Vodun – Interview with Chantal Brown

Chantal Brown is an extraordinary vocalist who sings in many bands. Before their spectacular album launch with Vodun, we had the chance to sit down with her and ask about her main the band’s past, present, future and a bit more.


Photo by Marcus Way Photo by Marcus Way

Hey Chantal, how are you?

Fine, thanks!

When was the last album launch?

Two years ago, in April.

No way… I thought it was four.

Yeah, two years ago. So it was 2016. We did a tour with Limb and we ended it in the Lexington which was amazing: we managed to sell it out which we just didn’t expect. Yeah, so it was two years ago. It’s pretty fantastic that we’ve been able to hold it together, pull it together and release another album.

It took a bit of time.

It took a lot of time. It took a lot of hard work, er… a lot of stress. But it’s fantastic. We incorporated a lot more people and musicians. And I think it’s really good.

Yeah, I saw that at the sound check. How many of you are on the stage now?

A lot. Haha. We had so much fun at the Lexington when I kinda put them on the stage before. It was just great. So it just made sense to kinda move the sound in that direction. So then we got a percussionist to help us out on the album, who’s gonna be here tonight.

Is this going be a regular thing now?

No, this is special. I gotta pay people. We don’t make any money, so… Hahaha.

So this is only for the album launch party and then the rest of the tour is only going to be the three of you.

Yes, this is a special thing for tonight and then just the three of us, but I think Linz (guitarist) has more pedals, hahaha, and Zel (drummer) sings a bit more.

What do you think is the most important thing about the album?

That we made it. Hahaha!

Photo by Marcus Way Photo by Marcus Way

What do you want to tell with this album?

Er, well, we’re talking more about ancestry and lineage, and just kind of trying to make the connection between people paying homage to ancestry and where they come from and look at our current climate, ‘specially the political climate, and looking at those déjà vu moments, so when we’ve been here before. We’ve been here before with racism, we’ve been here before with sexism, we’ve been here before with xenophobia. And looking at what we did to overcome those things. Because it does feel like we’ve regressed somehow when you look at the rise of xenophobic attacks and racist attacks and stuff like that across the globe. So we like, you know, we had the civil rights movements and all these things and we managed to get to a certain point, it felt. So we look at the past and look at the people who’ve done this stuff before, and see what they did and we do it again. You know. We’re just trying to move forward instead of moving backwards.

How long is this tour going to be?

I think it’s a two week tour. We’ve got a couple of days off but yeah, a two week tour essentially.

And then you’ll go to Europe as well.

Straight after. We have one and a half maybe two weeks downtime and then we’re off to Europe for three weeks, so for the better part of October.

Which countries will you hit?

ALL OF ‘EM! No, not all of them. None of the Scandinavian countries but… So it’s France, Germany, Italy, Spain. We gonna try check Czech at some point if we can still get a gig.

Do you think we need to wait another two years for the next album?

Maybe. Maybe, hahaha.

Or less?

It takes a long time. I can’t guarantee anything right now.

 Is it harder because Zel moved to Cornwall?

No, it’s not hard at all cause we haven’t been active, and when we are she just stays in London. She also just bought a van so we can shove all of our stuff in there a lot more easily and she’s in London like every other week so it’s fine when we need to rehearse.

Do you think you should be more active?

No, I’ve been working with Zel for over ten years, we’ve been making music in that period of time and I think moving forward we just wanna do the gigs that we really, really enjoy and really, really wanna do. When you get older you start to think about mortgages, start to think about kids, start thinking about careers and other things that make you happy as well; music is always gonna do that but it’s not always gonna pay for bills, I mean it never really does. So, you know, yeah I think we’re gonna be a bit more selective about the things we wanna do and if tonight goes well we’ll maybe wanna do special gigs every now and then where we can get everything we want soundwise.

With all the extra people.

Yeah, you know.

I like that, that’s good.

Hahaha, thank you Gabor!

Photo by Marcus Way Photo by Marcus Way

Hahaha. No I mean we all understand it’s heavy work because the whole music industry is a kinda funny thing, right? Because some people can make money and it doesn’t even matter if they make good music.


Seriously, how many bands do we know that are not particularly good but for whatever reason they play the big venues, etc…

Yeah, you’re right. The music itself is a beautiful thing; the music industry sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, because if you try to mix something that’s organic and something you treat with love with business at some point something’s gonna have to give – it has to be a compromise somewhere. So it’s not how good you are. I know so many talented musicians. I’ve been a session musician forever. It’s not about talent at all. It’s about luck, and it’s not even about the drive.


