Canada's pioneering metal band VOIVOD, whose last performance took place on July 30, 2003 in Florida during that summer's Ozzfest tour, will make its trimphant return to the stage on June 22, 2008 as part of the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal.
The group has issued the following update regarding its upcoming activities:
"A lot has happened since the band's last live appearance. The band had taken time off to begin writing what would become the album 'Katorz'. In April 2005 while the new album was in progress, guitarist Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour became ill before recording began and sadly died of colon cancer. It took awhile to recover from the sudden passing of Denis before Michel 'Away' Langevin, Denis 'Snake' Belanger and Jason 'Jasonic' Newsted could begin to assemble the songs from the demos and create 'Katorz'. Discussions of a tribute show and possible guitar players for it followed, yet it just did not seem right to perform without Denis, but time does help heal wounds and this summer VOIVOD feel it is time to perform the music Denis helped create once more.
"On June 22, VOIVOD will perform in Montreal as part of the Heavy MTL festival and July 26, 2008 in Calgary for the Monsters Of Rock festival with original bass player Jean-Yves Theriault ('Blacky') for the first time in 17 years. Dan Mongrain from the Quebec band MARTYR, a good friend of the band, will play guitar. Songs from the early catalogue will be the focus for these short festival sets.
"Jason Newsted is still very much part of the VOIVOD family and is working with the band on the new record (also constructed from the 2004 demos) along with Jean-Yves Theriault and Eric Forrest. However, Newsted is unable to perform live at this point.
"Denis and Michel are determined to play more shows in the future to celebrate Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour's legacy."
Langevin will guest on this week's edition of "The Metal File" program on Montreal's CHOM-FM (commercial, 50,000 watts).
"The Metal File" can be heard live from 12 midnight to 1 a.m. Friday nights on CHOM-FM. It is also available for listening via the Internet at www.chom.com.
As previously reported, VOIVOD will enter the studio this spring to record its final album using songs left behind by founding guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who died in August 2005 from colon cancer.
An official band statement reads as follows: "There remain 13 songs that Denis D'Amour (Piggy) had written with the band that have yet to be recorded. Michel Langevin (Away) and Denis Belanger (Snake) will track the last songs this spring bringing all the past and present members together to participate in a homage to the guitar legend of Piggy and the legacy of 25 years of a brotherhood forged by exploring metal, rock and punk ethics with an other worldly premise. Jean-Yves Theriault (Blacky) and Eric Forrest (E-FORCE) have eagerly agreed to contribute bass tracks along with Jason Newsted (Jasonic). The End Records and Nuclear Blast will release this final record once completed."
VOIVOD won the "Best Metal/Hardcore Album" award for their 2006 LP "Katorz" last September at the annual Quebec Independent Music Awards (GAMIQ) in Montreal, Quebec. Other nominees were GHOULUNATICS ("Cryognie"), UNEXPECT ("In A Flesh Aquarium"), ANONYMUS ("Chapter Chaos Begins"), and LES KORCHS ("Les korchs").
Released in July 2006 on The End Records, "Katorz" was assembled, recorded and released by the band (drummer Michel "Away" Langevin, singer Denis "Snake" Belanger and bassist Jason "Jasonic" Newsted) and producer Glen Robinson using demos left by founding guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who succumbed to colon cancer in August 2005.
Watch footage of MARTYR with special guest Jean-Yves Theriault (Blacky) performing the VOIVOD song "Brain Scan" in 2006: