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: