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Living With Artwork

Posted by - 01:26 PM on 09/15/11
Living With Lions has started a Kickstarter to help recoup some of the $13,000+ they gave to the Canadian government after controversy with their artwork for Holy Shit. Full details in the replies.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 91
01:28 PM on 09/15/11
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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Vancouver punk act Living With Lions endured a hailstorm of backlash from the Canadian government upon the release of their sophomore album Holy Shit earlier this year. Although critically acclaimed, the provocatively titled album was deemed “blasphemous” by the Canadian Heritage Minister due to the artwork and packaging, which on some level resembles a Bible, subtitled “The Poo Testament” with lyrics written like biblical verses. The controversy stems from the fact that the government-sponsored Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR) provided funding to the band’s Canadian label Black Box Recordings, Inc, to the tune of $13,248 to offset the band’s costs of recording and releasing the album. With the government threatening to shut down FACTOR, Living With Lions and Black Box Recordings voluntarily decided to return the full amount of the loan in cash (rather than through sales over time), in order to keep their artwork untouched.

Now, Living with Lions is appealing to both fans and advocates of free speech to help pay back the loan through a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign urges people to pledge money in an effort to defend art-funding and the freedom for all to have protected artistic expression. The band recorded a PSA and released an official statement:

Video and Statement

The content of our artwork for our new recording was created out of our passion for satire and absurdist humor. The lyrical and musical content of this record does not contain any commentary on religion, nor does it use a pejorative or malicious voice against any particular group of people (excluding possibly some of our ex-girlfriends). When the idea came up to simply alter the artwork for HOLY SHIT without having to expedite the repayment to FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), we chose to entirely return the money so that HOLY SHIT can forever remain true to the original format. The debate about government funding contributing to potentially controversial art is neither new nor truly resolved; but when the offended public complains, the politicians habitually remind groups like FACTOR, the NEA and the Arts Council that they can pull the plug rather than encourage discourse or scholarly debate. We would like to thank our fans, friends and family for their continued support.
01:32 PM on 09/15/11
Holly HoX!
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Hang on....i gotta go knock off a few churches real quick....
01:33 PM on 09/15/11
I want a new username.
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01:38 PM on 09/15/11
lower lifes
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Trashcore's Avatar
Shouldn't this be a label and management thing, not a fans thing? I understand the free speech part, but ultimately they were given 13 grand for free and got it taken away, so they want their free money back. I don't see why fans should have to take care of that. What other bands get 13 thousand dollars to record?
01:38 PM on 09/15/11
The desperation's gone.
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lew_1987's Avatar
First donation. LEGIT
01:43 PM on 09/15/11
Regular Member
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.Jamesus.'s Avatar
Shouldn't this be a label and management thing, not a fans thing? I understand the free speech part, but ultimately they were given 13 grand for free and got it taken away, so they want their free money back. I don't see why fans should have to take care of that. What other bands get 13 thousand dollars to record?
I have a solution to this. Don't give any money. I mean, it doesn't matter who gave the money, they are still down 13 grand that would have helped them record and play shows. If fans of the band have the money to help their favorite band come play a show, or record another album, all the power to them.
01:43 PM on 09/15/11
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brandon_260's Avatar
Might pledge the $25. I like Holy Shit enough to pick up the vinyl.
01:47 PM on 09/15/11
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01:49 PM on 09/15/11
Hang 'em high or not at all
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I enjoy some of the music they have put out, but I am not sure I would want to repay their loan when they had the chance to change the artwork in the first place. I respect their decision to keep it the way it was intended, so that is their choice. I would like to think they would not have done it if they could not afford to do it. I would guess most fans already have the record so a lot of the packages are not much motivation. It looks like their goal is not the full amount of the loan. Hopefully the band can afford to pay the loan back regardless of this project.
01:54 PM on 09/15/11
Old Fears New Frontiers
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circletheworld's Avatar
i respect them taking a stand.. i'll donate
01:55 PM on 09/15/11
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They will NOT be getting any money from me.
01:58 PM on 09/15/11
Ups and Downsizing
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RockVocalPower's Avatar
This is unbelievable.
01:59 PM on 09/15/11
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xsinkshipsx's Avatar
did they not expect such a backlash for putting out something so offensive? I am a Christian, and I don't really care that they did what they did on their artwork. I also believe in the right for free speech. But when it make choices (jokes or not), there will be consequences. They had the chance to change their artwork and they didn't. I'm not saying they should have had too at all, they should be allowed to do what they want, but as someone who grew up in church, I know the backlash that it can have when you defame the something that they hold precious. I don't agree with what they chose to do, but I think they should have the right to do it.

EDIT: no, I will not be giving them money
01:59 PM on 09/15/11
Zack Zarrillo
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They will NOT be getting any money from me.

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