Overcoming Obstacles And Finding Peace with Chewy of Voivod

Chewy, Piggy’s replacement in Voivod, is one of my favorite people in the world but I never knew why until I recently had the chance to sit down with him and interview him about his lifestyle. After the interview he joked “What, no question about music? I want to talk about scales!” Chewy was very open and extremely friendly, making for one of my most treasured interviews to date.

How the hell are you?

Very good!

Very good? What’s very good?

Because I live a great life, I play with my favorite band, we tour the world, we have lots of fun together, the vibe is perfect right now and I’m in a good place in my life. It’s all about positive things.

How did you get to such a positive place?

It was hard. There were a lot of obstacles to get through. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve learned a lot these last couple years about bands, touring, and human relationships. I’m in a very simple place right now where everything is taken care of and it’s about enjoying simple things. It’s kind of a peaceful place, and it makes me play and write better and more easily and that’s the kind of vibe that we’re looking for as we age. It works great. It’s a great energy!

What where these obstacles?

I don’t want to go into detail, but let’s say that some bands split up and personal relationships are hard and can make you feel a lot of guilt and a lot of hatred and regret. Once you learn how to deal with those kinds of emotions and finding a way to be resilient in all this you take this energy and transform it into creation. That’s the best way to do it.

You channel your demons through your work?

I guess we all do. Everybody tries to better themselves, and we try to reach that. I think everybody does in any career or life. I think once you learn how to manage things you can reach that kind of level. It’s a learning process really, learning how your brain and emotions function to go to that place. At first it is very difficult but then you start to enjoy it.

Is it a spiritual thing?

Some people may call it spiritual but to each his own! For me it’s just a feeling that I have. When you realize when you feel good and when you don’t and why, that’s the first step. Sometimes you don’t even know why you don’t feel right. I think that was the first step of learning something. You have to ask yourself questions and define all the parameters around it. It’s a learning process. This is a deep start to the interview! (Laughter)

So were you dealing with this while you were in Voivod or was this before?

Everyone has their own story and their own demons. There’s some stuff that I have carried for a long time and some things just added up. My life hasn’t been miserable, I’ve just had ups and downs, but at some point you have to clean up. It’s never over; you just have to be conscious about yourself to be able to stay in that kind of place.

Has your vegetarianism been a part of that?

Yes. Before being a vegetarian I tried to just limit my meat consumption; I got local organic stuff. I started to cook more and more though and at some point I realized I didn’t need it anymore; I could make a difference and live a much more healthy life! I don’t like the industry, of course, and the meat and the farms and the pollution, so I decided to become vegetarian. Not a strict vegetarian. I have my own way of doing it, just because of my own health. I don’t miss meat a bit. I like the smell, I like to look at it, but I never have a craving. Even if my friend is eating a steak I can just enjoy watching them eating it – that doesn’t bother me.

So it was more of a health thing and not tied into everything else?

I think it’s a part of a whole. If you start in one place, you find yourself changing in others. There’s a 360 degree connection in how you want to be. It’s not really conscious. I used to weigh 60 pounds more but I started to have really bad back problems so I started to bike. At first after 5 kilometers I was dead and now I can do a 100 and be fine. I do a lot of road-biking. It makes me feel way better. When you feel better physically you feel better mentally – you don’t want to go to McDonalds and eat crap. There’s a lot of unconscious connections. You don’t feel like poutine or french fries will be a treat – it’s a menace! It’s not a moral thing.

Once you strip down you see stuff for what it really is…

Exactly. Your taste buds change and your saliva does too. I guess it affects your brain as well. You don’t feel like you need sugar and salt and all that. You don’t think about it. Your body needs that good food and that exercise.

When you’re biking 100 kilometers do you see any weird shit?

