage comes out wearing a mask and pointing firearms at the audience, and there are some kids who are like, ‘This has nothing to do with Tool.’ But 99% of the time, they’ll stick around to the end, then come up afterward and say, ‘That wasn’t what I expected, but it kicked ass.’ That’s extremely satisfying.”