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M - You did the recording for "Devils In My Details" pretty quickly. How long did it take you?

O - Well, you’re working on little pieces of it, the little conceptual ideas for a long time. When we started on the one session it took us probably about four months, just working on jam session and expanding upon it. We worked on musical transitions between things as opposed to just doing a bunch of pieces of music and doing transitions after the fact, but actually trying to find something that was going on with this concept we had which was exploring the ideas of immersive experiences on records and things like that.

It started as one session and we worked on some of the vocals, and some of the vocals are really one take vocals. All of Bill Moseley’s stuff was one take things, that was more or less a little fitted in; but still it was all kind of stuff that worked really well in a really weird, sort of synchronous way. It was like a lot of these things came out of that fortuitous moment or just came out of nowhere. Like meeting Bill for example. I would never have met Bill had it not been for "Repo" and the fact that I would never have had him do anything on the record had he not been reading me poetry that he wrote up there everyday. It was just wow, I mean this guy is amazing, he does this every day, you know? And he wrote a poem for me and for my girlfriend. So it’s a lot of little things like that, and he expressed a lot of interest in music, and we listened to a lot of music on the set. Our trailers were right next to each other and he was always playing me a lot of cool shit from his vibe. Like really, not stuff that industrial kids would be into at all, but stuff like Fleetwood Mac. Before they were Fleetwood Mac, they were a hardcore blues band, and really good shit like that. So things like that came together on this record and were incorporated.

This record is purposely chaotic, it sounds purposely chaotic. It’s a very perceptive production because on first listen someone could say, "Well, it sounds muffled and blah blah blah." It’s mastered to be turned up loud, it’s mastered more for vinyl, you have to turn it up more loudly than most records. Chaos is the whole of the concept, and I need to keep it that way for my own reasons. It worked well, and again this has to do a lot with my friendship with Mark Walk, and Mark’s being with me at the time and Mark understanding me to a certain degree and I cherish that relationship as an artist. This experience showed me a lot of what that’s all about. And Mark has an empathy that goes beyond, and a lot of things came together at one time, I am pretty happy with it.

M – I am definitely happy with it. I do like it. It sort of almost reminds me a little of "Too Dark Park" but it's totally your own and you and Mark definitely have a chemistry. I was surprised by it actually, a little different than what I was expecting.

O – Yeah, and you know we’ve been doing these things on - a website we started - and we kind of switched off the oversight Not wanting to go the way of using the label to have a chatroom where we are never around anyway. And that kind of advertising to me seems not genuine. We are experimenting with this really low-tech broadcasting, it’s actually a beta-tested thing that we actually broadcast. We broadcast the albums, we broadcast our rehearsals, and we are going to continue exploring this. We are interacting with the kids. We have got actually around three-hundred people watching and that’s really interesting to me because it’s a lot of fun to do and its also creating a, as close as I want to come… You know me, Max, I’m a fucking recluse. I kind of want this to become really interactive in a lot of ways, and not to denigrate anybody but as I said, you know me, I rarely go out anyway.

It’s a really a cool thing to have that kind of immediate response. We decided to, instead of waiting for the record to leak, we would actually jump in there and have a streaming party. Of course it’s an interesting way to approach things, really reacting to things as they are happening and being a part of all of that. As opposed to what was done in the past, depending on other people for all these different aspects of things, and it did distance you from a lot of it. For some people, that’s what they want out of the rock and roll experience, being a musician. They wanted a definition between fan and artist. I’ve never been that way and there are people that always say ‘you're just way too nice to people, you have to have this barrier between us and them.’ I never really understood that, though I’m not a very social person anyway. It’s just been a lot of fun.

