Mar 30th 2013 Interview with Chewy from Voivod by Angela “The Hunter”
Replacing a legendary guitar player like Piggy in the infamous VOIVOD would seem to be a daunting task. It is with astonishment how MARTYR’s Chewy has stepped into irreplaceable shoes and taken over the guitar duties. On the release of their latest album “Target Earth”, the first to feature Chewy, is a return to the glory days of the band when they blended Science Fiction and Thrash Metal with a poignant intelligence. It is with great pleasure that Angela “The Hunter” had the chance to talk to Chewy on his role within VOIVOD.
Thank you so much for doing the interview with me!
Yeah sure! My pleasure!
Ok, so you have the new album out, “Target Earth.” Tell us about the album?
Yeah, well we started writing the album after touring for a few years, and it went pretty natural. At first it was a little bit stressed, but after a few tries it worked. It was really teamwork, everyone got their ideas together in the jam space, you know? The improvising and recording the jams became the core of some of the songs. We did the arrangement altogether, it was a great creative journey, you know?
Where was it recorded?
It was recorded at the Wild Studio here in Quebec, up north. Well not really up north but north of Montreal, and it was in the woods, pretty far away from the city or anything. There was nothing there, so we had to buy some food and drink, and we were pretty far from civilization. But we were really focused on our work, and that was a great environment to record the album, and to work in.
Who produced it for you?
We produced it together really. I mean VOIVOD and Pierre Remillard, the owner of the studio, who worked on the engineering, and Blacky, who did the producing, and Stanford Parker mixed it.
How has the response been to the album?
Great! Actually it’s been fantastic! All the reviews are great, it’s all positive, the fans are happy, and we are really proud of it. It looks like a great year for VOIVOD! We are really psyched about 2013.
Is there an upcoming tour to support the album?
Of course we are going to do some touring this year, if everything goes well. We have some shows in April in South America, we have a couple of shows here, then I think we are going to head to Europe in either June or July. I’m not sure. We are going to try and play at places we have never been to, like China maybe. We’re also going back to Australia, New Zealand, Tokyo and Moscow, but we would like to play some places we’ve never played.
Are any bands confirmed for the tour?
Not yet. Nothing confirmed but we are working on it.
Now how long have you been in the band?
I’ve been in the band since 2008, so like 5 years?
So we are hearing rumors that this might be the last album with the VOIVOD character. Is that true?
I don’t know, I haven’t heard that. Maybe it’s just a rumor? (laughs) We actually haven’t discussed it yet (laughs)
Well where did the character’s name come from?
I think it comes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. The word VOIVOD is used in Europe, in some countries, I think like the Czech Republic and around that area, and it’s like a title. In some places, it means “prince” in others it’s like a high-ranking government official. So it does have a meaning, it’s not a word that we made up out of the blue. We took it from Bram Stoker’s Dracula because he was a VOIVOD.
Out of all the VOIVOD albums that you were either on, or own, do you have a favorite one, or one that really speaks to you?
Out of the discography? My favorite album, or the one that I listen to the most is “Killing Technology”, “Dimension Hatross”, and “Nothingface.” I like them all, actually. I have listened to them all many,many,many times on cassette since I was 11 years old. I wasn’t even playing guitar when I was introduced to them; VOIVOD was one of the bands that got me into playing. All of my cassettes are in really, really bad shape, and the CD’s as well.
Since your kind of new to the band, where do you see the band in 5 years?
Where do I see the band in 5 years? I see the band in 5 minutes. It’s a day-by-day thing, you know? I think the guys have learned a lot from all of the situations that we have been through, so it’s more healthy to think like that. Of course we’d still like to be writing and touring, and we’d like to be doing it as long as we can, as long as the fun is still there. As long as we are getting along together, and if things are going pretty good then I think just thinking about the present would be best. Hopefully we’ll be here for a couple more years and will be having a blast and touring the world.
Well and we hope for the same! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy listening to the album.
Oh thank you, that is very kind of you. We hope to make it to our 35 Anniversary!
What would you say has been the most memorable moment that you have had on the road so far?
Oh wow, there has been a lot actually. My second or third show with VOIVOD was in Tokyo, and I had never been in Japan, or even in Europe. I had toured the states with other bands, but going to other countries was like going to another planet for me. I was so excited to be there, and it was so surreal. (It’s like) When we went on our first European tour together, you know, I love to travel but I had never had the chance. I just can’t believe that I am traveling and playing with my favorite band. It doesn’t make sense to me (laughs) I pinch myself every day thinking about that. But as far as a moment, playing Moscow and playing in Tokyo, maybe, I don’t know. It’s hard to remember a specific moment where I can say, “Yes, this is my moment”. When we played here in Quebec City in front of 80,000 people near our hometown it was amazing. But I think every little moment makes life interesting, and enjoyable, those are the things that I think about and that are important to me.
Do you have a particular band that was the most fun, or interesting to tour with?
Oh there’s a lot. I really like VIRUS from Norway; I think they are VOIVOD fans as well. I really like their music, but I am pretty open-minded when it comes to touring with bands. I like to go to a show, and see a variety of different kinds of music. When I go to shows where there is only death metal, or back metal, they all sound the same. So I think it’s good to always have a different kind of music, or a different kind of aesthetic. There are a LOT of bands out there (laughs)
Ok well I have one last question for you.
Where can fans go to find out everything they want to know about VOIVOD?
There is a new website called VOIVOD.com I guess. It’s linked to the Iron Gang website, which is the merch and the special stuff. Um, there’s a VOIVODfan.com which is a fan site with a lot of old demos, posters, and also VOIVOD.net which is also another great fan site. So it’s all linked to the main page, so there is a lot of information about VOIVOD on those pages. There is also our Facebook page.
Alright cool! Well those are all the questions I have for you today Chewy. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a call. Everyone at Metal Temple wishes you the best of luck on the road ahead.
Oh thank you so much. It has been a pleasure talking to you
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