???. "???" Black Market Zine, ??? 1992, no. 10.Contributed by Burnout
Skinny Puppy are the fathers of industrial's 2nd generation (the 1st being Throbbing Gristle) – if you could categorize their horrotic sounds as industrial. To define them musically, Skinny Puppy is more like a surreal painting turned to sound, you never know what to expect. Animal rights are the base of what Skinny Puppy is all about (hence the name) ever since they first formed in 1983. I interviewed Dwayne Geotell (keyboards) who was in Pup's home town Vancouver, getting ready for their tour (supporting their latest release Last Rights.) I know!, I know it's not Ogre (singer) and all, but Dwayne is just as important and just as cool, though he does hold a strange conversation. Oh yeah, don't miss them live, their visuals are intense! Ogre's a singer wanna be actor!! To get an idea, they have a live video out called “Ain't it Dead Yet”, rent it, it's insane.
BM: So with your LAST RIGHTS album out now, you have a tour coming up. Can you tell us something about it?
DG: We're doing some pre-production, taking mixes from the album and splitting them down into multiple mixes in order for backing tracks for the tour. OGRES Getting ready to shoot some footage this weekend that will be used for a video and also will be used for the tour.
BM: What's he doing for the video?
DG: We have to put like 66 minutes together of video, 66 minutes that will be synced up.
BM: Is he taking it from films and stuff?
DG: Some of the footage they're gunna shoot and then the rest of it they're going to steal and mutate again.
DG: We're taking on a little bit more than before, it always seems to go in steps. It's taken this many years just to get it to where we are now.
BM: From what I was told, you guys are gunna put a lot into this tour?
DG: I mean, everything is bullshit right? All we're doing here is wadubadeedubaduh, it's gunna be this, it's gunna be that, what's it gunna be, I don't know, it's a – “I'll tell you when I get there” type of thing. What can I say? We've spent more time, we've spent more money preparing and stuff, we get the money 6 weeks before the tour and it's so much and we've worked so good under pressure this time, and then it'll be like the worst thing we've ever turned out because we've had so much time to work on it! I don't know what the fuck will happen!?
BM: Not to get off the subject of Skinny Puppy or anything but Wax Trax sent us Doubting Thomas, God that's great! I saw you had some part in that?
DG: Well it's cEvin and myself, 50/50 completely.
BM: It's great how you did that THX1138 sample in that song “F862”. What else have you done separate from Skinny Puppy?
DG: Hilt. We put an album out just a couple of months ago called “Journey to the Center of the Bowl”.
BM: That's on Nettwerk right?
DG: Yeah. We still got another couple albums with Nettwerk.
DG: Skinny Puppy's finished with Nettwerk.
BM: You guys aren't gunna break up after this are you?
DG: No, I don't think so. The idea here is we're putting a lot of energy into this tour and it will definitely help us figure out what our own value is to ourselves, and to whatever market or entrepreneur who would be interested in getting into Skinny Puppy when we get out of our contract.
BM: What did you think about LAST RITES, are you happy with the way it turned out?
DG: Yeah, and I've gone through lots of different stages of doubting it and liking it, and then not liking it.
BM: Well, it's a heavy album.
DG: I think so. I don't know because it becomes immortal like quite immediately. I mean we still had lots of technological control that we've never before, especially like with digital edition afterwards and stuff – but it was so long ago. I think it's just a regular thing when you work way too close to something, every little thing can bug you. But this is just me talk'n – I can't stress like how different all three of us are…(he pauses for a sec)…Your know the ridiculous thing is, I've got this thing in my brain that is not unlike a Spinal Tap clique compression limiter that like as soon as the conversation, whenever I'm making an interview or talking about the band, as soon as it sounds remotely or vaguely like somebody else I've heard talking in an interview…(he pauses again), it's too weird to be talking about it, I guess I can't help but let that get into the conversation.
BM: That's Okay.
DG: But that's just the way I feel.
BM: Well it's hard to talk to people that you don't really know, but yet you're into their music. Like me, I want to do an interview with a band but I don't know them but I've got to talk to them and stuff and there's like so much other stuff to talk about, other interests, you know, like films. I know Ogre's into movies, I don't know if you are?
