Fri., 10:50pm, Emo's
"It was in Austin where the smoke machine was not ready," recalls drummer Michel "Away" Langevin. "You have to heat it a lot prior to the show so it comes out as smoke. I don't know if it was plugged in enough or what, but it just sprayed the kids with burning oil!"
This was around 1985, Voivod's first U.S. tour, when singer Denis "Snake" Bélanger wore a gas mask to fumigate the crowd with dreaded mist from the Morgoth machine. You didn't hear it here first, folks: Voivod are from secret Canadian kingdom Morgoth – named by the percussionist way back when the band wrote songs about its battles with an intergalactic vampire who hovered over their town in a spaceship and fed on the paranoia of nuclear nightmares.
"I actually wasn't that aware of nuclear stockpiles before the Dead Kennedys and Conflict and Crass," admits Langevin.
Atomic age paranoia became more than lyrical flimflam for Voivod and its heavily weaponized version of thrash. Their zonked chord structures modified almost every "wrong" note in the troposphere. Current local Greg Ginn did the same thing in Black Flag.
"Never met Greg, but I'm a big fan of his playing. Big influence as well," utters Langevin, who adds that anyone hoping for pyro from Voivod at Housecore Horror will have to go see Gwar instead. "Eventually it got hard to cross the borders with that type of equipment. Now it would be impossible." – Adam Ganderson
Full interview on Earache! at austinchronicle.com/music.