Voodoo Terror Tribe Frontman Gil Pan Zator


By Todd Jolicouer


ToddStar: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for The Rockpit.


Gil: Hello!


ToddStar: If it is okay, I would love to jump right into discussing your new EP release, Stands to Reason. You seem to be varying from the Voodoo Terror Tribe pattern and recipe as established on Symptoms of Sin and earlier releases. What can you tell us about the EP?


Gil: I had only been in the band about six months at the time we wrote and recorded S.O.S. In the time between that album and “Stands to Reason”, we moved towards a heavy synthesizer presence in our songs. For now we use sequencing to write, record, & perform, but hopefully we can enlist a live synth-player at some point in the near future.


ToddStar: You re-mixed what I feel was one of the stronger songs from your last disc (Symptoms of Sin) on this EP, "Never Died Before." Any specific reason you chose that song over the others? In your mind, what elements from the original version did you carry over in order to bridge the two recordings?


Gil: Mostly out of economy and whim we chose one song from S.O.S. for our new engineer, Kevin Antreassian at Backroom studios, to remix. “Never Died Before” was our only synth-driven track from that album. We’d always wanted a version of the tune with a beefed-up guitar sound, so that’s what we tried for in the remix.


ToddStar: Regarding Stands to Reason, were any of the songs easier to write than others? You often hear about an artist that sat down to write a song and that essentially the song wrote itself. Were any of the songs difficult to get out? If so, which?


Gil: Twenty12 was a completely brand new track, and I wrote almost all of it on Xmas day in 2010. The song wrote itself. The guitar riffs were written on the keyboard and the words came to me in dreams. The devil made me do it.


The song “Stands to Reason” was an old tune of mine co-written with a friend, and along with Masquerade, was a set-standard for VTT at our live shows for some time before we recorded it. Both songs were worked, re-worked, and played live for a while compared to “Twenty12.”



ToddStar: If you had to describe the sound of Voodoo Terror Tribe to someone who had never heard of you, how would you do that?


Gil: We don’t pretend to have a particularly unique sound. We’re alternative metal, simple enough, often compared with the “nu-metal” sound of the late nineties. Godsmack, Disturbed, and now more like Rammstein, Rob Zombie, In Flames, Tool, Marilyn Manson. The synths have been breaking us out of that mold, though the songwriting remains along the same lines. Speaking for myself, listing my influences would not give you a good idea of VTT’s sound. So, when asked “who do you sound like?” we list other people’s descriptions of us, even when we don’t exactly agree.


ToddStar: When performing live, do you find that you mix the material evenly from your releases, or do you tend to play more of the newer material? Are there any songs from your earlier releases that you feel will always be a part of your live show? Any covers that you maintain as part of your repertoire?


Gil: There’s certainly a wide mix, with plenty of unreleased material, both old and new. We enjoy doing covers. "Separate Ways" (Journey), which is on the EP, is a current standard. Rammstein’s “Pussy” (which is fun as hell to play), Pantera’s "Cowboys from Hell," Faith No More’s “Digging The Grave,” Misfits “Where Eagles Dare,” to name a few. We also have an acoustic set that includes Pearl Jam, U2, Audioslave, and Johnny Cash covers. Check our website for some free live recordings (TS: find those at: http://www.voodooterrortribe.com/)


ToddStar: What is next for Voodoo Terror Tribe?


Gil: We were recently picked up by Romulus X Records, and plan to tour through them and Legion Promotions sometime this spring. We’ll probably hit the northeast US for 10 days or so, then mid-west and West Coast and hopefully Europe, but that’s all in preplanning right now. We also just released our new video “Stands to Reason” and trying to finish another video “Twenty12” very soon. “Stands To Reason” is only a five song EP for economic reasons, not for lack of material. We’d like to have another video and a new record out by summer; time and finances being the only reasons that might be delayed.



ToddStar: If you had to pick possible pairings for an ideal tour, what other bands would you like to see Voodoo Terror Tribe out on the road with?


Gil: If I am to name realistic cohorts for the road, Sundown Conspiracy (New Jersey) and Nevereven (New York City) are two bands I could not recommend more highly, and that would be seriously excellent tour-mates, both musically and personally. International acts that would be great to join up with would be: Paradise Lost, Rammstein, Rob Zombie, Tool, maybe even Manowar, Lacuna Coil or Birthday Massacre (current synthy bands I’m digging a lot).


ToddStar: If there were one piece of music in the history of time that you wish you had written, what would it be and why?


Gil: Interesting question. I would have to go with Pearl Jam’s “Ten.” Not quite a metal answer, I know, and I list the whole album as a “piece,” not just one song. I remember the effect that album had on people when it came out. I want very much to write something with such a wide-reaching power over fans.


ToddStar: We are just starting a fresh year with 2012 - any regrets from 2011? Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2012 professionally or personally?


Gil: Who wants to admit to regret? I regret the time I spent on regret in 2011. For 2012, the resolutions are:

1. Get your kicks before the whole shit-house goes up in flames.
2. Less talk, more action. (My usual phrase is slightly different, but I will keep my answers secular).


ToddStar: What is the meaning of life?


Gil: I used to think it was 42, but it is not. Crush your enemies; see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.


ToddStar: Thanks again for taking the time and we look forward to 2012 and more Voodoo Terror Tribe!!


Gil: And thank you for a great interview and for your support.