Skinny Puppy’s eerie-experimental dance tunes reflect influences from Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle, The Legendary Pink Dots, Nocturnal Emissions, Cabaret Voltaire, and Portion Control. They fuse a lush, layered orchestra of dense and warped samples, synths, horror soundtrack, spastic racing drum machines, live acoustic drums, gritty processed vocals and dialogue samples – an ambient collage of mixed digital and analogue, tape splices, harsh, raw, ragged, rampant effects and tons of distortion. The band took an informal, jam-based approach to songwriting early, creating a lot of their best music in relaxed hangouts at home. Their dramatic, cutting-edge sensibility and singer Nivek Ogre’s stream-of-consciousness lyrics about politics, religion, animal rights, horror stories, drug addiction, disease and decay, filtered through his intense experience of his personal life, made them a pop band of the dark scene.

“I think I have an interesting way of looking at things, and its all I can do" he told Movement magazine in 2001.

Skinny Puppy has been a tremendous influence on all brands of industrial, electronic and heavy dance music since their start. They deserve credit for the inspiration that started a horde of new bands, including Nine Inch Nails, who opened for Puppy on their 1988 Tour of North America. Trent Reznor called the early SP song, "Dig It" a major inspiration for "Down In It," developed from the first song NIN wrote.

The band's performance art stage shows have always wreaked of their love for horror films. Early shows were awash in fake blood, some of it real. In a 1989 interview with Joe Radio, Nivek Ogre and Al Jourgensen talked about the rivalry that eventually led to friendship. 'I think there was a kind of competition in a way," Ogre explained. "While we were following each other around, Al was cutting himself for real and I was faking it, and then I started cutting myself for real and Al started faking it..."

"There was one tour in particular when we both toured the South at different times," Jourgensen added, "but about three days behind each whatever dressing room we'd go in, there was fake blood all over the place...They'd go into their dressing rooms and there'd be real blood all over the place...."

Their shows, orchestrated and planned by Ogre, grew to a more sophisticated idea of the terrifying. Onstage Ogre, walked the stage on huge stilts, sliced his own throat, smiled and fell back into a cloud of smoke while fake blood rained out, hung from racks and cables, was mock executed, played with a hangman's noose, was strapped down in a chair and injected with liquids, faked cutting himself, cut himself for real, put on huge monster suits, interacted with a variety of props and was the subject of onstage experiments by menacing looking surgeons. All of this was tied into a multimedia event with graphic backing video and massive moving set machines including a virtual reality machine, a bleeding crucifix and a large rotating "Tree Of No Cares" with dangling severed heads and porno magazines.

Ogre has said that he does it all to "to create confusion and lower the boundaries between the audience and the band."

I was at a show in 1988 with my boyfriend and his friend. I think it was Suicidal Tendencies. We were talking about a local band at the time - The Impotent Sea Snakes - and how they had, according to legend, thrown a box of baby chicks into the pit during one of their shows, causing, according to the story, everybody to stop dancing, horrified, causing several of the women at the show to pick up the chicks, and some to even adopt them.

“Frances wants to go to Skinny Puppy," my boyfriend told his friend,” like some kind of follow-up about another really mean band. “NO!!!” his friend half-screamed, looking at me with some serious concern. I didn’t go to see Skinny Puppy that year. I was easy to scare at the time.

They were wrong about Skinny Puppy. They would never throw a box of baby chicks into a mosh pit.

“My biggest fear through this whole thing was just that, you know, I’m a nice person if you actually get to talk to me and meet me,” Skinny Puppy singer Nivek Ogre told Movement in 2001, “but I portray something quite the opposite.”

He does seem nice. Just listen to his kind words about Paris Hilton, who plays his sister in the 2008 movie Repo! The Genetic Opera.

