Having Survived Industrial Rock, Ogre Takes on the Future

October 16, 2008 3:08 PM ET

Nivek Ogre, the founder of industrial icons Skinny Puppy who was born Kevin Ogilvie but now just goes by "Ogre," has been around both literally and figuratively. Born and raised in Canada, his work with Skinny Puppy (as well as KMFDM, Pigface, Ministry, Revolting Cocks and just about every other major band in the genre) took him all around the world before he finally settled in a serene mountain area in suburban Los Angeles. "My head is always my head, and it's my most dysfunctional tool, but I have a sense of comfort in places that don't feel like home," he explains. He's produced all brands of art and survived heroin addiction and has had an amazingly productive year: he stars in the surreal movie musical Repo! The Genetic Opera and also has a new album from his project OhGr called Devils In My Details. The album, a left-field construction of processed jams and samples, moves further away from the pounding noise of his former bands towards something more abstract without sacrificing Ogre's trademark theatricality. "We wanted to make the album an immersive experience. For me, records used to be that, but for today's kids it's video games, so we crafted a lot of sound design based on jump starts from video games. It's a very crafted record. You've got to turn it up really loud."

"Looking for a reason to do the record became a big deal for us," adds Mark Walk, the other half of OhGr. "A lot of people make a record just because the label says they can." Walk created a number of audio-video loops based on images and films in the public domain. "We started jamming while watching these loops and using them as inspiration. We had a clip of Liberace performing this sort of classical lick, so at least part of the record was inspired by the image of his hands playing the keys. It was a different way to make a record, but it felt really natural after a while."

As for his participation in Repo!, it was a dream come true for Ogre. "My fantasy as a kid was to be able to sit in a make-up chair for four hours and become a whole new character," he explains. "I mentioned it to one of the producers who is a friend of mine, and he said 'I've got this part as a face-stealing rapist you'd be perfect for.'" It was there he met Bill Moseley, who has played a number of psychotic killers (including Otis Driftwood in The Devil's Rejects) narrates in between the tracks of Devils In My Details. "Bill has an incredible dark side to him, and also the sweetest guy. We got along well."

Related Stories:
Exclusive Songs From Repo! The Genetic Opera
Repo! The Genetic Opera: Loud, Confusing, Paying Homage to Canadian Industrial Rock

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