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Electro band ‘invoices’ US govt for using their music for ‘torture’ in Gitmo

Published time: February 01, 2014 19:22
Edited time: February 07, 2014 12:17
The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay (Reuters)

The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay (Reuters)

Veteran Industrial band Skinny Puppy have objected to their disturbingly dark music being played to discombobulate inmates at Guantanamo, and plan to “charge” the government for doing so. They are not the first band to express such objections.

"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 on at least four occasions," the idiosyncratically monikered guitarist cEvin Key told The Phoenix New Times.

“So we thought it would be a good idea to make an invoice to the US government for musical services.”

While this may have been seen as an oblique compliment to a band that prides itself on its dark imagery, the thought of their music bringing genuine mental anguish was uncomfortable.

"We never supported those types of scenarios. Because we make unsettling music, we can see it being used in a weird way. But it doesn't sit right with us," said Key, who founded Skinny Puppy back in 1982.

It is not clear if the Canadian band is expecting remuneration from the US government, but the band has named its latest album Weapon as a reference to the alleged incidents.

The most famous objectors to their music being used for enhanced interrogation are heavy metal legends Metallica.

Skinny Puppy

A 2006 anonymous interview with US service staff showed that it had become their band of choice “to soften up” suspects before an interrogation.

"If there are people that are dumb enough to use Metallica to interrogate prisoners, you're forgetting about all the music that's to the left of us. I can name, you know, thirty Norwegian death metal bands that would make Metallica sound like Simon & Garfunkel," retorted a defensive Lars Ulrich, the drummer for the band.

Skinny Puppy appears to fit the bill.

Forcing prisoners to listen to music has been a widespread tactic for at least the past few decades. The point is not only to intimidate, but also to humiliate, often by inflicting an incongruous foreign culture on a suspected terrorist (inoffensive pop singer Britney Spears also featured widely on US ‘interrogation mixes’).

But the practice has met with legal challenges. The UK, which used to subject IRA suspects to unpredictable and deafening spells of white noise, and Israel, have both been banned from doing so by their respective national courts.

But not all bands mind the military association.

Christian metal band Demon Hunter sent the US army patches and CDs that would psych up US marines before missions. According to an Esquire interview in 2012, the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden was wearing just such a patch as he riddled the Islamist terrorist with bullets in May 2011.

Comments (33)


Paul Vonharnish 04.02.2014 15:12

Willy Dakota 01.02.2014 23:53

The American military is run by sicko's & degenerates,they have been breeding the degenerates in American culture for decades,as in the drug addled minds of the young GI's fresh off the streets of Detroit."We put on our earphones to death metal and we just shoot any F'n thing that moves !".The not so noble commanders encourage it.Lowlife.


So Willy: Ask yourself where all these sicko's came from. What? No families? No friends? No one knew they were sick? No social input? I guess sicko's just drop out of the sky like magic, then end up living in Detroit.


Mairead Mullan 03.02.2014 17:22

Mickey Merriman 02.02.2014 14:29

Unfortunately , there is NO real case if the music was purchased legally....I'm sure the prisoners aren't paying to listen to it in a public venue.


ACTUALLY YOUR WRONG ! If they do NOT have a license to play it. If you are intending to play music even in a small clothing store you need a license even if its just the radio in the background. Artists make money from these licensing fees its why people in the charts have the potential to make alot of money. This is information I actually got from a conference where these companies confirmed it


Justin Sanford 03.02.2014 01:59

we brits have a secret weapon,it is not nice,it is notfunny,it is not humane........... its Des O'Connor ,now thats hellish music!

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