Skinny Puppy bills U.S. military for ‘royalties’

A detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
(Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

The Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy has made a three-decade career out of punishing electronic sounds. But it’s always intended the pain to be voluntary.

However, after the band learned of rumors that the U.S. military had used Skinny Puppy music to torment suspected terrorists at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a member of the group sent an invoice to the military for “royalties,” according to the BBC and other outlets.

The amount? A heavy-metal-appropriate $666,000.

“I am not only against the fact they’re using our music to inflict damage on somebody else, but they are doing it without anybody’s permission,” Skinny Puppy keyboardist Cevin Key told the Canadian outlet CTV News. The band said it had learned of the allegations from a former Guantanamo guard who was a fan of its music.


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A military spokesman told ABC News that the Department of Defense had not received Key’s invoice and that it was committed to the humane treatment of detainees. Meanwhile, the band said it would consider a lawsuit if its claims were not addressed.

Skinny Puppy is one of many bands and acts whose music reportedly has been used in “enhanced interrogations,” from Metallica to the “Sesame Street” theme song. The military has been widely criticized for such reported tactics, and bands including Rage Against the Machine have performed in protest of Guantanamo prison.


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