There are 2 responses I’ve heard when I’ve said to friends that Voivod is coming to town this week. The first, “Who?” and the second, “I’m surprised someone that famous is coming here. No in between. This does not surprise the band at all.
Critics, record labels, and other musicians tend to speak highly of them, but I’m told by drummer Michel Langevin, “Our following is more of an underground thing, very loyal. Once people listen to us, they tend to stay with us for the long haul.”
They’ve gotten some great promotion from fans like Dave Grohl as well.
Starting in 1983 in Jonquiere Quebec, their original sound was thrash metal, along with contemporaries like Slayer and Metallica. They have moved through various metal styles over the years, and have included elements of jazz, psychedelia, and prog rock.
Bauhaus and Rush are on their list of influences, also Mastadon and Neurosis. So much going on here musically. The double bass drum action, technical skill, and use of dissonant chords keeps it thrash metal throughout while remaining totally unique.
Wednesday’s show at the Rockhouse will be an epic 75 minutes in which the band showcases three decades of work. Their theme has remained constant since the 80s, international aggressions and environmental crises, which are as current as ever.
“Testament, Megadeth, most of the bands we toured with then are still touring. The message is still relevant” Michel says. Science fiction literature and the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons have also influenced their lyrics.
Guitarist Dan has been to Newfoundland before with a previous band, and his stories have caused quite a bit of excitement with his bandmates. It’s the first time they’ve played here, and Michel plans to get up early tomorrow to explore the older parts of the city.
After a discussion with me, he is also eager to know more about Muskrat Falls and the current political climate in the province. I am more than eager to see what his take on it is at the show. The band is metal for thinkers as much as rockers.