DG: Yeah, but the thing is he goes through a lot more things and appreciates a lot more horror, whereas I'm a little more selective. There's a lot of like, just slashy trash kinda badipadah and like him and some of these other guys love them all for whatever reason, but I've got my own taste.
BM: What do you like?
DG: I like CRONENBERG.
BM: Did you see NAKED LUNCH?
BM: What did ya think?
DG: Well I'd have to see it some more but I think my expectations were a lot higher. It's like he said himself; Well if he really wanted me to make it, I'd have to spend 800 million dollars and it would be 9 hours long and blah-blah-blah…
BM: What other films are you into?
DG: I like DEPALMA.
BM: Do you like SCORSESE?
DG: I like KEN RUSSELL.
BM: Did you see his movie “THE DEVILS”?
DG: Yeah, there's a lot of Ken Russell stuff I like. I also liked SIESTA.
BM: Siesta's a great flick, with ELLEN BARKIN.
DG: I like movies like that.
BM: WINGS OF DESIRE?
DG: Yeah, there's three that I have in a collection and I'm looking for more and they are, SIESTA, JACOB'S LADDER and WARM SUMMER RAIN.
BM: Warm Summer Rain? I've never heard of that.
DG: I think it was KELLY LYNCH or something, and in a way it's sort of like Jacob's Ladder and Siesta too – it's sort of in the same vain – and those three movies, to me, I could relate those 3 movies to Skinny Puppy but I don't know how I would exactly convey that.
BM: What did you think about the end of Jacob's Ladder?
DG: I remember the first time I saw it I said “Shit Ladder”, a waste of fuck'n time, like it should of just been a little Twilight Zone half hour episode for that amount of thinking.
BM: Did you hear about the ending? How they cut a bunch of shit out that was really cool?
DG: Yeah, I've actually seen the other stuff they cut out. I don't see why they didn't keep it in there. I thought the movie could have been more intense. But the movie started growing on me, everybody else was liking it and I was going “I don't like it”. I actually started thinking about it and thinking about it from the outside, and then saw it again and saw it again, and really started to enjoy it. I liked it, I found things in it.
BM: Does LAST RITES speak out against or for certain things?
DG: I was listening to the album for the first time in a couple of months – I went away from it.
BM: So it would be fresh again?
DG: Yeah, so I could see if I could pretend it was a “first time” listening. I t was extremely brutal right off the bat and not very easy for anyone to listen to. It's not in contrast to everything else that's available right now, like when you flip on the station there's a brand new tune every week that's like, (he starts sing'n) “Hey baby babe, dutoo du” or whatever”.
BM: It never changes.
DG: Right. but it's all very powerful – it's all very easy for you to listen to and get lost in, there's definitely a lot of good music going on, but there's also a lot of empty “blah blah blah blah” trash, and to me this album is feeling the weight of 1992. We want to make you feel like, “Yes-we're feeling 1992 and we're feeling depression and we're seeing environmental this and we're seeing people *screaming about abortion, that we're seeing atrocity this and blah, blah, blah, etc., etc…” I mean it's hard to get specific anymore about all of these, there's a million issues you can start getting into, it's the trouble we've got'n ourselves into. Our technology has out stripped our moral capabilities, our moral responsibilities. It won't go away, we just can't like boogey off to go dance and party. So it's like the whole weight of everything is there in our sound or I feel we're trying to do that, though it's hard.
BM: That's heavy.
DG: It sort of comes down to that sometimes, even though I don't, I find it hard to talk about it, I did force myself. But I did force myself into getting away from it and trying to pretend like I was that listener. I definitely had lots of doubts about whatever and I still have lots of doubts about little things. But we don't have doubts about going the way we are! I have nothing against dance singles, I love dancing and I'll certainly find energy to do that again in Skinny Puppy, but there's a lot of people covering that kind of sound right now. LAST RIGHTS is the way that things feel right now, and definitely the mood that OGRE'S in when he's around, and cEvin and myself taking influences from the other projecs and wanting to bring in more drums knowing that the world situation is ridiculous. Ogre was getting more personal, he was talking about drugs and all of that stuff, and try'n to get that in there and he definitely did. – however unpopular the sound maybe and very not inviting and just so ugly.. It was uglier than I thought.
