pondělí 20. srpna 2018

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Interview - VOIVOD - Everything is on fire!

Interview with legendary Canadian band VOIVOD.

Answered Mr. Rocky and Mr. Snake.
Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.
Translated by Duzl, thank you!

Ave VOIVOD! For some time now, it is known that another spacecraft arrives from Canada with the word VOIVOD on the side and throws a new album between us terrestrial people. What is the status of recording and what are your current feelings? If you knew how I am looking forward... 

Rocky: We are very excited to release our new conceptual album for you Voivodian terrestrial people! 56 minutes of pure Voivod!!! 

After almost 2 years working on it, during and between many tours, we finished the recording few months ago and we are really proud about the result of our progressive/sci-fi/fusion/punk/thrash/metal album!

Do you already have themes for lyrics and title for new album? What will the album discuss? Who will produce it? 

Rocky: Our new L-P was produced by Voivod on "Century Media Records", recorded and mixed by Francis Perron at "RadicArt Recording Studio" . Its entitled "THE WAKE". Which can be interpreted as a vigil on our world, looking at our world slowly dying… The lyrics were all written by "Snake”. They will make you travel once again in the Voivod world for sure! Snake was inspired by looking at today's reality and envisioned how the world would become in a century. The themes came to him as he heard the music taking its form, so the lyrics are directly inspired by the moods of each sections of songs. It talks a bit about the obsolescence of humanity. The end of dormancy from something that comes from the bottom of the sea, a spectacular disaster which humanity must not be aware of. But eventually a leak of the event creates a panic effect all around the world, fake news spreading out, conflicts and chaos. Psychotronic weapons are used on the population by the elite of the world to keep control on our mind and then a spiritual revolution is taken place, the awakening of a higher consciousness for man….

Who will the author of cover art for the new album? Will you tell us something about the theme? 

Rocky: The first time I saw the cover art by Away, I spent 56 minutes making several links with the music which is also very colorful and very detailed. It represents the four Voivod guys doing a vigil above our world. Everything is on fire, It could not better represent "THE WAKE”.

Denis (Snake), you are with Michel (Away) the original members of VOIVOD. You released the first album when I was nine years old. This is a very long time. How do you see the recording of the new album in time? Everything has changed. The analogue is digital, new technologies rule the world. Is this a routine for you? Do you have some rituals? 

Snake: Of course, the method and the technologies has changed. The thing that didn't changed is the fact that you still have to perform at your best. It took me many years of experience to feel comfortable in a studio. Even now, it's still for me very stressfull because I know I have to be on top of my game. Is it a good take? Can I do better? ect. But with the help of my friends, things get where it should be. You just have to be in a good spiritual mood to deliver everything you have inside. Because at the end, for a singer, recording is the caption of emotions. And yes, me and Away have a ritual, but I'm not sure if i want to reveal it. It's a secret! 

You are one of my favorite thrash bands. From your albums, literally, ideas and energy flow. I wonder how VOIVOD makes new songs? Does "democracy“ rule in the band or does anyone have the last word? Are you able to arguing during the composing process? 

Rocky: Each of us can talk about his own vision of the song, but at the end that's the song who have the last word… we just have to follow which direction the music is going to give it the right energy. Dan (Chewy) Mongrain is the motor of the songs creation. 80% of the composing process starts with a guitar idea. Chewy records his ideas on his laptop then send it to me and I work on it on my side to do the bass part. Then we go to the rehearsal space to jam the riffs with Snake and Away and it becomes pure Voivod!

Your lyrics are full of science fiction, wars, philosophy, the universe. Where do you get inspiration from? In books (which books?), In movies (which movies?)? Do you like these topics in general? Are you interested in new sci-fi books? Has some book get your attention in last time? 

Snake: For me, the world, humans, new discoveries, species, science and the whole universe is so amazing that sometimes you don't need a whole lot of fiction to poor on top of it. Unfortunatly I don't read enough and I don't watch that many new movies. To tell you the truth, I'm a kind of guy who gets bored really fast. I cannot keep my attention on something more than 5 minutes. Of course I have my old classic that strock me when I was younger. 1984, 2001 space odessey, alien, mad max ect. For me, fiction has to be somehow attached to reality to make it interesting. When things fall into a fairy tales, I'm out immediatly. Mostly I'm inspired by the music. Because music creates a mood, filled with emotions and has its own language. This is where creation in my head is taken place, Building up a scenario directly inspired by what I hear.