“Oh she was great,” he said in an interview last year before the film’s release. “I think, coming from me, you see a lot of stuff written about somebody and you try not to let that affect how you see somebody, and then you see the more humanistic aspects of anybody and that kind of takes you a step back from all the things you try to filter out on your own daily.” He said “,,,, you know being bombarded by all these things about people and stuff like that. So there’s things about her definitely that I can relate to. I see the struggle she has, and I see what the human issue is ultimately, so that was a good experience." Ogre plays Pavi, the face-stealing lothario, in the instant cult-classic compared to a type of Rocky Horror for the millennium. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, director of Saw II, III and IV, the movie mirrors Rocky Horror in its futurism, but Repo! Is an opera, completely sung throughout. Along with Ogre and Hilton, the film stars Paul Sorvino, Sarah Brightman, Alexa Vega, Anthony Stewart Head, Bill Moseley and Terrance Zdunich.

“It’s been selfish in a sense, Ogre said of his onstage character in a 2007 interview with Regen “but it’s me. Because it is something that I really didn’t feel like I had control of, or I gave it the control, and I didn’t really have an understanding of what I was doing at the time. So I was always kind of mishappen about that character and that persona.”

“And then I worked with people like Al Jourgensen and these characters that are architects of intensity and seeing their whole vibe and how they work. I incorporated some of that.”

So I moved away from that character. He’s been in the closet, so to speak, so that’s the impetus for me with this now, and Skinny Puppy has always had room to grow in terms of the concept and especially when touring. It’s amazing how It happens with our records. It’s happening a lot more now than it ever has before.”

Skinny Puppy has fresh life today. They have produced some of their most evolved and innovative work since their reunion in 2000, starting with cEvin Key’s SubCon label release of Puppy Gristle in 2002. The album was a recording of a 1994 jam with Skinny Puppy and Genesis P’orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. “Optimissed,” the first new Skinny Puppy track since 1996. appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Underworld in 2003. That year, Skinny Puppy signed with SPV, their longtime European distributor, and since then have released two new studio albums as a band, done two world tours as Skinny Puppy and toured together twice in OhGr, Nivek Ogre’s solo project. Started as an earlier project with Walk, OhGr has frequently included cEvin Key. The band released an album in 2008, The Devil’s In My Details.

Nivek Ogre talked about the simultaneous existence of his band, OhGr, and Skinny Puppy in an interview with Movement. “I’ve just come to the conclusion again, within me, there’s this kind of duplicity, you know, the OhGr thing is a really great way of me getting out parts of my psyche that were perhaps a bit, maybe a bit too veiled, or put off in the background for fear of being discovered as not what most people would think Ogre was, per se.”

In 1989 it hardly seemed like Skinny Puppy would be together and producing new work in two decades. Most had predicted that they were on a certain path to a permanent break-up, but they would still be together for another six years.

Kevin Crompton (cEvin Key) and Kevin Ogilvie (Nivek Ogre) started Skinny Puppy in Vancouver, BC in 1983. Crompton was the drummer for Images In Vogue, a Canadian New Wave synth band. Crompton had been playing in bands since he was 13. He was looking to create music more artistically satisfying than what he was doing in IIV. By 1981 he had already chosen the name Skinny Puppy for the band he was planning. He was already experimenting with found sounds, effects and electronic music and had recorded two tracks for the band — “To A Baser Nature,” which appears on The Skinny Puppy Release Back And Forth, Series 2, and “Meat Flavor.”

Ogilvie and Crompton met at a party. Ogilvie, a writer, was a roommate of IIV member Gary Blair Smith. The two Kevins got together a few times to jam and hit it off. Eventually, Crompton decided to pursue Skinny Puppy full-time, using the name cEvin Key to prevent confusion with his other band. Kevin Ogilvie took the stage name Nivek Ogre to avoid confusion with Key. The duo released their first recording, Back And Forth, Series 1 in 1984. Only 35 home-dubbed copies were produced. The band intended to do 50 but got bored with all the tedious dubbing. The demo led to them signing on Nettwerk Records, an independent label run by Crompton’s friend, Terry McBride. The first live Skinny Puppy performance was at Unovis Art Gallery in Vancouver in Feb. 1984.

