Last Known Status: Active
Voivod (consisting of singer Denis "Snake" Belanger, guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, drummer Michel Langevin, and bassist Jean-Yves Theriault) was one of the first thrash bands out of Canada to gain popularity outside of their home country. From their beginning in the early '80s, their main goal was to be different from anyone else and thus they incorporated odd musical tempos and futuristic story lines into their songs, often dealing with technology taking over the world. Voivod opened the way for other Canadian thrash bands and for metal bands with their unique styles of performing and writing.
Such early releases as 1984's "War and Pain" and 1986's "Rrrroooaaarrr!" showed that the quartet was aligned to the then up-and-coming thrash metal movement, eventually letting their prog-rock influences seep in on 1987's "Killing Technology" and 1988's "Dimension Hatross." By the time of their major-label debut for MCA, 1989's "Nothingface," Voivod had perfected their thrash metal/prog rock style, resulting in the most commercially successful release of their career -- spearheaded by a video for their cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" (which enjoyed airings on MTV's Headbangers Ball) and a headlining club tour over a pair of bands that would soon change the landscape of alt-rock by the early '90s, Soundgarden and Faith No More.
But just as it appeared as though Voivod may be able to break through to a wider audience, Theriault left the group right after the release of 1991's "Angel Rat" as the album quickly sunk from sight while the rest of the rock world focused their attention on the burgeoning alt-rock/Seattle movement. "The Outer Limits" followed two years later, which was followed shortly thereafter by Belanger's exit from the band. By the mid-'90s, Voivod's lineup had been scaled down to a trio -- newcomer Eric Forest doubled on vocals and bass, resulting in such releases as 1995's "Negatron" (which was the #1 Aggressive Rock in the United States in the first week of release) and 1997's "Phobos." 2000 saw the release of the odds and ends compilation "Kronik" as well as the live set "Lives." In early 2001, the remaining members decided to call it a day when Forest departed, only to reunite several months later with Belanger back on board and with former Metallica member (and longtime Voivod fan) Jason Newsted filling in on bass.
Latest Voivod News
Below is our complete Voivod news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
Guitarist/producer extraordinaire James Murphy (TESTAMENT, DEATH, OBITUARY) has issued the following update:
"Hi everyone. I'm sorry for dropping out. I've been dealing with my grandmother's illness and passing. Several weeks ago she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, quite large and inoperable. She has always been a major part of our family life and an 'anchor,' if you will, always there for me with a place to stay and a meal throughout the ups and downs of my career, not to mention her unconditional love.
"Dealing with the emotional side and logistics of always having at least one family member in the hospital with her... And now with the family handling all her final business... It's been overwhelming and ongoing. Her funeral was last week and I have begun to see the light of day again finally.
"Even with these issues I managed to get more recording for the DEATH tribute [album] done. On the day of my grandmother's funeral, after the services, I made the trip to Tampa to record the singer of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN... And only two days before (one day after she passed) I traveled to Orlando to record the bassist of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. It was hard for me to focus but I couldn't lose the opportunity to have these two great musicians on 'Within The Mind'. Their performances for Chuck's [Schuldiner] memory transcend the difficult circumstances I recorded them under.
"I also want to take a moment to express my sadness about the passing of Piggy [of VOIVOD]. I have no words that haven't already been spoken more eloquently than I can manage at this moment. I was given the first two albums as a gift and when number three, 'Killing Technology', came out I was at the store the day it was released. Some months later I stood outside at Janis Landing in St. Petersburg to see the tour and buy the T-shirt. Piggy was, and is, an inspiration."
Former VOIVOD members Jean-Yves Theriault (a.k.a. Blacky) and Eric Forrest were among the attendees at the funeral services for VOIVOD guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who died last Friday (Aug. 26) in a Montreal hospital from complications of advanced colon cancer. The services were held Thursday morning (September 1) in Jonquière, Quebec and were capped off by a symbolic guitar-burning, with the remnants of the guitar being placed in the Sable river.
As previously reported, surviving VOIVOD members — singer Denis "Snake" Belanger, bassist Jason Newsted (ex-METALLICA) and drummer Michel "Away" Langevin — will return to the recording studio in late September to resume work on their 14th album, tentatively due in early 2006 via The End Records.
Only hours before he slipped into a coma last week due to complications from colon cancer, D'Amour gave Langevin instructions to go to the guitarist's personal computer and lift the final guitar tracks Piggy had been working on for the upcoming CD. According to Snake, the album will be "the definitive VOIVOD" effort. "I am sure that Piggy would trust us to complete the project as a tribute to him."
