INTERVIEW: Michel "Away" Langevin (Voivod) on Lost Machine, new album, 2001 demo, art and more
Hello you metal pilgrims, and welcome to yet another episode of our interview, series, our today's, guest, is the drummer, and the founder, of the legendary, canadian, metal band. Voivode. Michelle. Wei langevin. Michelle and i will be speaking about the band's, latest live release, a lost machine, the next 2d album and where the storyline, might take us. The. 2001. Uh demo, album, and whether it might get released, and much, much, more but as always before we start i'd like to take a moment and invite you to join the conversation. And subscribe to metal pilgrim channel on youtube, and join our communities, on instagram, facebook or any other social media you actually, hang out at, to submit, your questions, for all future guests be the first ones to find out what's inside. Latest rocket metal releases. And for more exclusive. Rocket metal contents, so here you. Go. Hey wait how are you. Hey. How are you oh it's good it was good thank you thank you for finding time and joining me today. Oh thanks for having me actually, that, yeah absolutely, it's a pleasure it's a pleasure man. Are you in canada. No, yes. Yes um. Montreal. Yeah that's where we're based at yeah yeah how are things going with the second wave and all this craziness. Well we are experiencing. Um. A second, uh lockdown. Unfortunately. Um. And uh they were. Talking about maybe, a, smaller. A small break for the holidays, but now it looks dim, because the cases are going up and the hospitals. Are jammed, and. So um. Yeah it's pretty much like everybody, uh on earth i guess. Seven million people, in the same boat, yeah. Yeah i i'm i'm over in ukraine, at the moment i'm ukrainian, myself, uh, so and you know, we have this, you know the other side and uh we we're, looking to close everything. You know for holidays. Just completely, yeah shut everything down, um. Who knows but um yeah let's pray that you know, all this madness is going to be over and we are going to get back to normal, pretty soon. Yes, i mean you know. We're keeping, finger. Crossed that we can't uh we can go back on the road sometime, next year. Uh. But our world tour was postponed. To. Who knows when you know. Unfortunately. Yeah, but um. Yeah on a good note though you did you know treat your fans, a bit and voivod. Just released their latest, live, album. Lost machine recording, the quebec city summer. Uh festival, in 2019. Congrats, on this one was able to hear it it's a it's a great record, and it's it's really, you know kind of brings, this uh. Uh, memory, vote. From. From those uh, times when we could actually, go, uh to, enjoy, concerts, so a great one, uh could it take us back for just a moment, and, you know and uh remember, what it was like to play those shows, and uh you know why did you decide to. Use them, for, for the live album, specifically. It's strange, it seems like so long ago already, with what's going on, i know. But, it was actually the. Uh we were invited to play two festivals. Uh in uh the province of quebec, uh, during the wake tour. So one in the montreal, jazz fest. And the exciting, summerfest. And because it was in the province of quebec we took the opportunity. To uh, ask, francis. Uh who. Records, us these days. And to come with his mobile, gear. And document, them. And um. Uh. I mean. We were asked during the wake tour. If we were gonna, uh record the band because everybody, told us the lineup was on fire, and, so by the time we did the quebec, shows. We were really, tight. And um. I remember, coming out of the stage in quebec city thinking, this, this show was really perfect, yeah we were like, we are local heroes, in the province of quebec atmosphere, was great.
