Voivod drummer Away was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show, dropping in to promote the band's latest album, Morgoth Tales, which is a career-spanning collection that spools out over multiple lineups and 40 years as a band.

Within the chat, Away shares some of the themes that presented themselves as they served up this collection of sci-fi influenced material that now seems particularly prescient as AI has started weaving its way into the world's fabric.

The drummer also talks about the idea of how the album came together, the returns of Eric Forrest and Jason Newsted on the album and when he realized that Voivod would be his life's journey. Check out the chat in full below.

On the show with us this week, we've got Voivod drummer Away. How are you?

I'm great. Thanks.

Voivod are celebrating 40 eventful years of existence this year with a special anniversary studio album called Morgöth Tales. Morgöth Tales is something of an audio history of Voivod. What were the ground rules when it came to re-recording your past?

Well, we actually started building this project together when we were touring with Opeth in Europe last November and December, and we thought we would pick songs that were more obscure from our catalog, not necessarily what we always play live. Most of the songs we've played live the past few decades have been released on live albums, so we want to concentrate on songs we barely played live or never played live in certain cases.

So, that was the first goal and we also wanted to cover the 40 years of the band. We re-recorded "Condemned to the Gallows," which was the first song we wrote in 1983. And we wrote a new song for this album, which would really cover from 1983 to 2023.

We also wanted the whole album to fit on one vinyl. Instead of covering all the albums, which is way too many, we decided to cover all the different lineups of the band. It was a great challenge and pretty exciting when we finally went into the studio in January to record the songs.

We’re celebrating the release of Morgöth Tales and its sequence in chronological order of original release. What narrative does the timeline of these particular songs say about Voivod?

Well, I think that since we were trying to talk about the destruction of this planet in a sci-fi concept, what I came to realize when the album was put together was that sci-fi has caught up with us in a way more rapidly than I expected actually.

Now, these subjects were we're talking about — how AI controlled high-tech weaponry and all that — we're dealing with it right now. I realized that some of the lyrics were sort of recurring nightmares. At one point, we were talking about Chernobyl and then years later, we're talking about Fukushima or we were talking about the ozone layer and then it's global warming and so on and so on. But we've always been trying to warn people about what we thought would be catastrophic in the future and so now with this album, I realize that we are living it right now.

Voivod, "Morgoth Tales"

Former Voivod bass players Eric Forrest and Jason Newsted both participated in Morgöth Tales. Why was their involvement important to you both musically and personally?

Because I always get in touch with these guys and they're part of the Voivod family and it was interesting and exciting first to see if they would get into it. And when I reached out to them they really got excited immediately and we had to do the recordings separately in respective studios but it allowed us to invite Jason to come onstage with us last May in Fort Lauderdale, and Eric this month at Hellfest in France. So, these were great moments as well.

Voivod have always been an avant-garde collision of punk, thrash and prog. The better you got as musicians, how much harder or easier did it become to break musical convention?

I find it easier. By playing all kinds of music, I really learned to adapt to many situations and the different styles. Now that we are back to progressive rock mode with the latest releases, it's still a challenge, but I really feel at home. I learned to play with Terry Bozzio from Frank Zappa or Christian Vander from Magma and Guy Evans from Van der Graf Generator and Neil Peart from Rush. I've been playing the drums many years, so I learned more and more and more, and I have better control.

We've been experimenting a lot on the latest albums with layers of sounds and a brass quintet and string quartet and people embraced it. We won two Junos in a row for the last two albums. It shows us that we are on a great path and that we can explore different avenues and people will enjoy it.

Voivod, "Chaotic Harmony"

READ MORE: 66 Bands That Only Have One Original Member Left

Away, the one continuous member of this band has been you. What made you first aware that Voivod would actually be a life journey?

I think it's when the first album War and Pain came out in 1984. It had a very good impact and the new metal scene that was going to become thrash metal and that's really where I decided to quit school at university where I was studying science and tried to make it as a musician in my life.

It's been a crazy journey with a lot of obstacles and quite often people were telling me that it was crazy to keep keeping on, but now that we're enjoying this great momentum where we are more popular than ever, I feel that I was not that crazy after all. So, it's kind of a relief, really.

Away, thank you so much for taking the time and good luck with this release.

Our thanks to Voivod drummer Away, promoting the band's new album 'Morgoth Tales,' which is now out via Century Media Records. You can pick it up here. Stay up to date with the band through their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify platforms. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

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