pigbaby dresses like a pig and makes music like Daniel Johnston

100%: Oink oink oink.

When elusive musician pigbaby Zooms in from sunny California, his camera is turned off: I’m too lazy to put a disguise on,” he says apologetically.

You see, pigbaby wants to protect his anonymity at all costs. He does so, typically, by wearing a full-length pig costume in all his press photos.

There’s this iPhone game called PUBG, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” says the Irish musician, who’s in the States to take a break from being in London. Me and my friend Max used to play it for like, 12 hours a day. pigbaby was my username.”

Now a reformed gamer, pigbaby’s been hard at work on his debut album, I don’t care if anyone listens to this shit unless you do, which was mixed by Preston artist Rainy Miller and is due to drop next month via Vegyn’s label PLZ Make It Ruins. It’s a poignant, lo-fi project that revels in a kind of melancholic, DIY sound reminiscent of alternative figurehead Daniel Johnston.

Daniel Johnston is a favourite, definitely,” he says of his influences for the record. I’ve also always loved Genesis P‑orridge, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Philip Glass is cool.”

pigbaby started releasing music properly in 2022, while emerging from a break-up: I was super depressed back then, like everyone was, I guess. I wanted to make some big changes in my life, and something I always wanted to do was music. I’ve been making art for a long time, but then I bought a tiny little piano and started messing around on it. It’s helped me connect with people I already knew, but in a different medium.”

Back then, his debut EP Palindromes was met with cult acclaim, and pigbaby fans will be thrilled to hear that he’s got a debut album in” the bag”.

I’m surprised this first stuff is even taking off,” he says, laughing (snorting?). It’s just me fooling around, but I’m getting more confident. The second album shows a lot of progress, it’s way more polished. Sometimes people will message me like, I cried to this song today’, but it’s just a royalty free emotional saxophone sample with a hairdryer behind it. Now, I’m really sitting down and writing songs. They’re my vessels for telling stories.”


What kinds of emotions and experiences influence your music?

It’s all super sad stuff. When I listen to or perform a song, I’m kind of taken back to those places. I usually only write when I’m depressed or going through a break-up or something. I don’t really have any happy songs. I write songs to get rid of those feelings, but then I have to revisit them, which is kind of tough.


What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?

There’s not really a specific piece of advice, but over Covid, a lot of friends and friends of friends died from overdoses and suicide. I use them as motivation for me to pick myself up, work hard, to try and make every day count. I’m grateful that I’m still here.


Was music a big part of your life when you were growing up in Ireland?

Definitely. I grew up in a record shop – I’ve done graffiti for 20 years, and the graffiti and record shop were in the same place. It was run by this guy, who was legendary within music. He released lots of early HudMo and Mike Slott stuff. Now he re-releases a lot of interesting records. I was very much around that world, digging for interesting records.


If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?

I’d make a four cheese pasta bake with Italian sausage. Or I’d make Irish stew with potatoes and thick cut bacon.


You rule the world for a day. What goes down?

To try and bring peace to the people, but I don’t know how possible that is. I’d try to bring peace to the planet. It’s a bit of a Miss World answer.


What’s your trick to get out of a boring conversation at a party?

I’m really conscious of offending people so I usually just stand there throughout the entire thing. But I do Irish exit a lot. I disappear! I’ve kind of quit all nighttime activities now, so I’m in way less annoying drunk conversations, which is the best thing about sobriety.


Love, like, hate?

I love my friends, I like Angel’s Tijuana Tacos on Sunset Boulevard and I hate the music industry, because they never give me any money.


Favourite song of all time?

Maybe Madam Butterfly by Malcolm McLaren. I think that’s a really special one.


Bad habit you wish you could kick?

Chronic insecurity.


What can artists do to help save the world?

People focus on larger issues happening in the world when they should concentrate on their community, their friends and their family, people around them, you know? We should nurture those relationships.

pigbaby’s debut album i don’t care if anyone listens to this shit once you do is out April 26 on PLZ Make It Ruins. Buy the vinyl here.

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