M – Right. Well you are actually going to get out there little bit more because you are going on tour, so how is this going to translate into a show for you? Have you guys been playing out, or…

O – Yeah, we’re doing something with Bill Maartensen, who played guitar on the Greater Wrong of the Right, he’s our videographer and a film maker as well. He played in OhGr last time. He has a project called the "American Memory Project" which is a visual interactive thing in high-def that will be presented before the OhGr show and segue into the OhGr performance. The American Memory Project is more or less a look at visual images from the past and they explore all of these concepts of American history that are a bit tainted or have been painted over like the Wounded Knee Massacre, the reasons for why this all happened. The reasons for the Ghost Dance, the dance that the Lakota Sioux did which scared the people that had more or less occupied their land, the "homesteaders." And their lands, their reservations where constantly split up and the Ghost Dance was a revolt against that and it became a threatening thing to the authorities. The authorities saw it- these people getting together en masse and doing these dances- as quite a threatening thing. To me, it’s more about the human spirit and it has relevance today as well. Wounded Knee was the result of fear of those dances and so it became apocalyptic after that in the sense that a lot of tribes would use it more. The meaning of the dances changed to mean that eventually there would be a time when a great rain would wash the continent clean and change it to what it was before the white man came.

So Bill has been exploring and researching all of these themes. The Library of Congress has a website that has all of this information available as public domain. You’re familiar with Bill’s work, right? It’s layered with a lot of imagery and you can actually go to He has a webpage which has a trailer, a high-def trailer that you can watch, and it’s pretty powerful stuff. I contributed to one of the tracks and we are touring again and the thing about this tour is that we are not playing with another band that could sell more seats and that’s something that I am taking a big risk doing. But I am excited.
The idea of having this very visual experience going with a band thing is what I’m really excited about. And it’s going to be a bit more serious than the last OhGr Tour. I have some ideas that I am working on right now. I am getting back together with Tim Gore. We are actually meeting tomorrow, he’s been working on like, "Hellboy" and "Pan’s Labyrinth," and he’s fuckin’ working with silicon now, and we’re going to talk about doing some stuff. I have an idea for this character and for the stage set-up. I don’t want to talk to you about it until I have actually talked to him. We have been staying in touch but we definitely need to have that meeting and discuss ideas and which ones are doable before I start talking about things that I can’t deliver on…

M – I understand.

O – I’m excited. Gore is working with silicon and when I did "Repo," for the first time in my life I got to be under those types of prosthetics and the silicon. It was so much fun, it was so transformational. An incredible experience. So if we could have stuff like that going on, I would be thrilled. This whole project, this whole album, is a fantasy and I’m trying to kind of reconnect to the things that… How old are you, Max?


M – Thirty-Eight

O – Yeah, so you’re kind of from the same vibe we are, we used to listen to records before videogames.


M – Right

O – And that kind of immersive experience doesn’t exist in a lot of records anymore, really. Within the mainstream especially, and the whole relationship with that immersive experience has changed for kids, and the reason is videogames. Not to denigrate videogames, but videogames are very programmed. It seems like there is a lot of imagination involved in games because you are imagining that this thing is you, but it’s a different form of imagination than we used for listening.
For this album, we wanted to do more sound design, and create sound that flowed like videogames if you listened to that stuff. But there are a lot of influences in the record, there’s Eno, there are a lot of things that go beyond the concept that we were fucking around with, but it’s just coming back to things that we always wanted to bring into OhGr. It was a really exciting record to make. It was really fun.


M – I would still like to hear about "Repo…"

O – Yeah, "Repo" will be bad. It was really great. I had an amazing time auditioning. The auditioning process was a huge period of growth for me.


