Industrial band Skinny Puppy has apparently heard “through a reliable grapevine” that their music has been used, on at least four occasions, to torture inmates at Guantanamo Bay. They have since invoiced the government for the usage.
Joining a roster with Metallica, Eminem, and even Barney the Dinosaur, Skinny Puppy may be the first industrial band to be utilized in this way by the US government thus far. The Canadian group is well known for confronting uncomfortable themes such as animal abuse, an ironic twist to having their music forced upon people for torture.
While music has been used by governments for some time, we should consider how, in such a political arena, many artists may feel uncomfortable with their music being affiliated with a process of torture.
A few months ago, the British navy was reported as blasting Britney Spears’ tunes in order to fight off Somali pirates along Africa’s eastern coast. Clearly the western music arsenal is a growing phenomenon.