Denis “Snake” Belanger on the new Voivod album “Lost Machine – Live”: interview

Album cover for "Lost Machine" by Voivod

Despite the pandemic, Voivod has been keeping busy this year. The band released an EP called The End of Dormancy in July, played a quarantine live stream in August, and is releasing its third live album, Lost Machine – Live, later this month.

“It was a really good capture. We were on fire,” Denis “Snake” Belanger told me about the live album. The Quebec City gig that the band recorded for the record was the last show of a long touring schedule.

“It was a flawless show. It was going so well. No mistakes. It was almost like a magical night, you know? Everything flows really well.”

Voivod is releasing a new live album even though the band already has two other live albums, a live EP, and a live DVD in its discography. Snake said the band wanted to give fans “something to put their hands on” during the pandemic. “And so we wanted to please the fans, you know?” he said.

“I’m pretty excited about. Because of the COVID thing, it’s just kind of weird and there’s no shows anywhere, and I just can’t wait to get back on it. And I’m sure people are dying now to see shows. So I guess you put the record and you close your eyes, and you can feel that you’re there or something.”

As we blogged about last month, Voivod released two live music videos to promote the album, both with excellent live footage and featuring innovative animation by Jaan Silmberg, who added drummer Michel “Away” Langevin’s artwork to the live action.

“Yeah, it’s totally cool, eh? I was quite surprised when I saw it,” Snake said. “He put out his own artistic side to it, and I think it’s fantastic when it happens, you pay someone to do a certain job and he comes up with something completely awesome.” [laughs]

The videos were directed by Felipe Belalcazar of Mental Pictures, who is currently working on a Voivod documentary. Years ago, Sam Dunn of Banger Films also started work on a Voivod documentary and released a trailer in 2006, but apparently dropped the project at some point after.

I can safely speak for all Voivod fans in that we were pretty disappointed that Dunn’s film was never completed and released.

“I was quite disappointed myself as well,” Snake said. “Especially with the loss of Piggy, it would be great to, kind of like, get this footage out and maybe use some of that stuff and put it somewhere else.” He added, “It was going well.”

Still, Voivod is looking ahead with more plans. Back in August, the band teamed up with Sony Music, Heavy Montreal, and Studio RadicArt to stream an elaborate live in-studio full set. The band even paused and took fan questions during the performance. Snake revealed the guys might do another quarantine live stream, perhaps in early 2021.

“It’s a funny thing to do. It’s complicated, though. Technically it’s quite something but we managed to do it really good, so we want to repeat the experience.”

About the future, Snake said Voivod wants “to still be creative, and especially with the COVID it’s harder, but we’re gonna try everything that we can to get back to the scene and enjoy ourselves with the fans as soon as possible.”

Sounds good to me. Lost Machine – Live is up for preorder now on digital, CD, and LP from Century Media.

Further reading: Check out our Voivod coverage here at the blog, and an interview with Away from 2010 in archive ‘zine issue #41.

Photo: Voivod’s Facebook page


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