M – Right. We talked before about this, when you auditioned for the Crow…

O – Right, but that’s not what I am talking about. I came out of this audition just jumping. I literally did. The funniest thing was that I had worked out this monologue, and I had heard before that Paris might be auditioning. But I didn’t know when; it was a secret audition for her, obviously. I got called in at the last minute and heard Paris was still auditioning and I thought, "Man, I got an idea for Bobby!" Bobby’s like, you know he’s vain, he’s a narcissist, he’s a rapist, he would probably want his sister’s face, right? So I cut a picture of Paris’s face out of a magazine and I put it on the mirror and I used it as a prop. Once I was done with the monologue, at the end of it, I would be like "So, do you wanna see fuckin’ Bobby? You wanna fuckin’ see Bobby? I’ll show you fuckin’ Bobby!" Then I’d turn the mirror around and it would be her!
And right before I did it, I was outside practicing my lines semi-nervously, and I hear this commotion in the room. It was a three-door system in the studio, you go through one set of doors, another set of doors, then the front door, and the set of doors right in front of the front door close very slowly. So all of a sudden this person walks by, I have my mirror right beside me, and I look up. It’s Paris Hilton! She comes out of the audition and she’s like, "Hi, Goodbye. It was nice to meet you." And I was like, "Nice to meet you." And she walks by, goes in the door and literally like, the two doors open before the outside doors open so they’re slowly closing, and it’s right out of this weird Sunset Boulevard scene or something. There’s paparazzi outside, like poom poom poom [shutter and flash noises] as the other doors close on me and I’m left in there going, "Holy fuck, do I do this thing now?" So I went ahead and did it anyway. It just cracked up the room. I had this amazing audition.
But yeah, it was a lesson to me in objectified perception. The person that I met taught me a lesson about how even I can be misled by media. Kind of taught to hate something. The person that I saw was a very nice person who’s obviously struggling with a few things in her life. I actually saw someone who made me feel more sad for her than angry or anything like that. At the same time I think that she is a really cool girl on certain levels and it’s like she was totally "one of the guys," It was a good thing to keep me in check.

M – Well, how did you hear about the audition, from the very beginning?

O – Through a friend of mine from a band called Drown who is now doing a lot of soundtrack work and was actually, in a lot of ways, the producer of the "Repo" stuff. Kind of like the "ghost producer" I would say. His name is Joe Bishara. And he was a friend of mine back in the day, kind of a fan of Skinny Puppy and New Rave. He got this band together, Drown, and they were kind of an L.A. industrial rock outfit, with kind of Ministry-esque thing going, and he went on to become very successful in writing for films. I saw him after the last tour we did, and he was like, "What else do you want to do?" My stock answer for that is that I would love to wear make-up and be in a movie. You know? Because for me, the child in me, that’s my wish. And in the movie that they were working on, "Repo," they hadn’t cast Bobby and they were looking for... they had considered, you know I don’t remember the name, he was Newman, from "Seinfeld." That kind of a character. Like a more, you know that bald, fat, kind of offensive thing. I think that’s what they were looking for, to offset Paul Sorvino. The core group of "Repo" pushed for me. All the people in "Repo" that actually started the project were involved in the film too.
For Bill, I think that the studio had wanted a character more like Newman. And I honestly think that because they were filming in Canada, they needed one of the leads to be a Canadian. There were a lot of things that made me the right person for that part and one thing I have learned about film is that it’s not really about who you are or what you can bring to it, there are other things involved that go way beyond that. Maybe I should be saying, "My performance was fucking amazing!" I wouldn’t have gotten the part had it not gone so well, and had I not sent the director home happy. They didn’t want rock people that could act, they wanted actors who could sing. So there were a lot of things against me getting that part. It ended up, who really rallied for me was the core group of the people who did the stage play. Those are the people that fought for me tooth and nail.


M –Did you see the stage play?

O – No, I didn’t see the stage play at all. I sent stuff from Skinny Puppy over and I did the monologue and it went over really well. Then it was a matter of in rehearsals just kind of honing what Darren would want. I just wanted to affect a more kind of creepy, menacing feel and still bring all of his uncomfortable, very narcissistic, but also very self-loathing features; which is easy for me because I am so self-denigrating anyway. I just brought all of that to the table, until it became something that was really fun. It’s really small, it’s a small part in the film, you know, it’s the smallest role probably.


M – Tell me about your character.

