Hilt was a collective group of Vancouver musicians, usually referred to as a side project of the group Skinny Puppy. The group comprised Alan Nelson, a seminal member of many local Vancouver rock & punk groups, on vocals, with cEvin Key and D.R. Goettel on instruments.

Originally named The Flu, the group was assembled whenever cEvin and Dwayne lived temporarily in Toronto while away from touring/recording with Skinny Puppy. They released a few cassettes in Europe, composed of material that was very much a precursor to Hilt. In 1989, Key and Goettel's label Nettwerk made a bet with the group that they could not produce and record an album for a low budget, reputedly $15,000. They accepted, and the result is the lo-fi debut Call the Ambulance (Before I Hurt Myself). An EP followed in 1991, entitled Orange Pony, with the follow-up LP Journey to the Center Of the Bowl.

During the years of 1992-1995, Key and Goettel focused on Skinny Puppy, putting Hilt on the side. After the untimely ends of both Skinny Puppy and Goettel, Key continued recording his many side projects, which included Hilt. Sessions with Al Nelson continued in 1996, with three songs recorded as a result. Al Nelson died from complications due to diabetes on January 23, 2000. Key lamented (verbatim): "Al was the nicest and most real person I have ever known. He had a sense of humour that could make anyone smile. He was incredibly talented. He was very dedicated to his friends, and his heart was beautiful. He will be greatly missed."

In 2003, Key released The Worst Of the Flu, an odds-and-ends collection of unreleased and alternate tracks by Hilt & the Flu recorded from 1985-1990. Another recording, Minoot Bowl Dropped the Ball, featuring material of a similar ilk to Worst of the Flu, was released in 2007. According to Key, approximately seven LPs worth of material were recorded in the above time period, and may see the light of day in the future.


Hilt - Call The Ambulance (Before I Hurt Myself) album art Hilt Call The Ambulance (Before I Hurt Myself) (Album) Nettwerk Canada 1989 Sell This Version
Hilt - Journey To The Center Of The Bowl album art Hilt Journey To The Center Of The Bowl (Album) Nettwerk Canada 1991 Sell This Version
Hilt - Minoot Bowl Dropped The Ball album art Hilt Minoot Bowl Dropped The Ball (Album) Sub-Conscious Communications US 2007 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Hilt - Get Stuck album art Hilt Get Stuck (Single, EP) Nettwerk, Nettwerk Canada 1989 Sell This Version
Hilt - Stoneman album art Hilt Stoneman (Single, EP) Nettwerk Canada 1990 Sell This Version
Hilt - Orange Pony album art Hilt Orange Pony (Maxi, EP) Nettwerk Canada 1991 Sell This Version


sub 027 Hilt - The Worst Of The Flu 1985-1996 album art Hilt, The Flu (5) Hilt, The Flu (5) - The Worst Of The Flu 1985-1996(CD, Comp) Sub-Conscious Communications sub 027 US 2003 Sell This Version


none Hilt - Sampler album art Hilt Sampler(Cass, S/Sided, Promo, Smplr) Nettwerk none Canada 1989 Sell This Version


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January 23, 2012
A great project that actually had their start long before skinny puppy. (the track white stuff from orange pony was apparently recorded in 78) The 2 1/2 albums they have released are excellent blends of many styles. Picture sp without ogre and a more acceptable and accessible vocalist with some more dub, reggae and punk in there. Key has also released 2 compilations of decent older material by The Flu (the band that led to Hilt) There is also a large amount of stuff they have recorded hopefully to be released someday. If you think sp may be a bit harsh give these guys a try.

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