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Hall of Fame: Déjà Voodoo: Déjà Voodoo

Déjà Voodoo

Déjà Voodoo: Cheese and crackers anyone?
Photo: Linda Dawn Hammond

Legendary Montreal duo make huge contribution to nascent alternative music scene

It’s amazing to think that two young men – a.k.a. Déjà Voodoo – kept the local indie music scene rollin’ at full-speed throughout the 1980s. Guitarist Gerard Van Herk and drummer Tony Dewald took Montrealers on an incredible musical journey from the cluttered basements of suburbia to the swampy backwaters of the American South. Calling their primitive, stripped-down sound "sludgeabilly," the dynamic duo travelled their sound coast-to-coast first in a white-and-pink Edsel, then in a black Cadillac, and finally in a Greyhound.

But there was more! They offered a complete D.I.Y. package with their Og record label, home of their five track-packed albums (including Cemetery in 1984 and Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die in ’85). Plus they helped release like-minded local and Canadian bands – like Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Terminal Sunglasses, The Gruesomes, UIC and Chris Houston – many of whom had tracks on the It Came From Canada compilations.

Then there were the annual Déjà Voodoo Barbecue musical blowouts in church basements and punk clubs across the country, as well as the Déjà Voodoo Train newsletter every season. These guys never stopped until they bid their fans and musical career farewell in 1990 (when they both turned 30).

Thanks to Déjà Voodoo’s boundless energy and ever-so-cool attitude, the Montreal indie music scene survived the ’80s in style.

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