I live in the country side. It’s just nature really. One time though – and I rarely see them – but there are turtles in Quebec. I once had to get a turtle off the road to save him from the cars. When I go to Montreal, it’s very dangerous, and I don’t like it. I’ve gone a couple of times from my place – it’s 55 kilometers which is not bad, I can go back and forth in a day. I really like the countrysides and the long roads. It’s important to me. There’s a constant movement to it, and it gets hypnotic. You don’t think about anything. It’s really like an addiction or a drug but a good one. I think a lot – my brain is always spinning, and when I reach that spot on the bicycle it’s magic and I just want to reach it again.

Is there someone you want to be more like?

No. Well… One of the great poets in Quebec, Gilles Vigneault, I really like. He said something like “The further you go from home the closer you get to yourself.” Traveling helped me be closer to myself. Touring helped me with that. Maybe what I want to resemble the most is myself. We lose track of that getting older. At least me. I think I got very from myself at some point but I got back to it in my late 30s. I try to be the most authentic I can be. I think I have reached that in the last couple of years.

Where you in the countryside your whole life?

No – I moved there 5 years ago. Before that I lived in Montreal and before that I lived in a smaller city. The countryside made a big difference. I didn’t like the city, but I didn’t know that I didn’t like the city. I felt weird there, but I couldn’t define why. Now that I’m in the countryside I have more time. I’m closer to nature, I don’t have the traffic jams, I see animals, I get to pick mushrooms in my backyard. It’s a different life but it changed a lot of things, but I know I never want to go back to live in a city!

Give Voivod a like on Facebook and check them out on tour with Vektor right now!

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Published on: February 17, 2016

Filled Under: Interviews

Views: 3905

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    someone watching and enjoying you eating a steak is super creepy.


  • Dubs

    This was a cool interview. It’s neat when you find that topic the artist wants to open up about aside from the music.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Like layers of an onion, bro.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        … just peel ’em back.

        • Vault Dweller

          Then batter and fry those fucking layers.

          • and ask for a gallon of Southwest Sauce™, cause that’s the real reason we get the bloomin’ onion.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That’s the best thing Outback has.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t eat the whole thing. I share it.

          • mistake

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Jimmy plz! That’s unhealthy!

          • Plus the meal?

          • Be nice.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I don’t share my neal, I share the appetizer.

          • Neal? Is that what you name your slaughtered cow?

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Tyree plz! I meant to say meal!

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I don’t blame you. If I were dating Neal Peart, I wouldn’t share him either.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Total death.

          • Stanley

            That onion has my calories for the day!

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            It’s nice to feel dirty, isn’t it?


            and almost half mine!

          • Stanley

            You eat 4000? I probably eat about 2500-3000, but exercise takes care of most of them.

          • I’m pretty sure he power lifts.

          • Stanley

            Yeah, but does that burn a lot of calories?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
          • Hahaha! This fucking album.

          • Yep


            it certainly does. im lifting for 2 -3 hours 4 days a week.

          • Stanley

            I left my heart rate monitor at the gym earlier and lifted a few weights after my cardio. At the end of each set my heart rate was in zone 3.2. I guess if you move around the stations quick enough, you can get a good burn going. Also, with more muscle you probably have a good after burn.

          • True. I don’t know then. I just eat and run and it seems to do the trick.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, it feels great being able to eat whatever I want and never getting past 145 lbs. I’d go nuts having to count calories.

          • Stanley

            I don’t count them per se but I roughly know what is in food and what I need to maintain weight. Restaurant food is mostly terrible and I have no idea what’s in it so I only eat out once a week and then I’m usually choosey about what I pick.

          • Over 2 days worth of fat.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            And sadness. Don’t forget sadness.

          • Mmmm, Sounds like a date.

          • Boss the Ross

            Don’t forget to share Neal.

          • Good call Bro-Braham-Lincoln.

          • Boss the Ross

            No probs, Bro-mas Jefferson.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain


          • COAL ROLL

            shame and regret work too

          • Vault Dweller

            College roommate and I were routine patrons of the God of Southwest Sauce. Subs, fried anything, dippable anything… we merged it with Southwest Sauce to create a better-tasting treat!

