When we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of bands and music.
To begin with, it would be best if you introduced your band.
Eddie: Hello there. My name is Eddie Troy. I’m the singer and guitarist of the band Voodu, out of Los Angeles, CA in the USA. Vinny Amico is our lead guitarist, Paul Burns is our drummer, Sean Aikins is our bassist, and Ollie Williams is our turntablist and keyboardist.
Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
Eddie: We don’t have any issues keeping everyone together. The lack of income at this stage of the game just requires honest and effective communication between one another. We come together to make a plan, figure out what we need to invest in, how each of us as individuals will achieve that, and execute it. But it doesn’t affect our ability to come together and rehearse or perform live. Plus we pimp out Sean and Paul which is shockingly lucrative. The streets pay well these days.
How do you finance yourself and can you cover the costs of recording, equipment, and concerts with music?
Eddie: Well, OTHER than Paul and Sean’s nighttime activities, everyone in the band has a job. Some of us work in other aspects of music, and a few of us do work in the film industry. The cost of living these days is absurd, so it can be challenging, but again, when we make a plan and communicate we’re usually able to make it come together and reinvest in ourselves. We’re always seeking better ideas to finance ourselves, however… We’re considering some form of insider trading or starting an underground illegal betta fish fighting ring. We’ll see how it goes.
What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
Eddie: For me at least, I had somewhat always been playing metal. I think the third song I learned to play on guitar was “Down With The Sickness” by Disturbed. As a songwriter, many of my influences haven’t changed too much. It was more a matter of making them all blend in a unique way. Our role models early on were and are bands like Rammstein, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Alice In Chains, Chopin, Nirvana, deadmau5, Children Of Bodom, Lamb Of God, Trivium, Behemoth… I could keep going but it’s a nearly endless list of influences, many of which are unexpected. I kind of think the more subtle influences that are unique to you as a songwriter are going to make you stand out more than the obvious ones. Obviously, there’s a Linkin Park influence, you can hear it in my voice, and along with almost every other band in the past 20+ years, their DNA finds its way into ours. However, the Massive Attack, deadmau5, David Allan Coe, Vivaldi, Behemoth, Dr. Dre, Children Of Bodom, and Isley Brothers influences might put a unique twist on our sound you didn’t expect and make us stand out.
Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self-publish considering the internet?
Eddie: I think at the stage we’re at, having just released our first single, it makes sense to self-publish. We’re very much at the “building a fanbase” phase of our career. If later it makes sense to find a publisher, or if publishers come to us seeking to work with us as a team to get our music out to as many people as possible, then we would of course be open to that. I think it’s just circumstantial. It has to be mutually advantageous for that kind of thing to work. Otherwise, keep self-publishing.
What have you published so far?
Eddie: So far, our first single “Pictures” is the first and only thing we have published. It’s a starting point for us, but we’re very proud of it.
How do you create songs, how do you record them?
Eddie: The songwriting process usually starts with me. I’ll compose around a riff, a chord progression on piano, a sample, or a sound I designed on a synthesizer. After a full demo of a song is made on my DAW, I’ll send it out to the guys and get their thoughts. I’ll then begin working on vocal melodies and lyrics. After that, we come into rehearsal, learn it, and the guys add things to it or make suggestions to change aspects of the composition. No idea is a bad idea, but the best ideas make the cut.
After we’ve settled on it, and tried it out live to see how a crowd interacts with it, we take it to the studio. Charlie Waymire produced our first five songs and we couldn’t be more grateful to him. We’ve learned so much working with him and it all sounds so sick. We recorded all the music live in the room together, then went back and added the vocals and electronics. I think you can hear how connected we all are because of that. It’s a more organic process.
Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
Eddie: The lyrics come from whatever the melodies and rhythmic structure make me feel. Often it can be something very personal, something I need to work out with myself or get off my chest. On other occasions, it’s more observational. My perspective of the world around me. I always try to make them vague enough that anyone could relate to them on some level.
