By Liz Tracy
By David Rolland
By Alex Rendon
By Terrence McCoy
By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
Forward to 2000, when a pair of rich Skinny Puppy fans from Germany dangled a carrot the band couldn't pass up. The reformed Puppy returned that August at a massive Dresden festival, performing a set heavy on old hits.
"[The promoters] made an offer no one could ever turn down," Key says. "It wasn't a dollar-value as much as a production-value issue. They were willing to do whatever it took to make Skinny Puppy come to life again."
Instead of pocketing the cash and revisiting old territory, Ogre and Key sat down and plotted new strategy, emerging with The Greater Wrong of the Rightin May 2004. With its politically loaded title, Wrong certainly takes on injustice on songs like "Pro-test," but its Limp Bizkit rapping (and the potent but unremarkable lead-off track "I'mmortal") reveals too many concessions made to nu-metal minions. The interestingly glum "UseLess" takes the songwriting advances made on The Processto a more commercial realm. Best of all is the bad-moody '80s throwback "Past Present," which recalls the glory days with a pulsating sequencer and haunting synth line.
"'Past Present' was all about us taking the exact tools -- and I mean the exact same machines -- that we used 20 years ago," Key says. But Wrong has some future in it, particularly in the form of South Florida's famous IDM/glitch wizard Otto von Schirach. "Typical IDMers are very sterile," Key notes, "but when I played Otto's CD, my mouth just fell open. He's so on the page."
Schirach's noise sparkles on "Goneja," one of the album's high points -- which brings us back to Ogre and Key, living it up in Jamaica. They spent a week there this summer, before Hurricane Ivan wrecked the hotel where they were staying. In Jamaica, the old pals embraced teenage indulgences and further solidified their partnership, Key says. "We have an amazing situation, me and Ogre. There's no negative wall standing in front of us.
"I can honestly say the only thing that works with music is weed. We're really good boys now -- we have a few drinks, and we smoke weed. Every other drug only pulled us away from being better at what we could have been."