VOODOO DIAMOND

VOODOO DIAMOND impressed me enough to wanting to interview them. Answers by Filipe Martins, guitars and vox. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-Our very first EP was called “Blindfolded” because that was exactly how we felt! At the time we were 4 “office” guys getting together after work and jamming original songs. Each member with a taste ranging from folk, to rock, to metal to death metal. We were finding ourselves musically and recorded an EP that was basically that, the search for a sound. As we evolved the following year we recorded a second a self-titled EP with 3 songs. It was faster and heavier than the previous EP but there was still something missing. To be honest, I (Filipe) never really believed we had what it takes to be a metal band. Metal is something we all love, but it is a genre that your musical proficiency needs to be top-notch. State of the art. So we kept practising, our instruments, vocals and finally came up with the album that is about to debut. That is why the album is called “Darkness Becomes it” because it is the path we decided to adopt! It is fast, heavy, a mix of screams with cleans. But more than metal, our vision is to become a medium to a message and we think is well present in our lyrics.

Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-Not really, we all met in London and our band is London based, but we are all mixed and all come from different places. Filipe and Alex are Portuguese, Doug is Kiwi (half Japanese). Thanks to globalization all places are cool places!

When you release an album that gets pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-Well, this will be our first album so… 😀 But to be honest, following what Bjorn from ABBA said once, you should always keep inovating, and evolving as an artist. In his words, your next hit should not be a plain copy of the previous one. We agree and think the fans deserve that. They deserve our utmost commitment to keep improving and raising the bar.

What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-Well with us the method is pretty simple. Filipe writes all the songs and then Alex adjusts the melodies to his singing style and writes lyrics (if the song doesn’t have any). Doug then lays the bass on top and sometimes comes up with overdub ideas, piano fills, etc…

I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-We did see it indeed (amazing documentary btw, very nostalgic also)! hm… “What is it about analogue that you don’t get with digital” We seriously wish we could answer this question but we lack the technical side of it haha! We never recorded analogue and quite honestly I don’t think we ever will, unless of course if we win the lottery 😀 Analogue recording is very VERY expensive and since we are not exactly purists, we would rather do 3 digitally recorded albums than 1 analogue album. Also with digital, you have the ability to do guitar tracking and bass at home, send parts to each other, etc… and it is much much more cost effective! Do people notice the difference between both? Well, we wish someone did a “Pepsi Challenge” on that one! 😉

What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-When it gets closer to the release date you do wonder, but you can’t really think too much about if people will like it. The important thing (pre-launching) is how do we (as a band) feel about it. In Portugal we say: “you can’t please both Greeks and Trojans” so with that mindset we know some people will like it some others won’t, so as long as we as a band hear the final product and feel proud, happy and think it’s something we want to hear in our cars and that’s our absolute best, the air in our skin lifts up when we hear the songs, then we are happy! All we can do after that is hope that the people feel the same way we did at that point in time.

How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-The lyrics are MEGA IMPORTANT! When you write music, your intention is to reach as many people as possible, so why not take that opportunity to really spread a message and say something you feel passionate about, or make a stand about something. May that be love (because that’s a universal glue), or about the society that surrounds us, something that marked us and deserves to be shared with other people. We’re a metal band, so we don’t have to care about repeating one word throughout the entire song to make it a hook so we can sell records! 😉 That is one big difference between metal and pop! What we say, we mean it!

Ever since I first got into metal the artwork has been the main motivator in buying a record. What part does artwork for album covers play in the world of the band?
-Album covers are good and like the lyrics, they need to also convey a message that describes the band and forms a “theme” for the album. However, it’s not our main focus. We rather spend our money on the songs and the music; hence why we do our covers ourselves. We come up with a design in mind, load up photoshop and off we go!! 😀 (Thank God for youtube) 😀

When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Well… we don’t tour much… We all have jobs and the time we have to play music live is very limited but we do notice that with every single we release people get more and more interested. They enquire more about gigs, and actually come haha, subscribe on social media, etc! 😀

What do you see in the future?
-Another album, hopefully funded by something or someone! Because that’s what this band is all about for us, making music!

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