-First of all thank you for answering to our questions. To begin with, I hope you are all safe. And we’d also like to know how are these lockdown days due to covid-19 going for you?
Well, my days are pretty normal, I go to work, my wife too, just our daughter is not at the kindergarden because of corona so we have to manage that. Besides the normal daylife the lockdown is pretty heavy and as for all musicicans, life has stopped. No rehearsals, no songwriting and no gigs. Not the best time to release an album.

-I guess you had to stop your activity, with everything that entails the release of the new album due to the whole virus thing. How and in what terms has this affected the current scenario of the band?
We have to wait till the social distancing is over to get back to work as a band. We do as much as we can in terms of promotion and our online shop. At least we want to make it easy for people to reach out to us or even buy merch from us. This really helps a lot. Personally I am working on some lyrics for new songs and I have to ship at least 30 packages from our shop which is not always simple because the German post does not ship overseas right now. Corona affects everything.

-Well, this being said I hope all this will pass soon. Now let’s focus on your new album, entitled «Danse de Noir», which is a concpet record. Before we dwell into the concept, I would you like you to tell us a little bit about how was the songwriting process like as well as the reason behind the cover artwork and the title.
The songwriting took about six to eight months. We started in late 2018 oder finished in mid 2019. The mixing of the album was quite complex and that took about four months. The artwork was choosen while the album was nearly finished and should be a reflection of the question “Are You Human”. The artwork should not be a standard heavy metal cover with swords and naked women that nearly every epic metal band has. Also the title was choosen at the very end and “Danse De Noir” has a reference to Film Noir and that goes back to Blade Runner so to us is represents what the whole album should stand for.

-I like the album a lot, I think you have connected and blended history and music in a great way. Tell us about the story of the replicant. You have changed the orientation a little bit, going from a more primitive epicness to a more spatial album, still without neglecting the epicness. How was this born?
Maybe it is just a natural evolution of the band. If you compare the first Voivod albums with “Outer Limits“ or “Angel Rat“ you can hardly tell that its the same band. I think our evolution is not that extreme but to keep the creativity on a high level you have to push the boundaries further, both in sound and in style.

-Another change we can find is the addition of synths and cosmic elements, but in my opinion it gives the album a kind of space vibe and a more retro atmosphere, even noticing influences that go from «Into the Pandemonium» era CELTIC FROST -due to the combination with female vocals- to MANOWAR, even SABBATH, MAIDEN or SISTERS OF MERCY, all this sorrounded by an aesthetic similar to VOIVOD, without being as extreme as them (musically). Tell us about these additions and what are your thoughts on my judgement on your influences.
All of those band have influenced us. We wanted to do a record that would sound like the 80s but not being too retro. We wanted to incorporate those elements we really liked from that era and blend them with modern technologies. We don’t want to do the same record over and over again so not doing things the same way as other bands do is essential for us. I think we will go in that direction again with the next album but we not started to work on it yet.

-This more classic sound, more 80’s oriented is really cool, and it fits very good. It’s also great that you didn’t have the usual super clean, mechanized production that a lot of the current bands have on their albums. Was this also your goal when you decided how the story should sound like?
It should be a transparent sound but not unhuman. You must hear that humans are playing real instruments. Every instrument should tanslate through the mix so that you can hear what it is playing. It is not that easy because we have a really packed sound with lot of sounds and instruments so we had to decide what Instrument should get what space in the mix withoud getting a muddy mix or in the other hand a too clean mix.
I think we managed to let the album sound quite good.

-Does this concept album come with other future releases connected to it? Were there any leftovers or ideas that didn’t make it into the album but that you would have liked to include?
No I dont think so. I want to start with a new concept for a new album. We can’t really tell much about it because there’s nothing set right now.

-And of course it would be amazing to perform it live with a good production. Have you considered this? Would you have any chances or do you believe this kind of ideas are only accessible for headliners and that you can always leave it for later?
We do have a really big live production with videoscreens, fog, fire and sparks. It is all made for getting really quick on and off the stage so we don’t need to be the headliner but it would surely make things easier for us when we don’t have to set everything up in 5 minut and ge everythings off in the same time. We are still working on all those things and our plan was to do a short headliner tour after the album was released but corona had other plans so gigs in Germany aren’t allowed right now. We have to wait.

-Tell me about concept albums that have had some impact on you and if they did have any influence when it came to make «Danse de Noir».
2112 from Rush had a really big impact on me, as nearly every Rush album had. “Operation Mindcrime” from Queensrÿche is another great concept album. I would say those two were the main influences when it comes to concept albums from the past.

-As I have the chance of interviewing you, and looking back, I would like you to comment how were the first steps of the band like, those first releases and if you believe you were already on the right track. What were you looking for with your debut? And with this newest release? It still keeps your characteristic Doom Metal.
Yes I think we got pretty much our direction on the first tunes we made. We didn’t want to do the standard doom metal. We wanted to sound unique. Maybe our first album was more experimental and more rough. Both in style and sound. We just wanted to make a statement about what we are. With our latest release we wanted to expand further our sound. I think we achieved that goal. Do the unexpected.

-And on a view to the future, how is the live situation? Are there any festival offers? Tell us about the next steps for the band.
Because of Corona everything is canceled. We were supposed to be playing some festivals this year but right now everything is postponed or canceled. Not an ideal time to release a album. We planed a short tour but there are no bookings right now. So I think we can’t say anything about playing live in 2020.

-That’s all from our side, I would once again like to comment that I loved your new album, I’m a big fan of Metal and cosmic stuff and I have enjoyed the trip. If you would like to add some final words; feel free to do it. Thanks for all.
Buy records, go to concerts, support the underground!

Paco Gómez

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