Yasiel Puig is the rookie Cuban sensation for the otherwise woefully underwhelming L.A. Dodgers. In less than a month in the league, he has found himself embroiled in crazy shit like this and this. Mirroring his WTF ascent is the emergence of grindcore supergroup Puig Destroyer, comprised of four dudes from Curl Up and Die, Kowloon Walled City and Thrice. We emailed KWC’s Ian Miller to discover that Puig Destroyer is far from a one-off Kevin Maas sensation. They may be in it for the Mo Rivera long haul.
How long has the idea of a baseball-themed grindcore band been in the works?
Riley [Breckenridge, Thrice drummer] literally came up with the idea 10 days ago. He and I do a baseball/music podcast together, and he cracked a joke about a grind band called “Puig Destroyer.” We both laughed, but then we kept talking about the possibility of doing something along those lines. The next night he sent me drum tracks for the first song, and I started writing riffs. Mike Minnick (ex-CUAD) is a good friend and another big baseball fan, so he was obviously the perfect choice for a singer. And Jon [Howell, also from Kowloon Walled City] is an amazing guitarist and totally got the aesthetic we were going for. It just all came together perfectly.
The band name is, obviously, fucking perfect. When was it decided on? I ask because in the offseason, well before the last few weeks of insanity, the Puig deal was widely considered a reach.
Last Tuesday! But yeah, everyone thought the Dodgers’ front office was insane when they signed him, but Puig’s first week in the bigs dispelled any of that talk. Obviously he won’t maintain that level of production, but he’s got the potential to be a superstar. And he’s really fucking fun to watch. So talented and so raw.
What’s everybody’s team allegiance?
Riley is an Angels fan born and bred. Mike and I are both Giants fans, and Jon roots for the Indians.
Obviously Thrice and KWC are pretty far removed from grind. Can you see yourself doing more baseball-themed songs in those bands’ respective styles?
I don’t think so, but who knows? I think the band name pretty much requires that we keep it grind-y.
Are any of you friends with Pig Destroyer? Heard any reaction from Scott, J.R., etc.?
I don’t know any of those guys personally, but we’re all big fans of the band. Our thing is obviously meant as an homage.
Have you already planned out any 7-inches, splits, EPs, albums, etc.?
Well, we should have the five-song EP finished and up on Bandcamp soon, probably within the week. There’s been talk of a 7-inch — if anyone’s interested in putting it out, please get in touch!
Any plans to release lyrics concurrently with future songs?
For sure! Lyrics will be posted on Bandcamp as well.
Puig Destroyer dropped one song and a few days later it’s linked on Deadspin. Could you have asked for a better introduction to the world?
Hell no! The response has been amazing — better than anything we could have ever hoped for.
Who do you consider the most “extreme” player in baseball history?
I know what Minnick would say if you asked him: Mike Matheny. I mean, check this shit out!
Is it too much to request an ’86 Mets Puig Destroyer song?
That seems totally fitting, given the amount of blow those guys were doing. Maybe do one about The Kid, or maybe Mookie.