1990.09 Canadian Composer Magazine Interview
1990 Fall Canadian Composer magazine
by Alastair Sutherland
When Michel Langevin was 12-years-old, living in Jonquiere, QC, he would lie awake at night and listen to the sounds or the machines in a nearby aluminum factory. He’d hear the clanking and churning, the hissing and scraping, and try to picture what kind of creatures could make such noises. The next day he’d draw sketches of the Imaginary beings. One such creature. Its name taken from Brahm Stoker’s Dracula. was the Voivod.
Today Voivod Is better known as one of Quebec’s most successful and unusual rock bands, and Michel Langevin is better known as Away, the band’s drummer. Along with his fellow Jonqulierois— Piggy, guitar; Blacky, bass; Snake, vocals -Voivod has released five albums, the last, Nothingface, for MCA. Each album has featured Away’s detailed sci-fi fantasy artwork, and each album has been based on one of his concepts: technology run amok; life In a world that has been through at least three nuclear holocausts; vampiric schizophrenia, and so on.
“But It’s really a collaborative effort,” says Away, explaining the band’s songwriting technique. “I’ll think of a concept, taking the character, the Voivod, and putting him Into more complex and updated situations. Piggy and Blacky will come up with music to match the concept, and Snake will base the lyrics on the music.” The combination has worked well; not only does Voivod have a loyal North American and European heavy metal following, the band has also received critical acclaim from Spin and the Village Voice.
Away, who says his formative years were spent listening to Vandergraff Generator, Bau- haus. T. Rex and the Legendary Pink Dots, is presently formulating ideas for the next entry Into the Voivod saga. “I think it will deal with computer piracy,” he says. “Viruses. Chaos theory. Fractals . . .”
The music will be more primitive. “We used to play a lot of Rose Tattoo, Motorhead and AC-DC, then we became more progressive.” he says. “The next album will be a return to our rock ‘n’ roll roots.”