VOIVOD drummer Michel "Away" Langevin has told Montreal's La Presse that the group are planning on releasing an album of new material written prior to the passing of VOIVOD guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour. "Denis asked us to utilize the tracks he had recorded [during the pre-production process for the new CD]," Langevin said. "He wanted us to complete the album as a tribute to him."
Only two months ago, D'Amour was in the studio working on VOIVOD's 14th album. More than two dozen tracks are believed to have been demoed for the CD, for which the group recently inked a deal with The End Records. However, the band were forced to put studio work on hold while bassist Jason Newsted (ex-METALLICA) was treated for tendonitis.
In a recent interview with Billboard.com, Newsted spoke about the material slated to appear on the group's next CD. "It's the most complete demos I've ever been involved in," he said. "[VOIVOD singer] Snake has already chosen his effects — exact timing of milliseconds for delay. We've had a long time to develop the demos, so there's about 23 or 25 songs that are absolutely listenable right now."
VOIVOD will be issuing their first DVD in October covering the band's original lineup period (1983-1991). Scheduled for release on October 25 via Music Video Distributors, "DVOD-1" features all the '80s videos, plus rare live and studio performances of classic VOIVOD songs. The band are also tentatively planning on releasing two more DVDs during the coming months. "DVOD-2" will contain footage shot during the Eric Forrest era of the band, while "DVOD-3" will cover the band's most recent lineup, including Newsted (a.k.a. Jasonic).
This past spring, D'Amour laid down guitar tracks for a reunion CD from the legendary AUT'CHOSE, a '70s band from Montreal. That album, "Chansons D'épouvante", was released in May via Disques Artic.
VOIVOD drummer Michel "Away" Langevin has issued the following statement regarding the passing of VOIVOD guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour:
"Last week has been very tough on me, as I spent it at the hospital with Denis. We had been musical partners since 1979 in high school, and it will be a hard task for me to cope with his departure.
"I would like to thank: All the Voivodians who sent kind words via email; Julie (the angel) for taking care of Denis the past few months; the D'Amour family, for their strength; Jason and Snake, always the ones to bring a smile on Piggy's face; Gilles Gravel, Denis' oldest friend, for the contructive thoughts and positive presence in the hospital room; my friends from AUT'CHOSE, for respecting my inner suffering at Saturday's show in Quebec City; The End, for believing in us. Thanks also to Trish, Annie, James and Yuri for the eternal support. My apologies to the ones I'm forgetting right now.
"Staring at Mars after the show, I couldn't stop thinking that Piggy is now achieving an old dream of ours: touring the Universe!
"Adieu Denis, mon ami..."
Kataklysm has posted this message on their website for Voivod guitarist, Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who passed away on Friday:
It's with great sadness that we have learned today that Denis aka "Piggy" has passed away. The impact of his guitar influence was felt worldwide. His work in VOIVOD opened the doors to many metal bands in Canada and gave all of us hope for better things in this scene. He was the nicest guy you could meet and the most humble person you could talk too. We are sad to see you go brother but your legacy will live forever. We will see you on the other side.
Our best wishes go out to all in the D'Amour family and to our Canadian metal godfathers VOIVOD. Stay strong, and as we say back home... "Lachez pas les gars"!!
From all in Kataklysm.
According to VOIVOD vocalist Denis "Snake" Belanger:
"Yesterday, Friday 26th at 23:45, Piggy passed away.
I would like to thank all of you for all the good words and encouragments you gave Denis during his battle. I will keep you posted for funeral details."
Former Voivod bassist Jean-Yves (Blacky) Theriault has issued the following statement:
"Life does not always turn out the way you expect. Mine and the lives of many of my friends from Jonquiere were certainly influenced by one specific person, Denis D'Amour. He was a mentor and a hero for many of us. He was my best friend.
I have dreaded the arrival of this day for a while now. My old bandmate is gone. He passed away last night at peace with himself and without pain. Until the very end he was both a sweetheart and a real rocker, without compromise.
I am so grateful that I had the chance to let him know how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. Denis did not live to see his last artistic effort released but the rest of us will appreciate it all the more.
Long live Denis D'Amour. Long live Piggy."
As previously reported, Voivod guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour had been battling advanced colon cancer which spread to his liver. Denis was 45 years old.
Quebec City newspaper Le Soleil is reporting that VOIVOD guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour is suffering from advanced colon cancer — so advanced that the disease has spread to his liver — and is currently resting in the palliative care ward at a Montreal hospital, surrounded by family and friends.
