Prior to VOIVOD's performance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 5, drummer Michel "Away" Langevin spoke with Michael Nagy of KJAG Radio and Jag TV. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the key to the band's success:
Michel: "Perseverance. It's 36 years of working hard on the band, and it's paying off. We have a great momentum right now."
On overcoming band member turnover:
Michel: "Every time, it's a tough challenge, and we sort of have to start over again, even though the name is pretty well-known. The challenge is to adapt to the newest members musically, but it's exciting and refreshing."
On the concept behind the group's latest album, 2018's "The Wake":
Michel: "It's some ancient entity dormant under the sea that's been awakened purposely, and then changes everything on Earth socially. It's just a big change, a big awakening for this planet. The message is always about Earth, but it's about the destruction of this planet, but it's true sort of sci-fi folk tales in a way. It's always related to what's going on, but it's in a science-fiction type of setting."
On the band's recently completed tour with YOB and AMENRA:
Michel: "It's really amazing. It's very well-attended. It's a blast everywhere, because even though VOIVOD is a pretty established band, we don't get to play the old American theaters like we do on this tour. We usually play smaller clubs, so it's been an amazing experience. Plus, the three bands, we get along amazingly, so we're just surfing on it... We have a lot of respect from promoters and the other bands. It's just an amazing tour. It's too bad that it's so short."
On his favorite VOIVOD album artwork:
Michel: "The first album, I'm very proud of. It was my first professional painting, so I think I was able to represent the music and the lyrics properly in the Cold War era. I think 'War And Pain' would be the one that I'm the most proud of, probably."
On the band's upcoming plans:
Michel: "We are writing a new album right now on the road, but it's just that the year is booked very solid. After this U.S. tour, we are playing the Maryland Deathfest in May, and after that, we are playing the Jazz Fest [Festival International de Jazz de Montreal], and then we go and play all the festivals in Europe in August. September/October will be another U.S. tour, and November/December, we go back and do the clubs in Europe. We are able to demo material backstage and in the bus, so we're doing everything at once — constant touring and writing."
On whether the direction of the band's new music is evident at this point:
Michel: "Not yet. Chewy [guitarist Daniel Mongrain] just started to put down ideas on his laptop, and we're going to build from there. But the reception from 'The Wake' is just so amazing that we feel confident that it's a good path to follow — this fusion/thrash metal thing."
"The Wake" — VOIVOD's fourteenth studio album — was released in September via Century Media Records. The record was tracked and mixed by Francis Perron at RadicArt Recording Studio in Canada, while the artwork was once again created by Langevin.