1986 Blackthorn magazine interview
Blackthorn magazine 1986
Voivod has been among my favorite bands ever since they released “War and Pain”. In issue no. 2 of Blackthorn we featured an interview with Voivod and now it must be time for another one. A lot has happened since this interview.
Perhaps you don’t remember it, but in the interview from issue no. 2 we talked about their second release, “RRROOOAAARRR”. The told us that they planned to release this album in the summer 1985. The summer 1985 went on and the Voivod album wasn’t released. The problem was Metal Blade Records. Let’s not talk about that, it’s bad history and now Voivod has got a new and better deal with Noise Records for three albums, including “RRROOOAAARRR”. This album was recorded from October to November 1985 at L’Autre studio in Montreal. They went in the studio without a deal in the back and recorded this new 9-track album. At the moment I’m writing this article I haven’t heard the final product, all I’ve heard is rough-mix version which was released for the public, just after they had finished the recording of the album. This is of course a great release, but not in the same style as W.A.P. The main reason for this is the bass. You who’ve got the W.A.P. album will of course remember they very dominating bass, which was their style and a great one indeed. This time its hard to say what the dominating part is, which you have to get used to. When you do that you’ll love “RRROOOAAARRR” as much as you love “War and Pain”. Since Voivod finished the recording of R. they’ve been busy doing gigs. When they was in the studio they was on a High School tour throughout the Province of Quebec. On this tour they visited seven towns. This was an outstanding chance for them to rehearse their live-appearance.
Then on the 30th of November it was time for them to see if those High School gigs had helped them. On this day the first international heavy metal festival took place in Montreal, featuring five well-established bands, namely Celtic Frost, Destruction, Possessed, Nasty Savage and Voivod. After this gig Voivod was ready to do someone outside of Canada. The first of those took place at the Ritz in New York and Cro-Mags off the stage.
In May they’ve been touring with label-mates Celtic Frost and Running Wild. Seems like a gig for all kinds of taste, power horror etc. metal (as Voivod describes themselves), black psycho metal and rock’n’ remember your sunglasses roll. It seems like Voivod are taking revenge for the time that the end seemed near for them.
-Wasn’t it a hard decision to enter the studio and record your second album, without a deal in the back?
Piggy. Not really, because our first release, “War and Pain” did pretty well and the band is well known by the “underground business”. On the other hand we thought it would be easier for us to get a better deal with the album done, before we started negotiations. Anyway, we had to make a move, because “War and Pain” had been released more than a year, before we decided to enter the studio and record “RRROOOAAARR”. Our material had been ready for a long time and we were looking forward to listening to our new songs. You know, Voivod is not that kind of band who sits there and waits until things happen. We are warriors and we like to provoke things. At last, we took the right decision, because now we have this deal with Noise Records and we are really happy about it!
-I think you’ve changed style a little, or perhaps it’s because of the mixing on the tape I’ve got. Anyway, the guitar is more dominating this time. On the first the bass was the supporting part. This was actually your image, why have you changed this?
Piggy. The songwriting on “RRROOOAAARRR” is about the same as the “War and Pain”. If the bass sounds different, well that’s because Blacky’s amplifier has been stolen and the amplifier we used during the recording sessions didn’t sound like the stolen one. We tried to get the same sound as on “War and Pain”, but it’s not the real, or unreal Blacky sound. Don’t worry, Blacky has found a new amplifier which sounds exactly like the first one, so now the blower bass sound is back. We wanted to re-record the bass tracks when Blacky found his new amplifier, but it would have delayed the release of “RRROOOAAARRR” too much.
-How come you’ve decided to give your second release such as strange title as “RRROOOAAARRR”?
Blacky. The front cover of our new album features the new Voivod, who now is a biomechanical one. We were looking for a title to remain the concept, something original. The four of us were wondering what kind of a sound this war machine that exterminates everything could make and then we came up with this one- “RRROOOAAARRR”. That’s a roaring and that’s the sound of the new Voivod when he is in motion.
-How was your first show outside Canada?