D'Amour, who was reportedly diagnosed with colon cancer earlier in the summer, first entered the hospital for a routine operation, but several complications led his doctors to suspect more problems. Then the grim verdict was revealed: the cancer, already too advanced, would be inoperable.
Only two months ago, D'Amour was in the studio working on two albums — the 14th album from the Canadian thrash-metal pioneers VOIVOD, plus a reunion CD from the legendary AUT'CHOSE, a '70s band from Montreal.
"Our good friend and guitar hero Denis D'Amour is very ill," his bandmates Denis "Snake" Bélanger, Michel "Away" Langevin, and Jason "Jasonic" Newsted write on their web site. "We are helping Denis in every way that we can to feel comfortable while he fights to get healthy."
D'Amour's current condition casts doubt on the status of the projects he was working on before his hospitalization. AUT'CHOSE are still scheduled to appear at L'Imperial in Quebec City this Saturday (August 27). Martin Dupuis will once again replace the man he considers an idol. The group's new album, for which D'Amour had already completed his tracks, is slated for a summer 2006 release.
For VOIVOD, however, things are less certain. Work on a new album had begun, but according to a Le Soleil source, the CD had not reached an advanced stage of completion. The band was forced to put studio work on hold while bassist Jason Newsted was treated for tendonitis.
Voivod has posted the following message on their website regarding their guitarist, Denis D'Amour:
Our good friend and guitar hero Denis D'Amour aka Piggy is very ill. We are helping Denis in every way that we can to feel comfortable while he fights to get healthy. Denis is a very private person and does not want to make a big deal about his illness, so we will not be able to answer questions about his condition or give any other details at this time. We appreciate your understanding.
Please feel welcome to send any notes, good words and positive vibes to Piggy at one or both of the following contacts and we will make sure he gets to read them.
Subject: "Get Well Piggy"
Attn: Denis "Piggy" D'Amour
454 Las Gallinas Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94903-3618
In a recent interview with Billboard.com, Jason Newsted talked about the upcoming Voivod records via The End Records. A few excerpts from the article:
"It's the most complete demos I've ever been involved in," he says. "[Voivod singer] Snake has already chosen his effects -- exact timing of milliseconds for delay. We've had a long time to develop the demos, so there's about 23 or 25 songs that are absolutely listenable right now."
Like Metallica, Newsted was a huge fan of Voivod before he was invited to join and he remains a great admirer to this day. "They created something a long, long time ago that may have been emulated many, many times since -- but nobody can do it like the original," he offers.
Read the full article at Billboard.com.
Legendary Canadian metallers VOIVOD, now featuring former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted (a.k.a. Jasonic), have inked a U.S. deal with The End Records. The band will enter the studio in the fall of 2005 to begin recording their 11th studio album, tentatively due in early 2006.
Drummer Michel Langevin (a.k.a. Away) has confirmed that the band have completed the writing of the follow-up to 2003's "Voivod", describing the material as containing "a bit of an eerie vibe, with experimental vocals by Snake, spiralling solos by Piggy and heaviness courtesy of Jasonic!"
Regarding the new partnership, VOIVOD said in a statement: "We are very proud to join The End Records in their quest to promote progressive heavy music. A perfect home for a band like VOIVOD."
VOIVOD drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin) has posted the following message on the group's official web site:
We are finally done with the writing of the album.
The songs have a bit of an eerie vibe, with experimental vocals by Snake, spiralling solos by Piggy and heaviness courtesy of Jasonic!
All the '80s archives have been transfered to beta and sent to Eclectic DVD for our first DVD release.
I'd like to thank MusiquePlus, Ed Seaman, Jean-Francois Labrecque, Jeff Wagner and Ronald Mc Gregor for their contribution.
I'm still in the process of scanning hundreds of drawings for my book, to be released on Troubleman Unlimited.
All this work will result in a barrage of Voivodian material coming out in the next months.
Thanks again for your patience.
P.S.: In the latest issue of Metal Hammer U.K.: A three-page story about the making of 'Dimension Hatross', by our longtime friend Malcolm Dome. This album was crucial in the sense that Harris Johns, producer/sound experimentalist introduced me to the Akai S-9000 sampler and the Roland Octapad. Suddenly my range of spooky sounds was much wider. Some of these noises can be heard on 'Tribal Convictions' and 'Brain Scan', among others. Piggy also told me that he learned from Harris some very inventive ways to use his own multi-effects processor, which also expanded his possibilities. Much credit goes to Harris Johns for the industrial metal revolution!
