Tag Archives: Skinny Puppy

Happy Birthday, Nivek Ogre!

Me and Ogre Backstage at a Ministry Concert

Skinny Puppy Vocalist Nivek Ogre (real name Kevin  Ogilvie) Turns 48 today! Happy Birthday, Ogre!

Pandemonium Online Full Archives Now Available!

Back From The Dead and Bigger Than Ever

People do not return from the dead; but sometimes websites do. The long dead and buried Seattle-based rock and pop culture website, Pandemonium Online, aka Pando Mag Dot Com is now back online as a museum of 90s rock that you can waste literally days perusing. This is very exciting news for me an all of the other great writers who contributed passionately and faithfully to Pandemonium for years, only to have their brilliant work expunged from the web once the site went down in the late 90s.

Also still somewhat not intact is The Worley Gig Archives page, where you’ll find carefully preserved, direct links to the first 39 editions of the rad monthly column that spawned this awesome website, as well as links to a selection of the mind-blowing interviews I conducted for Pandemonium over a span of countless years, including:

Nick Rhodes and Warren Cuccurullo of Duran Duran
The Unband’s Matt Pierce
Christina Martinez of Boss Hog
Bill Rieflin
Anne Dudley and Paul Morley of the Art of Noise
Paul Barker of Ministry
Ben Lee
Sponge’s Vinnie Dombrowski

PJ Olsson
Janus Stark

You Am I’s Tim Rogers
Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac

Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy
Jon Crosby of VAST
God Lives Underwater
And my Vintage Jello Biafra Interview from 1997! Woo!

There are numerous other interviews by me on the site, but those links don’t seem to have made it onto the TWG Archives page, so you’ll have to do some real sleuthing to find them (but trust me, it will be worth it)!  Enjoy and happy hunting! Pandomag lives!

Throbbing Gristle in a Box

Still functioning Gristleizer Unit from 1977

If you want to do your homework on which band or artist actually invented what we now euphemistically refer to as “Industrial” music, you’re going to have to dig past Trent Reznor and Skinny Puppy to get to the true pioneers of the genre, the ‘70s British quartet Throbbing Gristle. Talk about a sick band of geniuses. The first time I heard Throbbing Gristle’s “Hamburger Lady” it freaked me out so bad I had nightmares for 2 weeks. Throbbing Gristle’s music was something like the aural equivalent to today’s Asian horror cinema. If you’ve always wanted to know how these guys got their instruments to sound like implements of medieval torture, TG’s own Chris Carter explains his ground-breaking invention, the Gristleizer Industrial audio effects unit on the band’s website, Throbbing Gristle Dot Com.

Here’s an intriguing explanation of what the unit does from a 2004 interview with Carter on Planet Origo, which should give all you audiophile geeks out there a sonic boner:

“When I was about 12 years old I was given a “Young Scientist” electronics kit that included instructions and parts to build a basic radio, a small amp, a flashing lamp and so on, which I really enjoyed making. I then subscribed to Practical Electronics magazine and spent my pocket money buying electronic components to build the monthly projects. By the late sixties I was building synth circuits such as oscillators, filters, amps etc. from scratch . . .

When I joined TG I built an effect unit called a Gristleizer for each of us. This (now infamous) box of tricks consisted of a smallish metal case containing an LFO, VCF, VCA, a pre-amp, various front panel controls and LEDs. Certain settings on the Gristleizers were very distinctive and it’s often regarded as imparting one of TG’s trademark sounds. We used them on almost everything: synth, guitar, bass, violin, tapes, rhythms and of course on Genesis (P-Orridge’s) voice. The beauty of the Gristleizers was that its range of sounds was so extreme, which also meant it could sound completely different depending on the instrument. The sounds included slow modulated filtering, a metallic ring-modulation effect, clipped and fuzzed distortion and tremolo. At the time there was no other battery powered effect unit capable of such a wide and weird range of sounds. When TG finished I was constantly being asked by musicians to build more Gristleizers but it was something I only did for a few friends. Ultimately I built about 10 units in total but I know there are at least two (just about) working.”

Thanks to Boing Boing for the tip.