Skinny Puppy’s last show in LA, Why did the band split up? Canadian band is no more

Skinny Puppy splits up after four decades. (Source: Facebook)
Skinny Puppy splits up after four decades. (Source: Facebook)


According to an interview with the Canadian industrial music pioneers Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key, featured in LA Weekly and published on November 30, it has been revealed that Skinny Puppy, a groundbreaking band in the industrial music scene, is set to disband following their current tour.

Fans and followers of Skinny Puppy are undoubtedly experiencing a mix of emotions as they bid farewell to a band that has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Keep reading to know more about it in detail.

Why did the band Skinny Puppy split up?

In an interview with Canadian industrial music pioneers Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key, as featured in LA Weekly and published on November 30, it has been revealed that the iconic band Skinny Puppy is officially disbanding.

Bringing an end to a remarkable four-decade journey that began in Vancouver, the core duo of Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key have decided to part ways, citing exhaustion not only from the demands of the band itself but also from each other’s company.

The interview, conducted separately with both artists over the phone by LA Weekly, unveils a narrative of a relationship that has soured off stage, though both Ogre and Key refrain from openly criticizing each other.

The Final Tour

Despite the apparent tension in their personal interactions, both Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key maintain a friendly and open demeanor during their conversations, showcasing a side that sharply contrasts with the underlying conflicts. While neither Ogre nor Key is inclined to publicly express their grievances, the upcoming farewell tour set to hit Los Angeles seems to indicate the definitive end of Skinny Puppy’s musical journey.

Nivek Ogre acknowledges the strained internal relationships, expressing that the past four decades have involved delicately balancing discord and productivity. He goes on to elaborate on his personal growth, highlighting that he has undergone significant changes since co-founding the band with Key in 1983.

The dissolution of the band’s relationships takes on added emotional weight when considering Ogre’s earlier perception of Skinny Puppy as a family. When questioned by LA Weekly about whether there is anything he will miss, Ogre firmly responds with a resounding “No!”

In contrast, cEvin Key, while acknowledging the challenges, praises Nivek Ogre’s on-stage performances, commending his energy, commitment, and theatricality. Despite the bittersweet nature of Skinny Puppy’s conclusion, Key’s admiration for Ogre’s contributions adds a touch of appreciation to the farewell narrative, encapsulating the complex emotions surrounding the end of an era in industrial music.

About Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy, established in Vancouver in 1982, was a Canadian electro-industrial band. A pioneering force in the industrial rock and electro-industrial genres, the group originated as an experimental side-project led by cEvin Key (Kevin Crompton) during his tenure in the new wave band Images in Vogue. With the inclusion of vocalist Nivek Ogre (Kevin Ogilvie), Skinny Puppy transitioned from a side project to a full-fledged undertaking.

Throughout 13 studio albums and numerous live tours, Key and Ogre stood as the sole constant members. The band saw the involvement of various individuals, including Dwayne Goettel (1986–1995, who also passed away in 1995), Dave “Rave” Ogilvie (a long-time associate and producer from 1984 to 1996, officially a member from 1987 to 1988; not related to Kevin Ogilvie), Bill Leeb (1984–1986, using the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder), Mark Walk (2003–present), and several guests such as Al Jourgensen (1989), Danny Carey (2004), among others.

Skinny Puppy’s Reunion

In August 2000, Nivek Ogre and cEvin Key reunited, marking the first live performance as Skinny Puppy since 1992 at the Doomsday Festival. The intention was to continue the Last Rights tour, incorporating stage design elements from those earlier shows.

Rather than seeking a replacement for Dwayne Goettel, the band opted to leave the keyboard station vacant on stage. Skinny Puppy embarked on a European tour in 2005, and subsequently returned to the studio to finalize their upcoming album, Mythmaker, released in January 2007.

Although the album achieved No. 4 on the Independent Albums Chart, No. 5 on the Dance/Electronic Albums Chart, and No. 17 on the Heatseekers Chart, it had a modest impact on the Billboard 200.[165] The band’s Mythrus tour took place in North America and Europe in 2007, starting in May of that year.

From ‘Weapon’ to the Final Tour

Skinny Puppy made public the upcoming release of a new album titled “Weapon,” set to debut on May 28, 2013. The album drew inspiration from revelations by a former Guantanamo Bay guard, who disclosed that Skinny Puppy’s music had been employed in the torture of inmates. Additional influences included the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and Nivek Ogre’s personal perspectives on the human species.

The band unveiled a music video for the track “Illisit” and, in October 2013, revealed the Live Shapes for Arms Tour, a North American tour slated to kick off in January 2014 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. In June 2015, Skinny Puppy took the stage at the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello, Canada, sharing billing with acts like Ministry and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Following the success of two tours featuring “Weapon,” the band embarked on the Down the SocioPath tour with Youth Code, performing across North America in 2015 and Europe in 2017. This tour, dropping all “Weapon” tracks, introduced songs from the band’s 1996 album, “The Process,” which had not been played live due to the death of Dwayne Goettel in 1995.

The Down the SocioPath tour, distinct from previous “Weapon” tours, scaled back theatrics and featured Matthew Setzer as a live guitarist. Ogre initiated the concerts in a white hooded robe, revealing a suit with oversized needles inserted by a stagehand. The Down the Sociopath Too Euro 2017 leg spanned from May 30 to June 16, with stops at prominent festivals such as Download Festival in France, Primavera Sound, and Wave-Gotik-Treffen.

In February 2023, the announcement of the “Skinny Puppy: Final Tour” coincided with the band’s 40th anniversary. The initial leg, taking place from April to May of that year, included a performance at Sick New World. A second leg of The Final Tour was later revealed in July 2023, scheduled for November to December, ultimately marking the conclusion of Skinny Puppy’s journey as a group.

Farewell to Skinny Puppy: Fan’s Reactions

With the recent announcement, it marks the imminent conclusion of Skinny Puppy’s intricate and theatrically rich journey—a captivating and brilliantly chaotic adventure that fans have held dear for decades. The band’s distinctive blend of sounds, visuals, and performances, characterized by its unique and enchanting disorder, is now approaching its final act.

As followers come to terms with the news of Skinny Puppy’s dissolution, a blend of emotions surfaces, tinged with a nostalgic reflection on the band’s 40 years of musical history. While a sense of sorrow pervades the fanbase, expressions of appreciation are widespread, recognizing the profound influence of Skinny Puppy’s music and the unforgettable moments shared during their extensive tours. Thankfully, the musical legacy remains steadfast.

Fans take comfort in knowing that, even as Skinny Puppy bids farewell to active performances, their music will endure—a lasting tribute to the band’s creative brilliance and the deep impact they’ve had on their devoted audience.

The gratitude articulated by fans serves as a collective acknowledgment that, although Skinny Puppy’s live presence is drawing to a close, the memories and the music will persist. It stands as a testament to the enduring resonance of Skinny Puppy’s artistry, leaving an indelible mark on the musical landscape and the hearts of those who have embraced their unique and influential contributions.


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