ADULT.’s Adam Lee Miller Recalls Skinny Puppy

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ADULT.’s Adam Lee Miller Recalls Skinny Puppy: Adam Lee Miller of Detroit’s ADULT. told us about his Skinny Puppy experience. 

Adam Lee Miller: The best gig I ever experienced was November 9, 1990 at the Latin Quarter in Detroit.  The band was Skinny Puppy. They were on their Too Dark Park tour. 

As a young teenager in the eighties, I wanted to be a special effects make-up artist for horror films. I had Tom Savini’s “Grande Illusions” book. I mail-ordered all my supplies from NY and L.A. In ’85 I shot a homemade horror film with my brother and cousins. In ’86 I started my first punk band, which I was eventually kicked out of for trying to incorporate synthesizers. In ’89 I moved to Detroit to attend art school. Moving up to Detroit was pretty major, as I grew up in a small town in Indiana with very few live shows. When I opened up the weekly rag the Metro Times, I was breathless! The amount of concerts I wanted to see was insane!

The night of this particular show began strangely with Babes in Toyland. I wasn’t a fan per se, but I was impressed with how they fought back to a very rude crowd. “Choralone” started by Skinny Puppy, a sparse cinematic piece. Stacks of televisions, and I mean big bulky televisions (this was 1990) lined the sides of the stage. The TVs started playing gory loops from films and the news. The back wall also had projections looping. I couldn’t wrap my head around how they were technically doing all this at that time? Backlighting began fading up, silhouetting the drums, which included two 55 gallon oil drums. The keyboard rig was covered in dead limbs.  

The set burst into “VX Gas Attack.” Nivek Ogre (the singer) ran out with a large white bandage (or turban) on his head and started stabbing himself in the head. Blood was going everywhere! Then I realized it was special makeup effects. Next came “Tin Omen” a punk AF song with synths included! My 18 year old worlds were colliding SYNTHS and GORE! I can’t remember the order of things, but the concert continued on relentlessly. Ogre ripping out his intestines. Then becoming a “stiltman.”  

He had massive hydraulic stilts on his legs and arms (later to be ripped off by music hack Marilyn Mason). At one point, he was wearing a BIG mask that was hiding a BIG camcorder. The camcorder was projecting in real time what Ogre was seeing. All this messy manic craze was overlaid on a fantastically performed set by cEvin Key and Dwayne R. Goettel. I remember I stayed up all night talking about the show with my friends.  It was sensory overload. It was raw! Unfortunately, The Latin Quarter was torn down many years ago. Now there is a vacant lot overgrown with weeds and reeds. As a personal homage to this epic concert (and venue), we shot a scene for an ADULT. music video there; “Perversions of Humankind” (seen at 0:48).

ADULT.’s Adam Lee Miller Recalls Skinny Puppy: ADULT.’s split single with Planet B is out now on Three One G Records.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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