The story of Skinny Puppy is an odd one.
Canadian CTV News reports that, after receiving some coaching on lawsuits, Skinny Puppy decided to bill the Pentagon $US660,000 for allegedly using their music to torture detainees.
Looking back, the whole story looks like a desperate attempt at gaining publicity. It started with an interview Jan. 26 in The Phoenix New Times under the headline “Skinny Puppy’s Music Was Used for Torture, So They Invoiced the Government.”
“We heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people. We heard that our music was used in at least four occasions. We thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the U.S. government for musical services, thus the concept of the record title, Weapon.
What became of that invoice? Did they respond to it?
We never sent it.
The album cover is the invoice. The original impetus of recording the album was those two concepts: the torture and the invoice.
The Daily Mirror’s Chris Bradley picked up the story a week or so later on Feb. 3, with Bradley adding in his own words, “the band has demanded the US government pay for the use of Skinny Puppy tracks at the remote prison camp in Cuba.”
Reporters at CTV got in touch with band front man Evin Key the next day and got this quote, “We sent them an invoice for our musical services considering they had gone ahead and used our music without our knowledge and used it as an actual weapon against somebody.”
Canada’s CTV News also reported that the band decided to send it after all once they had been “coached” in ways to file suit against the U.S. government.
It’s unlikely the Pentagon will turn up its pockets for Skinny Puppy based on evidence which consists of “4 occasions” corroborated by a “reliable grapevine,” and in response to an “invoice” produced from a week’s worth of legal coaching, but who knows.
Those cases, unlike Skinny Puppy’s, were well-documented, and the songs selected were all well known and easy to picture as a device for torture (Sesame Street and heavy metal blasting on repeat? C’mon).
Bradley of the Mirror asks at the end of his piece, “Is Skinny Puppy’s music really THAT bad?”
In short: Yes. But without any evidence, so is their case.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.