Blacky. Our first public appearance outside Canada was on Saturday the 4th of April at the Ritz in New York. This show was our 25th and we played with Venom and Cro-Mags. We did a short set of about forty minutes, because we were the first band on the bill. We had time to play eight songs, four from “War and Pain”, three from “RRROOOAAARRR” and a brand new one called “Order of the Black Guards” which should appear on our third album. This show was quite special for the Americans, because “RRROOOAAARRR” wasn’t released at that time. Anyway, the eight songs we played got a good reaction from the public, a crowd of about 1,500 people! This experience has been really valuable for the band.
-What about Europe?
We’re supposed to record our third album in West-Germany sometime around October. In November we’re planning to start touring in Europe. We don’t know exactly which countries we will visit, yet, but we do hope to play in Denmark because people over there knows about real power nuclear metal.
-The United States, Japan?
Snake. We will start our first North-American tour on May the 17th at L’Amour in New York. (This was in the 1986. ed.) We will be on the road until the first week of July and we will play over thirty cities all over the United States plus a few ones in Canada. This tour will coincide with the release of our second album and we will be touring with our good friends from Celtic Frost and Running Wild. This “Noise Package Tour” will for sure make a lot of noise… We don’t have any plans about touring Japan, yet. Nevertheless be sure that we would love to go over there, because Voivod is a live band and we want to play everywhere on this planet.
-Are you fully satisfied with “RRROOOAAARRR”?
Blacky. Except for the way the bass sounds, as Piggy explained before, we are really happy about this new album. We think our songwriting has improved and we are now better performers than we were on our first album. On “RRROOOAAARRR” we worked with a co-producer, who also is our sound mixer when we do live shows and because he is familiar with our sound I think “RRROOOAAARRR” has the right feeling, the right atmosphere.
-I’ve got one question especially for you Away. How do you get the ideas for your strange drawings and when did you realize you had talent?
I realized that I had some talent in school, where all my teachers used to shout at me, because the only thing they could find in my notebooks were drawings. But at least they told me that my drawings wasn’t bad at all. I get my inspiration from my nightmares (I’m glad I haven’t got such nightmares) and also in the streets, because I like to draw the morbid and sarcastic sides of the things I see all around me.
-Has it helped that you have a manager now, so you don’t have to use time on arranging gigs, etc. Has he done it much better then you could have done it?
Away. We waited a long time time before we selected our manager, because nobody seemed to be able to accomplish tings better then we could ourselves. Finally we decide to work with Rocker because he is not the traditional manager.
We have a common goal – to be recognized as an international act. Rocker is at the same level as me or anyone else in the band. We can even say he is the fifth member of Voivod.
-How long to intend to keep playing?
Snake. When you see the group in November you will have your answer. Voivod is a live band. We like to record albums, but we would rather be on the stage with a bunch of crazy thrashers in front of us. We intend to play for as long as possible. If Lemmy can play even though he is over forty years old, then Voivod can do the same. When we are on stage the only rule is to make people “nuts” and that’s the greatest feeling. That’s why we want to play …TO THE DEATH…
Snake. Korgull is the one you see on the front cover of our new album. He is a new age Voivod. He is the same Voivod who was on the “War and Pain” front cover, but he has traded his primitive guns for new and more sophisticate weapons. The song tells the story of Korgull who goes around the top of a large. Deep hole where lots of people are held prisoners. They try to escape, but they can’t , because if they do Korgull is there to terminate them if they do!
This was the Voivod interview. I do hope you liked and got some interesting information you didn’t know before. Perhaps you are interested in some Voivod merchandise. Here’s some of the items they’ve got available. All orders must be made payable to the Iron Gang Fan Club and in Canadian currency only!
T-shirt. Black shirt with Voivod logo on the front and the famous “To the Death” phrase on the back. Available in S-M-L-XL. 10.00.
Demo tapes. 16 tracks (studio) from January 1984. 7.00.
16 tracks (live) 7.00.
Button. Actual size is 1 ¼”. Same logo as the shirt. 1.00.
Sticker. Actual size is 5×8”. 1.00.
Poster. To The Death tour poster with large picture of Voivod members and their autographs. 3.00.
For every order add 2.00 (USA and Canada) or 3.00 (Europe).
Again, all orders must be paid in Canadian dollars. Remember to print your name, address in clear capital letters. Delivery should take about 8 weeks because all orders are shipped in a solid envelope for maximum security.
Iron Gang Fan Club,
C>P> 127 Succ. St-Michel,
Canada H2A 3L9.