VOIVOD Drummer Says Next Studio Album Will Be ‘Very Intricate And Progressive Thrash Metal With A Bit Of Punk’

Saturday, 01 July 2017
Metal Wani's Fernando Bonenfant conducted an interview with drummer Michel "Away" Langevin of Canadian progressive sci-fi metal innovators VOIVOD prior to the band's June 18 show at The Underworld Camden in London, England. You can watch the full interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On creating a live setlist from a career that spans over three decades: Michel: "We try to cover our career as much as possible. Nowadays, we are skipping the Eric Forrest and Jason Newsted eras. We are playing the old '80s stuff and some 'Angel Rat' and 'The Outer Limits' stuff as well. Of course, we are concentrating on [the] 'Post Society' [EP] as well. It's a good span of our career." On the status of VOIVOD's forthcoming studio album, which may end up as a double concept album: Michel: "We have nine songs in the works and six are finished. When we get back from the road at the end of this month and July, we have a lot of work to do between shows to finish the writing. We should be ready to record in August." On the next album's musical direction: Michel: "It's like in the vein of 'Post Society'. So far, most of the songs are very long and progressive. We want to write a couple of short rockers to have a good blend, but so far, it's very intricate and progressive thrash metal with a bit of punk, as usual. It's still VOIVOD, it's a newer VOIVOD, but I think the spirit is intact." On whether VOIVOD organized the concept of their next album before starting the actual songwriting process: Michel: "It's all done together. [Vocalist] Snake [Denis Bélanger] is writing the lyrics to all the songs at once, so some characters are coming back, some musical parts are coming back, but they're arranged in a different style. The concept was not prepared ahead like 'Dimension Hatröss' or 'Phobos'. It's something that everybody is working on while we are writing the album, so it could be a double vinyl because so far, it's already pretty long. Once we're finished with the interludes and the intro, outro and all of that, it should be a pretty lengthy album." On when their next album will be released: Michel: "Early next year, probably in the spring; I'm not sure. It depends on how fast I'm going to deliver the art and we have lots of shows. We are always working." On whether VOIVOD will explore their classic roots on their next album: Michel: "I don't know. I mean, there are elements of all the periods, for sure, and it sounds like the 'Dimension Hatröss'-era, but it's a new thing. [Bassist] Rocky [Dominique Laroche] and [guitarist] Chewy [Daniel Mongrain], they have their own way of approaching the music. They are really tight, surgical, so it makes me play differently. The thrash metal roots will always be there, except that we like to go into prog rock and psychedelia as well." On the one word that would describe the songs on VOIVOD's forthcoming album: Michel: "Eclectic." VOIVOD's "Post Society" EP was released in February 2016 via Century Media. 2013's "Target Earth", VOIVOD's first album of new material written without original guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour's left-over riffs, was almost universally hailed it as a triumphant return to form, a return to the "classic" VOIVOD sound, and the best thing they'd done in years.

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