Key and Ogre have been the only constant members of Skinny Puppy through its history. Other members have included Dwayne Goettel (1986 - 1995), Mark Walk (2003 to present) and Associate Producer and unofficial fourth member Dave “Rave” Ogilvie (1983- 1995 - - no relation to Ogre), along with a roster of guests including Wilhelm Schroeder aka Bill Leeb of Frontline Assembly in 1985 and '86, and Al Jourgensen in 1989.

Producer Dave 'Rave" Ogilvie worked with Skinny Puppy from their first self-released cassette, Back and Forth, through Too Dark Park in 1993, and then again in 1995 to finish The Process with Key. Ogilvie knew Key through his work with IIV. He helped to arrange studio time for Skinny Puppy at Mushroom Studios, where he worked, for the one track on their demo not recorded at Key's home studio. He went on to co-produce every SP recording after for ten years, and is even listed as a fourth member on one album.

Remission, Skinny Puppy's debut in Nettwerk in 1984, contained the core of their innovative sound, joining electronic and industrial with a dark feel. Crompton continued to play in IIV while Skinny Puppy grew. In 1985, they opened for Chris and Cosey, billed as Hell O’ Death Day. Some of the material they performed appeared later on Puppy releases.

Bites, Skinny Puppy’s first full-length album released in 1985, included a guest appearance by Wilhelm Schroeder/Bill Leeb. Tom Ellard of Severed Heads helped to produce the Bites track “Assimilate” one of the band’s first underground hits. Other popular songs include “Smothered Hope,” “The Choke,” “Dead Lines,” “Last Call, and “Far Too Frail.” Crompton left his job as drummer for IIV after Bites. Leeb also played with Skinny Puppy as a guest on their North American tour supporting the album, which featured a massive stage set and debuted the band’s signature show blending shocking performance art with music.

Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse, their next album released in 1986, featured a big improvement in musicality and technical skill due to the addition of Dwayne Goettel on keyboards. That year, Skinny Puppy performed live in-studio on CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves show. The 1986 World Tour that followed established Skinny Puppy as a leader on the international industrial scene. A distribution deal with Capitol/EMI expanded their worldwide audience along with the release of a number of their recordings in Europe. Later that year, the band released the Chainsaw EP.

By 1987, Skinny Puppy were a hot ticket on the industrial dance scene. Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate, their fourth album on Nettwerk, features a fully-realized classic sound, a number of tracks presenting their experimental side and lots of ambient noise. Its lyrics marked an even more socially conscious and politically aware feeling. A Vancouver show from the North American tour in support of the album was released as the video “Ain’t It Dead Yet.”

Animal Experimentation became a more important issue to the band before their 1988 European tour and this concern was reflected in their stage show, their most elaborate yet.

Ogre and Key are said to have both been strong advocates for animal rights when they first started playing together, and to have chosen their band name because of it. The band went on to become strong public advocates for the cause by 1988, and the stage shows for the Head Trauma Tour of Europe in 1988, the VivisectVI tour of North America, the Too Dark Park Tour and the VivisectVI album all revolved on this theme.

Vivisect VI continued the protest on animal testing, along with lyrics about chemical warfare, the politics of AIDS and pollution. The album features a harsher, noise-focused version of the Puppy sound, with more live drums and even more vocal and instrumental effects. B-sides and bonus tracks revealed the music Key and Goettel were creating on their own, which would later be explored in their side project, Doubting Thomas. The album title was intended to associate animal vivisection for research with satanism (the 666sect). Its single "Testure," denouncing the practice, reached #19 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart. The video for the song also included a statement against Vivisection. Ogre and Key were arrested for disorderly conduct at a 1988 Cincinnati show on the Vivisect tour after Ogre performed a mock vivisection of a stuffed prop dog onstage as a protest, and a member of the audience called the police, believing it was real. The dog, nicknamed C.H.U.D. after the horror movie, was created to be extremely lifelike.