O – Well Bobby is a narcissistic, rapist, face-stealing motherfucker. Kind of a sneak killer. Someone who lives behind a mask, is very sexual, casts women off like dirty cum rags, and at the same time is scared of his own shadow. He has strength, but he obviously has some issues with the fact that his own face has been tragically deformed by way too many attempts to… And this is all backstory that hasn’t been written yet. So maybe during the birth of GeneCo, when they are doing the first experiments, I try to overly impress my father by being the courteous victim of GeneCo.’s experiments and modifications. GeneCo. is basically known for being the savior of this universe by bringing cheap, affordable transplants at a time when there is massive organ failure, to actually becoming something that is way beyond that. They’ve been deified because they are actually able now to give you new eyes, allowing you to see like children, or to modify your skin color to anything that you want. They have built it up to where they are almost seen as gods in this world. Every year there is an opera where they open the streets of Largo City, it’s called Sanitarium Square, and they open that up once a year to let the people in to see the majestic-ness of their "creators" in a way.

So Bobby is vying with his brother, who he is terrified of, a very violent person in contrast to him. None of us had a mother. We don’t know who our mother is, we don’t know even if there is a mother. The one thing we do know is that dad’s dying and one of us stands to inherit the whole burrito. And we all have our individual faults. Amber’s addicted to "Zydrate," a drug that has been mostly developed to ease in the modification process. But also, when the Repo Man comes for the people that don’t make their payments on time and actually repossesses their organs, this drug is extracted from their brain and it’s being sold on the black market. And then people like the Grave Robber come along and extract it from corpses because there is a cheap version of the drug that’s from the brains of dead people. GeneCo. has taken that and modified it and created Zydrate which is obviously an analog of this drug that is available in corpses. So Amber is an addict after too many surgeries. Bill is just a motherfuckin’ killer. An angry man.

M – That is crazy…

O – It’s fun. It was a lot of fun.


M –This movie has been through for quite a while hasn’t it?

O – It was, yeah. I want to say it wrapped around October twentieth of last year (2007).


M –I heard that it was supposed to come out in April and it kept getting delayed and delayed and delayed and delayed.

O – Well that was because of all of the…


M – Lions Gate stuff?

O – Yeah. It’s been very interesting watching how this has developed. How challenging it is to market of film because it is like… Well, with what I’m doing, I have this fan base that has been building for years, but with a new film, unless you’re a director with a track record, it’s hard to get funding, it’s hard to find an audience.


M – So have you had premiere parties for it out there?

O – No, I think right when I am doing rehearsals for the Ohgr tour coming up, they are flying us out to Vegas overnight to do the party, I don’t know where exactly. It might be at the Hard Rock? Something like that. And Darren is also going out to do the tour. If you go to it has all of the information on where they’re going.


M – I have been listening t a little bit of the soundtrack online, it sounds pretty good. And everything else looks fantastic, it’s being hailed as this new cult film, so…

O – I hope so. I mean, it’s a bit weird to be heralded as a cult film before it has time to be.


M – Right, a cult film right out of the box.

O – Yeah, well that is just the way the world is now. I think it does have some potential to do that because it is unique. There is underlying passion to it that’s not co-opted, and also the relationship between the way that the father and daughter work, it has some heart in it. When I saw it, even after seeing all the behind-the-scenes work and all that is involved in it, it still works. It looks beautiful and has heart.


M – Well, amongst Ohgr-ing and filming and all of this, is there any progress on a new Skinny Puppy album? Is there anything that you can tell me about that?

O – Yeah, I think there’s between twenty and twenty-five tracks that are done and if they’re not done, they are at a point where they are about to come to us. I will be working on some of it on the road, and we are looking at getting all of it done sometime in 2009, and being on the road hopefully in 2009.


M – Fantastic! So how’s that progressing?

O – What I have heard cEvin working on right now is incredible. And we’ll just see where we go with this and how we want to lay it out. It will all come together over the next few months. It’s different with Skinny Puppy because there is a different team of writers involved, but also for me it’s been like I can never predict where it is going to go and what it is going to be. Something could happen to me tomorrow that could change everything.

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