27th of February 2010

Before Voltaire’s concert the 27th of February 2010, I met up with him to do a small, easy-going interview to put on the website. Voltaire is a busy man. In fact, he is so busy he tried to cut it short and gave me the following replies to the questions before I asked them:

– Yes
– No
– Purple
– Seven Inches


– Only on Sundays

Unfortunately, they didn’t quite match the questions…


You’ve made songs for the show The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy, and that show has been translated into several languages. Have you ever heard any of the translations of your songs?
– I have never heard the other versions of my songs.


How did you get Orville (The Corpse) to star in your music video for “Happy Birthday (My Olde Friend)”?
– It was not easy, he’s very difficult and very pretentious, so when I first said, “Orville, would you star in my music video?”, he said, “You have to talk to my agent.” And he said it with this very dusty voice, so I think he had not spoken in one hundred and fifty years. It was very difficult, he’s a lovely desecrated corpse, but very demanding.


In the song “Cannibal Buffet”, there’s this line where you sing “NINE hungry eyes was staring down at me”. How many cannibals are there, and how are the eyes distributed among them?
– Well, I’m glad you asked. Originally it was six hungry eyes. Or maybe it was eight. It was definitively an even number. And then, at some point it just occurred to me that it was funnier if it was not an even number. However, I don’t want to spoil all of the magic, so you can imagine for yourself how the eyes are distributed.


The song, “The Man Upstairs”… Is it a metaphor or did you really have neighbours that crazy?
– Many people think that “The Man Upstairs” is about God. Because there’s an expression, The Man Upstairs, referring to God. But it was about the man upstairs. And everything in that song is true, everything in that song was just something that really happened. Eventually the man upstairs won. He was so loud, and there was no way he was ever going to leave, so I had to leave.


At concerts you mostly play the funny songs. Is that because you think that’s what fans would want to hear, or is it because you prefer those songs over the more serious ones?
– People who come to my shows regularly have come to expect several things. One of them is that they will have fun, which is considered illegal in some goth clubs. But people understand that if they’re coming to my show, it’s going to be a fun time, and I will probably drink a liter of rum and forget my lyrics and then the audience can help me sing them. And the energy levels stays very very high when I sing the funny songs. Sometimes if I sing a song that’s serious, I notice that the energy levels goes down a little bit. So I try to keep the energy level high by playing the funny songs.


AdventureQuest. You made some versions of your songs for them, and they also made the Deady flash-game. So how did you get involved with them?
– It’s a funny story, actually. My biggest show of the year is called Dragon*CON, and I meet a lot of people there. I once met a young lady who was a fan, and she said “I want you to meet my boss.” And then she introduced us. And her boss gave me his business card and I looked at it and I said to him “I’m really sorry, but business cards never find their way home. Keep your business card, just email me.”

And then I said, “What is it that you do?” He said, “I am the owner and creator of a massive multi-user online role playing game.” And I did not know what that was, so we talked for a little while and he explained to me what it was and I asked “How many people play this game?” and he said “Well, we have six million subscribers.” Then I said: “May I have your business card, please?” He then replied, “I gave you my business card, but you said it would never find its way home.” I said “I never lose the business card of someone with six million customers.”

Which is probably a really cheesy and awful thing to tell a person, but it definitively made me very curious. They were fans of my music, and then I saw their game and then I became a fan of their game. And at some point, he just said “I would really love to make a Deady-videogame.” And I said “Of course”. We did that later they invited me to be sort of an animated guest star on their game. So, it has been a lot of fun and I think we’re going to do many more things in the future.


Are you planning on releasing the AdventureQuest-versions of your songs?
– Anything I have done in the game so far, musically, has been either one of my existing songs, or one of my existing songs with the lyrics changed so that they are about AdventureQuest. And I think it’s very possible that if we do maybe three or four more of the songs, that I will release a small disc of AdventureQuest-versions.


Two years ago was the ten year anniversary of “The Devil’s Bris”, and there was a special anniversary-edition planned for release. What happened to that project?
– It’s become a victim of my schedule. Yes, there was supposed to be a ten-year-anniversary disc and it never happened. So, I think, there should be a thirteen year-anniversary disc and we should call it “The Devil’s Bar Mitsva.” If I get my act together, that’s what will happen. By the way, the thing that is really holding it up is that the record label, Projekt, wanted me to finish a music video that I shot in 1995 for Ex-Lover’s Lover. And that will be interesting to see because that was fifteen years ago. And all the footage that exists of me is from fifteen years ago as well, so I have to try to look thin and young. I’m going to have to use after-effects on Photoshop.


The Oddz, the sideband? Have they also become a victim of your schedule?
– The Oddz was the most spectacular victimization due to my schedule. There was so much time and energy put into The Oddz. I put that band together, I wrote those songs, we started recording those songs, we did one live show. And there was a lot of people very interested in the band.

But I lost a book deal because of The Oddz. A book that I was paid to write, called The Dating Guide of the Damned: How to Pick up Goth Chicks. Eventually that deal was cancelled, because it took so long. I think two years went by and I never wrote the book because I was focusing so much time on The Oddz. So I had to put The Oddz aside, and I’ve never been back.


You appear to be writing a novel, The Nothing? How is that project going?
– Well, I actually wrote it in 1993, so what I’m doing right now is transcribing it because the novel exists in a series of sketchbooks with writing that’s no bigger than one millimeter tall. So I’m transcribing it and as I transcribe it I realize how terrible my writing was fifteen years ago, so I think it requires a lot of re-writing. I really thought that was gonna be my first project of 2010, but several other things have happened that are more timely, so I think “The Nothing” is going to pay a visit to The Oddz.

In the end of the song “Welcome to the World” from Then and Again there are some distorted vocal lines. What’s they saying?
– It’s Spanish. I basically means: “One, two, three, four, in, out, in, out, virgins to the left, whores to the right, open your legs and shut your mouth.” I think that’s what it says. These aren’t my words, they are the words of the persona in the song, I hope you understand. Oh, and it ends with “Please enjoy, gentlemen” It’s dreadful, terrible, awful, awful stuff.


I’ve seen several people ask for a studio version of “Comin’ out for Christmas”. Is that something you’ve considered making?
– I don’t know. To be honest with you, “Comin’ Out for Christmas” is a country song. Like a lot of my songs are, actually. However, I think that if I were to put it on the country-record, I would scare anybody who listens to country. So, I don’t really have any plans to record it with a full band.


So, is there ever going to be a World Tour?
– I don’t know, I hope so. I guess I really just have to get very serious and make it happen. I don’t have the connections, so I can’t go and book a European tour, but I’m sure there are many people who do, and so I need to find a good booking agent for Europe and a good tour manager for Europe and then just do it.


Well, thank you so much!
– My pleasure!

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