The band started branching out into a number of side projects and outside associations in 1987. Ogre toured with KMFDM and contributed vocals on their album Symbole, released that year. He would also appear on the KMFDM album, Adios, released two years later. Also in 1987, Kevin Key and Edward K'aspel of The Legendary Pink Dots recorded Their Eyes Slowly Burning as The Tear Garden. K’aspel had opened for Skinny Puppy in concert as a solo artist with Key handling sound. The Tear Garden grew to be an ongoing project including, at times, all members of The Legendary Pink Dots and Skinny Puppy. They continue to collaborate.

Ogre also toured with Ministry in 1987. He first met and performed with Jourgensen that year, when he walked into Chicago Wax Trax while Jourgensen was recording the track "Show Me Your Spine" for his project PTP, short for Programming The Psychodrill. When Jourgensen heard that Ogre was there, he asked him to sing on the track, which they recorded live in the studio.

Side Projects were really becoming a problem for the band by 1989.

Jourgensen and Ogre became good friends and by 1989 Jourgensen was on board to work on Skinny Puppy's next album, Rabies. Jourgensen co-produced the album with Rave and played electric guitar and sang on several tracks. Ogre talked about his work on the album in the Joe Radio interview. "It was a great inspiration for our album. We were having a few problems at the time, and for me, it all cleared up when Al came up. I guess there's that male bonding again. We just locked everybody else out of the studio."

"It was pretty tense between him and other people in the studio, but I think that's good," he continued. "A lot of times you need that kind of tension that goes on in the world. I think that album's pretty much a mirror of what was going on. I think if people just listen to the record and read between the lines, they can pretty much see what was going on at the time."

The album has a stripped down sound, different from the typical Puppy feel. Some fans have commented that Rabies is more of a follow up to Bites, than Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate and VivisectVI. The album had mixed reviews from critics, but its single, "Warlock" is possibly any Skinny Puppy fans' favorite song. The track, mixed a sample of a riff from The Beatles song "Helter Skelter" with a sample of Charles Manson singing the song. The video for the "Warlock," was Ogre's first attempt at film making. He said in Regen that it "came from my love of horror movies and I was just learning how to edit an it was a labor of love, an when we put out The Greater Wrong V, I edited the Eurotrauma segment too."

After Rabies, Dave Ogilvie returned with Al Jourgensen and Ogre to Chicago to finish the next Ministry album, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste. Conflicts in Skinny Puppy hit a new high when Ogre decided to tour with Ministry in support of The Mind Is... as a second vocalist rather than touring with Skinny Puppy to support Rabies. Key was quoted as saying at the time that he felt "like a wife that's being cheated on."

Ogre worked extensively with Martin Atkins' group Pigface for years during this era, touring with them and appearing on their albums. Al Jourgensen also joined him in the project.

Ogre also worked with Jourgensen’s main side project, RevCo, during this time, touring with them and appearing as a vocalist on their 1990 album Beers, Steers and Queers. Ogre appears on the track “Get Down” without credit. He also made a cameo in the video for “Stainless Steel Providers,” released in 1990.
At the time of the 1990 Joe Radio interview, it looked like Skinny Puppy was already broken up.
Goettel and Key, began working in Hilt with Al Nelson, a previous band mate of Key’s, and also working in Cyberaktif with Bill Leeb of Frontline Assembly.

Meanwhile, Al Jourgensen and Ogre were planning their next project, W.E.L.T., short for When Everyone Learns Truth. Jourgensen even got a tattoo with the name. They talked about the project more than they worked on it. Only one track, “Noreen,” was ever recorded. It was never released by WELT, but appears in raw form on several Skinny Puppy bootlegs. Jourgensen remixed the track in 1995, releasing it on the Filth Pig album as “The Fall.”

