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Aurelio Voltaire HernŠndez is a musician, animator and comic book artist popular in the goth scene and among anime and sci-fi fans. Lately he's been crossing over into Steampunk. His most popular songs include "Brains"note Remember that episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy with the brain-eating alien? Yeah, that was him. and "When You're Evil". Most of his songs poke fun at the New York City goth scene, and anything else he either loves (Star Trek & Star Wars) or hates (New Jersey).He was born in Havana, Cuba. His family moved to Jersey when he was a child (which he hated) and currently lives in New York City. He does claymation, mainly channel I.D.s, which he started when he was only 10 years old. He currently teaches stop-motion animation at The School of Visual Arts in NYC when he's not touring.His music is mainly satirical, but some of his songs can be quite serious and deep. Most of his songs have a folk-music feel to them, though he often breaks genre barriers, going into jazz, country, even rap.It's also the name of one of history's most celebrated essayist, philosopher and writers. But who cares about that? He does. A lot. He recently (since 2010), started to use his first name with it, so now to find his new stuff on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, etc., you have to search for Aurelio Voltaire. He did this due to people making new bands with "Voltaire" in them, and so his fans can find him easily. He said on his offical facebook page:"I got tired of there being other people releasing albums as Voltaire. There's an indie band in Germany and some American guy who makes instrumental hip hop. Like, do these people not do a fuckin' google search before naming their bands? Anyway, it was just easier to distinguish myself from them by using my first name."Voltaire married his long-time girlfriend, Jayme, on October 1, 2009, at the Angel Orensanz Center in New York City. Voltaire has a son, Mars, from a previous relationship, born in 1998. On September 25, 2013, Voltaire announced on his official blog, that he and his wife are getting divorced, just short of their 4 year anniversary.Has a YouTube channel with some of his stop motion animations, but his main account can be found here, where he uploads music and vlogs (which he calls "Nooseletters") straight from the Lair of Voltaire, delivered alongside his literal Deadpan Snarker friend/corpse Orville Deadenbacker.
According to Voltaire himself, "Riding a Black Unicorn" is basically an affectionate homage to Iron Maiden, but it can really be seen as one to Power Metal in general. From the silly title, to the hammy cello riff and distinctly Turilli-esque violin solo, to the utterly absurd lyrics, it basically has it all.
Angry Mob Song: "Stakes and Torches". Scimitars and bayonets; scythes, pitchforks, a sickle with a sharpened edge...
Ascended Meme / A Good Name for a Rock Band: According to Word of God: "This is the title track of my new album. The album was named by a young man named Alex who posted on my Facebook page "Voltaire's music is the audio equivalent of riding a black unicorn down the side of an erupting volcano while drinking from a chalice filled with the laughter of small children." When I read that I knew I had to name the new album that! AND I knew I had to write a song called that as well. And here it is!"
Ass Pull: Voltaire invoked this in the song "The U.S.S. Make Shit Up" as a celebration of the many ass pulls of Star Trek.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: "The Mechanical Girl" can grow to seven times her size and is armed with flamethrowers, rockets, and other powerful and destructive weaponry. Which is bad news for the king who takes her from her father and creator to try to make her his queen.
Awesome McCool Album Title: Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children.
Badass Adorable: The Mechanical Girl, according to some character sketches Aurelio did.
Bait and Switch: Blue-Eyed Matador. The matador thinks he's fighting The Devil in the shape of a monstrous bull for his soul. Turns out The Devil is the beautiful woman in the stands, distracting him from the bull instead.
Dark Is Not Evil: Voltaire himself could be considered a living example. Althought his gloomy look he's known to be funny, nice and ironic.
Defictionalization: His forthcoming album Raised By Bats is based on the album released by a character in his novel Call of the Jersey Devil.
Despair Event Horizon: "Feathery Wings". A guardian angel ala It's a Wonderful Life, trying to earn his wings and get back to Heaven, but his success rate apparently isn't so hot, so he's stuck here. In the final verse he has a complete breakdown, sobbing about how much he hates it here and how alone he feels since the mortals at least get to leave.
Underground. Being dead and buried doesn't make getting dumped by the most wonderful woman in the world any less painful.Ultimately defied as the POV character ends the song having decided that the best revenge is not to kill himself, but instead to live long enough to dance on her grave.
The opening lines of Feathery Wings imply that this is the sort of thing the angel is trying to prevent. "Trying" being the operative word.
There's an infant that's been torn apart, now he's .... Dead!
