Friday, March 13, 2015

vod Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

vod is a one-man band based on bass guitar and improvisation as driving forces. It all started in August 2014 when I wanted to push the boundaries of down-tuning to the max. The album deciduus - free on bandcamp - was recorded with the low B string of my bass dropped 7 full tones, to A00, one octave lower than A0, for the majority of the songs. A bit of this stayed for ᑑᕐᖓᐃᑦ (Tuurngait): the basses are in drop A (A0), but an octaver is used on the ‘bass-bass’ track so that the sub-bass frequencies are still present. Playing on a string dropped down 7 tones kinda restricts the things you can do.

2.So far you have released an ep and have also recorded a full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
First, the album ‘deciduus’ was released, like I said, to make the most absurd down-tuned band ever, and it was supposed to end there, hence the name of the last track: ‘the end’. However, I found myself quite liking the opportunity I had with that project to create music all by myself, with no need for other people’s work. I work quite quickly, and deciduus took me less than two days to record, produce, and release, entirely. In the beginning of winter, or late fall, I wanted to make an album about winter, because it’s a season I really like and it has some sort of mystic aura around it, so I improvised and recorded Tuurngait. It took me around 5 days to do so, but I wanted it to sound more professional than deciduus so I found Jon on a music forum. He’s really talented and our visions of music are parallel so it was a charm working with him on the mix. The only thing is that it made the album’s release be pushed back to March, and then April, but it will totally be worth it. Also for this album, I searched a bit on the web and found April’s drawings, and immediately fell in love with her art. So I sent her a message and she agreed to work on the album art for Tuurngait. That’s why you can see the awesome cover art.
After I finished recording Tuurngait, I wanted to make a short ‘Anti-Christmas’ album, since Christmas is just about overconsumption and equates money spent with how much you love your children. I decided to honour the old Pagan ritual Jul (or Yule). I used runes for the titles because I like to do things differently
Finally, in early 2015, I began a compilation, ∅, where I would put silly and fun stuff that I record. Up to now, I’ve covered the Adventure Time opening song, the Epic Sax Guy who was a popular meme a few years ago, the Can’t Hug Every Cat by songify this, and This Sick Beat™.

3.What are some of the themes and concepts you bring out with your musical sound?
On deciduus, I wanted to make a horror-themed album, because I thought it fitted nicely the 'super-low-tuned string hitting violently on the fretboard' sound. I made a cover of Richard Wagner’s prelude to Rheingold, the first part of his epic opera The Ring, just because it’s the longest classical piece of drone in the common repertoire. It’s tuned in Eb00, which is even lower than the A00 used on the rest of the album.
On ᛃᚢᛚ (Yule), I wrote about Odin, and Sleipnir, which is believed to have served as inspiration for Rudolp the red-nosed reindeer, the gods Njor and Freyr, a short prayer on a King, and the last song is about grief.
On ᑑᕐᖓᐃᑦ (Tuurngait), like I said, winter, cold, and other things related serve as the concept of the album. The Inuit mythology and syllabary also help in that regard.
On my two full-length albums, I do subtle references to a certain anime, but that’s a secret!

4.The song titles are written in symbols, can you tell us a little bit about what these symbols mean?

Those symbols are the Inuktitut syllabary. The title of the album ᑑᕐᖓᐃᑦ (Tuurngait) means, loosely translated, a ghost, or spirit. In the order of the album, the song titles mean alone, cold, sunset, fire, night, northern lights, air, and soul. It’s all loosely translated, however. There are no real equivalent between the two languages.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'vod’?

vod is simply ‘void’ without ‘I’.

6.The band is considered as a solo project but there are band members listed, is this done for more of a live setting?

No, the band members listed helped on recording the album. François helped with backing vocals, Jon mixed and mastered, and also added a big bunch of effects, Nicolas recorded trumpet, Laurence some vocals, and April did the artwork. I’m planning on building up a live band, too, but for now there’s nothing made.

7.On the album the bass took over fro the guitars, are you planning on using guitars in the future or do you prefer to keep the bass guitar as a lead instrument?

I’ll keep bass as the main instrument. I don’t think there will ever be guitars in vod, except bass guitars.

8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

9.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

I would love to, but it’s always quite difficult to work with a band involving more than just one person. Everybody’s got their priorities. I’m trying hard to build something right now, but only time will tell if I will be successful.

10.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

I am not looking for one. I would be interested in it if I keep all my artistic and creative freedom in the process.

11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of underground music?

It’s been surprisingly positive! I did the music for myself, first and foremost, and I’m glad to see that other weirdos like the same stuff I do.

12.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

I would love to keep making music as I am now. I wouldn’t like to make music my main source of revenue, because I would most probably have to make music with ‘fans’ or ‘sells’ in mind, and I would hate that. If I have a steady money income besides music, I can do whatever I want, and keep making weird music like I love to.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I didn’t have really anything in mind when I recorded vod’s albums. I just tried to think about the theme I was centered around, either horror or winter/cold, and let music happen. In the end, I’m aware that all that I’ve ever listened to and what I’m listening to at the moment plays a big role in how I will sound like, but I didn’t keep this music particularly in mind. Lately, I just received Alkaloid’s new album, bought Entheos’ EP, received Becca Stevens Band’s new album, as well as Tigran Hamasyan’s one. There is so much great music coming out!
14.What are some of your non musical interests?

I like science, video games, astronomy, I do sports and would like to begin martial arts soon. I also read, but much less than what I used to. I have a music blog called Can This Even Be Called Music?, focusing on small, independent and innovating bands.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Make music for yourself. That’s how real innovation will come.

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