Tag Archives: Halifax Pop Explosion

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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Ep. #160: PS I Love You

PS I Love You are a tremendous, melodic noise-rock two-piece band originally from Kingston, Ontario. This past October, Benjamin Nelson and Paul Saulnier were at the Halifax Pop Explosion touring behind their latest PS I Love You album, For Those Who Stay, which is out now via Paper Bag Records. Over the next two weeks, they’re wrapping up some support dates for Death From Above 1979 with METZ and so this seemed like a good time to share our conversation while we were both at the Halifax Pop Explosion. Here, Benjamin, Paul, and I talk about wandering around Halifax, how Ben loves Chad VanGaalen, O.M.D. and Black Buffalo Records, how Paul thought he’d live in Halifax, how Ben loves Mike O’Neill, Jerry Granelli, the Creative Music Workshop jazz camp, directions to Gus’ Pub from a woman with kale, massaging the kale, the Inbreds, Randy’s Pizza, Seafood, and Donair, running into the band TEEN on the street, kitsch, garlic fingers, living in Toronto, how Ben ate donkey, eating and not eating meat, the boar in First Blood, the story of Ben and Paul, David Bowie, Stephen Morris of Joy Division, Jon Wurster’s touching tribute to Tommy Ramone, how Paul wanted to be like the late Cliff Burton of Metallica, really getting deep into Jimi Hendrix, the latest PS record For Those Who Stay, health talk, Bad Brains, David Lynch documentaries, touring with METZ and DFA 1979, the song “Hoarders” and that’s the end of pizza time.

Related links: paperbagrecords.com/artists/ps-i-love-you/ vishkhanna.com


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Ep. #147: TEEN Live at the Halifax Pop Explosion

TEEN is an inventive pop band from Brooklyn, New York consisting of sisters Teeny, Lizzie, and Katherine Lieberson and Boshra AlSaadi. Their latest album is called The Way and Color , which is out now via Carpark Records, and it prompted them to visit the Halifax Pop Explosion this past October to play some shows. We ended up doing a live interview at the HPX and I recorded it somewhat primitively for you to listen to ahead of their show with We Are Scientists at the Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday November 20. Here, TEEN and I discuss three sisters from Halifax who live in New York, Miami and The U, partying, SMU, Syria to Pennsylvania to New York, Halifax is cool, playing Halifax for the first time ever at the Carleton last month, perceptions of Halifax, Americans don’t know much about Canada, Newfoundland time, me and my son’s Ramones haircuts, things get personal, the Halifax pop explosion and Sloan, not going to many shows, when the music scene slowed down, VICE is taking over Williamsburg in Brooklyn, following Teeny, singing Broadway tunes as kids, musical careers, food in New York, Pizza Corner, Jane’s and Edna’s, good Indian food and then a bad room service call, double entrees, going to live boring and fun talk show tapings in NYC, I went to Letterman once, taking NYC for granted, Teeny’s tenure in Here We Go Magic and why it ended, Lizzie interning at a fashion magazine, fashion people are the worst, Katherine and taking up instruments to play in your first band, Boshra is an outta hand amazing bass player, Janka Nabay and the BuBu Gang, why Katherine followed Teeny’s lead, when the Lieberson sisters lost their father and came together in a band, the strength of Jen Turner, inspiring other women to make music, a dude, pros and cons of sibling-oriented bands, Boshra walks away, the road is weird, road managers can be useful, hating the band Live and Katy Perry, Madonna made me ill, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, loving St. Vincent, Tame Impala, Pond, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, Kate Bush or David Bowie, the template is no template, this is TEEN, spelling The Way and Color, what are Foo Fighters, getting robbed of their gear in San Francisco, pledgemusic.com/projects/teen, the War on Drugs bring everything inside, not dying, knowing Islands, writing this winter, the song “Sticky,” and that’s it.         

Related links: teen-nyc.tumblr.com carparkrecords.com vishkhanna.com


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