The last time I saw you live at a concert in Prague in 2015 with Napalm Death and Carcass. I admit that you totally overshadowed the main bands for me. It was a great performance. I was wondering where you get so much energy in you? If you have a recipe on how to keep yourself in such a good condition, come with it! I'm younger for many years and I will able to stand maximum two songs :). How did you enjoy the concert? 

Rocky: The Deathcrusher Tour was actually, for me, the biggest tour I've done and that was an honor to be a part of it! It's always a good vibe to play in Prague! When the crowd is on fire, it gives us a lot of energy! Touring is really demanding, you get tired and sometimes sick, wondering how you will be able to perform. But when the first note kicks in, instantly, I start to feel like Rocky Balboa at the last round when he got his second breath… haha! 20 minutes of power nap on the tour bus an hour before the show is a good ingredient in the recipe to be in good shape. Pizza every night… but just one slice… hehe!

Your music is complicated, but still listens very well. It requires absolute concentration and skill. How often do you practice? When you have no concerts, do you meet, jam and then go for a beer? When I see you live, seems to me there is such a special positive energy / chemistry among you. 

Rocky: I remember Away said that back in the day Voivod rehearsal 7 days a week for many years. I think that's the reason why Voivod found his own way and was able to create and play that much of a "complex” music. The Work is a big part of the success. 

Since I join the band, I have played more than 225 shows in four years, so we don't have to rehearse that much before a concert, one or two times is enough to be ready. 

To create new songs we need to get together. Sometimes it can be Chewy and me alone, or other combination but we have to rehearse all together one or two times a week during a month and at the same time, give the song a band’s spirit. It doesn’t take long between us to feel the chemistry, we are all connected! Keeping a positive energy is important, having a team spirit based on respect to one another, and always remember how lucky we are to do music together. It makes chemistry better. We laugh a lot ! Everybody is busy in their personal lives but at each moment we can get together, we take the time to sit and talk. 

I got your music in 1987, on a recorded tape (Killing Technology). I admit that I did not understand the record at first. Its came madly inaccessible. I understood it after years. But today it is my favorite. How do you feel your records in time? Do you have some albums which you really like and are some that you do not like to return to? 

Snake: Personally, old records is a caption of people in circonstances at a particular time. So many factors gives a sound to a record. Budget of recording, equipements, technologies ect. Back then, I didn't have a good English and I had a strong French accent. But in the end, it gives a particular color, a particular sound, and a particular non-sense...he he! Seriously, I wouldn't change a thing.

I personally like science fiction movies and books. Do you believe in alien civilization? Sometimes I feel that humanity does everything for self destruction, but I still believe that there is a lot of good in us. How do you feel about these theme? 

Rocky: One of my favorite sci-fi movie is "Communion" with Christopher Walken. 

I'm afraid of being hypnotized and imagining that I would have been abducted by an alien… is very scary! On the other hand, it would explain a lot of things about some strange events in this existence. 

I believe in positive thinking a lot! If future generations continue to adopt positive thoughts, it could help repairing the damage done. 

You are a legend today. You have immortal records, you are playing at big festivals. You have earned thousands of fans with your talent and diligence. Do you still have some dreams you would like to achieve? 

Rocky: I hope the film on Voivod by Sam Dunn will see the light of day soon… And touring with Voivod for another 35 years!!! 

Are you going on tour with the new album? Will you also visit Europe? And what about the Czech Republic? 

Rocky: We are starting a European tour from September 7th to October 20th…. Our new album release on September 21st and we can’t wait to present it to the fans. The 35th anniversary of Voivod Europe Tour 2018 will start in Prague (Futurum)!! Many surprises on the setlist! See you there! 

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you great sales of your new album, I wish you sold out concerts and I will be looking forward to seeing you somewhere soon. I will stand in the first line! I wish you a lot of success also in your personal life. 

Thank's to you and all readers! 

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