Ogre Needs Love
During the Eighties as half of Skinny Puppy, Nivek Ogre (or just Ogre, or Kevin Ogilvie) created a much-imitated, arresting blend of industrial and hard rock, belched forth amid bewildering onstage theatrics. A showman from the beginning, Ogre quickly used his theater of the horrifically absurd as a platform to rail against injustices like chemical warfare and animal testing. So as Skinny Puppy waned, the first time, it was no surprise he took the reins of his own project, the ever-so-slightly softer ohGr. A shifting collective whose only consistent members are Ogre and pal Mark Walk, ohGr draws from a more varied musical palette than Skinny Puppy, dipping further into electronic sounds on one side, and some metal on the other.
The group's latest album, Devils in My Details, was released this past October, and was originally, Ogre says, inspired by his discovery and adoption of a mangy, abused dog in a park. That focus soon shifted, however, as personal demons reappeared. The resulting music, an abrasive but tuneful collection anchored by the keyboard and studio alchemy of Walk, is "the closest thing to my original emotional experience," Ogre says. He hopes to transmit some of the experience of that sturm und drang to the band's live show as well. "It doesn't mean necessarily that there's going to be a lot of flash and theatrics, because that's more of a Skinny Puppy trademark," he says. "But there's more of a weirdness, and a different way of presenting ohGr, for sure."
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