Ironic Echo: The chorus to "Crusade", and it gains another layer every time it comes around.
Large Ham: Basically in every song he acts like this.
Least Rhymable Word: a hilarious example from "Straight Razor Cabaret." On his YouTube page, he said that "face raper" was the only thing he could think of that rhymed with "straight razor." When it was pointed out to him that the two phrases don't actually rhyme, he decided he didn't care.
Long Title: "Death Death (Devil, Devil, Devil, Devil, Evil, Evil, Evil, Evil Song)" Which is why he and the fans usually shorten it to "Death Death etc."
"Riding on A Black Unicorn Down The Side of An Erupting Volcano While Drinking From A Chalice Filled With The Laughter of Small Children". He doesn't even fit it all on the album cover.
The Masochism Tango: "Stuck With You" is about a couple arguing and listing off all the horrible things they've done to each other... with an ending that's fifty percent Bittersweet and fifty percent squick.
"For my son I had always a plan, for to raise him as best as I can./Oh well you can bet, my only regret is to not see him grow to a man."
Mood Whiplash: "Beast of Pirate's Bay". "Well, Blackbeard the Pirate, you know for what he's feared. [...]His beard turned white and all agree, He looks like Santa Claus." A just a tiny bit later: "This mighty whale was in such pain, we both began to cry."
I was on a plane...so I started watching that TV, y'know, the little TVs they have on the backs of people's heads on the plane?...So anyway, I was flipping through the channels, and I came up on Cartoon Network, and as it happened, they were playing a movie called Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure. I wrote and preformed the title track for this movie. So I'm sitting there and I'm looking at it and I'm like (makes incredulous, happy face) and then I realize I have no one to tell. I can't even use my phone! So eventually I just can't contain my enthusiasm and I start yelling "That's me! That-that that's me!"
Perky Goth: Despite the goth look and generally dark songs, he can be a funny guy.
Perspective Flip: Aside from Bachelor(ette), there's Day of the Dead. In English is about a tourist getting freaked out when undead start showing up to party for Day of the Dead. The Spanish version? One of the Mexican natives laughing at the tourist in the English version.
Pointy Ears: On several album covers, before getting an operation to give himself Real Life pointy ears.
Red Shirt: His song, "Expendable" from BiTrektual, is all about this trope.
Religion Rant Song: Several, most notably "God Thinks", "Hell in a Handbasket" and "Oh Lord (Wake the Dead)".
Robosexual: The king in his new song "The Mechanical Girl". King's wife leaves him and runs off with his steed, king demands inventor's robotic replacement-for-a-dead-daughter as his new wife, king tries to sleep with said robot, she attacks him with rocket launchers and flamethrowers, kills him and lays his kingdom to waste, returns home to dad. Lesson: Never steal a man's daughter from him. Especially if she has rocket launchers and flamethrowers. He was going to pitch a show based on this...
Scooby-Doo Hoax: The so-called "Beast" in The Beast of Pirate's Bay is actually just a beached whale that had tried to escape from whalers. The narrator tried to help it get out to sea when he was a boy, but the only thing he could do was keep people away by writing a sign and making up stories to scare people off.
Shout-Out: In the song To the Bottom of the Sea, right after the stanza "Down at the bottom were treasures galore/But guarding so greedily/Was an angry horde of skeletons with swords/Down at the bottom of the sea!", you can hear someone shout "For the Horde!"
He gives one to himself in "Alchemy Mondays", when he says, "Hold everything, they're playing my song..." The music stops, and we're treated to a line from "When You're Evil".
Ooky Spooky had swing music on it similar in style to Cab Calloway (though this seems to have been permanently added to his repertoire now, and appeared earlier in "Brains"). Then came Hate Lives in a Small Town... a country album.
He divulged in an interview a short lived idea for a Star Wars themed Hip-Hop album named "Republic Enemy"
He debuted his 'country' songs on his summer 2010 tour and they don't sound too different from the stripped down arrangements of his normal songs, other than the lyrics not being about Goth culture and Star Trek...
Unicorn: Voltaire's unicorn from the cover of "Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children" is big, black and badass.
Villain Song: "When You're Evil" is one of his most popular songs.
"Fear and Anguish", "Zombie Prostitute", and "Reggae Mortis". "Zombie Prostitute" and "Reggae Mortis" both feature zombies, but the only one that can really be described as an apocalypse is "Fear and Anguish". Even there it was only one zombie which just annnounced the horrors to come before collapsing.