Influencing a generation of musicians and artists, a founding member and mastermind behind Skinny Puppy, Ogre gets behind our lens and talks about the newly released ohGr album unDeveloped on Metropolis Records, his role in the cult classic Repo! The Genetic Opera, the upcoming long awaited Skinny Puppy album, and more.
interview by Aaron Andrews
Since 1982 Ogre (aka Kevin Ogilvie) has been bending our minds and breaking new musical ground. First as a founding member and the vocalist for the hugely influential and infamous Skinny Puppy and later in the starring role of the self-named duo ohGr, Ogre’s one-of-a-kind vocal style combined with his visually engaging and in-your-face stage persona have been widely copied and his contributions can also be heard with bands such as Ministry, Pigface, and KMFDM, in addition to being a cast member of newly minted cult film classic, Repo! The Genetic Opera. OhGr’s fourth and latest musical effort unDeveloped builds on this strong legacy and reputation.
Ogre was nice enough to talk with us and discuss the premise and sound of the new material, aging, costuming, death, the creative culture of Skinny Puppy and ohGr, and last but not least, even Michael Jackson.
I heard great things about the Auxiliary Magazine shoot of you for this feature.
Ogre : It was fun, she’s a great photographer.
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the session.
O : Well, it’s always a bit daunting at this point in life. I call it the Dorian Gray effect. So it’s always a bit daunting. When you work with nice people who understand all the subtleties and sensitivities that go along with watching yourself decay on film over a lifetime, it isn’t so bad.
Tell us a little about the new album. What have you been exploring and thinking about with unDeveloped?
O : unDeveloped is kind of a beginning point and also closure for me. It’s something that began with Devils In My Details, so it’s a continuation of the concept of Devils In My Details but closure to the content; in that I think the last four years of my life I’ve had a number of revelations and experiences that have been very profound to me. I tried to correlate that in a much more journalistic way in Devils In My Details in the moment and unDeveloped is a different look at the same situation through a much clearer resolution lens. Almost akin to looking at something through a childhood microscope and then taking it into a lab and looking at in under an electron microscope and re-examining the same information. So unDeveloped really came out of that, it was the continuation of a really great project with Mark that we have a lot of fun with and we’re really actively involved in fomenting and creating an immersive experience and taking that one step further. Obviously this time period is rife for tons of information both confusing, I’m sure terrifying to most people; but to me, somebody who’s had their head up the ass of all this spectacular and covert and, um, left over right, right over left, even when they’re all the same. I’ve had my head seasoned to this for so long that there’s just so much interesting stuff to write about in the fashion that I do that it’s a bit poetic. I think with unDeveloped too is I’m getting closer and closer to the process of my own writing. I’m not trying to say to sound bigger than life, I say that with a great deal of humility in the sense that my writing has lead me to where I am now and on the route has had things that were almost prophetic and very mysterious to me.
read the full interview in the June/July 2011 Issue