Ep. #286: Voivod

Voivod is a pioneering rock ‘n’ roll band who originally hail from Jonquière, Quebec. Formed in 1982, Voivod have never been afraid to challenge expectations with their work, exploring aspects of speed metal, thrash, hardcore punk, and progressive rock, over the course of more than a dozen full-length albums and several EPs. Though they’ve endured a number of shifts in their line-up and have almost broken up a few times over the years, Voivod solider on and remain one of the most influential, uncompromising, and mightiest bands on the planet. This past February, they released five new songs on the Post Society EP, and they’re rumoured to be working on a new album too. Vocalist and lyricist Denis “Snake” Belanger and guitarist and composer Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain joined me for a keynote interview before a live audience in the Halifax Central Library at the 2016 Halifax Pop Explosion on Thursday October 20, 2016 and we discussed things like Voivod playing St. John’s, Newfoundland for the first time, road routing, metal and hard rock in eastern Canada, the dedication of Anvil, Snake’s first trip to Halifax as well, Martyr, what it might mean to be post society, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic visions, “Post Society,” humanity and greed, optimism in the face of bleakness, the Cold War and atomic bombs for children, my grandfather and The Day After and Steve Guttenberg, Away is away, sci-fi imagery and songwriting, the way Away works on Voivod artwork now, melodic gibberish and attitude, smartphone zombies and foreseeing a robotic world, communication breakdowns and horrific accidents, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 airplane announcements, what might happen next, articulating Voivod song ideas, fickle and particular fanbases, AC/DC and Axl, Chewy’s love of Voivod growing up before he got to join the band to replace the late guitarist Denis “Piggy” D’Amour, fan acceptance, Piggy and Chewy’s guitar playing, Snake’s post-Piggy’s passing depression and the rise of alternative music, how Voivod benefitted from open-minded underground music fans, Primavera Festival, writing new songs for the next Voivod album, a conceptual framework, the pros of collaboration, memorable Snake melodies, lessons and regrets and going with the flow, whether Canada supports its own metal scene enough, the national expanse, government support for creativity, Facebook action, the song “Fall,” and then it was time to get to soundcheck.

Related links: voivod.com halifaxpopexplosion.com vishkhanna.com

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