Courtesy of Skinny Puppy
"We went through an insolvency with our German label, SPV," Ogre tells Spinner. "Before our last tour [2009's In Solvent See], our album was supposed to be delivered, but we didn't know if it was going to be delivered into a black hole, if SPV was going to exist. We were dealing with accountants from the German government. It was a pretty strange 'handover.'"
SPV did survive, but the two-year delay meant the album has now hit the streets at a time when a song like 'Village' (an angry dance-floor stomper with lyrics about "busted broken dreams" and the "rape of man") seems particularly well-timed to be a soundtrack for the rising "Occupy" movement in North America, however unintentionally.
"We've always seemed to be either a little ahead of the time frame -- I'm not suggesting we're geniuses -- or behind the times. After we recorded [1996's] 'The Process' and [keyboardist] Dwayne [Goettel] passed, we kind of missed that wave that was taken on by NIN and Ministry.
"But this album feels like it's falling in a pocket, however cryptically. I don't want to stand up in any movement, necessarily. I think it's great that kids are getting out into the streets because they've finally seen how they've been sold and sold again. The problem with the Occupy Wall Street is that there isn't a clear message and it might burn itself out, which would be a drag. Somehow, it's about trying to rip the power from all these lobbyist and the banks and redefine the Federal Reserve to what it really is, which is no more Federal than Federal Express. That's what happening now. And that's what Skinny Puppy tries to do, in a more esoteric way."
Musically, 'hanDover' is a rather experimental journey through the different electronic subgenres the band has worked in over the years, from dissonant noise to melodic ambience and pop psychedelia. Call it post-industrial: less sonic brutality, more melancholia. As Ogre admits, the record reflects a certain resignation in the face of things he can't control, from the Fukushima fall-out to the fall of the recording industry.
"As musicians, we have been dealing with a business that is eroded to such a degree that you can't really make a living off of it. How do I exist in this world? Hawking T-shirts? ... All I wanted to be was a musician and now I've started to become a bill collector, chasing mechanical royalties, for example. It's money that is not only owed to you, it's your right to have it. It shouldn't even be an issue. I know there is a business involved, but there is no decency."
"Because I feed on this, in a sense, I guess I'm a parasite," he adds. "Ultimately, though, it makes me sad. How do you fight the invisible ... if you think about it long enough it will kill you."