Interviews: Voodu

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Metal/Electronic/Hip-Hop band Voodu from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Eddie: When we formed in June of 2021 we were all trying to think of a name that was ambiguous and brief. We wanted something vague enough that a Jazz Fusion band or House producer could have the same name and still make sense for them, while still maintaining the dark visceral nature of our sound. I was listening to “Resurrection Man” by Lamb Of God one day and heard a line Randy Blythe wrote that resonated with me. In the song, he says “I’m a shadow of your brightest dreams. A horse for Baron Samedi. Pure voodoo economic hell. I’ve come to pick your carcass clean.” I immediately understood the metaphor and how it pertained to us. He’s referring to the “fuckery” (for lack of a better term) that is used in our economic system to bleed the little man as well as our planet for financial gain. The tactics used are like voodoo or witchcraft. Money is accumulated either through financial manipulation or through the means of sacrificing on a metaphorical altar. We aren’t exclusively a political band, but that concept of “fuckery” relates to so many topics we touch upon. Whether it be manipulation of one person from another, possession by an addiction and the games it plays on your mind, people abusing power to gain something from them, or algorithms that feed you more of what you want at the expense of placing you in an echo chamber. It became clear to me that “voodoo” was the ultimate metaphor for the topics we discuss… And we didn’t feel the name “Fuckery” would play well to a large audience haha. Somewhat not as intentional were the literal origins of voodoo as a practice as well. It is a hybrid blend of the religious practices of the Fon people of West Africa with Catholicism. Our sound is very much a blend of many subgenres of Metal and Electronic music… And I’m sure you’ve heard, “Hybrid Theory” was already taken. 

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Eddie: To be totally honest, I don’t know how well we fit in the box of metal music, but we certainly hope we do because it is very much in every member of our band’s DNA. We all grew up listening to metal. It was and is the most important genre for all of us musicians. The range of metal we listen to spans every subgenre you can possibly throw in there. From stuff that just barely meets the criteria to be called metal, to the heaviest and most brutal metal bands that exist. We’re probably closer to the former. Some of our songs are structured more like house music or 70’s R&B, but even in those songs, you can hear the influence of bands like Children Of Bodom, Rammstein, Slipknot, Behemoth, Lamb Of God, Nevermore, Arch Enemy, and Trivium. All of our other influences are much more subtle, but the foundation of our sound is rooted deeply in metal. We’re all talented enough musicians that we could have chosen to play any genre we wanted, but the love we all have for metal makes us feel a NEED to play this type of music.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Eddie: Not at all. haha, I was an actor prior to forming this band, Vinny had just moved down to LA from Seattle. We stole Paul from like four other bands in the area, Ollie was DJing clubs playing EDM, and Sean was just playing bass in his room like the little virtuoso he is. Our coming together was the happiest accident that ever happened to all of us. We pretty much formed only by chance through the website band mix and downtime as a byproduct of the tail end of the pandemic.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Eddie: I’d have to say Slipknot or Rammstein. It’s a toss-up. I love them both for different reasons.

Paul: Bring Me The Horizon

Ollie: Bring Me The Horizon

Vinny: Pantera

Sean: Mudvayne

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Eddie: For me, it’s a compulsion. Even when acting was my primary focus, I had been writing music “to keep me sane” for years. Some songs we play I wrote the bulk of back in 2015 and 2017. Many of the great classical composers of the past inspired me to work on the craft of songwriting more thoroughly. Composers like Chopin, Ligeti, Rachmaninov, Vivaldi, Grieg, Beethoven, Bach, and Clipper Erickson showed me that you can always improve, and you can always develop further. Whether that be as a songwriter/composer, or even on an individual song, there’s always more you can do to develop something and perfect it without “paralysis by analysis” taking effect.

6. Where was your last gig?

Eddie: Our last gig was at Molly Malone’s in Hollywood. Before that, we played The Viper Room on Sunset Blvd for the first time and they asked for us to come back in December at a later time slot right before they close and renovate it.

7. Where would you like to act?

Eddie: I mean… the sky's the limit. We would LOVE to play some massive festival like Knotfest or Wacken. I’ve always wanted to play at the Reading Festival in the UK or let our music take us to places and play for audiences across the world in places like Japan, Brazil, The UK, Mexico, Sweden, and Germany. I’d love to play in The Netherlands, where my grandmother is from, and play in front of my family that’s still over there.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Eddie: I mean, who wouldn’t want to feature with bands like Slipknot, Metallica, Rammstein, Korn, Nine Inch Nails, Lamb Of God, etc. The tremendous honor it would be to play with bands that important in our genre… It would be a dream come true. Outside of our genre, I’d love to play with artists like deadmau5, Rezz, Jamie xx, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Joey Bada$$, Hans Zimmer, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, David Allan Coe, Massive Attack.

