Voltaire performing at the DNA Lounge, San Francisco, on October 23, 2005
|Birth name||Aurelio Voltaire Hernández|
|Born||January 25, 1967|
|Genres||Dark cabaret, dark wave, folk music, gothic rock, soft rock, symphonic rock|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, writer, cartoonist, animator, television director, teacher|
|Labels||Projekt Records, Mars Needs Music and Dancing Ferret Discs|
Aurelio Voltaire Hernández (born January 25, 1967, in Havana, Cuba) and professionally known by the mononym Voltaire, is a popular Cuban-American dark cabaret musician. His stage name is his given middle name, which he shares with the famous French Enlightenment writer François-Marie Arouet.
Recently, he has been using Aurelio Voltaire as his stage name, for, quote, "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 ... google search before naming their bands? Anyway, it was just easier to distinguish myself from them by using my first name." 
In the past, when asked about his real name, Voltaire avoided the question or implied that his real name is in fact Voltaire.
According to the School of Visual Arts where he is employed as a professor, Voltaire's real name is Aurelio Voltaire Hernández. Voltaire attributes "Acoustic Guitar and Vocals" on Ooky Spooky to Aurelio Voltaire Hernández, confirming that is his real name. Since then he has signed his name as Aurelio Voltaire, and is more open about it in public appearances.
Voltaire chose to use his middle name as his performance name because his namesake "saw through the hypocrisies of humanity and commented on them through satire. In essence, he was able to educate people about the world around them by making them laugh."
As a child, Voltaire immigrated to New Jersey with his family. However, he states that he did not enjoy residing there. At the age of ten, Voltaire was inspired by the films of Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), and began animating on a super 8 camera. By piecing together snippets of information from fanzines, he eventually was able to teach himself how to make foam rubber animation models and animate them. At the age of 17, he moved to New York and got his first job as an animator with Parker Brothers. Voltaire says that he loves New York, and that the only other place he would be happy living is Tokyo.
Voltaire's music has strong roots and connections to European folk as well as other influences such as the goth scene. However, many listeners find his music hard to classify. Although it has a sound reminiscent of European folk music, many people claim it to be Dark Wave; perhaps as this is a label often given to many other artists from Projekt Records, and a word often used to mean many things by the label themselves. His music has also been linked to cabaret, with Lexicon Magazine using the term "goth cabaret", possibly referring to dark cabaret, a term often used to describe some bands Voltaire cites as his influences. Voltaire has also been linked to the steampunk scene with Victorian-era horror related subjects, and some of his visual and music styling, and in recent years he has become a favorite at major steampunk conventions such as the Steampunk World's Fair. New Wave has also been used to describe Voltaire's music by some reviewers. Voltaire describes his own music as "Music for a parallel universe where electricity was never invented and Morrissey is the queen of England". He says that bands and artists who influenced his music are Rasputina, Morrissey, Tom Waits, Cab Calloway and Danny Elfman.
The first band that Voltaire played in (during junior high school) was called "First Degree". At this age, he was a fan of Duran Duran, but then began listening to gothic music, most notably bands such as Bauhaus and The Cure. It was not until later that he began participating in the goth scene; it did not at first occur to him that there was a goth scene at all.
As an adult, Voltaire formed a band which included a violin, a cello, drums, and himself as the vocalist and the acoustic guitar player. Within a year, Projekt Records signed them and by June 1998 they released their first album called The Devil's Bris. Two years later their second album, Almost Human was released.
One of Voltaire's popular hits is "BRAINS!", a song written for the Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, aired in the episode "Little Rock of Horrors". He also wrote "Land of the Dead" for Billy and Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, which plays in the opening sequence.
As an avid fan of Star Trek, Voltaire frequently attends science fiction conventions and released a four track EP called Banned on Vulcan. It was a set of comedy recordings poking fun at characters from the show.
