VOIVOD's MICHEL 'AWAY' LANGEVIN: “my main fear about artificial intelligence”
In a new interview with Canada’s The Metal Voice, VOIVOD drummer Michel “Away” Langevin spoke about the potential risks and challenges associated with the widespread adoption artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. He said: “Technology, I will always try to use it as much as I can, including for my visuals and all that. AI videos, I’m jealous because it would take me three thousand years to do it frame by frame. But what I’m most afraid of, really, is AI controlling high-tech weaponry; that’s my main fear. And it’s funny because in the ’70s, as a kid, I saw a movie called ‘Colossus(: The Forbin Project)’ about that — about a giant super computer in the USA teaming up with a giant super computer in Russia. They take control of the nuclear weapons and enslave humanity.”
During The Metal Voice chat, Langevin also touched upon the fact that some of the issues people face today are the same issues humanity has been dealing with for much of the last few decades. He said: “Oh, man, it’s funny, because when I recently came back home to Montreal from tour in the smog of the forest wildfires, because of climate change and all that… It’s a recurring nightmare where back in the ’80s we talked about the ozone layer and now we talk about global warming. And it’s the same with… At one point, on our ‘Killing Technology’ album, we were talking about Chernobyl, but all of a sudden it’s Fukushima and now it’s Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine. So it’s always the same nightmare. But I can only be a happy fellow and create and do art and music and travel the world before it’s too late.”
He added: “Who knows what’s gonna happen? You might as well enjoy it right now.”
VOIVOD will celebrate 40 eventful years of existence in 2023 with a special anniversary studio album titled “Morgöth Tales”, to be released on July 21 via Century Media Records. The LP’s second single is “Condemned To The Gallows (2023 Version)”, which is a very special choice, as it once marked VOIVOD‘s first-ever song released on an album, originally appearing on the “Metal Massacre V” compilation back in 1984.
Watch “Condemned To The Gallows (2023 Version)” below.
VOIVOD vocalist Denis “Snake” Bélanger commented: “The ‘Morgöth Tales’ album starts where it all began. ‘Condemned To The Gallows’ was the first song ever recorded in a studio. I recall being shocked, hearing my voice for the first time, and I was a bit intimidated. I had joined the band only a few months prior to that and I didn’t know how to sing or even if was capable of doing the job. So I jumped in, and this 40-year adventure was about to begin.”
He continued: “Revisiting this song was a real trip. Going back in time when we were young and wild, recapturing that same fury inside that led us up to now made me realize that the spirit never gets old. Thanks to Mom, who kept well preserved the only lyrics sheet existing on the surface of this planet, with my smudged left-handed writing. Otherwise we would have been screwed.”
Watch the previously released 2023 version of “Nuage Fractal” below.
Once more recorded and mixed by Francis Perron at RadicArt Studio, mastered by Maor Appelbaum and produced by VOIVOD, “Morgöth Tales” includes fresh studio re-recordings by the band’s current lineup of nine especially selected, not-so-obvious picks from the band’s hyper-classy and extremely diverse back catalogue (between 1984 and 2003) as well as a brand-new song and the album’s title track, “Morgöth Tales”.
VOIVOD drummer Michel “Away” Langevin commented: “‘Morgöth Tales’ covers 40 years of space exploration.
“It was really exciting for us to revisit a more obscure part of the VOIVOD catalogue, from thrash-punk to prog-metal.
“The title track is a new song, which we started writing on the tour bus and hotels during the OPETH European tour in November/December 2022. It has the vibe of the experimental music we are doing nowadays, with a new twist I think. We also had the great thrill of getting Eric (Forrest) and Jason (Newsted) involved on this album.
“I hope you’ll dig it. Chewy, Rocky, Snake and I certainly had a blast recording it. All aboard and ready for take-off!”
