Hamilton raunch and roll band Voltang consists of Jake Reimer on Vocals, Dan Serre on Bass, Evan Dreager on Guitar and backup vocals, Robbie Blair Gaskin on lead guitar and Paul Maxwell on Drums. After Having just seen this high energy band open for the misfits I knew I had to find out more about who they were.
Only a few days after their show in toronto, I had an amazing chance to talk to lead singer Jake Reimer about what raunch and roll really is, how they stand out from the other bands in their scene, along with how Voltang goes The Xtra Mile.
Stephanie: Why should our readers listen to Voltang?
Jake: Well everyone should be listening to voltang because its not the same shit you hear all the time. There are a million pop-punk bands, a million rock bands, and a million different hardcore bands, but we do a little bit of each. So what we are making, raunch and roll, is not some stereotypical “hey we are these fun guys” kind of music. We are making a new kind of music. Listen to us because we are different.
With so many bands coming and going, how do you guys make Voltang standout?
Everyone and their freakin dog are in bands right now. Anyone can pick up an instrument and learn to play it, it’s easy to get equipment, and you can do a lot on your own computer now too. You can even record yourself playing different instruments and be a whole band by yourself! It has come to a point where it’s ridiculous now, it’s just exploding. So what we are doing to standout and be different is that we always deliver a high-energy live show. Every time you come see us live it’s something to watch. For example, I know you came and saw us play with the misfits but usually I’m not even on stage. Sometimes I am standing up on a bar or even a table just to get people going. It gives something for people to watch, something to do, while listening to the music. I always like to do something new. Our writing even, it based on trying new ways to make songs. It’s not about trying to do what everyone else is doing, and just doing it better, its just about doing something different.
Would you say your merch is another way to make guys standout?
Hell yeah! I am mean the merch, you have a masturbating unicorn t-shirt and that’s something that we love. I love that t-shirt so much! People will come up just to look to see what’s going on, you know what I mean? They might not buy it… actually a lot of people buy it … but uh they might not buy but they come over and look because that’s something new and something different. We are trying to do that; we are trying to be offensive, because it’s funny. It’s a shirt that makes you feel something. It’s way better than just putting your name or logo on a white or black t-shirt and hoping people will buy it.
I caught your set at the phoenix when you opened up for the misfits and honestly I really enjoyed it, now how do you think the performance went?
I think it went great! It was really cool to be on such a big stage with so many people and to be able to hear my music being blasted, like so loud. We really haven’t been in that situation before so we were super excited to finally get that opportunity. So like I thought the show went well… I mean I would have love to have had some things on stage I could jump on top of or break cause I felt like I could only really stand and I haven’t had that experience before. I think we did really well, I think we played really well; I thought it was pretty rad, and I mean you liked it right?
Yeah I really like your set! Also considering you had the first set of the night, which was also pretty early, you guys had a pretty big crowd watching.
Yeah like the misfits didn’t go on until like 11pm, so it was a really early night. But it was great because everyone was moving and cheering and that’s fantastic, I really dig that.
The misfits are obviously one of the most iconic bands. Now if you had to choose any other iconic band to open up for / play with, who would that be and why?
That’s an excellent question! I don’t know … motorhead? That’s something because it would be a sweet rock show. But um I think though, and I almost know for sure if you ask anyone else in the band, probably Tom Waits just because of that weird different edge. I just think it would be legendary. It’s honestly all about the weirdness. The cool voice, cool songs, that’s what we are trying to do just on a rock and roll kind of scale.
Now you guys have played many shows across Canada, do you notice any difference between crowds in different cites?
Yeah ha-ha, I just want to do the weirdest shout out of all time to Miramichi, New Brunswick. Now that was amazing because we were going across Canada and playing all these shows and sometimes you feel like it’s just the same everywhere. But for this specific show it was promoted like hell and they were making sure people knew that it was the first metal show that was coming by there for a long time and the promoters were even having the radio stations out to the show. It’s a small town so a lot of people were like “we aren’t going to miss this shit” you know what I mean? So once we got to the venue there were only really about 20 people but they were all having a great time. Everyone was meeting and talking to us and just having a good time. Sometimes when you go to other cities, I’m not going to name them, but when you go to some cities you can see that everyone is standing around a just judging the music with their arms crossed. They just watch the set happen, no energy or nothing, they all just kind of wait until it is done. Then it makes me think that maybe they will be energetic for the next band, but no, it is like that for the whole night and it makes you wonder if anyone in the venue really had a good night. Looking at Canada as a whole though everywhere is a bit different but it is always a good night. If someone is not having a good night we try and make them have a good night.
