Tag Archives: Voivod

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. #109: Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra was the lead singer of the influential punk band Dead Kennedys and has since gone on to do significant work as an actor, spoken word artist, and vocalist, as well as being the head honcho at the still busy and prolific record label, Alternative Tentacles. His first band since he left Dead Kennedys is called Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine and their new album is called White People and the Damage Done, which they’re touring behind now, including stops at Call the Office in London, Ontario on June 16 and the Opera House in Toronto on June 17. Here Biafra and I discuss things like why Nardwuar the Human Serviette and I can’t pronounce Biafra, why Jello’s name came up in discussions about the Web Fast-Lane Vote spearheaded by the FCC, Guantanamo Bay and Chelsea Manning, the concept of the new album and how it delves into kleptocracy and retroactive feudalism, greed addicts, maximum wage, why “Shock-U-Py!” shows up at the end of the new album, how Jello engages with Canadian politics and our celebrity crackhead goofs, why people should stop talking about Hillary Clinton two years ahead of the election, thinking locally, why we should stop distracting ourselves, communication, reactivating our bullshit detectors, Jello has never felt alone in his thoughts and pursuits, what first turned him onto music as a kid, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Azuma Kabuki music, garage bands, the Music Machine, the Animals and Eric Burdon, Jello used to be able to sing like Robert Plant, East Bay Ray has the Dead Kennedys master tapes, Jello has nothing to do with Dead Kennedys reissues and they seem to be muting his involvement in the band, Jello is proud of Dead Kennedys and doesn’t think the rest of the band cares about the music, Jello’s theatre background in middle school, Jello can play a mean Scrooge, acting in The Hipster Games and being typecast on Portlandia, how Dead Kennedys came together in San Francisco and the emergence of hardcore, how method acting influenced Jello’s vivid lyricism, his roles in Highway 61 and Terminal City Ricochet, Jello’s very first songs were written for Dead Kennedys, why he never played in some early cover band or something, the early D.O.A. cover band Stone Crazy, how and why the GSM is his first proper band since DKs, the Melvins wanted to avenge Jello, why he quoted the DKs song “Soup is Good Food” in the GSM song “Burgers of Wrath,” where he’s at now with the other Dead Kennedys and what it would take for him to agree to play with them again, playing DKs songs with the GSM, Jello’s getting back into spoken word performance, honouring Ralph Nader, the crippling losses he’s suffered lately, how much the Stooges meant to him, the plight of independent musicians and labels like Alternative Tentacles in the age of file-sharing, AT is doing cool stuff with reissues of records by the Dicks, Voivod, and new releases by young bands like Death Hymn Number 9 and Itchy-O, making stuff is important, why the GSM is not playing Amnesia Rockfest in Quebec this month, scams, the song “Burgers of Wrath,” and then it’s bedtime for bonzo.

Related links: alternativetentacles.com vishkhanna.com

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