Litany: Music News Covering Skinny Puppy, Download, ohGr and Related Projects

Spencer, Amy. "Skinny Puppy Shows Off New Tricks." Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2007.

After seeing a masked Ogre onstage in 2005, strapped into a straight jacket, covered in blood, twitching and spewing a green substance into the audience while cEvin Key tormented his drum set, dreads covering much of his face, I recall dancing among the sweaty orgy of -Skinny Puppy fans intoxicated by the thoughts of how surreal this moment was.

Ten years earlier, the legendary industrial act had dissolved. And just before their final album, “The Process” was released, one-third of Skinny Puppy, Dwayne Goettel, died of a drug overdose. The untimely death of this musical genius (who was involved in plenty of other music projects) marked the end of an important era in electronic music history.

Thanks to German promoters at the Doomsday Festival in 2000, Ogre and Key reunited for the first time in eight years for a one-time performance that eventually evolved into Skinny Puppy in its latest incarnation, which plays Tuesday at The Depot.

Between the 2004 release of “The Greater Wrong of the Right” and the tour that followed, the Vancouver-based act showed they are as remarkable now as they’ve ever been. Influenced by the political agendas that come with living in the U.S. now, the album came heavily doused in government philosophy and war rhetoric paired with brilliant sonic detonation.

Early this year, fans and critics welcomed “Mythmaker,” as the latest in the discography of the renowned act. The Mythrus tour brings back the scathing vocals of Ogre and the programming brilliance of cEvin Key with their notorious live show that will have fans running for the shower afterward - one can only imagine what it’s like for Ogre to shower at the end of each show.

Without divulging what is in store for fans at the upcoming concert in Salt Lake, cEvin Key talked to IN about the past and present of Skinny Puppy:

IN: Tell us about the driving concept behind “Mythmaker.”

cEven Key: We came off the tour in 2005 and came back with a desire to go back into the studio and make an album. We were maybe going to spend about four months making it, and then that stretched out into about a year and four months. There was a few personal tragedies and traumas, not unlike any Skinny Puppy album. Thankfully it wasn’t so much for myself, but ... it culminated in the making of this album, which we followed our natural instincts, more akin to the older days with less collaborators. And moreso just being focused on what, if we’re going to make a song, what does it mean to me? It seems to have more meaning this time than last time. I don’t know why.

IN: Tell us about Scaremeister.

Key: Well, I did six scenes of that movie “End of Days” back in 1999. I was in the studio and Schwarzenegger walked in wanting a particular scene given to me to make more scary. So they said, ‘As a matter of fact, we’ve just given it to this man,’ and Schwarzenegger said, ‘Oh, so you must be the Scar emeister.’ So that’s how I got the name. One of my friends decided that it was time to collect the work and put it on a relevant demo page and essentially become a company that you can come to to license music for film or to potentially pick up scenes or scoring collaborations or anything would involve the industry.

IN: So what happened in 2005 after the tour that motivated you to focus on the music from “The Vault II” [a seven-CD series involving Skinny Puppy and Key’s side-projects] and everything else?

Key: Actually, it was a good sense of being motivated and needing a break. We had just done 60-something shows around the world and we needed to sit down and express what we had felt. I think it’s good to travel and play to people and have that experience because then you kind of know what you feel. You know what you want to do. Hopefully this will happen again after this tour. Even the next time I go into the vault, I’m going to go looking for video stuff and maybe try to make a movie of the vault stuff. There’s a lot of videos that I have going back into the ’80s of being in the studio with Tear Garden or Skinny Puppy back in the day.

IN: The Skinny Puppy fans on don’t seem to like former Skinny Puppy member Bill Leeb. How do you feel about sharing the bill with his band Frontline Assembly at Convergence next weekend?

Key: I have no problem with Bill. He’s one of my best friends and has been a great friend in my memory. I think it was friendly resentment that we had that between each other because in a way, we taught Bill what we do and showed him what we do. And then he went and did Frontline Assembly, so people at that time were saying that if we hadn’t done that there wouldn’t be a competitive band coming from the same city. But who cares? I don’t really care.

IN: With so many important songs, how do you decide what you want to play?

Key: We had about 20 or 30 ideas of about what we wanted to play this time. And then Justin [Bennett, the live drummer] and I will get together and play them. Some of them will be obvious that we want to play and some of them are like, ‘this isn’t working, this sounds dated, this sounds boring.’ If it sounds boring the second or third time we play them, we know it will be really boring by the 10th time we play them. I think Ogre and I both agree that the way this set flows and the way that it works is one of our favorite sets that we put together.

IN: Do you have a favorite song that you like to play?

Key: Believe it or not, a lot of the favorite songs that I have to play right now are off the new album, so you’ll have to decide. “Politikil” is a fucking heavy song and I think that right now, surprisingly, the live version of that is pretty ridiculous. We also have a surprise in our set that people won’t expect. It’s a song that we’ve never played live, a song that we’ve been told should make for the biggest mosh pit we’ve ever had at one of our shows. It’s not a new song – it’s an old song.

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