Ogre wanted to continue the project with Mark Walk in the mid-90s, attempting to release an album as WELT on American Records. The project was put on hold for five years because of contract obligations, with all work done for it remaining the property of American. The rights later came back to Ogre and he re-recorded the material and attempted to release it again, but was prevented from using the name by another band named Welt. The band, renamed OhGr, released the album WELT in February '01. They went on to release SunnyPsyop in 2003 and, most recently, The Devil’s In My Details in 2008.

Regardless of the conflicts in the band, they released Too Dark Park in 1990. Full of harsh, electronic rock, themes of environmental decay and volumes of background noise, the album spawned two singles, “Tormentor” and “Spasmolytic.” Its sound moved away from the stripped down quality of Rabies back to the dense, effected, lush textures more typical for Skinny Puppy. The 1990 North American tour for the album included a graphic backing video, similar to the footage shown in the “Spasmolytic” video directed by Jim VanBebber.

1992’s Last Rights moved away from dark noise toward experimental. The album is regarded by many as Skinny Puppy’s best work but the album was released without its centerpiece. Track 10, “Left Handshake” was left blank on the CD because of a last-minute denial by the copyright holder. The song features a long vocal sample of Timothy Leary’s 1969 track, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out.” In the song, Ogre responds to Leary’s instructions for avoiding a bad trip. The sample was approved by Leary, but denied by the actual copyright holder. The track was eventually released on the initial European edition of Brap... in 1996 and on a limited edition single titled “Track 10” which was sold at Skinny Puppy’s 2000 Dresden reunion show. Lyric content largely centered on Ogre’s personal issues. Musically, the album traveled through a number of styles and techniques in the context of a unified sound. An even bigger stage production backed up the Last Rights Tour, centered on a detailed story that involved Ogre participating with a backing film, a bleeding crucifix and the rotating “Tree of No Cares.”

Side projects continued to be a major creative outlet for all three members of Skinny Puppy. In 1993, tensions were at a peak. Still, they signed to American Recordings and moved to Southern California to work on The Process. It would be their first and last album for the label.

Making The Process would take years. While the band was recording it they dealt with flooding and earthquakes, a string of producers, a total absence of communication and the tragic loss of one of their band members. cEvin Key was also seriously injured in a video shoot. For the first time in ten years, the band did not begin work with Ogilvie on the album, but went through a series of producers including Martin Atkins of Pigface. Goettel and Key took the master tapes in progress back to Canada with them when, reportedly, they were unhappy with Atkins' work, planning to finish the production themselves. Ogre stayed in California, announcing the he was leaving Skinny Puppy to work with WELT. Dwayne Goettel was found dead of a heroin overdose a few months later on August 23, 1995. After his death, Dave Ogilvie and Kevin Key finished producing the album together in his honor.

“He was the little known genius behind the curtain of Skinny Puppy,” Nivek Ogre said of Goettel.

A classically trained keyboard player, Goettel joined Skinny Puppy in 1986. His band Water had opened for them in Edmonton the year before. He has also worked with Psyche, a synth-pop band. The track “Antagonism” was the result of Goettel and Key’s first jam together.

Goettel’s addition was called, by some, one of the most important events in the band. He made a major improvement to the band’s sound obvious on his first album with them. Goettel completed the classic Skinny Puppy lineup that would be constant through the first era of their career. He was an equal partner with Key in creating the band’s music. During Skinny Puppy’s near break up in 1989, Goettel, with Key, Al Nelson and others, formed HIlt while Ogre was working with Al Jourgensen on their planned project WELT, the germ of what would become OhGr. He worked with cEvin Key outside of Skinny Puppy again in Doubting Thomas, an instrumental project. Nivek Ogre has said of the working relationship between Goettel and Key, “cEvin had a good sense of melody, but Dwayne was classically trained, and then he could f*** things up. It was part of the duality in that Dwayne shared his vast knowledge of music, and cEvin showed him how to f*** it all up.”