What is your favorite song you’ve made so far and why?
Eddie: That question is too difficult for me to answer. It’s like trying to pick a favorite child. They all have things about them that I love so much and all for different reasons. To give you some form of an answer to this, I guess I’d say my favorite thing is that I don’t have a favorite or a least favorite. I feel the strength of our music as a whole is really formidable, and we have five songs that are all very “Voodu” and simultaneously stand out from one another. In sticking with the “child” metaphor, I guess you could say “Pictures” is our oldest, and now they’re off into the world before the rest. We’re such proud parents, the five of us.
Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
Eddie: Our First Single “Pictures” is out now on all platforms. Whether you use Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, etc. You can find it, you can hear it, and we hope it resonates with you in some way. We’re building a website as we speak to help keep everything centralized.
Perhaps an Onlyfans for Sean and Paul as well…
How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you, and how many people come to such concerts?
Eddie: Our drummer Paul books most of our shows. In the Los Angeles area, we actually don’t have a hard time booking stuff. Once people hear us they tend to want us back. We bring out big crowds, the venues sell tons of alcohol, the fans have fun, and we have fun. Perfect symbiosis. However, because we’re so new, and have only just now put out our first single, outside of LA we aren’t well known. So I think we aim to build a fanbase big enough that we can come to any city and have a large turnout where people can let loose, let the music resonate with them, and have fun.
In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
Eddie: So far we’ve only played in The States. Our drummer Paul toured in the UK with an old band of his and said it was a blast and that the crowds were great. As of now, for us as a band, Los Angeles is the only place we can speak for, but they go HARD. LA is the entertainment capital of the word, meaning they aren’t going to be easily impressed. If you DO impress them, however, as we have done, they go wild.
What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
Eddie: It’s just a part of the world we live in today. I don’t think it’s better or worse, just different. It’s also the way music gets consumed the most. There are tradeoffs; digital releases are far easier to access or get out to people, whereas CDs and LPs felt more like an event, or a thing you had to obtain and seek out. Streaming makes it much easier for an artist to put their music out to the world, but with that ease comes an ocean of other artists screaming into the void to be heard, and it can be easy to get lost in the vastness of it all. My outlook on it is, you can either waste time complaining about it, or work with what you’ve got and make it work for you.
Plus, look at vinyl, every hipster with a mustache from the 1860s on earth uses that now. It made a huge comeback. Perhaps a non-conformist who doesn’t want to conform with all the other non-conformists will make CDs cool again.
I say that as a vinyl fan myself by the way. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then how can you laugh at anybody else, right?
Was metal music more honest than today?
Eddie: I don’t think it was any more honest than it is today. Perhaps a bit more innovative. There are probably a lot more metal bands that sound identical to one another today than in the day of Metallica and Slayer’s rise to success in the 80s. So in that sense, perhaps there was a more honest desire to sound unique, but I’m sure lyrically most metal artists are speaking to something true within them, or at the very least are honest about what they’re writing about.
How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
Eddie: I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a large number of sub-genres, but I don’t think it’s good to box yourself into liking one or a few sub-genres. I don’t see why you can’t like us AND a band like Lorna Shore. They are WAY heavier than us, but I don’t see why a fan of theirs can’t also like us, and Lil Uzi Vert, as well as Chris Stapleton, and Beethoven… I think you get my point.
I think you should like what you like. Don’t get tangled up in what sub-category of what sub-genre of metal you like at the expense of missing out on something else you might also like. It’s fine to name something or put a label on it. Given the number of genres and sub-genres that influence us, I couldn’t tell you what the hell we are, I’ll let others decide that. But if you like whatever we are, like us passionately, we won’t let you down, but go like other stuff too. Listen to Lorna Shore, Turnstile, Children Of Bodom, and even Drake or Ariana Grande if that stuff resonates with you as well. We’ll still be us, and we won’t let you down.
