A few weeks ago I got the CD from a French band called Voodoo Smile and actually their sound was more based in the American hard rock / AOR which is unusual for a French band. So I arranged an interview by email and here is what came out!
Please let's travel back in time... Tell us about the beginning of the band and who you came up with the band name!
Dominique: The band was created somewhere at the end of 1998 by Aleksandar Rankovic (guitarist), joined by myself Dominique Kulibanov (bass) some month after by Olivier Guyot (drums) and finally, by Sébastien Denudt (vocals). It's simple! And between all the time, of course we tried some musicians, we made music etc...! I think Aleksandar came with the new name...
What inspires you musically?
Olivier: Actually what inspire us musically, it is Heavy Rock music of our adolescence. Band as such Tesla or TNT were very important for me. Otherwise at the band's level, influences are mostly Impelletteri, Pink Cream 69, Skid Row and particularly Moon Doc for Alex.
Dominique: And bands like Bon Jovi, Danger Danger... For the catchy chorus!
How do you choose the topics? What inspires you lyrically?
Olivier: Concerning the lyrics, we talk about current issues in a man's life. The topics are in accordance with the track and overall atmosphere of it.
Dominique: Yeah, it's about love / hate, pride & glory, young & fabulous, life, sex and death!!!
Who is doing the artwork? Is it based on an idea of the band?
Olivier: The cover has been pictured by Vanessa (Rock Hard) and Steve (from No Return). It was not our first idea, but Vanessa suggested this and we were keen on it.
You produced the album yourself and you did a great job. Do you think that a producer, who isn't involved like you, couldn't understand how you imagine your sound?
Olivier: Of course, if a producer isn't involved, he wouldn't be able to understand how we imagine our sound, but as you said it, we produced our album ourselves so we don't have that to deal with that problem. But I think that a good producer could give us many things. Moreover we are looking for one for the next album which is ready.
Or do you think that it's more effective to spend the money for something else than for a big name producer?
I guess you already got some reactions, even if it were mainly media people. How are the reactions so far?
Olivier: We have had very good reactions from the media and from the public. What is surprising for us is that even people from the outside (out of metal) appreciate our music, and that's cool.
Are there any plans to play festivals this summer? Or for a tour in fall?
Olivier: This year, it was too late, but next year we hope we will do a lot.
Do you have a homepage? Why should fans visit your website? What can they find there?
Olivier: We've got our website and you can find it at: www.voodoosmile.net The fans can find everything about the band there.
Many young bands say that the internet helped them a lot. You are around for several years. Did you feel a positive effect for your band?
Olivier: Yes indeed, internet is a great tool for a band as well as for the promotion as to be known. Concerning Voodoo Smile, the effect was very positive and you are welcomed to visit us and sign our guess book.
There are not many bands we know from France... Even if there are more bands these days which come from France like Heavenly and Dyslesia. But still no that much... Why do you think that still there are just an handful of bands make themselves known outside France?
Olivier: France doesn't really like Rock, that's why many bands find it hard to be released. But don't worry we have many good bands.
What are your plans for the future of Voodoo Smile?
Olivier: We preparing a festival with Edguy, Pain Of Salvation and others for September and concerts in France. We are about to record our 2nd album and preparing a Death's cover for the tribute to Chuck Shuldiner!!! Yes, we are fans of Death too.
Famous last words.... Anything you want to tell your fans?
Olivier: Thanks for your interview and we hope we'll soon be able to visit you. Rock on!
This was my first contact with the French and I hope that the next album is coming soon. And that they can tour in future!