A live video of E-FORCE performing the track "Satanic Rituals" at this year's Raismes Fest has been posted online at this location: http://www.recordfinder.com/eforce/mp3/E-Force_-_Satanic_Rituals.mpg (.mpg, 44.4 MB).
As previously reported, E-FORCE will be teaming up with CARPATHIAN FOREST, TSJUDER and WYKKED WYTCH for a European tour beginning in early February.
E-FORCE is the new band fronted by former VOIVOD bassist/vocalist Eric Forrest. The group's current lineup is rounded out by Dennis Rousell (guitar), Krof (drums) and Jerome Point (lead guitar). The band's debut album, "Evil Forces", was released in October 2003 via France's Season Of Mist. It was recorded at Wild Studio in St-Zenon, Quebec, Canada with producer Pierre Rémillard (CRYPTOPSY, KATAKLYSM, GORGUTS, KRISIUN)
The following update was posted on the official Voivod website:
Attention! Attention! Attention! All friends in the Multiverse.
The Voivod is alive and well in the land of ice. Currently, there are approximately 25 songs in progress for the next recordings. Mssr. Piggy is churning up evil with some very metal riffage and leading the way as we are charting our course of execution for the months ahead.
As of now, we plan to return to the same rooms with the same helmsman of the Nothingface era. (Translation: Away, Snake, Piggy, and Jasonic make some serious new Voivodian noise in Montreal with Glen Robinson producing.) This is our dream, this is our quest.
So, as the world spins faster everyday, we will make our music, our way, when everything aligns. In time, the Voivod again will rise! Listen closely for the cries...in 2005...
We look forward to sharing the metal with our people. Until we see you...
Keep It Heavy,
P.S. Check out the 20th Anniversary "War and Pain" release from Metal Blade. Awesome true old school!
The trailer for the forthcoming Get Thrashed documentary has been put online here. The documentary will include interviews by the following artists:
METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, EXODUS, GODSMACK, DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, DEATH ANGEL, SHADOWS FALL, MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STONE SOUR, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, LAMB OF GOD, VIO-LENCE, KREATOR, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, VOIVOD, CHIMAIRA, BIOHAZARD, FOZZY/WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, SEPULTURA, KITTIE, THE HAUNTED, D.R.I., SOILWORK, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, HEATHEN, Brian Slagel, Jon & Marsha Zazula, authors Ian Christe (Sound of the Beast) and Steven Blush (American Hardcore), NY metal radio DJ Eddie Trunk, Rampage Radio's Ron Quintana and featuring the music of unsigned bands: EXIT TO ETERNITY, OSMIUM, CONCRETE COFFIN, VISCID, NOCTURNAL FEAR, KAOS, RESPONSE NEGATIVE, ULYSSES SIREN
The following guest musicians will be appearing on MC Necro's new album, "The Pre-Fix For Death":
Jamey Jasta and Sean Martin of Hatebreed , #0 of Slipknot aka DJ Starscream (Sid Wilson), Trever Perez of Obituary, Away of Voivod, Dan Lilker of Nuclear Assault, S.O.D., Brutal Truth, and Danny Diablo of Crown of Thorns, Scarhead.
Necro's official biography says the following: More...
Years before officially joining VOIVOD, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted (a.k.a. Jasonic) jammed with Away (drums) and Piggy (guitar) at Jason's The Chophouse studio under the project name TARRAT. In 1998, the three VOIVOD instrumentalists regrouped at The Chophouse for five days of improvisational metal. These sessions produced tons of great sounds, including the initial structure of the song "M-Body" (which can be found on the VOIVOD LP "Phobos") as well as this recording entitled "One Reason", featuring the vocal stylings of Sophia Ramos. Taped a few months after TARRAT had laid down their music tracks, her vocals added a distinctive and unexpected touch of class to the original composition. Check out a two-minute clip in Real Audio format at this location.
Former OZZY OSBOURNE and current VOIVOD bassist Jason Newsted has checked in via the Chophouse Studios newsletter. Here's what he had to say:
"I would like to thank the Osbournes for including VOIVOD in their tours this year. I am honored to have had the privilege to share the stage with Ozzy, Zach and Mike through a very successful summer. It was a blast playing old BLACK SABBATH songs with this band!
My agreement with the Osbournes was to play bass for the gigs that Ozzy had committed to through December 2003. I wish Ozzy the best as he continues to fly the flag for metal!
I am excited to be back making new music with VOIVOD. The Chophouse studio is fired up and ready for the creation of the next album."