Voltaire performed a musical special for Artix Entertainment in their MMO game AdventureQuest Worlds, altering some of his songs in To the Bottom of the Sea to suit their standards. Over 32,000 players attended. It was released on Friday 8:00PM Friday the Thirteenth of March, 2009.
In 2010 Voltaire released an "Alt Country" CD called Hate Lives in a Small Town. He also released a children's CD, Spooky Songs for Creepy Kids, containing his previous works for Cartoon Network, as well as other age-appropriate songs.
In September 2, 2011, Voltaire released his eighth studio album: Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children!. Participating musicians include Rasputina frontwoman Melora Creager on cellos, Brian Viglione on drums, former Bauhaus bassist David J on bass and Franz Nicolay on accordion.
He also released a compilation of demos, The Cave Canem Demos.
- Vocals/Guitar – Voltaire
- Violin- Hannah Thiem
- Violin- Maxim Moston
- Violin- Ben Lively
- Cello- Melora Creager
- Drums- Brian Viglione
- Bass- David J
- Horns- The Red Hook Ramblers
- Accordion- Franz Nicolay
- Banjo- Smith Curry
- Tuba- Joe Tuba
Voltaire was hired for his first directing job in 1988 with MTV, creating the "MTV-Bosch" station ID in the style of Hieronymus Bosch. The stop motion tour of the hellish Garden of Earthly Delights won several awards including a Broadcast Design Award. This station ID was included in a capsule of 21st century media that was shot into space. He has also made morbid station IDs and for clients such as Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi Channel and its Animation Station block, USA Network, and Nickelodeon.
Besides his work with commercials, he has made short films and series such as Rakthavira and Chi-Chian. Chi-Chian, based on an ID he did for the Sci-Fi Channel, is now a 14 episode flash animated series on Syfy's website. Before that, Chi-Chian started out as a graphic novel series that included 6 issues (published by Sirius Entertainment), which eventually evolved into the Flash-animated series.
As of late, Voltaire has got into acting for movies. One movie he has starred in (which is set for release in late 2013) is 'Model Hunger'.
Art and writing career
In addition to Chi-Chian, Voltaire has also produced a comic book series called Oh My Goth!, also known as OMG!, which started out as his own eight-page religious tracts inspired by Jack Chick. Stories include him being chased by minions of Satan as they try to prevent him from playing his next show. These short pieces often led to information about his next show. After two issues of the Chi-Chian series were published, he convinced Sirius Entertainment to publish Oh My Goth!, which included four issues that were later collected into a trade paperback. Voltaire has also made a sequel to the OMG series called Oh My Goth! Humans Suck!
Voltaire has also produced a DEADY series as well as releasing books such as What is Goth?, Paint it Black, and "Call of the Jersey Devil", a novelization of a script of the same name.
In early 2004, for his DEADY comic book, Voltaire signed a deal with Toy2R. The first toy that was created was a 2-inch posable DEADY key chain for the company's "Qee Bear". It was released at San Diego Comic Con. The figure ended up selling out at the Con and because it did so well, the second figure was created in January 2005 which was an 8-inch DEADY deady figure (it could be redeemed on aqworlds for a rare non-member only digital pet). In June 2007 the Deady Minigame was released on ebilgames.com, a site hosting various minigames created by Artix Entertainment. AE's Massively multiplayer online game AQWorlds also featured a Friday the 13th event featuring songs by Voltaire. Voltaire voiced his in-game persona for the occasion. In 2008, Voltaire shot the Animation short film X-Mess Detritus. The movie was the third film of his directorial career; the others are Transrexia (1993), Rakthavira (1994) and Transrexia II (2008).
In mid-2013, Voltaire had written a novel called 'Call of the Jersey Devil' which is available on Amazon. He is currently writing yet another novel called 'The Legend of Candy Claws' which is about a bat that steals candy from naughty children on halloween, and gives it to good children on Christmas. According to his official Facebook page, he is in the process of making Candy Claws Plush Teddies! (After his Black Unicorn / My Little Pony Plush Teddies were a huge success).