We certainly won’t turn you away as a fan for anything else that you like.
I think we’ll only destroy ourselves as a genre if we act exclusively. If the music resonates with someone, let them in the club, no matter who they are or what else they like.
Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some “exposed” people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
Eddie: There’s nothing wrong with commercialization until it becomes predictable and boring. The same way something becomes popular and “cool” is the same process that makes it “lame” in 5 years and then cool again 30 years later. Once it feels like members of a boardroom decided how an album should sound, it’s probably not a good thing. I think audiences are smart enough to pick up on that as well. Which is why something goes from being “cool and popular” to “lame”. When the decision-making falls in the wrong hands, the art gets sacrificed in the process. The art is what made it cool in the first place. So I guess, commercialize something, let it grow, get it out to as many people as possible, but then stay the fuck out of its way and let it stay true to itself.
As for the T-shirt thing, what do I care if Kim Kardashian wears a Cannibal Corpse shirt and has never heard of them? If it makes some kid see that and start listening to Cannibal Corpse isn’t that a good thing? I’ll just chalk it up as free marketing from someone trying to be edgier than they are, but I don’t have a problem with it.
What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
Eddie: My only thoughts are, to be open-minded as a fan/listener, and as an artist try to take all of your influences and make something unique out of it. Don’t sound like everyone else in your respective sub-genres.
Also, let everyone in. Don’t be a snob or a purist. The more the merrier. Just go watch the concert where Pantera and Metallica went to Moscow in 1991. Wouldn’t you rather see something sick like that rather than a half-full stadium?
What I admire about metal however is it doesn’t go away. You can’t kill metal music. The world around us may change, and the popularity of the genre may have its ebbs and flows, but true fans of metal will always be there, and always breathe life into the genre. They don’t give a fuck what you think about metal. They’re always going to love it, and passionately so. It’s an emotional genre, and its fans are passionate! It’s not music for the ambivalent or apathetic. We deal with our issues head-on. Embrace that aggression, anger, sadness, and pain. We fight our demons, live in the pit, and live on the stage.
How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
Eddie: Supporting a local scene is certainly valuable, but in many ways, the internet has made local scenes less relevant. There are all kinds of bands in our area I would tell you to check out like Solancy, Dedfones, Soundhoose, We Are Wasted, none of which sound like us or like one another, but I don’t think that matters. They’re great bands and good people so you should check them out. I guess my only point is, a kid in South Korea could hear our song just as easily as my next-door neighbor in today’s world. So supporting artists by sharing their music and content on social media has more value today than hanging a flier on a wall on Sunset Blvd.
How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
Eddie: The people in control of big decisions in the world will most likely continue to do the things they’ve been doing since the 1970s. Governments, corporations, financiers, technocrats, and autocrats will all continue to give up on the real world for a more convenient fake one. The corporations that continue to bleed the earth for trillions of dollars, will have the politicians that keep them stable, preventing any autocrat crazy enough to fuck up their party from doing so. We will either continue down this unsustainable path until we kill ourselves, or innovate out of it. I’m sure war and imprisonment will be a part of that journey at some point as well, but only if it makes people money or threatens the money they’re already making.
As you can see, I’m an optimist.
Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of bands that are offered to them every day?
Eddie: I think in the sea of bands out there, we belong up there with any established band you may already like. I’m not so cocky as to say we’re better than anyone that’s already established. With music being as subjective as it is, it would be a pointless debate to begin with. However, out of the bands out there that are undiscovered, new, or looking to build an audience/fanbase as we are, I think our music stands out. We’re much better than your average “aspiring artist”. We’re the real deal. The quality of our songs speaks for themselves and I believe on some level, they will speak to you. If you listen to us, come out to see us live, or follow us on social media we’re ALWAYS going to bring it. Whether there are 20 of you out there or 20 million of you out there And I’ll also make DAMN certain Paul and Sean go nuts for you guys on Onlyfans.