Skinny Puppy

 

Focus Dresden

 

Since its formation in 1983 the Canadian band Skinny Puppy developed into one of the driving forces of the Industrial/Electro genre, which did not even exist at this time under that name and would look in the today's form without the relevant influence from Vancouver probably quite differently. Bill Leeb, heading of the band Front Line Assembly and Delirium, earned itself deeply in the 80ís there also its first success. Besides Front 242, Skinny Puppy probably rank among most influential Industrial/Electro bands of the eighties, and apart from their charter sequences in North America they inspired a whole generation of musicians in the whole world to more or less independent advancements of the typical Vancouver Industrial/Electro genre. The early drug death of band member Dwayne Goettel, annoyance with the record label at that time, American Records as well as internal problems began five years before and finally the end of the Electro legend, and the remaining initial members Nivek Ogre and cEVIN key dedicated themselves from now on to own, far fewer successful projects, which heard on names such as Download, platEAU, Tear Garden and Rx-Ritalin. For many fans it had to sound like a bad joke that after all the years just on a Festival in Dresden a new section in history Skinny Puppy was to be broken open. It is remarkable at the venture not only that it concerns the first Skinny Puppy concert in Germany for twelve years, but that it is to serve at the same time as musical basis for an Live album, which as "Back and Forth Volume 5, Doomsday " the fifth part of the "historical" "Bake and Forth" series will place. Dresden in the focus of Industrial/Electro history? The following interview might let so some question mark over the headings of old and new Skinny Puppy young in air resolve...

 

Orkus: Why are you reforming and why just for a festival appearance in Germany?Many fans thought the announcement by the organizers was a bad joke.

 

cEvin Key: The relation between Ogre and myself has become better lately, and first of all it also was because of the enthusiasm of the Promoter, which asked us every year if we would like to reunite. The idea was to make from this Reunion something special by playing only one show. Therefore we regard the appearance rather as party and with less obligation. We found this aspect particularly exciting at the time.

 

O: It is true then there is no real reunion in the sense that as a band you will co-operate and write new songs?

 

c: To be honest, we have not yet thought about it. For the moment we regard this show as our last big function, because we will record it for a live album. We operate very intensively for the Show and on associated release, almost, as if we would operate on a new album and a new live show. For us that is a large step forward, if one considers that Skinny Puppy did not exist as a band for the last five years at all. From this point we must be waiting easily, how the thing developed and how much fun we have. I cannot say for myself yet, how it will continue afterwards. It is very important to us that it is only one Show so we can concentrate fully on it. We put a large quantity of energy into this project, and we will see how it works out before we talk about working together again. A principal reason, why I think that we should do this show, is that, when we were last in Europe, the Eastern Bloc still existed. Even if it is only a single show, it feels good to me that we can play in front of the former Eastern Bloc people, who could not see us for themselves at that time.

 

O: How do you feel, after five years, to be suddenly again part of Skinny Puppy?

 

c: We will see. I will gladly speak again with Ogre, but there is naturally this hole, which the death of Dwayne tore into the band. His important position can be never again completely replaced. Therefore we decided for the concert to go into the studio and to integrate his original material directly into our set, so that we can build his portions live. I will take over his musical proportion of that band. I think, that in a good way, it even within the Show the necessary tribute to zollen... It feels somehow good to be with Skinny Puppy again. Nevertheless Skinny Puppy is a large part of my life for 14 years. If I write music now, then I must tear myself apart almost, because what I would write spontaneously, it would sound like typical Skinny Puppy. It is really strange, but it is substantially more arduous for me to write a song which does not sound like Skinny Puppy.

 

O: Many fans will ask themselves whether the original live songs will be used or will the songs be updated for the show?

 

c: It will not be so far changed that it would not represent anymore the original music. We will insert not Jungle loops or similar things. We do not want to develop our self further in a new direction, which the people would not like. Our old hard core fans would like us to sound like Skinny Puppy. They do not want 1999/2000-Skinny Puppy Remix album, where some songs would sound like Prodigy. On the stage we would like to be authentic as possible for our last appearance. It will be everything it was, very theatrical and very well planned out, and we feel very strongly that we are not only a music experience, but also a psychedelic experience. Everything that Skinny Puppy was in former times live will be again present with these Show. We will pick up exactly where we left off. There will even be the same engineer accompanied us on our last tour of Europe. There are even the same keyboard stands... I find it very exciting that we continue practically, where we stopped 1992.

 

O: Will only you and Ogre be onstage during the show?

 

c: Yes, only the two of us. Since itís only one appearance, we thought it best to leave Dwayneís station empty. Everyone knows that we make electronic music and that you can let a sequencer automatically run the music. And there is the possibility to have another, but we wanted to leave his station empty. We spent a lot of time on the musical production, so that we can make sure that all of the material is used with the show.

 

O: Will there be a Multimedia-Show this time? To what extent will this show differ from your last stage show in Europe?

 

c: We were in Europe the last time in 1988, and at that time we had still at all no means available. We could not bring the advancement and modifications in our Show between 1988 and 1992 to Europe. The current stage show will be based on the "Last Rights" tour of 1992, with special effects, Multimedia projections and special interactive objects.

 

O: And how will the notorious Splatter effects be taken out?

 

c: I think, itís become a institution and an indispensable part of what Skinny Puppy became. I believe, I can guarantee, these effects will not be missing (laughs).

 

O: When did you decide to do a live album?

 

c: A lot of production in advance was necessary in order to prepare the sound, because of the missing band member. We had to take up some first live. The interest of the record company was very large whether the show was now live or not. And not least was there the unbelievable excitement, which released the announcement of the concert world-wide. We got e-mails from fans from around the whole world, which special because people want to travel to the concert from Africa, South America or China. It is touching.

 

O: You would like to increase your and the bands profile by performing at the show?

 

c: Many will not be able to be at this event in East Germany. Therefore we hope that the whole work, which we put into this project, becomes comprehensible for these people who werenít there by releasing a live album also. Those, which will locally be, can be pleased exactly the same about because they see the event live and by the accommodation to a part of the Show become. I as a fan find such a thing also exciting. I waited, for example, 23 years to see to Kraftwerk live once. That was at that time a very solemn moment for me. I felt like a child at that time. I would like to enable this experience, for which Skinny Puppy perhaps take a similarly important position to those people.

 

O: The concert is perhaps a attempt, to capture the spirit, of the past and the modern element of the band?

 

c: In one case. Since our start in the early days we try to represent the respective musical trends in our musical society and we hope that each TRACK, which we will play, which can catch the flavor of its time. That is my challenge.

 

Alexander Maciol