Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 10th 2010 11:11AM by Jessica M. Alexander
Voivod makes several appearances at SXSW in 2010, including a coveted opening slot for Motorhead at the Austin Music Hall on March 17th. With the band currently on tour and plans of international touring scheduled for the remainder of 2010, drummer Michael Langevin took a short break from his schedule to talk to Spinner about being back on the road, the inspiration of "Dracula" and seeing UFOs after a night of drinking Jagermeister in Buffalo, New York.
Describe your sound in your own words.
It's a mixture of Prog/Punk/Metal with a sci-fi edge...Prog rock has been popular in Quebec where we are from and it has had a strong impact on the band; we are huge Rush fans! But in general we are all fans of various forms of rock.
How did your band form?
We met in Northern Quebec in high school and shared an interest for the new wave of British heavy metal...I mean, even today, Voivod is still kind of an underground band. We just all love music. We have been together for a long time [since 1982] with the original line-up minus Piggy [Denis D'Amour-guitar] who passed away in 2005.
Who are your musical influences?
Motorhead, Van Der Graaf Generator and Sex Pistols. We can admit we definitely have a huge admiration for Motorhead; they have been a huge influence on us. We are always a bit speechless around Lemmy when we see him! We are looking forward to opening for him at SXSW, for sure.
How did you come up with your band name?
We picked the name from Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and turned that creature into a nuclear vampire...try to imagine a post-nuclear world. That is how the Voivod came about and ultimately our band name; he is a futuristic warrior/overlord whose exploits we chronicle in our lyrics and artwork...well, we are just huge sci-fi fans.
What's your biggest vice?
Chocolate!!!! The real drug there is the cavities it creates! Root canals really do suck...
What's in your festival survival kit?
Sunglasses, water and a tuque [beanie] in case of rain.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Boston. We just have great memories of being teenagers and hearing Boston at the circus and carnivals that came to town, along with Styx and Queen. We don't necessarily brag about liking those bands, but we love listening to them.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
While on tour with Pro-Pain in 1996, Piggy and I saw some UFOs in Buffalo! Trust me, no one believed us, and even to this day, I think that is still true. Basically, we were hanging out in the parking lot with some fans after a show and looking out on the city. Suddenly, we saw 6 transparent spheres that were half-glowing and dancing around in the sky. The whole scene looked very choreographed and the spheres split in literally a second! We ran to tell the rest of the band but they took one look at us with a bottle of Jager in our hands and figured we were just drunk! Piggy and I basically talked about it everyday on that tour and after a while I think the guys started believing that we hadn't made up the whole story...I have even heard of other people on-line having the exact same experience!
What is your 'normal' band setup? Does it change when you go on tour?
The set up is pretty minimal: four-piece drumkit, bass, guitar and vocal. Usually the guys like to have two cabinets but due to stage restrictions, that isn't always possible. The drumset is small compared to what a lot of other metal bands are doing, or even what I use to do back in the 80's. When we tour in Japan, we always get a lot of comments as to how we produce as much sound as we do with such a small setup.
What makes you get out of bed first thing in the morning?
Graphic work and deadlines! I do artwork for many other bands; anything from t-shirt designs, CD covers, stickers, tattoo designs, book covers...I love the fact I can split my days doing half graphic design and the other half music I love!
Who do YOU want to see at SXSW 2010? Artist or otherwise?
Motorhead, which we are opening for. Also, I personally would like to catch the movie "Suck" with Iggy Pop because I played drums on the soundtrack.
Anything else you feel the world should know?
We're back!!! We will be playing two shows in Russia in April, which we are excited about as this is our first time to Russia. We will also be doing the Wacken Festival in Wacken, Germany after that -- we are always well-received there! As far as recording goes, we might get back to that, but with Piggy gone, it's been hard. Right now we just want to play!
Jessica M. Alexander is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.