So I have to say, I actually listened through your whole album and I was just wondering what the concept behind the album was, because after reading the lyrics and from what I’m getting from it is that it might have something to do with love, or like a love story in a sense?
Wow ha-ha, really? Hmm, I like that. You’re saying like from song to song correct? Yeah okay cool. Well there is a concept but we aren’t a band that make concept albums because I don’t want to stand up to guys like “bring me the author” because I don’t think we could hold our own next to their concept album, you know what I mean?
However, there is a concept in it and it’s not necessarily super obvious and it’s a little hidden and it’s a little strange but I always enjoy hearing what other people have to say about it because I want people to have their own feelings.
The album is like a journey, which seems like you noticed that, and you can even say that the album has many different genres. The lyrics change and the narrators aren’t always the same but there is some sort of story that is there, so it is cool that you picked up on that and I hope that when people listen to it they can pick up on something and have their own version of what the hell just happened.
As you mentioned there are many different styles of music in this record. What I was wondering was if this happened intentionally or did it just kind of happen when you were guys were writing the album?
The intention was to make something like that. But the exact thing that comes out is not planned. When you listen to the song helicopter girl and it ends on a Latin beat that gets really heavy, then it goes into an acoustic Spanish flavored kind of intro, outro, which then leads into snake charmer. When we are creating songs we aren’t like this is the one that ends acoustic, we aren’t thinking that, it’s really a lot more natural. The fact is though; we do want to have weird things that break up the song. So I guess its really a little bit of both.
Yeah I mean, I guess it is hard for you guys to say exactly what genre you are when you have so many different genres on your album, let alone one song.
Yeah exactly, like it is very important to us that when people ask us what our genre is, we saw we are raunch and roll. It is not rock and roll, it is not hardcore, it is not punk, it is not metal, it is raunch and roll. A lot of people will try and label it and they will all label it different stuff, which is hilarious. When someone tries to tell us what other bands we sound like, the bands are always so different. My Favourite one that someone said was “rock and roll ‘Converge’” and I was just like “that is the best thing I have ever heard”. Meanwhile someone else will say that we sound like Ninja Spy or like Ska. People are picking up weird things and so that is why our genre is raunch and roll. Raunch and roll is just a sound that kind of carries throughout the album. If you listen to the whole album like you did, you will hear that there are a whole bunch of different sounds.
How does Voltang go theXTRAmile?
Wow that is a fantastic question ha-ha.
All we are doing ever is going the extra mile. The thing is when we sat down and started this band; we look at and asked each other what we wanted out of this, what is the goal? A lot of bands might have this goal in mind where they can keep their day jobs and their careers and continue with that kind of stuff, to use the money to buy cars and have normal lives. It isn’t until they get signed and make a bunch of money that they quit their jobs and do music full time. We don’t do that… we don’t have jobs. Right now for example, I don’t work and I’m not lying. I am not going working at shopper’s drugmart during the day and then pretending to be a rock star at night. I literally do nothing but music. The other guys are the same. Everyone is in it for the music. I guess you could say that Dan has a job, but he plays acoustic guitar for people at bars, which is really still just focusing on music. So when we say we go the extra mile, we are out there playing shows that are too far away from home with no gas money and sleeping in the van. We take time to make our record because we don’t just want to release 4 or 5 songs because that’s all we can afford. We go out and put 8 songs on the E.p to make it more of a complete album. That honestly is an extra mile thing right there. We love going the extra mile. It is literally all or nothing. We go so many extra mile’s that there are no more.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
We have a bunch of shows coming up. Be sure to check out Facebook out to find when and where we are playing. If you want to check us out you can also visit voltang.com. Also when you come to a show make sure to bring your party shoes!
Check out Voltang’s Single Hermaphroditē Down below