The MusicNerd Q&A With Voivod

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To help commemorate the group’s 30th anniversary, Quebec heavy-metal legends Voivod have a punishing new album, Target Earth, now available.

Here Magazine spoke with Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin last week about the first 30 years of the band as well as how they plan to celebrate their anniversary year:

Congratulations on the new album. Listening to it, it seems as though you’ve touched upon many musical points from the band’s past. Was this deliberate?

I feel that we paid tribute to the different musical eras of the band but ultimately settled in the progressive-thrash metal phase of the band from the 80’s. If you listen to the record, you’ll also hear elements of the time periods that [former members] Jason Newsted and Eric Forrest spent performing with us.

Did you feel quite confident about the strength of the songs going into the recording sessions?

We felt pretty confident about the material going into recording but honestly, it is always a little nerve-wracking when it comes time for the record to be released.

How has Dan Mongrain been fitting in with the band? Filling the shoes of [deceased guitarist] Denis “Piggy” D’Amour is no small task to take on. 

Dan has been amazing and was immediately accepted by everyone into the band. When we initially reformed the band in 2008, we did a lot of touring and Dan was just very calm about his role with the band. Keeping the spirit of Piggy alive was important to us; Dan’s confidence and comfort with the music helped inspire the rest of us.

Did you ever expect that you’d still be making music with Voivod 30 years after you started?

We never could have dreamed that the band would last this long. Coming from Northern Quebec, we weren’t even sure that our music would be heard by anybody. There have been some unfortunate events that could have ended the band but here we are. We feel very fortunate.

How is Voivod planning to celebrate their 30th anniversary?

There is a lot of touring planned this year. We start in March at SXSW in Texas before moving onto South America, Canada, the United States and Europe. It has been a long time since we have been coast to coast in Canada. It is something that we are looking forward to.

Article published in the February 7, 2013 edition of Here Magazine