And Um. When the lockdown, happened, uh this year. In mid-march, the first, first lockdown. It just accelerated. Accelerated, the process, of. Releasing, material, for us. We couldn't we could no longer, uh tour we didn't have access, to a studio, in town, and, so, we just started working with what we had. Uh in the bank and uh so, we released, an ep the end of dormancy, with live tracks from the jaspers, with the brass, and, then. We knew that the whole quebec, city show was super tight. And um. It sounded great too so, we decided, to, use, the. The quebec, show as a, whole lp. At first we had in mind to mix both shows and it didn't make sense after a while and, the the whole show was just magical. And. So. I had to put the pedal to the middle for the artwork, and the booklet but, we made sure it would come out this year. It's pretty cool yeah and you kind of did mix the shows in just a bit by, in the videos right you use the video from montreal, and, audio from quebec. Right. Yeah. We we um. Unfortunately. Didn't, film the show in quebec city, but we had, one in montreal. That was. Filmed. Uh, two weeks prior to the quebec city show, and uh the shows were similar. And uh, the band again was so tight it was not, difficult to, sink at all and. So. We were able to release, uh three videos. Uh, for the last machine album, and um. When uh felipe. Uh, alcazar. Does the video. The videos. Um, asked me for for some art to animate. I, thought it'd be a great idea to supply, him, road art, art i do on the road across the planet. So that's what i what that's what i scanned. And i he um. Him and his partner animated. The artwork. So the videos, are pretty void. That's pretty cool so it does. You know it does look like, band is really working in synergy, you know being able to, play different shows yet combine, it into, this one piece and one work that's that's great to hear, um how do usually as a band you know actually come up with a you know set list for a show like this when you know that it's going to be recorded. Well. Um. In this. Occasion. We were just halfway, through a. Long, tour. For the week. And. So it was pretty much the setlist, we were playing. At that specific, time, which is um. We were focusing, on the first seven albums, and the material, from post society, and the wake which is the new lineup. And and so, that's what. Ended. Uh on the album. Uh otherwise. Uh to um. It'd be very difficult, to. Try to find, uh to figure a set list, of, uh, thinking about a live album. Because we have so many albums that's true, that's true, and then which one you use like the older material. The newer, i mean it's very hard yeah. Yeah yeah. And uh we have so many albums that these days we are skipping a couple of eras, like the eric forest, era and the jason, uh bluestead, era. But uh once in a while we play for run from, phobos, or, global warning, or treasure, chase, from uh, um. The voivod. Uh album we did uh with jason in 2003. So uh actually no it's from catholics, i'm, confused, there, okay, or, yeah or it might even be on infinity. I confuse the songs. In a big blur, and uh, but yeah and what i'm saying is sometimes, we incorporate. Elements, from different eras. But let's say that right now it's the first seven albums, plus the last two releases. Makes sense yeah absolutely. And uh you know what do you personally, think if there is one the most underrated. Uh, void, song that you actually would want to play more often. Is there one. Again you have a variety to choose from. Well. Oh my god, um. Yeah i mean there are songs. I don't even remember, playing, live like x-ray, mirror i think. Um, would be a good one to to try out. Um. Yeah we were thinking, we're thinking of uh. We gave it a shot at uh playing, online, and it worked really well so we're thinking of uh. Um, maybe playing specific, albums, uh next spring, oh. Online, and that's where yeah and that's where we will really discover, the obscure, stuff that we probably never played live or it's gonna, it's gonna be a very interesting.
Uh, Experience. Um, for for us, and for everybody i guess, but it's just that um. Right now, with the lockdown, we don't have access to our studio to rehearse. But snake is building, a studio in his house, so we can rehearse. This winter. So, we can rehearse, specific albums, and work on new material, which is great that's great to hear and about the new material, i i know you did say that you know that you guys are already kind of thinking about the new album and stuff, um, you know, how is the process going the creative, process, and, you know when can we potentially, expect it. Well, luckily, um. Early this year in january and february, we did some sessions, where we recorded, improvisations. And bits of songs, new songs. And uh, so we worked on these, uh templates, the whole uh the whole year. And um. So, now it's just a matter of um. Um. Getting, to, snake's, new studio, and jam together, and more yeah and more fit into wi-fi material. But i, really doubt that it's gonna come out before. End of, 2021. Or very, early, 2022. Uh it's uh. Realistic. Um. Especially, if we um. We. Focus, on learning. Um. Specific, albums. Let's say we decide, to learn nothing phase or, dimension, heteros, or, outer limits, it's a lot it's a lot of work and many rehearsals. So. I think that um. The whole process, of writing new material has been slowed down a lot, but thankfully. We um. All synced up with logic, pro. Online, and um. Sharing a dropbox, folder, so, with the new technology, we were able to, write new material, while uh socially, distancing. Yeah thankfully, yeah i think this is the perks, you know of 21st, century, and actually. You know this is the this is the outside, of it definitely. And you know on the storyline, do you know where it's going to take us, yet or, not really. Well um. No i i, i can't really uh, i mean you know. We've been. Asked if. We would, um. Resurrect, the. Character, yeah yeah and we're thinking about that, that was asked a lot by fans. You know when i announced that i'll be speaking to you on the show that was asked, a lot by fans. Oh yeah. Um. We it came up we have a a, messenger, chat with the four of us in the band and we discussed a lot and, um. And. We it came up a couple of days ago, and uh we're looking into that and also i asked snake, if uh. What type of lyrical, content, he was looking at and he said he doesn't want really he doesn't want to focus, on. The. Situation. Uh. Yeah yeah. And um. He doesn't even, he says he doesn't really want to think about the pandemic. Situation. He's. Moving. Onward. And uh, and uh so. It's it's, i mean you know we're still trying to, um. Deal with the puzzle, of all the, 20 bits of songs we. We have, and trying to make it into, something coherent. So, uh i think that the next step is to everybody, get together, at the the new studio that snake is building. And then it it's really gonna morph into, uh. The real thing, and um. But, i think the the. Content, of the lyrics. Side is coming up quick and we have to figure that one out, eventually, because, sometimes, it really ties everything, uh together. You know uh. It it's um. What i mean is uh. It's easier, to write the album if you know what you're going to talk about, and.
