Roman M. Temin of Blistering.com recently conducted an interview with VOIVOD members Michel "Away" Langevin (drums) and Denis "Snake" Belanger. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On the passing of guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour at age 45:
Away: "We were at home, and we got a call from his closest friend and his girlfriend. It was about one hour after we had left his hospital room. We could tell that it was very close to the end and we wanted to give his family a chance to be alone. So after we had left the room, only his mother, father and girlfriend were there. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night."
Snake: "[After receiving a phone call at about 7 in the morning] It was my mother, telling me that Piggy had passed away. I remember sitting there, confused for about an hour after hanging up, and then I was in sort of a fog for the rest of the day, I couldn't really talk or anything."
On the recording process for "Katorz":
Snake: "It was certainly a different approach. We had the bass tracks, but we had to re-amp the guitars, re-record the drums and vocals. It was not the usual process. It was quite a task for Michel to play drums over the existing tracks, but he managed to do it pretty well. The whole session was really strange, because Piggy had always been there, taking care of everything throughout the recording process. But Glen helped us a lot. We had known Glen for a while and he was really into the project, trying to do the best he could with what we had, just in terms of retouching it, just making sure that the guitar tracks were good and loud enough, and everything else. So he was a great source of support to us, both technically and emotionally."
On "Katorz" being VOIVOD's most socially conscious album:
Snake: "I think right now there really is an emergency for the planet, with what's going on in the world. I feel like we need to be more direct [now] with people, but these are obviously the same kinds of problems that we talked about on albums like 'Killing Technology' and 'Dimension Hatröss', I think VOIVOD always tried to represent the reality in a different context — the VOIVOD world that we created — but this time I was a little less poetic and used less sci-fi imagery because I wanted things to be more politically engaged.
"You can make a connection between the older songs and stuff like 'Mr. Clean' which is about a kind of manipulation, as well. 'The Getaway' is about the war in Iraq. 'Odds and Frauds' is about government scams that could definitely happen here in Canada, as well as all over the world. You can see that just by watching the news — there's all kinds of confirmation of that belief. That attitude in governments that they can make decisions, take your money and do whatever they want with it, in their own interest. And when that happens, it pisses me off and I want to say something about it."
Read the entire first part of the interview at Blistering.com.