Vancouver's Living With Lions have issued a statement in response to recent controversy over the artwork found in their new album, "Holy Shit." (You can read a blogpost detailing some of the complaints here.) The statement reads:
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. We'd especially like to thank some of our newer fans in the media whose stance(s) on free speech has been really influential:
"Only a fool would think that censoring and gagging someone is equivalent of changing their mind." - Ezra Levant
"I'm a mad believer in free speech and standing up to those who want to stifle free speech and impose standards of expectations." - James Moore
- Living with Lions, May 24th 2011
Update: The band's label, Black Box, has also issued a statement--
In light of the recent controversy regarding the artwork for Living With Lions' album, "Holy Shit", the band and label have voluntarily agreed to return the loan of $13,248.00 in its entirety, which was offered in support of this record. The product will be withdrawn from the domestic market immediately, and we requested our international partners to withdraw product internationally as well. We understand the band’s desire to maintain their creative integrity. Therefore the album will be re-released as a non-FACTOR supported project in the coming weeks.
The material was not intended to be offensive, though we regret it was interpreted that way. Further, we regret the negative attention that this matter has brought to FACTOR. FACTOR is an integral part of supporting and sustaining Canadian music domestically and internationally, and their support of our work and that of other Canadian musicians is invaluable.