Which Subject, comes, before, which and after which and, so. That's the, probably, the mission, uh this winter, is to try to, to do a. Plan. Definitely, yeah and music-wise. Obviously. You know voivod. Has always been one of the most experimental. Bands. Out there in the world right i mean you've never got stuck in one style, and uh, never you know stopped actually experimenting. And uh you know one thing that i personally, would would love to hear is more of jazz, intros that you guys did recently, on the eb, that that's just that's just. Really fantastic. Yeah the, the brass, experiment. Was really cool and, it's a lot of work it's a lot of work for chewie to write the score, for every musician, involved but, i was really pleased with the spring quartet, in the recording, of the week, and the jazz, uh. Brass. Quintet. For the jazz show and montreal. And the end of dormancy. Uh ep, and video. Um. It reminds, me of uh, bands that i love like magma. Or atom heart motor by pink floyd, and yeah, so i was very um. Very impressed with the result and it's a good indication, that we can do that type of experiments. And in the future, and it's usually, pretty positive. Yeah that's that's definitely, cool stuff, and you know if we're talking about the questions that were frequently, asked by the fans i have to ask this one because it got upvoted, by you know. A lot of people in different channels, but um. Uh. And it concerns, the you know the damn release of 20 2001. Uh you've got, any, any plans on you know on uh. Making it available at some point in a new recording, or, you know uh. Have you thought of this well. There are two ways that it could be released. Um. It would be um. On let's say a dvd. Covering, the, eric, years. Or, boxset, covering the every years, but there is also a way for me to. Put it on a, bandcamp. Page. So. Um. I think the most realistic. Uh. Way would be the band camp, and i've been thinking, about, that a lot because. It's um i know it's being asked a lot. We did the demos when uh, eric was recovering. Uh from the accident, in germany. Uh um. During the. 98, 99, you know and, uh so, um. Uh piggy baiden, had a a roland, 60, track uh digital, uh, device. Uh and uh it uh. Eventually, died. The machine. But um. He, did a, mix down. Um, of the demo. Uh on the cdr, that he gave me, that's the only thing i have. And but although. The quality, is uh good enough, to for a bandcamp. Release. I don't think that sony, music or anybody would want to release that of course you know, so i think that the next step. Is probably, band camp. And. I'm still in touch with eric, so i need to uh. Discuss that with him what he thinks about that i i would probably have to try down the cdr. But, but i have all the worry about archives. Uh just a matter of going through boxes, that's right it's do it it's doable, you know it's going to be done uh eventually. Um. Because uh. I thought this thing was um. Pretty much unknown, to people. But, everybody, knows about it and they all really want to hear it, and uh, it's, just a, uh.