          • i knew there was a reason you’re on my man-crush list.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      no Tyrees allowed

      • tyrees n shit black merol

        • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

          I’m biting my lip (plus I’m not up on poo pooing a band after someone went through the trouble to interview them. I wouldn’t want someone doing that about a band I just interviewed, so I’m not gonna)!
          Good interview, though, and he seems like a really friendly guy. As far as I can tell, this is the biggest band that’s been interviewed on here.

      • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

        Or tapirs?

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Hahahaha. FUCK!

    • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      So this guy’s not allowed?


      *drum roll*


    He’s a Peleton of one.

  • great interview and… Voivod is fuckin’ great. (i just want to preemptively cancel out anything KJU says)

    • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

      Read below what I said about all that. I do at least have some amount of manners.

      • i’m sure you know what i say is in good nature! but i’m going to edit it out after seeing what you wrote below…

        • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

          Haha I know. You can thank me for my supreme benevolence later. 😉

  • That dudes hair has some mad curls!

    I wander if he gives a squat?



  • ¡Don Tocino!

    This is my favorite interview of yours. I don’t have enough knowledge about Voivod’s career, but they have a great number of followers over here.

    It is cool that you substracted more personal information regards his views and lifestyle. I am pretty sure that Chewy being onstage must channel all of that. Living on the road is hard, like Pumpkin Baby and Stockhausen pointed in their diaries, but if you dig the travelling and the unexpected tiny things of that work, I am sure you will enjoy it.

    I would like to know how Chewy got onto this band. I knew that Piggy was one of the founder members and he was one of the key factors of their sound. So it must be a great challenge to Chewy to enter that.

    Thanks to both of you. I enjoyed this a lot!

  • I also remind that one of the first Groundbreaker inductions was Voivod’s Killing Technology, wrote by HessianHunter 🙂


  • Pentagram Sam

    Really cool interview, Voivod ist grate. I love reading interviews like this when as a fan, you WANT to hear alot more about the artist’s life and views n philosophies.

    Not trying to be a negative nancy, but I do seem to notice that the peaceful, the tranquil types are maybe a bit older than I am and have done the things that satisfy them. This dude reminds me of KK Downing from Priest, who after his forty years in the Metal Machine, he hunkered down in the countryside away from the city. I would love to do this, to break away from society and pull a Jackson Browne and live off the grid and be a chill person and not think the things I think.

    However, personally speaking, there’s so much out there that I see that just makes me angry. Social injustices that run rampant and I just can’t be a silent observer. Frustration also happens from wanting to enact change but not knowing exactly how to do so in a way that causes real change.

    I can’t remember the exact source, but when the Baltimore riots were going down, an esteemed Professor actually said that riots and outbursts of chaos are the way in which real revolution occurs. Destruction in order to garner attention to a cause and to show that the people are THIS angry, THIS fed up. Not a bunch of drunken chodes all wooping over some sports team winning, but civilians at unrest and unease that they aren’t heard and they see horrible wrongs happening and the people that get away with inflicting those wrongs. Instead of stopping to think and examine the causes of these situations, the media labels them as “wild animals” and “thugs” to marginalize their anger and to sweep them under a rug to prevent minds from being awakened.

    Garrrrrr. Not trying to get all political and shit man, this was a GREAT interview. It just made me think which itself is a good thing and why music rules.

    • MUSIC>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


    • CyberneticOrganism

      Toilet Ov Hell’s Positive Interview Wednesdays

  • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

    I listened to Target Earth again today. I have a real feeling that they’re gonna grow on me.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Great interview! Good to see someone else enjoying a spin on the road bike.


    • How did those tubes not explode. Christ, mine blow up at the slightest provocation.

      • There is probably over $10,000 in top of the line equipment there. They could be tubeless tires too.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          I like when you talk about rubbers, bro.

          • Nuts, wood, and tubes brah.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            You Dirty Bastard.

