Litany: Interview Archive

van Aart, Xander. "Skinny Puppy: Freedomfighter to One, Terrorist to Another." Kindamusik, September 2005.

Skinny Puppy has survived many pitfalls, and so is the band after many years of absence on stage again. The message hasnít changed because the world hasnít changed. For many years the bandmembers hated each other. Earlier contact didnít have any result, but now singer Nivek Ogre tells KindaMuzik his side of the chaotic story.

There is he, cycling on his rented crossbike. He rediscovered Amsterdamís canals. But this time sober. He looks fit and happy and heís wearing an army hat. He makes a short chat with his stoned and phone calling tourmanager. He spins another round and cycles away. He is Nivek Ogre. Known at the registration service as Kevin Ogilvie. Singer and with keyplayer/programmer/drummer cEvin Key the only remaining original member of Skinny Puppy.

A hour and a half later Ogre is waiting for KindaMuzik at a small table in the foyer of the Melkweg. Forty-year-old looks extremely healthy from close. He crawled quite undamaged out of the heroinhell, although the revalidation took years. At the start of the nineties he was a wreck that barely came out of his home, and putted the needle 50 times in 24 hours in his arms. The American Magazine Rolling Stone was under the delusion that he was dead. He wasnít, but Skinny Puppy-bandmember, and most of all friend Dwayne Goettel was. The remaining duo then liquidated Skinny Puppy. And now heís here again, promoting the recently release Skinny Puppy-cd and ĖDVD Greater Wrong of the Right. Coincidence or not, on the day of the 60th Hiroshima memorial day KindaMuzik talks with Ogre about how Skinny Puppy overcame the pitfalls.

We begin at the tarnished recording process of their farewell album "the Process" from 1995

"we lived in a state of denial" tell ogre tells openly "We all had drug problems but didn't know it from each other"

"I was in Los Angeles getting clean while the others were doing drugs in Vancouver and later came to LA where we were supposed to record our new album Dwayne (keys) was having troubles with his girlfriend so all and all it wasn't a good start And living together in LA wasn't working either We did make beautiful things with Pigface foreman Mark Atkins as producer but halfway during the sessions we replaced him for Mark Walk to eventually mix the recordings down in Vancouver It was a real disaster , cEvin and i were in each others hair constantly, I quit the band while we were mixdowning and left cEvin and Dwayne behind I couldnít care a damn , i just had had it and walked right out of the studio We had fifty or sixty thousand dollars in cash but i just didn't care about the money , i just wanted to get away And i did not find it necessary to get the band involved in legal matters and took off like greased lightning to LA The album was yet to be released when the news came of Dwayneís overdose I thought this was the definitive end of the band . cEvin and i weren't speaking anymore , at least not in a pleasant way Dwayne was the glue that held us together and when he died cEvin and i knew that skinny puppy was over for good"

The process became the eulogy for a band that could have been bigger. Ogre started his welt project but it failed to lift off the ground CEvin's download was much more successful but couldn't make the jump between the chaotic industrial to the revolutionary warp age ( i.e. Aphex twin , Autotechre) when it came to popularity Still there was a reunion , be it by means of a sideway

Ogre tells "cEvin visited me from time to time when he was in LA and we'd talk about a reinvention and then came the proposition to do doomsday in Germany We were going to headline .. I held off for while , i was going through a divorce and was all torn up and he kept pulling my hairs But i did eventually became interested , there was a lot of money on the table , Iíll be honest about that .So we did do it eventually After the show we looked at each other and we both felt an enormous connection , just like the old days and I realized that you there are only a few people in this world with whom you can have such a long an intense connection and that sometimes these people die . A lot of people I knew around me died . Dwayne died of an overdose at the age of 31 .Others because they committed suicide . All people I loved My positive feelings about the reunion gained in strength because I had left my divorce behind me All the bullshit from the past fell into place because weíd reached a certain point in our lives When you ignore everything and everyone around you, you become isolated . The musical and personal connection I have with cEvin Iíve never felt that with anyone else Iíve felt it with Dwayne but heís dead Justin Bennet whoís now a part of the band he looks a lot like Dwayne when it comes to personality and Mark walk who plays guitar on The greater wrong of the right with him I also feel connected but its different from someone who Iíve known for twenty years Iíve been through hell to get where I am now so I donít want to throw Skinny Puppy away All the problems from the past have been wiped off the table but the horror stories the press wrote about me and cEvin are all true , let there be no doubt about that Weíve called each other all kinds of nasty names and in those days they were actually true But life is too short to be angry about everything , Iím not here to hate people ÖThere are far too many other things for me to hate

Black list

Skinny Puppy is notorious for their provocative stage act . With lyrics about right wing politicians , vivisection and Ogreís self mutilation it did not only bring the band world fame . it also brought them one law suit after another ďI donít agree with certain things that are happening in the world , those contrasts with how we present ourselves . That is the case in Canada and certainly in the US , where I live . Strange enough I get away with my stage act in America . I got a letter from someone in the national security service claiming to be a fan and asking or an autograph . So Iím fairly sure we are blacklisted . How can it not when I hold a gun against George Bushís head every evening and then shooting him . In the projections during the show you see collages of Bush and Cheney that suggest they are the real terrorists.Ē Ogre laughs sheepishly because he understands that the message is just a message and that not everyone understands that and that its meant to be entertaining ďIn America there is a group that is called PAABAH, a bunch of fuckheads that send petitions to collage radio stations to get us off the air because we apparently have no respect for president Bush and we show Cheney getting decapitated on stage . It appeared in all the newspapers . which was excellent media attention for us and it backfired in their faces . It was fucking brilliant man ď

Fear is power

ďTonight during one of the first numbers I shall be wearing a sort of suicide vest with torn pieces of meat on it , smeared with blood , just like on our tour last year . We are now promoting our dvd The greater wrong of the right live but we want to show new things that arenít on the dvd Like tonight I will be beheaded by two Muslim fundamentalists and we are also playing some new songs Iíve adopted the character of an American soldier , or at least an archetype of one and I will be showing what they really do . I mean oneís freedom fighter is another manís terrorist Look at Iran , The United States is aiding terrorist financially so that they can destabilize their government , so that the US has a reason to invade the country . There is a huge contrast between what they say and what they really do . They destabilize countries that they see as a threat so that they can invade them for oil and power

ďThe tactics of the American government has nothing to do with religion or freedom . They want to keep the people scared and fucked up so that they can control them completely Prime minister Sharon says that Israel is the tip of the spear of democracy but what does that mean . democracy isnít about freedom its about total control Its how you create fear and terror and more need for politics and money for defense so youíll limit the freedom of the people even more In Europe the news is more accessible than it is in America . We have CNN , Fox and NBC . Fox literally serves as a shield for the government . Americans come home in their big cars, get their dinner out of the microwave, sit in front of their TVís with their big bellies and believe everything presented to them Here you have more local news stations and different countries who all show the news in a different light . In America its just propaganda and entertainment . You can watch different stations and form your own opinion , we canít America isnít a republic anymore , its an empire . But they are never going to win in Irak .NeverĒ

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