Saturday, March 30, 2019

Interview with Nicholas Roy of DOAN by Dave Wolff

Interview with Nicholas Roy of DOAN

The earliest incarnation of Doan formed as the cover band Ghettoblaster in 2011. What made the band decide to abandon this in favor of writing and composing originals in 2017?
I am the one who proposed that we try to do our own music. I was missing the creative side of music I was used to with my previous bands. Another motivation was that I’ve always wanted to do a music project inspired by bands like Tool, Alice In Chains, Deftones, Godsmack and many more in those genres.

What songs did the band cover as Ghettoblaster? Were any of them by the band that were an inspiration to you? Who were the others in the band listening to at the time?
We had a pretty long set list from Stone Temple Pilots' “Vasoline” to an electric version of Days Of The New’s “Touch, Peel and Stand” while going through Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” and the ever party lifter “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against The Machine.
Some of the most inspiring songs that we played as Ghettoblaster were Alice In Chains’ “Man in the Box” for the bluesy riffs and solo, Godsmack’s “I Stand Alone” with the moody breakdown, Alter Bridge’s “Metalingus” for the heavy riffing and Voivod’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”. They have done an amazing job covering this song and making it their own! At that time we discovered our common love for progressive rock inspired music from bands like Tool, Rush and A Perfect Circle.

Are cover and tribute bands big in your part of Canada? Or do people prefer more original bands? What are your thoughts on cover bands these days?
It is a really big thing. But lately, I’ve been sensing a return to interest of original bands. I think that it can be a good idea to mix both on the same night’s lineup. It’s a good way to get more people into local original bands.

Is Doan’s lineup the same as Ghettoblaster’s lineup was? If the band has had the same members from the beginning, how do you account for having the same lineup all this time?
It’s the same. We just have a really good chemistry together. We have one rule, no matter what we do, it has to be fun.

Having a female vocalist in the band, do you have to work harder to be taken seriously? Or is the band accepted regardless?
I’ve never felt any setback from having a woman as a vocalist. We’re in an era where there is more female fronted rock and metal band than ever and I’m liking it.

Does your experience playing those covers help your songwriting? How many of your own ideas are written into Doan’s material? Does the band have any particular methods of combining your influences in your material?
It does help to learn and play someone else’s song. You get to understand how the song is structured and it helps improve your own songwriting skills. The band’s music is the result of a collaborative effort. I or Andre first comes in with their riffs in a structure as a base for a song, the others write their parts for their instruments, and Diane composes lyrics and melodies. We just let our inspiration and creativity do the work while trying to serve the song better.

Doan’s debut full length “Stupidity Kills,” first released on November 10, 2017 and set to be re-released by Sliptrick Records this year, is described by Jenny Tate as having “an unusual sound, creating space for your imagination to fill in the blanks.”
I like how Jenny Tate described the album. I think that she understood well the overall mood. But, everyone can feel the music in a different way so there’s no right or wrong, it’s a personal thing. To us, the album represents the exploration and the evolution of our identity as a band. If you’d listen to the album in the order they we’re composed, you could really hear the evolution!

What zine or webzine is Jenny Tate writing for? Or does she write freelance? Are other publications reviewing the band?
Jenny Tate, known as ‘The Rock Queen’, is former presenter of Saturday Rocks on Rhubarb Radio – she is a long-time reviewer of all things rock and metal. Her reviews are posted on her blog at We had a great review on and we have more coming with the release of the album on Sliptrick!

How does the title “Stupidity Kills” represent the songs that were recorded for it?
The lyrics of the album are about how humans can be stupid, and the fact that all the stupidity that humanity does will eventually cause its extinction. Humanity advisory, stupidity kills!

Are there specific examples of humanity’s folly in your songs? Are they inspired by current events, historical occurrences or both?
Some songs have specific examples of humanity’s folly like the song “Happy Sobriety”, which we’ve just shot a video for. The song is about how society is relying on medication to “fix” anything and everything that does not fit in the modern lifestyle.