          • Just saw the image now. That looks dirty in the best possible way. Never had this.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Killer Scotch Ale.

          • A good strong Scotch Ale is always welcomed. I’ll be looking for this next time I’m out.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Founders does have decent distribution, so you should be able to find it.

          • COAL ROLL

            We have it here in CT

          • Indeed, that’s why I’m surprised I haven’t seen this one. I’m a sucker for their Breakfast Stout. Fuck is that good.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I’m aging one of those currently. Good shit indeed.

          • Stanley

            I only age bad beer.

          • Hahaha.

          • Stanley

            I have a 6 bottles of Heineken Light in my cupboard that some fucker brought over to my house about 3 years ago.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Hahaha. Down the hatch!

          • Stanley


          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            DO IT!

          • Stanley

            I’m saving them for when you and Tyree come over.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck yes! Debauchery!

          • Oh hey, A.A. Хармония – Вечност – Вселена is available on Behold Barbarity now. Looks like it’s selling out fast.

          • Stanley

            I’m on it. Thanks!

          • Stanley

            Done. I hope it’s the white vinyl. It doesn’t say. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if there are any other versions.

          • I think you are good man. There was no mention of a second pressing yet from D.T.B.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Now you’re talking. Let me know when your 2010 Budweiser is ready for consumption. The rice/piss notes will be delectable.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            I’m holding out for an aged can of Earthquake from 2008.

        • Owlswald

          I just bought a bike last summer and if the startup costs don’t kill you the initial ass bone soreness sure does.

      • When training for Ironman stuff, I had a course where I could hit ~50 mph (47mph maybe?) downhill, I prayed each time that my tubes did not decide to stop working.

        • Boss the Ross

          Iron Man GL. It has a nice ring to it

        • Stanley

          On the Wildflower course there is a section where I hit 53mph in my aero-bars. I was absolutely bricking it, but I was too scared to get out of the aero position to get my hands on the brakes. I never want to do that again.

          • Boss the Ross

            Iron Man Stanley!

          • Stanley

            I’m one and done, but you never know. I think GL has done a couple.

          • Boss the Ross

            That’s one more than a lot of people

          • The potential for total-death at those speeds are very real. lol

          • Stanley

            Yep, and I was FULLY aware, but racing.

            Spandex will not save you!

          • Wrecking is pretty much the biggest thing that keeps me from wanting to ride again….

          • Stanley

            Yeah, I fell off in Colombia a month of ago. Pissing rain, going down hill. It could have been much worse than this.

          • Damn. I layed my bike over at like 2mph one time, landed on the same spot. My tendon clicks over my hip bone every time I walk up stairs now. Pissed.

          • Stanley

            You can get more hurt in a slow motion crash than a high speed one as you fall harder and don’t skate across the road to break your fall.

          • Hot Throbbin’ Bio Slime

            Guac’s Buttcheeks Revisited.

          • Dagon

            This is why I come to this blog (he he)

          • Owlswald

            Those are the times when you really hope you remembered to tighten the quick release.

    • Not gonna lie, I have been watching this for 11 minutes, I am really hoping this ends with him face-planting. It has not happened yet.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Only own their first two. Been meaning to buy more for over 15 years.

  • Guacamole Jim

    Whoa!! Gilles Vigneault is not a name I expected to ever see on the Toilet, but I’m really glad I did!! Dude is a fucking legend. Very cool interview.

  • Stanley

    When I rode my bike across the country I saved this little fella from the middle of a road in Florida.

  • Waynecro

    Nice interview! Thanks very much!

  • Dagon

    He is right about living healthy affecting your brain, you know. There’s evidence in both animals and humans that eating less sugar and saturated fat, as well as physical activities change hormone secretion and antiinflamatory substances that act directly into the brain’s hunger center.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    I wonder what it’s like to be that happy.

  • Red Polygon

    Great interview! And great thoughts on vegetarianism/health/connectedness that I share.

    And the new EP is outstanding. Been listening to it nonstop for the last week.