Skinny Puppy

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Skinny Puppy
Skinny Puppy live at the 2007 M'era Luna Festival
Skinny Puppy live at the 2007 M'era Luna Festival
General information
origin Vancouver , Canada
Genre (s) Post-Industrial , Industrial Dance (1982–1995), Electronica (since 2004)
founding 1982, 2000
resolution 1995
Founding members
cEvin Key
Nivek Ogre
Current occupation
cEvin Key
Nivek Ogre
former members
Bill Leeb (1985)
Dwayne Goettel (1985–1995, †)

Skinny Puppy is a post-industrial / electronica band formed in Vancouver , Canada in 1982 .

Musical classification

Inspired by pioneers in experimental music such as Throbbing Gristle , Portion Control , Kraftwerk or Cabaret Voltaire and post-punk bands like Bauhaus and Killing Joke , Skinny Puppy experimented with electronic recording processes. The first tracks on the 1984 debut Remission can be roughly assigned to the electro-wave environment. With the 1986 work Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse , the music became increasingly complex and industrial . The music of Skinny Puppy falls under the collective term post-industrial , the resulting American sub-genre electro-industrial was clearly influenced by Skinny Puppy. In doing so, they produced a multi-layered sound using keyboards , synthesizers , samples , drum computers , tapes and tapes in a row. They were also one of the first to use MIDI , but used, atypically, analog and digital machines at the same time. In addition, Skinny Puppy partially combined this sound with guitar elements, e.g. B. in the songs Dig It and Testure . With the reunion, the band moved away from post-industrial and electro-industrial and instead approached a dark form of intelligent dance music and electronica .

Because of their interest in the medium of film , they produced a series of music videos to illustrate the theme of each song; However, these were not broadcast or only rarely broadcast by MTV and other music channels; The Worlock video was virtually never broadcast anywhere in the world and was never available for purchase because of the large amount of copyrighted material used in it. Their concerts are legendary because of the bizarre and bloodthirsty performance art with which they wanted to challenge the audience. Skinny Puppy was and is played in clubs with some danceable songs, but never reached commercial radio.


Skinny Puppy was founded in 1982 by cEvin Key (the spelling "cEvin" is not a misprint, his real name: Kevin Crompton, instruments) and Nivek Ogre (real name: Kevin Graham Ogilvie, born December 5, 1962 in Calgary , Canada, Vocals) founded. Key was frustrated by his then-band Images in Vogue and wanted to create something "raw" and "real" with Skinny Puppy. Ogre composed short fragments of philosophical poetry, which he performed with an animalistic, harsh hum. With producer Dave Ogilvie (not related to Kevin) Skinny Puppy released their first recordings in 1984 on Nettwerk Records and in the years to come helped this small record company to become the most famous and most successful independent label in Canada at the time. In 1985, the native Austrian Bill Leeb (real name: Wilhelm Anton Leeb, keyboards and bass) joined under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder Skinny Puppy, but stepped out of disinterest in the coming year and founded Front Line Assembly and Delerium . His successor was Dwayne Goettel , who had completed a classical keyboard training and was therefore brought into the band mainly because of his instrumental skills; however, it was to have a decisive influence on their musical development.

They were able to achieve their first successes with the publications Remission (1984) and Bites (1985), which were still quite minimalist . With Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986), an LP that for the most part contains experimental, ghostly sounds from analog tapes, they showed a musical advancement and were able to further expand their fan base. After Goettel's entry, they produced Cleanse Fold and Manipulate in 1987 , which is predominantly characterized by keyboards, synthesizers and - for the first time - MIDI sequences.

At this time her public commitment to animal welfare began . On their Head Trauma Tour (1987) and the VIVIsectVI Tour the following year, they showed film recordings of animal experiments . The title of the LP VIVIsectVI (1988) is a play on words which, together with Vivisection, is supposed to create a reference to Satanism ( VI is the Roman number for "6" and results in "666" in the album title). On this album they criticize in clear terms the environmental pollution ( Hospital Waste ), chemical weapons ( VX Gas Attack ), the demand for sexual abstinence to fight AIDS ( State Aid ), substance abuse ( Harsh Stone White ), the deforestation of forests for the people Livestock industry ( Human Disease (SKUMM) ) and rape ( Who's Laughing Now? ). The most famous song by VIVIsectVI is Testure , in which they depict vivisection as a Holocaust of animals by greedy scientists. This song reached a placement on the Billboard Hot Dance Music / Club Play charts in 1989 .

In the late 1980s, the band members began working on various side projects, including Doubting Thomas , platEAU and aDuck . Several guest musicians played on the album Rabies (1989), including Al Jourgensen from Ministry , who played electric guitar with other musicians . Heavy metal elements can be heard on this album for the first time , making it the most controversial of Skinny Puppy to date. Opinions diverged as to whether these rock influences were a real asset and whether this made Skinny Puppy's music dangerously close to the mainstream . The presence of Jourgensen did the rest to drive the band members apart: There was no tour to promote Rabies , instead Ogre toured with Ministry as an additional guitarist. Key and Goettel increasingly distanced themselves from Ogre because they believed that he was more interested in all sorts of projects than in the band. In addition, there were different views in the creative area.

The next album Too Dark Park (1990) is again considered a milestone, especially in the development of industrial dance and industrial rock . Industrial elements and funky pop sounds from the 1980s are mixed here. The follow-up Last Rights (1992) is considered to be the compositional and artistic highlight of Skinny Puppy, also in terms of production, with Inquisition in particular standing out. The track Left Handshake , which was originally supposed to be on the album, was removed for copyright reasons prior to release because it used a speech by Timothy Leary . This narrowed the thematic concept of the album. The title Last Rights turned out to be very fitting, not only because of the apocalyptic theme, but also because it also anticipated the band's decline, so to speak.

