Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice spoke to Voivod singer Denis 'Snake' Belanger from the Canadian band Voivod prior to the band hitting the stage on June 30 2019 at the Montreal international Jazz Festival at Club Soda.
Snake spoke about being included in the Jazz Festival, their upcoming tour plans, a Voivod Documentary in the works, his evolving vocal style throughout the years, writing English lyrics, opening for Rush in 1990 and thoughts on David Grohl of the Foo Fighters who is a Voivod fan and friend.
When asked why the band decided to play the Jazz Festival?
"When the Jazz Festival asked us to be part of it, it was a bit of a surprise but it is understandable because what we are doing is music. Ok we do metal, punk, progressive rock, but at the end of the day, it's music. Being part of the Montreal Jazz festival is a great honour as the festival is celebrating 40 years and Voivod is close by at 36 years years. Voivod has always been a band that goes over the boundaries so we fit in. The Jazz Festival sometimes includes artists who are not necessarily Jazz but they try to expand musically and for us it is an opportunity to do something different like bring a brass section on stage and incorporate it in one of our songs."
Voivid/Brass performance link below courtesy of Ginette Losier
When asked about the Voivod documentary that is in the works
"Originally it was Sam Dunn who started it a long time ago. I don't have much information right now but it's going to be about our career, so far which has been a long journey. The documentary will hopefully include footage from all of our line ups throughout the years. The documentary is still in the works. "
When asked about transitioning from harsh vocals to clean vocals over the years
"When we started doing more complex structured songs like during the album Killing Technology, I started working more on melodies, it was a natural progression. When we did the album Nothingface I really started being more profound on working on my voice. Today my style is more of a combination of clean and harsh depending on the mood of the song. The music inspires the whole process."
When asked about the progress on a new album by Voivod, the follow-up to last years album 'The Wake'
"We're still at the beginning stages of a new album, we were putting ideas together while we are on tour but we never got back to those ideas because we have been so busy lately. When we were touring, we would go in the back of the tour bus with the laptop and we would lay down ideas. Not sure about the musical direction yet we will see how it goes. Our last album 'The Wake' was a good transitional album from our E.P. Post Society, we wanted to go further with the Wake and we did, the same musical direction as the E.P. but more elaborate and more complex. It is going to be tough to top 'The Wake', it will be quite a task but we will go with the flow."
When asked about opening for Rush on their Presto tour in 1990
"Rush were super nice guys, I remember the first gig we were very nervous. (we played 4 shows with them) First night back stage there was a big bottle signed by the band saying welcome to the show, with flowers, chocolates they were really gentlemen. We had such a good time. It is quite difficult to open for Rush because their audience is critical but we well received.
When asked about his relationship with Foo Fighter's David Grohl and Grohl being a fan of Voivod
" I can sometimes hear a little bit of Piggy's chords in the Foo Fighter songs (laughs). I'm sure David is going to pop up somewhere on stage with us at some show on tour. Sometimes I just surprisingly bump into him at a bar. David Grohl is such a nice guy."
Dan "Chewy" Mongrain, wrote an eight-minute arrangement for the brass quintet that joined the band onstage during the show for a special feature on "The End Of Dormancy" from VOIVOD's. album The Wake
The upcoming Documentary is being Produced/ Director by Felipe Belalcazar who also Director/ producer of 'Death by Metal' last year
"The Wake" came out in September 2018 via Century Media Records. The disc was recorded and mixed by Francis Perron at RadicArt Recording Studio in Canada. The album's artwork was once again created by VOIVOD drummer Michel "Away" Langevin
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