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Skinny Puppy bites back

Industrial band launches “In Solvent See” tour minus its new album

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Even Skinny Puppy, the last great industrial band on the planet, is feeling the bite of the flailing global economy. As the group's surviving members, frontman Ogre (Kevin Ogilvie) and drummer/programmer cEVIN Key (Kevin Crompton) embark on their In Solvent See Tour, they do so empty-handed. In May, the group's label, the German-based SPV Records, filed for insolvency – the European version of filing Chapter 11. As a result, the group's 13th studio album, ironically crafted as commentary on the current state of the U.S. economy, is left in limbo with no word as to when it will be released.

"It's a clusterfuck," Ogre huffs. "We worked on another album that was to be a throw-away, just to get us away from SPV, but we had a disagreement internally. So Mark [Walk] and I, who work on ohGr records, took it back. It turned out to be some of the best and most productive recording I've done in my whole life, so it's going to become an ohGr record."

The group's prior label, Nettwerk Records, recently reissued Skinny Puppy's 1991 album Last Rights as a double LP – the last album the group completed before synth player Dwayne Goettel died of an apparent heroin overdose in 1995 while working on their '96 album The Process. Last Rights embodies the group's caustic, electro noise and cracked, pulsating beats. It's also the band's most disturbing release, one that Ogre calls "a complex concept album based on real people falling over the edge."

Last Rights is the first in a reissue series of Skinny Puppy's Nettwerk releases. In the meantime, the group has concocted some inventive online means of disseminating new material. First, WhoDoIHaveToFuck.com presents puzzles and an interactive typewriter that allows viewers to remix a new song, titled "Collidaskope." There's also another website in the works, ISSI.com (In Solvent See Inc.), through which fans can seek financial advice and buy stock in the band. "The impetus of all these negative things can push you and make you work and capture something in the moment," Ogre says. "All of this chaos is fine with me because, really, chaos is my specialty."

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