In 1993 the label switched from Nettwerk to American Recordings and began recording The Process , a concept album about the psychotherapy cult in the 1960s, with Roli Mossiman as producer in Malibu , California . His style was quickly felt to be too inactive, so that he was replaced by Martin Atkins . With him it got even worse, albeit for completely different reasons: Key and Goettel had the impression that Atkins wanted to split the band in order to advance their own projects with Ogre. In 1995, Mark Walk took over production. The band's disputes and drug abuse delayed the completion of the album and increased costs, so American Records cut the deal from three to one album. Key later told the press that the record company had tried to influence the style of music with a view to commercially successful bands like Nine Inch Nails at the time, which put additional strain on Skinny Puppy's creativity. In 1995 Ogre left Skinny Puppy to devote himself exclusively to other projects, which meant the end of the band. Goettel flew back to Vancouver with the tapes, where he was found dead a few days later after a heroin overdose in his parents' house. Ogre and Key completed The Process and finally released it in 1996 in his memory.

In 2000 Ogre and Key played as Skinny Puppy at the Doomsday Festival in Dresden and toured together in 2001 as the opening act for Ogre's solo project called OhGr . In 2003, she began along with guest musicians like Danny Carey of Tool , with the production of a new Skinny Puppy album, entitled The Greater Wrong of the Right , which was released on May 25 of 2004. An extended tour followed in summer and winter, which also took her to Germany to the Loreley for a festival gig on July 17th. Two concerts from her home country Canada, Toronto and Montreal, were recorded for a DVD release, which was released in September 2005. In the summer of 2005 they were back for three club gigs in Germany for the first time in 17 years.

In addition, both musicians continue to work on other projects, Key as a solo artist and with the bands Download and Tear Garden , Ogre is involved in the well-known post-industrial acts KMFDM and Pigface and has formed the aforementioned band ohGr since 1996 together with Mark Walk.

The album Mythmaker was released in 2007 under the SPV label. In contrast to the successor Handover (2011), the album is even more guitar-heavy. In 2008 Nivek Ogre played Pavi Rotti in Repo! The Genetic Opera . In 2011, the album Handover by Skinny Puppy was released, albeit belatedly . This work shows the current musical experimental orientation of Skinny Puppy and includes Glitch, IDM, Electronica and Minimal influences. Skinny Puppy's last album so far, entitled Weapon , was released on May 28, 2013 and is stylistically based on the early releases of Skinny Puppy. The idea was to use only analog equipment at first - but this was quickly discarded - because the effort would have been too great; nevertheless, similar to the early work , Weapon was produced heavily synth-heavy.

In February 2014, the band claimed $ 666,000 in royalties from the United States for allegedly using their music to torture Guantánamo prisoners. That torture the prisoners of Guantanamo with the band's music, is also in the novel The Time of Restless by Karine Tuil mentioned.


Studio albums

  • Back and Forth (demo tape, 35 copies, 1983)
  • Remission (1984)
  • Bites (1985)
  • Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986)
  • Cleanse Fold and Manipulate (1987)
  • VIVIsectVI (1988)
  • Rabies (1989)
  • Too Dark Park (1990)
  • Last Rights (1992)
  • The Process (1996)
  • The Greater Wrong of the Right (2004)
  • Mythmaker (2007)
  • HanDover (2011)
  • Weapon (2013)

Live albums

  • Ain't It Dead Yet? (Live concerts at the Concert Hall in Toronto, Canada, 1987, published 1989)
  • Doomsday: Back and Forth Series 5: Live in Dresden (Live performance at the Doomsday Festival 2000)

Singles and EPs

  • Dig It (1986)
  • Chainsaw (1987)
  • Stairs and Flowers (1987, USA)
  • Addiction (1987)
  • Dogshit (1988)
  • Testure (1989)
  • Tin Omen (1989)
  • Worlock (1990)
  • Tormentor (1990)
  • Spasmolytic (1991)
  • Inquisition (1992)
  • Love in Vein (not released, 1992)
  • Candle (Promo, 1996)
  • Track 10 (limited edition of 1,000, sold at Doomsday Festival, 2000)
  • Political (Promo, 2007)


  • Bites and Remission (1987)
  • Remission and Bites (1987)
  • Twelve Inch Anthology (1990)
  • Back and Forth Series 2 (expansion of Back and Forth , 1992)
  • Brap: Back and Forth Series 3 & 4 (1996)
  • Remix Dys Temper (Remixes, in memoriam Goettel, 1998)
  • The Singles Collect (1999)
  • B-Sides Collect (1999)
  • Back and Forth Series 6 (limited edition, 2003)
  • Back and Forth Series 7 (limited edition, 2007)


  • Underworld (Skinny Puppy - Optimissed)
  • Saw II (Skinny Puppy - Rodent)
  • Blair Witch Project (Skinny Puppy - Draining Faces)
  • Saw V (Skinny Puppy - PolitikiL)


  • Ain't It Dead Yet? (Live concert at the Concert Hall in Toronto, 1987; VHS: 1989, DVD: 2001)
  • Video Collection (1984-1992) (VHS: 1996, DVD: 2001)
  • The Greater Wrong of the Right live (live recordings from 2004 and 1988, 1990 and 1992, video clips, documentary Information Warfare , double DVD: 2005)


  • Repo - the genetic Opera - Ogre as Pavi Largo (2008)

Web links

Commons : Skinny Puppy  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Review of handover on ( Memento from January 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Review of Weapon on Regenmag .
  3. ^ "Industrial band Skinny Puppy demand $ 666,000 after music is used in Guantánamo torture" The Guardian on February 7, 2014
  4. Berlin 2017. p. 110.