In a new interview with Metal Heads Forever Magazine, VOIVOD singer Denis "Snake" Belanger spoke about the band's decision to carry on following the 2005 passing of founding guitarist Denis "Piggy" D’Amour. "Well, Piggy, of course, he was the starting point of the whole band, and everything we do is somehow a tribute to him," he said. "If we're still touring, if we're still making albums, if we're still together, first of all, it's because of the love and passion of the music. But that love of music, that passion for music, somehow was taught by Piggy. We grew up so much with the guy, in our relationship, with our abilities to compose. He was a good mentor, a good teacher and he was more experienced than the rest of us. And so, when he passed away, we had two options. But at first, we didn't have any, because we didn't know who could replace him. He was so unique, so it was hard for us to imagine that someone could replace him. But after a few years of mourning Piggy, we found someone that could do the job, and then Blacky [bass] returned, of course. We were on our way to get out there, but we were doing it for a reason. We were doing it for Piggy. At the very first show, it was basically just one show. We didn't want to expect to do more than one show at Heavy Montreal. It was the first time that we had to play in front of an audience without Piggy, and it was weird. I was nervous because I didn't know what people would think about replacing Piggy. But the response was amazing and we were so relieved and we could see from that point on the light at the end of the tunnel."
He continued: "To honor Piggy, the best way is to keep [VOIVOD] alive. If we don't play, memories will be lost. The best way to keep the legacy of Piggy alive is to go out there and play. So, that's what we managed to do. And we're still together, and we don't take this too seriously. We don't pretend to be somebody that we're not. It's always been a natural feeling when we play on stage and we love what we do. We show the people that we love what we do and it's much more fun than trying to be serious about things."
When D'Amour died nearly a decade a half ago from cancer, it seemed VOIVOD was very much a memory. Then in 2008, the Canadian metal innovators surprised most by coming out of retirement to play the first Heavy MTL festival with a new-old lineup: original member Jean-Yves Thériault (a.k.a. Blacky) was back behind his blower bass and MARTYR's Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain was playing guitar.
At first what was assumed would only be a one-off soon grew to become a return to live action for the band. The next summer saw the band play almost every European metal fest and support DOWN on a cross-Canada tour and things just kept building from there. The metal world soon discovered that if there was one guitarist who could replace Piggy properly it was Mongrain, who proved show after show that he was up for the job.
"The Wake" — VOIVOD's fourteenth studio album — was released last September via Century Media Records. The record was recorded and mixed by Francis Perron at RadicArt Recording Studio in Canada, while the artwork was once again created by drummer Michel "Away" Langevin.