“Dwayne brought us a whole new sense and aesthetic that we didn’t have up to that point. We were really punk rock in our approach,” cEvin Key once said. “He had an amazing knowledge of equipment, and, at a very early stage, was really the master of sampling, which had really just begun,”

“It’s been 11 years,” Key said in 2006, “And it feels like it happened two weeks ago. I always thought you get over something like that, but really, you just start getting used to dealing with it....After Dwayne died," he said in the same interview, "I really feel like I had to pick up the energy for both of us, carry it for both of us. So, to find someone who could step in for both of us on keyboards and perform that element... you may as well find a drummer, because its easier to train a drummer to do the things you’d like done.”

The Process was released in 1996. In spite of all the turbulence in making it, it would be as the classic Skinny Puppy album. It would be a yardstick to compare to all new Puppy albums and work by its individual players.

With Skinny Puppy now officially over, the two remaining members went back to work on their other projects. Key returned to his new project, Download, and Ogre returned to work on WELT, which would become OhGr.

Brap: Back and Forth, Series 3 & 4, a multimedia history of the band was also released that year. A Skinny Puppy tribute album, Remix Dys Temper, released in 1998, featured Skinny Puppy favorites redone by Autechre, Adrian Sherwood, God Lives Underwater.

While Ohgr was evolving, the relationships between Key and Ogre improved. They began to talk about reviving Skinny Puppy, resulting in their 2000 reunion at the Doomsday Festival in Dresden, Germany.

A live album, Doomsday Back and Forth, Series 5, Live in Dresden released in 2001, documented the event. Clips of Skinny Puppy performing “Testure” and “Warlock” at the show appeared on the German TV Series Crazy Clips Show. Live video of “Warlock” was released on a VCP compilation put out by the German Magazine Sonic Seducer.

“We’re just seeing how we can play together again before we start doing something like tampering with what Skinny Puppy was,” Ogre told Movement at the time, saying they would play together again as Skinny Puppy, only if the conditions were right and if there’s somebody who wants to put the money up for the actual production, we’d be into doing, like, specialty shows and things like that.”

Key joined the 2001 OhGr US Tour after the Dresden show, but Skinny Puppy still was not officially back together. Ogre also appeared in Key’s 2001 video for “Frozen Sky” from his solo album, The Ghost In Each Room.

Eventually, the conditions were right for a permanent reunion and the group began to record new material.

Mark Walk began playing with Nivek Ogre in the Welt project that eventually developed into OhGr. “Working with Mark has given me the ability to let go of a lot of things that I think are good in lieu of something even better, that opens up a whole different direction of something. ....[He] has this amazing intuitive idea with all of the stuff that’s really experimental,” Ogre told Regen in 2007.

Walk joined Skinny Puppy on The Greater Wrong of The Right. cEvin Key talked about his work on the album in an interview with Movement after its release, “I think Mark Walk did a great job. His job was pretty difficult in that he would examine 30 to 40 musical jams between all of these individuals, and then have to choose which to work with and how to integrate and retain melodic structuring while still retaining some of the vibes of the original songl. He was, as a musician, bringing quite a bit to the table as well. That’s a first for that. I think that’s sort of what we needed all along. ...He was definitely the glue that held this whole thing together.”

Ogre talked about Walk’s niche in Skinny Puppy. “We’ve got a really good production person in Mark Walk, who kind of watches over things because we’ve actually produced a lot of this stuff as we go along and the process that we did this by is the different styles of writing kind of clashing and then pulling different stuff out.”

Walk, in his way, fills the third position in the band that was held for the first era of Skinny Puppy’s career by keyboardist Dwayne Goettel. Both brought impeccable musicianship and technical skill to the band.

The Greater Wrong of The Right, Skinny Puppy’s first new studio album since their reunion, was released in 2004. The album featured guests Wayne Static of Statik X and Danny Carey of Tool. It has been compared to what many consider the classic Skinny Puppy album, The Process, but with more of a rock orientation.