Where is based and what did they have to say in their review of the album?
They are a 24/7 web radio based in St-Félix-de-Valois, a small town near Montréal. Here’s what L’bouc had to say about our album: “An alternative-progressive metal that moves and that stands out with its frankly good parts! Honestly a woman who sings in this musical style, it is frankly refreshing! I always thought that there was a place of choice for women in this environment and Diane Thibault demonstrates it very well. Their album is a real gem, each piece transports you to a different world from one time to the next. What makes it beautiful is that each of these universes become hyper personal. They transport us through their music in an emotional trip really "trippy”!!! It's up to you to discover your emotional destinations!”

Was Sliptrick Records one of the labels you contacted while looking for distribution, or did they approach you? Describe the deal with the label and how it benefits everyone involved.
Sliptrick Records approached us last summer through Metal Coffee PR, a company that handles PR for us. I think they offered us exactly what we need at the stage we’re at right now, which is digital and physical distribution and promotion of our album worldwide in a 50/50 investment and benefits deal.

How long has Metal Coffee PR been helping promote the band? How has the promotion deal between you and Sliptrick Records been working out this far?
We’ve been working with Wes for almost a year now and he’s helping us a lot! We’re really glad we made that move last year. With Sliptrick Records, we’re starting to see things moving already but most of the album promotion is yet to come.

Who worked on the promotional video for “Happy Sobriety” with you? In what ways does the video reflect the song’s lyrics?
Like our videos for “Step Back” and “We Belong To”, we do it by ourselves. It’s a creative process we do together. For this one, we transformed a room at Olivier’s house into a studio, after we shoot everything I’ll do the edition. “Happy Sobriety” is a live studio performance with a camera running around us so it doesn’t really reflect the lyrics. The video should be finished soon!

What equipment did you use to make “Happy Sobriety”? Was it the same equipment you filmed your other videos with or was any new equipment used?
For “Happy Sobriety” we used a Gopro on a stabilizer. We rented a stabilizer for the “Step Back” video and afterward we bought one. It’s perfect for making smooth moving action shots.

Describe the videos of “Step Back” and “We Belong To.” Are those videos uploaded on Youtube to get the band more exposure?
“Step Back” was a live video we did at our friend’s house (where he has a stage with lighting) in the summer time. We shot “We Belong To” on a fixed camera performing one at a time in front of it. It includes effects at the editing. They are both on our Youtube channel. The videos got great exposure on Facebook and we’re working on promoting our Youtube channel which is still new to us.

Have reviews of your videos been written since they were uploaded? Do you plan to short more videos to promote the new album?
We didn’t have any official video reviews yet but had a lot of nice comments about them! We sure will do more videos, we’re getting better at it and it’s a fun thing to do!

For what songs are you planning to shoot videos next? Does producing your videos independently give you more creative freedom than working with professionals?
The song “Some Kind Of” is gonna be the next video. A good friend of the band, a multidisciplinary artist Roberto Garcia, will be involved in the creative process and production. He’s the one who did the cover of the album. After that, we’ll see when we get there.

Name other songs from “Stupidity Kills” you deem worth mentioning for their lyrics and why.
Again I have to say “Some Kind Of” from which came the album tittle and “Wrong Number” about the plague that texting while driving is becoming.

Is the band previewing any of the material on “Stupidity Kills” while playing live? If so how have they been received so far?
We’ve been playing the songs live in the past year to tighten up our live set. They’ve been received pretty well. One of the frequent comments we get is that our music is nothing like they have heard before.

Will the band eventually want to build more of a fan base in other countries, such as the U.S. and England? What would you most want Doan to be remembered for?
We definitely want to build a fan base in other countries. The process is already started. We want to go on the road and play wherever we get the chance to get on the stage! DOAN wants to be remembered as a genuine group of people doing music that is true to them. We don’t try to please everyone, we do music that we like, that we connect with and we know we’ll find people that will bind with us!

-Dave Wolff

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