9. Whom not?

Eddie: Ahh, the hard question to answer. You know, I can think of one band that has earned my ire. I don’t think I would ever want to play with Maroon 5… I know, shocking. But you know, my reasoning for that extends beyond the fact that Adam Levine is a fucking dickhead that has nothing good to say about our genre, and seems to think our fanbase has no space for attractive women. (Which, by the way, sex appeal isn’t a criterion anyone should have a preference for in their fans. It says a lot about that guy’s values.) But I also hate that their first album was actually GOOD! They hit success, and boom, he immediately sells out and starts appealing to “what’s trendy”. Their music goes from something real, with the soul behind it, to feel like it was written in a boardroom with shareholders weighing in on it. They make it on the merit of their sound, and then throw away every ounce of integrity they had and become corporate shills. He cares less about the integrity of his music and more about who he’s going to share a quinoa salad with at Soho House. So that would be my answer. I wouldn’t care to play with them, and if we did, we’d be sure to put on a show that either leaves their set in the dust or makes it absolutely impossible to follow us.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Eddie: I think stage fright is always going to be something that sits with an artist, and I think if it doesn’t it might be a bad thing. You don’t want it to paralyze you obviously. That isn’t good. But a few nerves right before you go on for me is a good thing. It means you’re still excited to do this. You want the set to go well and for the fans to love it. If you’re totally numb to that sensation then what’s the point of even doing it? That’s why we don’t like to “numb ourselves out” before a show either. Be in the moment, and embrace that fear. Take it on head first and use that energy as a means to unleash hell. You can get drinks and have fun later, but at the moment, be present and sober so it’s tight and intense.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Eddie: The most obvious one we get is Linkin Park, and we don’t shy away from that at all. It’s very obvious in my voice Chester was a huge inspiration for me. It would be far stranger for me to not acknowledge that. They paved the way for artists like us who seek to blend electronic music with metal. In that same breath, Rammstein and Slipknot did the same thing. They took elements from a wide range of genres and seamlessly blended them into their sounds. Compositionally, the band that stands out for me is Children Of Bodom. Alexi was a true composer and could blend these beautiful melodic motifs with a brutal and relentless sound that hit like a ton of bricks. Lamb Of God is also an inspiration for us in navigating through several grooves within the span of one song. (I mean, our name came from one of their songs, so it’s a given). Lastly, and perhaps most surprisingly, deadmau5 is a huge influence on our sound. Joel is a master of chord progressions, and counter melodies, and even utilizes things like polymers in a way that could impress a Meshuggah fan. Artists like him and Trent from Nine Inch Nails always inspire me to come up with something unique and new on a synthesizer as well.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Eddie: I was truly flattered that one young lady that saw us play asked to have my babies. I had to respectfully decline the offer.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Eddie: Our fans never cease to amaze me with how loyal and passionate they are. We are very much at the phase where we are trying to build a fanbase from the ground up. Not many people have heard of us yet. Our first single has only just come out. But the fans we do have already, are some of the most badass, ride-or-die people I have had the good fortune of meeting. From the diehard metalhead fan that loves us even if we aren’t the heaviest thing they’ve ever heard, to the “I don’t normally like music with heavy guitars, but I LOVE this.” fans. The fact that we can appeal to both of those groups and that they can both agree that they love what we do brings me and the fellas a sense of joy I can’t possibly compare to anything else. I am so grateful to them, and as our fan base grows, and more people join our little family, I will never forget the ones who gave us a chance right at the beginning when they had nothing to judge us on other than our merit. I want as many people as possible to be a part of this with us. Voodu isn’t just the five of us. It’s us five, and our fans, and we’re all one big family. No matter how much success comes our way, if we’re lucky enough for that to be the case, that will never change.

14. What do you think of our site?

Eddie: I think it is such a cool thing that a website like yours would give a new band like ours the time of day to be heard. It’s so hard to stand out and get your music heard by the world today. The age of the internet has made the ability to get your music out there so much easier, but with that ease has come to an ocean of artists all trying to be heard, and it can feel like screaming into the void. For a consumer, seeking new music from new artists, it can feel like you’re swimming in a sea of shit trying to find anything worth calling a treasure. I think websites like yours help bring those two groups together. Fans seeking new music from good artists can discover bands like ours, that are truly worth hearing, and bring us together. You’re helping us build that family I mentioned earlier, and in doing so that makes you guys and the other bands you feature in our family as well. So thank you for that.

15. Something to add?

Eddie: I truly believe, marrow-deep, that our music and what we stand for as a band, has something of great value to offer people. There is aggression, sadness, anger, raw visceral emotion, and tongue-in-cheek humor at times, it’s real. It’s not trying to numb you out and make you complacent. It’s intended to make you FEEL something. Work out those inner demons. Fight the internal AND external battles we all face as human beings. Give you a sense of feeling heard, feeling understood, knowing you’re not alone in this world. That there are others, just like you, fighting the same battles every day. You can all come together and unite under the banner of a band that gives a fuck about you and is going to go through that journey with you every step of the way. We’ll never phone it in, and we’ll never sell out or cash in. We’re in this all the way and want as many people on this journey with us as possible.

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