Interview: Vodun’s Tourbus Playlist

Heavy afro-psych-soul band Vodun have been favourites at Joyzine ever since we accidentally stumbled across them between two bands we’d been planning to watch at The Camden Crawl several years back.  It’s turned out to be one of those marvellous accidental discoveries that make festivals that little bit more special and following two excellent albums of heavy guitars, powerful vocals and West African rhythms, Possession and Ascend, they’re back refreshed with a new single, Rituals, and are currently embarked upon a European tour.  We caught up with singer Chantal between shows.

The last time we checked in with Vodun you were getting ready to make your Glastonbury debut – how was that and what have you been up to since?

Glastonbury was definitely an experience. We played in the middle of the night, so it was a task trying to stay awake for it. Then we took to the stage, and it all came together. We had our new drummer in tow, and added baritone sax to the mix to add to the sound and the visual aspect for the festival. Since then we’ve been a little quiet, but are now back on tour and are excited to be settling in with our new drummer Lorena, and Oliver Sellwood on Sax.

You’re back with a new single, ‘Rituals’, what can you tell us about the track?

The new track ‘Rituals’ features Anselmo Netto on percussion, which we’re really happy about. He’s an amazing percussionist, and we’re able to get him along to some of our larger shows at festivals this year. The video also features some really cool animations made by T.E Yates, who made our previous video – ‘Started From‘ and the background visuals from ‘Spirits Past‘. We’re really pleased with the results.

Vodun are on tour now with dates in the UK, France and Germany – are there any places that you’re especially looking forward to returning to, or new cities that you’re excited to visit for the first time?

We’re in the middle of the tour now, and it’s been going really really well. Nottingham was our own DIY show at Alberts, and we had a great crowd come out and support us. The venue itself is wonderful, and the show prepped us for our gig in Bristol, which is pretty much our second home. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces & fans. Jamie from Wizzarding Promotions always does a fantastic job at putting on our shows in Bristol, and Andy from Turbowolf & Dan from Skindred came out to support too.

We’re really looking forward to going back to Berlin and putting on a fantastic show, as the last time we had a few technical issues, but we know we have people there excited to hear our music in it’s full capacity. We also have most of the day there to look around the city and take it all in.

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How do you find life in the tour van?  What do Vodun do to keep themselves occupied during the long drives?

Life in the van is pretty cool. These are pretty short drives in comparison to the drives in Europe. Linz has been putting on a lot of 80’s pop at night to keep him awake. I’ve currently got Chrome Hoof on the go as we drive down to Bournemouth in anticipation for their reunion show at Raw Power Festival this summer.

Your London show was the 10th birthday show for promoters Chaos Theory, who you’ve played for a few times in the past.  What is it about them as promoters that’s proven such a good fit for the band?

Kunal, who runs Chaos Theory, along side Alan, are simply dedicated to getting people into fantastic alternative bands and music. They are so passionate and have grown so very well over the last 10 years because of their dedication to putting on great grass roots shows. Our performance last night at the festival was a very special one, as you could see all of their hard work had paid off. The room was packed, and everyone was immersed in the experience. We can’t thank Chaos Theory enough really.

What have Vodun got in store for the rest of 2020?

We’ve begun writing already with our new drummer, and are very excited about the other influences she brings to the table, hailing’s from Galicia in Spain, and being part Brazilian. We plan on including more Baritone sax with Oli, live and on the recordings, as well as more percussion, as it just give a whole new life to our music, which we thoroughly enjoy. We’ve also a performance at Raw Power festival this year, which we’re really excited about too. The remaining shows we have are tonight at The Anvil in Bournemouth, Berlin at Zukunft am Ostkreu for International Woman’s Day, Le Mans Tattoo Convention in France, and Riffolution Festival in Manchester & Stange Forms Festival in Leeds. We really can’t wait to get back to these towns as we’ve got some great supporters there.

We asked Vodun to share us their top tracks for a happy tourbus – check out their playlist below:

Chan:

1. Church of the Cosmic Skull – ‘Evil in Your Eye’ (From their debut album Is Satan Real)
All their albums accompany us on our tours. The swirling harmonies, 70’s stomping rock n’ roll and rapturous choruses are very much welcome in our little van.

2. Theo Katzman – ‘Hard Work’
This guy is from the awesome Vulfpeck &I just love this song. Its a feel good delicious little nugget of happiness that makes me put it on repeat and dance around my house at 1 in the morning. Totally going in the van.

3. Lizzo – ‘Juice’
She’s the best thing since sliced bread. Pop RnB, buxom woman screaming about self love & happiness. Booty shakin, gospel sining, flute playing queen. My kinda gal.

Linz:

Right.
4. I’m going ‘Zombie’ by Fela Kuti
5. And ‘Guerrilla Radio’ by Rage Against the Machine
Both are 2 songs that were added to a heavily repeated play list that was inspiration for Ascend and feel should give fans of Vodun an insight into what inspires our writing process.

Lorena:

6. Brutas – ‘War’
Great inspiration as a drummer and passionate person on the stage and everything. I checked from her!!  New surprise band, since I’ve known them I can’t stop listening to their music!

7. Death Grips – ‘No Love’
My favorite drummer for a long time!  Agressive,  passionate and very creative! Unique hip hop band, awesome!!

Oli:

8. Liturgy – ‘Follow’
I love how focussed the musical idea is. The music starts to feel claustrophobic because of the limited musical material and how it is used repetitively throughout.

9. Princess Nokia – ‘Saggy Denim’
The degraded sample against the hi-fidelity drum part is fucking great! Plus I love the different voices she brings to her tracks.

10. And lastly, it’s a bit of a running joke, as I can’t seem to change the settings in my car, but every time I plug my iPhone in, it starts to play Jackson 5 – ‘ABC’… So, there will definitely be some of that in the car, even if it’s not by choice! lol

Catch Vodun live at the following venues:

March
1st – Bournemouth, UK, The Anvil
6th – Berlin, Germany, TIEF/ Zukunft am Ostkreuz
7th – Le Mans, France, Le Mans Tattoo Convention, Centre des Exposition
29th – Manchester, UK, Riffoloution Festival, The Bread Shed

April
18th – Leeds, UK, Brudenell Social, STRANGE FORMS FESTIVAL

Interview & Live Photograph by Paul Maps

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