Gypsy-Punk, Selfmade-Artists and Europe-tours

Our big interview with Voltaire

To the german translation

Voltaire

Welcome to the second part of our big interview with Voltaire. This time the musician from New York City explains, why he had to publish his new album without the support of his present label. And actually, how does Voltaire create his songs? And what have a klingon party and country-music to do with that? Answers to it und to much more, now in the second part of our big, threeparted interview with Voltaire!


Part 2: Around

Cabaret-Noir: "To The Bottom of the Sea" was released these days. But you did the release all by yourself without the help of any label. What happened after changing your label from Projekt to Dancing Ferret some time ago?
Voltaire: I had been on Projekt for 10 years. When I released "Ooky Spooky" in the summer of 2007, my contract expired. I had gotten a very generous offer from Dancing Ferret after that and decided to accept it. They have a strong presence in Europe and it was my goal to tour in Europe and to release CDs there so I felt it was good move. But sadly, they folded 2 weeks before I was to hand in my finished CD. I decided to put it out myself. It has gone very sell so far. I sold the first 2000 that I made in a couple of weeks and now I´m making more of them. But I guess I´m going to have to focus on breaking into Europe on my own.

CaNo: Preorder of "To The Bottom of the Sea" ended on August 16th, on September 14th there was be a release party in New York City. Is there something like an official release-date and when will the first pre-ordered CDs arrive at its costumers?
V: Oh, you´re only asking that question because you want to know when you´ll get yours! heh heh. Seriously though, I guess the official release date was September 1st because that´s when I received the CDs from the factory. I sold 600 of them that day along at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia. Dragoncon is a fantasy convention at which I perform every year. When I got back to New York after Dragoncon, I started shipping out the pre-orders. But packing and shipping 1,200 CDs is a lot of work for one person so I´m still working on it. I should have them all shipped soon though.

Voltaire CaNo: Will there be a chance for your fans to get "To The Bottom of the Sea" in the future, after preorder ended? Will your fans be able to buy the CD in a (offline) Musicshop some day?
V: YES! In fact, I sent about 100 of them to CD.baby.com They sold out in a day though so I sent more and those sold out, too. But no worries. I´m having another 1000 discs made this week so by the end of October they should be permanently available on CD.baby.com and also in my webstore.
Soon they will also be available on iTunes as well.

CaNo: In your Myspace-blog you wrote that probably there will be only one- or two thousand copies of "To The Bottom of the Sea". Do you know how many CDs will exist in fact at least yet?
V: The first 2000 are pre-ordered and/or sold at shows or at CD.BABY.COM. I have a very small number of them left which will be gone after the next couple of shows. As I mentioned, I´m making 1000 more. Those will be available soon. And I will keep making them as long as there is a demand for them. It´s important to note though the second batch say "Second Pressing" on them and there are some small changes to the booklet. I wanted to make sure that the people who supported me with a pre-order had something truly special and rare so I made changes to the second and any subsequent pressings.
I´m also now talking to a friend in Germany about pressing the CDs in Germany in the hopes of distributing them in Europe.

CaNo: "To The Bottom of the Sea" was released just one year after your last CD "Ooky Spooky" from 2007. As far as I know that is a personal record, because the normal intervalls between your longplayers are three to five years. Did you have that many good songideas this time? Or did so many things happen in your life you had to sing and write about?
V: Oh, that´s not true! Heh heh. Actually, there´s usually a two year gap between CDs. The Devil´s Bris came out in 1998, Almost Human in 2000, Boo Hoo in 2002, Then And Again in 2004... okay, okay, I made my point. Heh heh.. But yes, "To The Bottom of the Sea" came out only one year after "Ooky Spooky" and that is indeed a personal record for me. To be honest, I think I was so excited by the prospect of moving into Europe that I worked twice as hard. But then of course Dancing Ferret folded, so now I´m sort of back to the beginning. But I´m glad the CD is out and I´m really pleased with it.

Voltaire CaNo: One (or better three) general question(s): How do you create your Songs? What does inspire you? And (the old question) what is first: text or melody?
V: The songs just pop into my head, honestly. I do a lot of walking in New York City and I find that melodies will pop into my head all of the time. When I really like one, I´ll find myself humming it often and then it develops into a song. I will often record them into my cell phone so that I don´t forget them. This was particularly true on this CD. In fact, I was coming up with so many melodies so often that I had a huge data bank of melodies by the time I started recording the CD. The lyrics came much later on this one though. And a lot of the ideas were instrumental which is why there are so much more instrumental parts in this CD than on the previous ones.
I guess that answers the other question. Most often the melody comes first then lyrics follow. Sometimes it happens the other way around. I get a conceptual idea for a song, like for instance, a song about a zombie prostitute. It suggests a bunch of jokes or story parts and then I set them to music.
And lastly, I´m inspired mostly by mediocrity and garbage. When I feel I can´t turn on the radio because the music is so shite, it makes me want to write music that I would enjoy listening to. And then I do. I´m very lucky that there are other people who also enjoy it.

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More Info:

Voltaires Site on Myspace
Voltaires Webstore
Buy "To The Bottom of the Sea"

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