Yeah. It’s all of that. Do you have the money behind it? Do you have the backing? So record labels are banks who happened to invest in music. That’s the way I see them. So if you wanna partner up and do that kind of relationship that’s amazing, but for us the DIY, the small independent things sounds amazing. They’ve been good to us. And we really happy with their involvement.

And it’s not even about money, we don’t do it for money.

Of course, you don’t.

But do you think that Vodun can get to that level one day?

Who knows? I think if we plod and plod and put everything and everything… But you know we have lives, Zel’s in another band as well, in a punk band, and I am in other bands, and I think we learned that you can hold on to something so tightly that you start to crush it a little bit. We don’t want to do that.

I remember when I first saw Vodun I told Zel that I think it is going to be something big because it’s unique.

I think so and I’ve been told so. And I am glad that people find it unique, but unique is like Marmite. You might love it, you might hate it.

It’s a nice metaphor.

People have strong feelings about us either way.

I don’t know. I don’t think you can hate Vodun.

But you talk to people, especially online… I saw comments, oh… Hahaha. If you are an average music consumer you get fed by the media: “You gotta listen to this!”

Yeah, but on the other hand, in the last few weeks lots of amazing reviews came out about ‘Ascend’.

Yeah, but… And I appreciate that, but everyone is entitled to like what they do. I am fine if people don’t like me. I love that people do love us, you know, as much as we love what we do we wouldn’t do it if other people didn’t like it. It does influence us. It’s good when people turn up to your gig.

Photo by Marcus Way Photo by Marcus Way

Plans for the future?

Surprise! If we get a third album… Hahaha.

Anything you want to say to the readers of Independent Voice?

Thanks for checking us out and supporting if you are supporting.

Thanks a lot.

Thank you!

Vodun – New Doom

New Doom video featuring Chris Georgiadis from Turbowolf & directed by Dreamworld Video—–New album 'Ascend' available now!“Preposterously exciting and unremittingly inventive.” Metal Hammer – 8/10“A powerful elixir.” Mojo – 4/5“An album that truly gets into your brain and dances all over your frontal lobe.”Kerrang! – KKKK“There’s a gripping intensity to this music that’s very hard to shake.” Classic Rock – 8/10. “You won’t hear a more modern sounding rock record this year.”Planet Rock – 4/5“There is nothing not to love here.” 9/10AvenoctumVinyl & CD: https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/vodun-ascendApple: http://smarturl.it/VodunAscendAppleSpotify:http://smarturl.it/VodunAscendSpotify—–UK DATES – September 13.09 – London – Oslo15.09 – Newcastle – Trillians18.09 – Manchester – Rebellion19.09 – Huddersfield – The Parish20.09 – Norwich – The Brickmakers21.09 – Birmingham – Asylum 222.09 – Newport – Le Pub23.09 – Leeds – Brudenell Social 25.09 – Bristol – The Crofters Rights26.09 – Exeter – The Cavern 28.09 – Brighton – Sticky Mikes Frog BarTicket linksLondon show tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/f/11687UK date tickets: https://www.seetickets.com/tour/vodunManchester tickets: https://www.skiddle.com/…/Manches…/Rebellion/VODUN/13287899/—–EURO DATES – October09.10 – France – Lille -TBC10.10 – France – Strasbourg – Elastic Bar11.10 – Czech – TBC *contact us to book12.10 – Germany – Rodewisch *Private Event13.10 – Germany – Berlin – Zukunft am Ostkreuz (Headz up fest)14.10 – Czech – TBC *contact us to book16.10 – Austria – Vienna – Local17.10 – Italy – Rome – TBC18.10 – Italy – Taranto – New Magazine Pub19.10 – Italy – Seregno – Honky Tonky21.10 – Italy – Vercelli – Officine Sonore22.10 – Spain – Barcelona – Rocksound24.10 – Spain – Madrid – Wurlitzer Ballrom25.10 – Portugal – TBC *contact us to book26.10 – Spain – A Coruña – Forum Celticum27.10 – Spain – San Sebastian – Dabadaba28.10 – France – Nantes – Michelet29.10 – France – Poitiers – Cluricaume Café30.10 – France – Paris – Olympic CaféEuro event and tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/1472826782862885/

Posted by Vodun on Thursday, 6 September 2018


Copyright © The Independent Voice 2019