On Saturday November 17th, I had the opprotunity to chat with guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain, bassist Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault, and for a brief moment drummer/artist Michel “Away” Langevin from Canadian progressive thrash legends Voivod.
We talk about the fairly terrible day the band was having, Mongrain’s experience being in the band he grew up loving, the departure of Jason Newsted, and more.
Read/Listen to the full interview after the jump.
Daniel Cordova – Greetings, my name’s Daniel.
Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain – Oh! I am also Daniel!
DC – Very nice, how is that name working out for you? For me it’s going pretty well.
DM – It’s pretty good, man.
DC – How’s the day been? I heard there’s a bass lost.
DM – Oh yeah. It was a long day. The flight connection, we missed yesterday, and we lost luggage and the Blower Bass as well (Jean-Yves “Blacky” Thériault’s custom bass). So it’s been a long day, but it’s going to have a happy End.
DC – Yes, I was looking on the page for you guys, this is just a kind of rare one off?
DM – Yeah, because it was the CD release of Neurosis. They invited us and we said yes. It’s great to be part of it. It’s good to be in the Bay Area again.
DC – Who has been a person that you may have looked up to or a contemporary that has come forward as a big Voivod fan.
(Jean-Yves Thériault, came in and sat down with us)
DM – Phil Anselmo, maybe?
Jean-Yves Thériault – No one.
DC – haha
DM – Phil from Pantera, from Down, he came onstage with us and sing “Nothingface” and some songs when we toured with Down, and that was pretty crazy. Who else…?
JT – Nobody likes Voivod!
(Michel “Away” Langevin burst into the door)
Michel Langevin – Come look who I found! Oh….Is it alright if they do it (the interview)?
DC – Yeah, it’s fine!
ML – Sorry about that guys.
DC – Nah, do what you got to do. I know you (Daniel) were a fan prior to the band, correct?
DM – Yeah, yeah. Since I was eleven years old.
DC – Do you ever have moments where you’re kind of nerding out because you’re a part of it?
DM – I can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. It’s pretty strange. I’ve been listening to those guys all my childhood, my teenage years, and all my adult life. Being part of Voivod –
JT – You’re the baby of the band! It’s not me anymore!
DM – You know, I wish I was in the crowd and seeing Piggy (Former guitarist) still. But I’m really proud and honored to be a part of it with Blacky and…you know? It’s pretty amazing.
JT – Don’t cry.
DC – Aw
JT – It’s alright.
DC – I can delete this and we can have ourselves a good cry session.
DM – It’s fine. We’re all emotional beings.
JT – Hahahahaha
DC – When Jason (Newsted) left the band for you to come back, was there any difficulty? Or was he such a fan, that he was like, “Oh yeah, cool to have Voivod back”?
JT – That would be a good question for Jason.
DM – Yeah, he’s here…
DC – Really? That’s pretty cool.
JT – I don’t know. I mean, I don’t think Jason really decided to quit the band. There’s nothing, it just ended. Basically, he worked on all the records he agreed to work [on]. He and Piggy had a really good chemistry while he was alive. So after Piggy died, Jason took it on himself to decide his time was over, you know?
DM – Well the band was pretty much over at that point.
JT – Well they stopped for 3, 4 years.
DM – They recorded the two albums-
JT – Then Jason got injured, but I don’t think it’s the injury stuff. T’s just that, Piggy wasn’t there. And even for me it was really hard. Like, I talked to Away a lot. It took me like a good year and a half to decide, “Yeah, we’re going to do another record” because I didn’t want to do another record, because for me it was over. We talk about it… I talk about it with Chewy because it would be me and him working on the music. It was really hard, he didn’t want to emulate Piggy and I didn’t want him to do that. So we had to find a way to have our chemistry and that took a while. Then when we decided to do it –
DM – it was pretty natural –
JT – We were like kids again. Like, “Holy f*ck yeah!”
DM – I’m still a kid you…! HAHAHA
DC – Alright, I’ll let you guys go prepare for what you got to do.
DM – Thanks
DC – Great Meeting you guys.
Voivod will release Target Earth on January 22, 2013 via Century Media Records
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