BM: I think it's cool how you guys have never stuck with the same thing – from stuff like BITES and “Dig It” to TOO DARK PARK and LAST RIGHTS.
DG: But it divides the fans. I don't know, I think that maybe some of the fans are divided, some of them have been “Nine Inch Nailed”! That's what they've been into and they want more like that – “No, we want a song with a chorus that we can sing too, so come on you guys!” and we're like “RAAHHHH!!! My brains!!” And then there's some people standing around and “wah-wah-wah-wah” and most people have already got some sort of fuck'n wild look in their eye, and so for them to like it you think, - “Fuck! Somebody has to be fuck'n nuts to be listening to this!”
BM: What do you mean?
DG: What do I mean? I mean how palatable all other music is and stuff, and how this is like, so coming off the top, it's so very degrading!
BM: LAST RIGHTS?
DG: Yeah, I don't know, maybe that's what I got right off the bat. I mean eventually I jump in and you jump in and it's like, this is what it's like to be OGRE on drugs – okay? This is what OGRE thinks when he's going thru this weird out – Okay, now this is what it's like to have phone sex with a girl and this is the total 1992 – a desperate world. Where can I go? I Can't have sex with anyone anymore and the end being the end of everything, comes and all life flashes before your eyes and then you take your last breath.
BM: How come you guys don't do more video's? Specially since you guys are so into movies and stuff?
DG: Money! Like if we sat down just for right now and took twenty grand and did a little bit of fooling around, we could probably put together a whole bunch of stuff that we have right now – that's already synced up with some songs and come out with something. But that is still beyond our reach right now, we're still living within our means, doing one video for one song and coming up with 66 minutes of our back-up footage for the stage, that's like crazy enough already.
BM: I hear you're into Dario Argento?
DG: A bit, those guys have really seen all of them (Argento's movies) and everything I've seen a couple of them, I really appreciate the music very much, cEvin really likes the music too, I've go one CD with the GOBLINS stuff. We really like that tone too, we're all “Oh ya gotta get a sequence that sounds like that.”
BM: What kinda music did you grow up with?
DG: I started off like out in the boonies. Like living in Alberta, just listening to plain ol' radio, I definitely knew from a very young age I was interested in synthesizers, but I never got around to finding what I wanted until high school and stuff. The first stuff I was like'n was Kraftwerk , early Soft Cell, you know all the good stuff right around there, like Devo. My still admitted favorite band is still Yello.
BM: In case somebody wants to know, what kind of equipment are you gunna be using for the tour, though I'll have to say I don't know a lot about it. (Ok, for all of you tech. types out there read'n this you'll have to figure out what the fuck he's say'n transcribing equipment names is FUCK'D!!
DG: A fully rigged S1000, SY77, SY22, Prophet E max, cEvin has a full drum kit with an E-max too and he's got some radio's hooked up to gates and triggers and then he got a little smaller kit. He doesn't have all the barrels and all that kind of stuff, he wan's to go with these radios and things, they're slimmed down and turned around and then I've got the ability to sync up to video images and the backing tracks with sequencer trax, which I can turn on or off, or fool around with,
BM: Sounds great! …ahhh yeah. Well it was cool talk'n with you… Oh wait a minute, a friend here in the house wants to know if you believe in aliens?
DG: In aliens? Sure.
BM: (To friend in house) Yeah he does.
DG: I mean it's pretty simple, it's much easier for people to accept the idea if it's exactly the way that it's happening in our media and how it sort of filters down – it won't shock the hell out of everybody and freak everybody out at once, whereas over through years and years of us not believing the government and goin “Aw fuck, I don't believe in it”, like we'll be conditioned over a couple of generations to the idea that like “Oh yeah I do”, we'll be sophisticated enough to handle the idea by the time that it all really gets out.