Here we go again… Last year we covered every band on the Hobgoblin New Blood and Jagermeister stages in the run-up to Bloodstock 2015. This year, we’re going one better and aim to have interviews from all the bands on those two stages as well as all of those on the SOPHIE stage prior to the event kicking off on August 11th. That’s almost 100 interviews to get online for you lucky people over the course of the next couple of weeks. I bloody love this job, but you lot owe me a beer at Catton Hall, right?
Thanks to all the bands who’ve taken the time to respond!
Vodun – SOPHIE stage, Saturday
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
The three of us are all based in London, but are from London, Cornwall and New Zealand respectively.
How did you meet?
Chan and Zel met through a previous band Invasion, after Invasion disbanded in around 2010, they went their own separate ways for a while before conspiring back together and forming Vodun. Linz was introduced via a mutual friend at Vodun’s Oya video release show at the Victoria in Dalston – it was the first gig he went to when he moved to London from New Zealand. When the original guitarist left Linz jumped at the chance to join.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
The current line-up have been together for a year and a half. Vodun with original guitarist Ollie (now playing for Ghold) formed in 2012.
Where does the name of the band come from?
Vodun is a religion that’s rooted in totemism, much like many other ancient practices. It is positive at its core and celebrates women in its worship of female Loas or Goddesses. It’s still practiced globally, in various forms, and has many off-shoots or sister religions (Haitian Voodoo, Candomble in Brazil, Ifa, etc.), but unfortunately has always been demonised by the West/Christian Europeans. Obviously when you are naming a band after a religion you have to be careful in the way in which you approach songwriting and lyrical content. Our lyrical concept is tied in with Animism and Vodun, which we find much to draw inspiration from both in terms of content and aesthetic. We seek to celebrate the positive aspects of Vodun however, rather than reinforcing the Western demonization of it.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Our influences stem from far and wide and come from all aspects of music and art, literature and experiences.
Musically, Chan is heavily inspired by soul, R’n’B, classic 80s tunes, highlife.
Zel will listen to anything from punk, rock, metal, pop, soul and feminist rap.
Linz just really likes heavy metal, blues and classic rock.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Heavy afro soul psych. Basically heavy music, tinged with afrobeat and laced with Chan’s soulful vocals makes for the unique blend of music that is Vodun.
What’s your live show like – why should the baying hordes troop over to the stage you’re playing on to watch you?
Our performance is more like a ritual of unleashing our souls, spirits and emotions in a wash of colour and noise – percussion is handed out, sometimes there is literal fire. Hopefully it will be a refreshing change for people to see something a little different from the norm.
When/how did you find out you’d been selected to play at Bloodstock?
Our agent and friend Ben Ward from UTA made the magic happen – he told us a few months back about the offer and we were absolutely stoked! It’s been a bit of a struggle for us as we are such a ‘different’ band, but to have a renowned heavy festival such as Bloodstock invite us to play means that people are really starting to get what we do.
What sort of setlist can we expect?
As we have just released our debut album Possession, a lot of those songs are featured in out set, as well as a couple from an older EP Eat Up The Sun.
Which main stage band do you most hope you’re not clashing with so you can see them play?
Zel loves Mastodon so is happy we definitely won’t be clashing with them! We’ve also heard great things about the new album from Gojira. Checking out new music is also good so we will also be hanging out at the Sophie Lancaster stage for a while before and after we play too.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment we are currently putting ideas forward and getting the wheels in motion for our next music video. Also preparing for upcoming shows; Bloodstock, Desert fest, Hard Rock Hell Stoner VS Doom, Afropunk etc., and we are working on new Vodun material for the next album in between the other musical projects we all have going on.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Driven an hour out of the way to make sure we get some good vegan food for our drummer Zel? Without sounding pretentious – we all like to drink and have a good time on tour, but the ‘wildness’ of rock n roll is a bit cliché.
What advice would you give to a young band just starting out today?
Inspire yourself first, so that no matter the outcome of how your art is received by others, you will always be happy with the art you are creating. If you believe in your art, others will soon see your passion and soul. Music has to be a compulsion rather than a means to an end.
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up who else would you have on the bill? One band above you and one below – a chance to plug a smaller, unsigned act!
Die Antwoord and His Masters Voice (New Zealand).
What stage / time are you playing at Bloodstock (if you have your slot yet!)
We will be playing the Sophie Lancaster stage on the Saturday