Everything In Its Right Place: On Puig Destroyer and the Power of the Internet

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A little over two years ago, my good friend Ian Miller and I decided to start a baseball-centric Twitter feed, blog, and weekly podcast called Productive Outs. Both of us were (and still are) so baseball-obsessed, we’d incessantly tweet about games, players, stats, articles, etc. on our individual Twitter feeds, much to the dismay of most of our followers. Productive Outs was the perfect place for us to dump any and all thoughts about baseball: be they irreverent, insightful, idiotic or anywhere in between. That partnership ended up turning into something far bigger than we’d ever imagined it would. We’ve got about 5,000 more followers on Twitter than we ever thought we would, a thousand more downloads of the podcast per week than we ever should, an incredible community of people we interact with and appreciate the hell out of, and a merch store that people have been overwhelmingly supportive of.

And now we have a band called Puig Destroyer.

I don’t mean “we have a band” as in, “we’re dropping everything, practicing a few nights a week and going on tour”, but “we have a band” in the sense that four fans of baseball and music (heavy music, especially) have joined forces (virtually) to write some short spastic songs about baseball. For fun.

Ian and Jon (Howell)—both of the outstanding band Kowloon Walled City—are in the Bay Area. Mike Minnick (ex-Curl Up and Die) is in Chicago. I am in Orange County, California. Thanks to file sharing—and on a broader scale, the Internet—we were able to take the Puig Destroyer idea from a joke cracked during Episode 49 of the Productive Outs podcast to a virtual band with a song available for download in a matter of days.

We’re all big fans of the seminal grindcore band, Pig Destroyer. We’re all big fans of baseball. And Dodgers rookie phenom/Cuban defector Yasiel Puig has taken Major League Baseball by storm, by posting some ridiculous numbers in his first few weeks in the big leagues. Marrying the two made sense … for a joke on a podcast anyway. I’m not sure any of us thought it could/would become what it’s become.

After the “Puig Destroyer” mention on Episode 49, I cobbled together a drum track in Superior Drummer (because time is/was of the essence here) for our first song, “One Man, Five Tools” (a reference to five-tool baseball players and an homage to Puig’s ridiculous skillset) that night and sent the file to Ian, who is handling the bass playing duties for Puig Destroyer. The next morning, we talked about putting together an EP and adhering to a quick, easy, raw (like Puig), “first idea = best idea” ethos for the project. I’ve been a friend and fan of Minnick’s ever since Thrice and CUAD played shows and toured together in the early 2000s, and I knew he was a massive baseball fan. I’ve always loved his voice and have always been eager collaborate with him on something heavy and spazzy, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity. Thankfully, he was willing, able and available. Ian enlisted his KWC bandmate and grindcore fan to handle the guitars. In a matter of days, we had basic tracking done for our forthcoming EP. The enthusiasm, timeliness and shared vision is unlike any band I’ve ever been a part of, and I think that shows.

We realized that this would probably be a niche project. We thought it’d probably reach (and hopefully be appreciated by) some friends, some followers of Productive Outs, a few fans of our bands, and maybe some outliers, but the response we’ve gotten since releasing our first song has been totally surreal. 

Since last Friday, we’ve gotten coverage on several music websites, baseball blogs, Yahoo!, MSNBC, USA Today, the front page of the San Jose Mercury News sports section, MLB.com, podcasts, terrestrial radio and more.  

And the craziest thing is that the concept went from two dorks mentioning it in passing on a podcast, to an actual song available for download, to Yasiel Puig’s eardrums in a matter of days.

Mind. Blown.

I guess that’s a testament to the awesome (and somewhat horrifying) power of the Internet. We couldn’t be more thankful (and overwhelmed, really) by the response. And goddamnit, it’s awfully exciting that there’s still room in the world for projects like this.

You can hear "One Man, Five Tools" here. 

You can buy a Puig Destroyer tee here.

And we’ll have an EP for you very soon.

—Riley Breckenridge

Riley Breckenridge's Everything In Its Right Place Archive
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