It's Really too bad because we were going to record, this album with steve albini. And, but everything, everything fell apart and we uh, and pd and i really lost our motivation. And and ended up splitting, the bam, i believe it was at the end of 2000. Uh right before the holidays, yes, and uh. So um. Yeah, i'll uh, i'll have to uh eventually, make it available, because uh i know that everybody. Want to hear it. And, it's. It's hard to tell if a dvd is going to come out these days, so, um. Yeah, maybe an uh online. Would be a better idea, yeah it's one of those like mysterious, things that everyone knows about it everyone has an idea of what it is about yet no one has actually had a chance to experience, it properly. So yeah only uh yeah only eric and i have a copy, yeah so. And we keep it quiet, so but yeah i'm gonna have a discussion with eric about it actually, and uh it'd be kind of cool a kind of a cool item. Yeah and definitely, and any plans for you know more. Re-issues. Of the older, you know harder to get, uh on, on print uh albums, at the moment for your die hard fans. Uh, well, the only one in uh. Uh. The only one in in store right now is a reissue, of the, voiva. 2003. Album we did uh, jason. It's going to come out next year, and um. It's in the works. Both on cd and vinyl. And. The the tough material, to get a hold of is uh the one on nca. Not in phase, uh androrat. And the auto limits. Um. It's available. On all uh. Streaming, and download platforms. But it's not available, physically. And it's really hard to get a universal. To release it and on a physical, form. We've been trying, for decades. And uh. So that would be the next. Battle for me, um. Luckily, um. And and also for these release. These uh, reissues, i would have a lot of uh. Unknown material, that could supply you. So but thankfully, um. Uh. Uh i redid, the noise catalog. So which was really amazing. Right now everything is available. Um. Uh except, for uh. The, universal. Album so it's the very last, and that's why they are hard to get because i i mean i would love to spin it on my you know record player uh yet you know it's very hard to get it. At least over, overseas, over here in europe. You know it's uh yeah. It's it's, uh sometimes. Sometimes, mca, will do a very limited run like they did in japan, yeah uh for nothing facing, rather not olympus, there was a limited, run in poland with a, true mca, opponent. But um. It's uh very very rare, yeah absolutely. And you know moving away from music, but not really, uh and talking about your other passion, art, uh in. Do you plan any follow-ups. Of, uh you know worlds away, uh the world away any anything like that. Yes, um. Um, i was saying that, i draw. On the road, after, every, uh. Show. Um. I tried to walk around the club during the day and then after, checking the architecture.
Dividing, The towns. And then uh after the show mainly at the hotel on the hotel, dota. I, do my impression. Of, the city, and uh. My, style you know, and i am, so i spent the. Year. Um. This year um. Scanning, this stuff. For uh follow-up, two uh, words away so it will probably pick pick up where waterway, left, uh, around 2008. 2009, so when we started touring again. And i have like so many of these uh drawings. And um. So i'm scanning the whole thing, and. Also, um. I take a lot of a lot of pictures there might be a few pictures, and i like to, uh collect, the flowers, of the show. Some art is really amazing on these flowers. So i'm probably gonna scan a. Couple of flowers. So that's my next book but i have one ready to uh. Uh it's, i did a comic book, that's ready to uh, be sold online, it's printed i have boxes, here. Yeah but it's um. A matter of finishing, an online, store, uh it should be done in a couple of days, now that the live album is uh finished. Uh and i'm out. I have a bit of time to uh, work on it yeah, so i'm building a an online store with the, voivad. Webmaster. And it's pretty much ready, and i i just need to figure, uh the prices. For shipping, across the planet. And. So. That's what i did this uh, this summer is i started sort of a. Press, company, to make my art more available, as, publications. Yes. So finally i had time to do that so. A lot of uh. A, lot of material will be available, uh. Um. In the future, from the uh in the arts department. Absolutely, and i personally would love to see, your impression of my, of my city of kiev and for you to actually, come here and play a show and uh, you know and. And i i really hope to catch you guys live sometime soon. Absolutely, oh man yeah i mean for 37, years, um. It's what. Uh is what, has kept me going, is touring around the globe, meeting, old friends new friends. And i'm just addicted to it and, i um, so it's been really tough not to be on the road this year, that's why we give it a shot at playing. Online, so at least we could get together. And, um, uh. Jam you know, and that was already, already uh unbelievable. But, uh, the sci-fi, situation. Uh forces us to do it in uh strict, uh sanitary. Protocols. So people filming, had masks, on, and, so and we were all two meters apart. So. But at least. I was able to play drums, uh which is uh. Something very crucial, for me, you play drums and draw is. Very important, in my life. So um. Can't wait to go back on the road for sure man absolutely, absolutely, actually since most of the subscribers.
