my prog hero

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“I’ve gotten to know those guys and it’s been pretty mind-blowing.”

“I found out about Voivod around the time of [1988’s] Dimension Hatröss, which was the album after their breakthrough Killing Technology. I was a metal kid and they were considered a thrash band but had off time signatures and were complicated enough to set them apart from the rest of the crowd.

Denis ‘Piggy’ D’Amour’s guitar playing was stellar and just weird – not your average bumblebee notes but chords I couldn’t figure out. I don’t have the attention span to work out their riffs and I’ve never heard a guy play guitar like that since. There was almost a disregard for structured solos and this was in the 80s when you had to be a dynamo guitar player. Jean-Yves ‘Blacky’ Thériault’s blower bass was crazy too. They had a lot of time signatures that didn’t conform with the other thrash bands of the time.

In Canada, we have this TV station called MuchMusic where they used to play Voivod videos. The first one I saw was Ripping Headaches [from 1986’s Rrröööaaarrr] and

I thought the song title was the best – it’s still in my top 10. _Tribal Convictions was another and Psychic Vacuum_ - they played those videos at four o’clock in the afternoon, which is when their metal show the Power Hour used to play out. There was such a push with their follow-up Nothingface and so [their cover of Pink Floyd’s] Astronomy Domine was played even on the regular shows. Nothingface and Dimension Hatröss were my favourite albums, and still to this day they sound fucked up.

Over the years, I’ve gotten to know the guys and it’s been pretty mind-blowing with each one I’ve met. I had their pictures on my wall as a teenager and now I can say I’m friends with them and it’s nice. Piggy’s passed away now but when I met him, we hung out and he even came to our shows. I met [drummer] Michel ‘Away’ Langevin just by hanging out in Montreal and in 2006, we got him to do two T-shirt designs for us in the Voivod artwork style. They even made it into the book Worlds Away: Voivod & the Art Of Michel Langevin.”

Danko Jones’ new album Fire Music is out viaNew Damage. For more visit www.dankojones.com.

Danko Jones. Photograph by Dustin Rabin