“The Greater Wrong of The Right was sort of something we reconnected with, and getting a new label to solidify it for this record,” Ogre told Regen. “[It] was really mixing things up and abstracting ideas of cEvin’s and creating new arrangements, and at times making new songs of certain things, which I’ve always done vocally,” he said.

Mythmaker, released in 2007, continued progress in the band’s idea of moving forward from the past. Their 13th album and the second studio release since their reunion, it takes a step back from The Greater Wrong Of The Right towards the classic Puppy sound to break new ground for the group.

“Between The Greater Wrong Of The Right and this record, I went through tumultuous upward and downward spirals within various relationships,” Ogre revealed in an interview about the album. “The lyrics on this record were inspired by me doing a very detailed post-mortem on several very important relationships in my life. The personality types were different, but their psychological makeup was quite the same. I expanded from my interpersonal realm, and expanded [the songs] into an externalized theme.”

"Control is the central concept to the record, the idea where mythic archetypes are clung to in an effort to preserve their own sensibility,” he continued. “The most amazing thing that I’ve found is that people usually look outwards and project on others what they hate the most about themselves. At the core, Mythmaker surrounds the things people do, calculatingly or not, to either prop themselves up—like MySpace—or protect themselves. The experience of this record has made me examine my own issues of control,” says Ogre. “Not about controlling other people, but control of my own ability to accept certain situations."

"I'm not sure if I’m getting older or if we've somehow bred out all of the intelligent people and what’s left and what's brewing is just a subspecies of people that are just being puppeted around by their need for fossil fuels and consumer goods and such," Ogre told Regen.

“The new album Mythmaker is sort of simplified in a way,” Ogre told Regen after its release. “Because we actually stayed truer to cEvin’s compositions and worked within the boundaries of that treatment as opposed to digging deeper and deeper into layers. So it both generated, I think, a newer sound, and also has a lot of things that are archetypical to Skinny Puppy’s treatment of things.”

In the interview, Ogre said that he agrees with fan observations that the album is a sort of combination of The Greater Wrong and The Process. “I really agree. It’s almost a companion piece to The Process in a lot of ways, he said. ‘I think the production on this record is a lot better. We sorted out a lot of things.”

Ogre spoke about the album’s themes of control in an interview, “To me, there’s a layer of society that is completely autonomous and seamless, like the NSA, and they’re working on affecting people, affecting free thinking, affecting whatever they can to neutralize it”

Sonically, the album returns to the style of earlier albums, using vintage analog synthesizers and virtual gear, vocals sung through vocoders and ring modulators and lots of distorted bass. Longtime Puppy collaborator Ken “Hiwatt” Marshall and electro-wunder Otto Van Scherach both make guest appearances.

Skinny Puppy bassist Mark Walk makes a huge contribution to the album, acknowledged by both Ogre and Key. Walk and Key produced the album together.

“In the past, we’d write piece of music and it wouldn’t change in the arrangement,” Key explained, “In this case we wrote 25 pieces of music – they weren’t arranged or finished in any way – gave them to Mark and he gave suggestions on how to reconceptualize them…we were stripping down things, rebuilding them and seeing what would help. When you write a piece of music, you often get attached to the original form. For someone to come along, rip it down and say ‘How about this?’ opens up another door and drives you forward. Then Hiwatt would come in and put another spin on it, which he calls, ‘finding the heart of it.’ Mark and Ken are part of the ‘deeper team’ so to speak,” he said.

“When I hear Mythmaker, it brings the same feelings I had from the very first time we made music,” band founder cEvin Key said in an interview about their most recent album, released in Nov. 2007. “It’s really an odd thing. I think our ability to stick to our guns and be true to ourselves all along has been quite amazing. If I had to sum up Skinny Puppy,” he said, "I’d say it’s been not knowing how to control style as much as it’s been about working with concepts.”

“I’m excited to see what happens on the next record, when we take this whole process of working to the next level,” Ogre told Regen after Mythmaker's release. The band is tentatively scheduled to release a new album this year.


ISSUE I 2009



©2009 Dunedin Free Press/Brennan Ink