Are In the us they've been asking a lot whether, you know any plans of uh, hitting the road, next year, in the u.s, or not really, it's hard we have it i mean. We have a u.s, store, planned, next year, for um. I think it's november, november. Um. That one is still confirmed i mean it hasn't been canceled or anything because there have been no news about it you know whether it's going to go through, you oh um, it's a tour that's being planned, um. For uh this year that's been pushed, twice. Uh uh, already. And uh and we're still not sure if it's really gonna happen next year but it's a. It's a, very um. Interesting. Tour with uh another, trash metal band. That's very, well known. And that's uh that's, well appreciated. And it'd be a very cool tour. Uh it's just that as long as it's not confirmed, i can't really talk about it but, we, were hoping to hit the usa. Um. Next year. Um. And um. It's hard to tell because uh they have a very serious, situation. They are our close neighbors in canada, but we can't go across the border at all. At this moment. Um, well yeah i. Again uh uh. We just all have to you know do our part and get this over with as soon as we can so let's wear our masks, wash our hands and, you know. Exactly. Man i am. You know um. I really, don't want to catch that virus, i as well i'm being, so careful. Um. I mean. Uh i know people that have lost, the, taste, smell, memory. Uh. Yeah, it's a pretty bad thing and uh, um. As long as. There's no treatment, and. Unfortunately. There seems, to be light at the end of the tunnel right now and we're keeping our finger. Keeping our fingers, crossed that uh, we can uh go back on the road. By next fall or something. Absolutely, absolutely man i know you're pretty busy, and i'm conscious of your time so just couple of more questions if you don't mind. Sure, that's about it uh the first one is, are there any you know modern, bands that you can actually, point, out, you know that you think are unique and deserve, you know praise. Well you know i'm super old school. And uh so. If i listen to a new album it's usually a new album from an old man i say. Actually you know like bands like van der graaf, or magma, or judas, priest they still release fantastic. Albums. But. Whenever, i discover, a band. It's, mainly. When, we share a stage with them at some festival, around the globe. And the last one that, really, blew me away, is a good jira. I think i think they're, really fantastic. And i heard a lot of killing joke in their music as well and, and so on, um. At first i was told about that. A lot by, uh. And then when we finally. Uh. Shared the same festival, and, uh i went to i, thought okay i'm gonna go catch a couple of songs. And i spent the whole show, with my jaw to the floor, i think they're really amazing. But you know might be, some people. Might say they're not a new band at all, but, they've grown a lot, in the in the last couple of years. Which brings us to the next, question. What is your guilty pleasure, do you have something, outside, of metal, uh that you absolutely. Enjoy, blasting, maybe when you're drunk or something, uh like a pop like selena gomez or something like that. Oh. I would say that that, the thing i would uh. The thing that i would put, uh, in the tour bus or the van that drives people crazy will probably, be. Asia. Actually. I really, really like them, and um. And uh. It's probably, the most commercial. I would go uh.
In Terms of prague stuff, or, nice, pretty cool, um, and the last one for today. And just something we always do to close the you know the episode. If you could. You know just share one crazy touring story, or just one, show that you you know outline, and that you. You think, you know. Was one of the most uh important ones in your life, that that would be great. Oh. There were quite a few. Important ones um. One that really, um. Blew me away is when we opened for rush in montreal. In. 1990. And i was so scared because i had seen, openers, getting booed off the stage, uh, at rush shows. And um. But when we played astronomy. Dominate. From pink floyd. The crowd was louder than the music. And um, it's a feeling i will remember. Forever. Absolutely. Yeah and as for the craziest. Story. Is uh when uh we were, playing the first us. Tour with celtic frost in 86. We played in san diego. And the security. People, were a gang. And. They beat up everybody in the crowd. And once they beat up everybody, in the crowd. They, they, looked on stage, oh, there are bands on stage and they started to be, to beat up everybody, in the band. It was just, mayhem. What, seriously. Yeah, this is unbelievable. Oh my god. Well thank you thank you for sharing this man, again conscious every time so thank you so much, uh you know for joining, today any last message for the fans anything you want to share with them. Yeah man again you know um. What i really love to do is go around the globe playing volvo, music, and meeting my friends and new friends that. We owe it to uh what we call the iron gang the people into voidwa, they're super loyal. They come to the shows. And that's why we try to. Release, material. Because we think they deserve, it and, so, um, i would just want to say thank you and um. I can't wait to meet everybody on the game. Meet everybody again on the road uh hopefully, next year or sometime. Perfect michelle thank you so much for your time, appreciate, it a lot, again, lost machine, is already out so if you haven't yet make sure to check it out it's a great. Live album, and it's, very. You know uh. Very much needed during these hard times, thank you so much and i hope to catch you live, whether in cave or somewhere else and uh, in europe, uh pretty soon so keep rugged man thank you. Thank you man we also have a, euro tour plan for the end of next year but. Who knows, yeah, yeah and also. Also with a couple of great trash metal bands so, we'll see what happens, absolutely, absolutely man thank you so much for your time and have a great day. Thank you cheers thanks a lot. Thanks. You.