VOIVOD's AWAY On Rise Of Grunge In Early 1990s: 'We Could Feel The Wind Changing'

November 1, 2022

Drummer Michel Langevin (a.k.a. Away) of Canadian progressive sci-fi metal innovators VOIVOD spoke to the "When Words Fail…Music Speaks" podcast about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting.

"When we toured with FAITH NO MORE and SOUNDGARDEN in 1990 across North America, we could already feel the wind changing with the new alternative rock becoming more and more popular," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Even the [movement] of the crowd was different; it was not a mosh pit — it was like a big wave. So we felt like something was coming which really sort of, I guess, influenced us into writing 'Angel Rat' — more of an alternative metal album. But when NIRVANA released 'Nevermind', I think the heavy metal bands probably felt like [what] all the bands from the '60s felt like when THE BEATLES showed up. We were, like, 'Okay, this is really something fresh.' A new decade, a new generation. And this took everything by storm. But we really embraced it. I really love the band [NIRVANA] and the music and all that."

He added: "So, yeah, I think the grunge movement is definitely something that hadn't happened in a long time… [NIRVANA] released 'Nevermind' in '91, and it was a new era."

Five years ago, Langevin was asked in an interview with RockSverige for his memories of Chris Cornell, having spent time on the road with the singer more than three decades ago as part of the aforementioned tour with SOUNDGARDEN and FAITH NO MORE.

"I was speechless and may people phoned me and wanted me to express my point of view on Chris's passing and I couldn't," Away said. "I said, 'There's nothing I can say right now.' First of all, he was very reserved and chilled and very quiet. On stage, he was the best frontman I've ever seen and he was actually the originator of, like, breaking everything and climbing everywhere, before Eddie Vedder started climbing and Kurt Cobain started banging stuff. Chris was doing that, so he was a pioneer for sure. Not to mention his incredible voice and presence, but he was also a very good friend. We traded art and he did a painting for me during the 1990 tour and right now I have a hard time looking at it. It's pretty intense. I met him a couple of times over the years in Montreal when he came there solo or with SOUNDGARDEN, and we did not necessarily keep in touch, but I went to see him and he was always super nice."

VOIVOD will release a new EP, "Ultraman", on November 4 via Century Media Records. The effort features a highly original tribute to the "Ultraman" TV series theme as well as previously unreleased bonus live cuts, available both as a 12-inch vinyl EP or as a digital EP.

The "Ultraman" EP will be released in perfect timing for VOIVOD's return to European stages as special guests for Swedish progressive metal/rock group OPETH on their "Evolution XXX" tour.

VOIVOD's 15th studio album, "Synchro Anarchy" was released in February 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 Langevin.

Find more on Voivod
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).