“Morgöth Tales” track listing:
01. Condemned To The Gallows(2023 Version) (originally on “Metal Massacre V” compilation, 1984)
02. Thrashing Rage (2023 Version) (originally on “Rrröööaaarrr”, 1986)
03. Killing Technology (2023 Version) (originally on “Killing Technology”, 1987)
04. Macrosolutions To Megaproblems (2023 Version) (originally on “Dimension Hatröss”, 1988)
05. Pre-Ignition (2023 Version) (originally on “Nothingface”, 1989)
06. Nuage Fractal (2023 Version) (originally on “Angel Rat”, 1991)
07. Fix My Heart (2023 Version) (originally on “The Outer Limits”, 1993)
08. Rise (2023 Version, feat. Eric Forrest) (originally on “Phobos”, 1997)
09. Rebel Robot (2023 Version, feat. Jason Newsted) (originally on “Voivod”, 2003)
10. Morgöth Tales (New Song)
Snake previously spoke about “Morgöth Tales” in a recent interview with Agoraphobic News. He said: “It was a really fun thing to do. It was like a time capsule, going back in time to revisit these old songs, especially one in particular, which was first song we ever recorded (‘Condemned To The Gallows’); that was for ‘Metal Massacre V’ (1984) on Metal Blade Records back in the day, before our first album. And the funny thing about it was there was no lyric sheet in the compilation itself. It was us, including many other bands. And the way it was recorded, it was really hard to figure out the lyrics; I couldn’t remember what I was singing. So we’re looking everywhere on the Internet, if someone has it or whatever. And it was nowhere to be found. And then I said to myself, ‘Maybe mom has it in the attic somewhere.’ And then I called my sister: ‘Can you check at mom’s place? Maybe she put it somewhere.’ And she went, and my mom classified — everything is in order with mom. And she was, like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I have it. File number six.’ And then she pulls out the only copy of the lyrics in the world of that song.’ And we were, like, ‘Yeah!’ ‘Cause music for the song was already recorded. And we were, like, ‘Oh my God. What are we gonna do?'”
Circling back to the upcoming 40th-anniversary album, Snake said that it will contain a song “not from every album, but mostly the period from ‘Rrröööaaarrr’, ‘Killing Technology’, ‘Dimension Hatröss’, ‘Nothingface’; we revisit one song from each album. And it’s in a chronological order. So it’s very fun. It was fun to do.”
He added: “It was really — like I said — like a time capsule, going back. And I’m trying to sing these songs like I used to.”
VOIVOD‘s 15th studio album, “Synchro Anarchy”, was released in February 2022 via Century Media Records. The follow-up to 2018’s “The Wake” was produced by Francis Perron at RadicArt Studio and features cover artwork created by drummer Michel Langevin (a.k.a. Away).
VOIVOD – Europe Tour:
June 14, 2023 – Amersfoort (The Netherlands) – Flour June 15, 2023 – Wasquehal / Lille (France) – The Black Lab June 17, 2023 – Clisson (France) – Hellfest June 18, 2023 – Dessel (Belgium) – Graspop Metal Meeting June 22-24, 2023 – Oslo (Norway) – Tons of Rock Festival
Aug. 3-5, 2023 – Wacken (Germany) – Wacken Open Air
Aug. 9, 2023 Stockholm (Sweden) – Nalen Klubb
Aug. 11-12, 2023 – Helsinki (Finland) – Helsinki Metal Festival
Other VOIVOD dates for 2023:
July 13, 2023 – Trois Rivieres, QC (Canada) – Expo Agricole de Trois-Rivières
Sept. 8-10, 2023 – São Paulo (Brazil) – Septembro Negro Festival
Sept. 15, 2023 – Quebec City, QC (Canada) – Envol et Macadam Festival
Sept. 22, 2023 – Gaspé, QC (Canada) – Centre de Création Diffusion de Gaspé
Sept. 23, 2023 – Rimouski, QC (Canada) – Salle Desjardins-Telus
And more international dates to be announced soon…