On September 25, 2013, Voltaire announced on his official blog, that he and his wife are getting divorced. Saying, quote, "On October 1st of this year, my wife and I would be celebrating our 4th year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, it's not to be. After nearly four years of marriage and a couple more of dating, we are parting ways. It saddens me so deeply that things didn't work out. It's been a difficult process for both of us to come to this decision, one that I really don't wish upon anyone. Nothing is worse that seeing your best friend in pain." 
- Voltaire (2002). Oh My Goth! Version 2.0. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-047-4
- Voltaire (2003). Oh My Goth!: Presents the Girlz of Goth!. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-061-X
- Voltaire, Chris Adams, David Fooden (2003). Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game. Aetherco/Dreamcatcher. ISBN 1-929312-03-2
- Voltaire (2004). Deady the Malevolent Teddy. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-083-0
- Voltaire (2004). Deady the Terrible Teddy. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-077-6
- Voltaire (2004). What Is Goth? - Music, Makeup, Attitude, Apparel, Dance, and General Skullduggery. Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-322-2
- Voltaire (2005). Deady the Evil Teddy. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-081-4
- Voltaire (2005). Paint It Black - A Guide to Gothic Homemaking. Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-361-3
- Voltaire (2007). Deady: Big in Japan. Sirius Entertainment. ISBN 1-57989-085-7
- Aurelio Voltaire (2013). Call of the Jersey Devil. Spence City. ISBN 1-93939-200-4
- Aurelio Voltaire (2013 / 2014) The Legend of Candy Claws
- The Cave Canem Demos (1989)
- The Devil's Bris (1998)
- Almost Human (2000)
- Boo Hoo (2002)
- Then and Again (2004)
- Ooky Spooky (2007)
- To the Bottom of the Sea (2008)
- Hate Lives in a Small Town (2010)
- Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children! (2011)
- BiTrektual (2012)
- Raised by Bats (2013)
Tracks by Voltaire also appeared on these compilation albums, sorted by year.
- Unquiet Grave #3 (Cleopatra Records)
- Featured a remix of the song "The Man Upstairs".
- Promo 11 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "Anastasia".
- Promo 12 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "Anastasia".
- Featured the song "Caught a Lite Sneeze".
- Promo 17 (Projekt Records)
- Featured "The Vampire Club".
- Featured the song "When You're Evil".
- Promo 21 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "The Vampire Club".
- Featured the song "Lovesong".
- Holiday Single 1 (Projekt Records)
- Promo 20 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "The Vampire Club"
- Promo 23 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "The Vampire Club"
- A Dark Noel (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "Come Sweet Death", by The Oddz, with Voltaire.
- The Projekt Almost Free CD (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "Cannibal Buffet (Promo Mix)"
- Featured the song "China Girl".
- Featured the song "Day Of The Dead".
- Almost Free CD 2007.1 (Projekt Records)
- Featured the song "Zombie Prostitute".
- To The Bottom Of The Sea (Mars Needs Music)
- Voltaire's first wholly self-produced and self-released album.
- Songs from the album were performed by Voltaire through an avatar in the online game AdventureQuest Worlds.
- Featured the song "Wolf At The Door".
- "SVA > Faculty (Aurelio Voltaire Hernández)". School of Visual Arts. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
- IMDb. "Voltaire (II) - Biography." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 26 Feb. 2011. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0901807/bio>.
- Hernández, Aurelio Voltaire. "Voltaire | Voltaire.net | BIO." Voltaire | Voltaire.net | NEWS. 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. <http://voltaire.net/biography>.
- Voltaire; Projekt Records. "Biography" (Flash). Voltaire's official website. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt Artist: 'Voltaire'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Johnson, Josh. "An EgoDriven Interview with Voltaire". EgoDriven.net. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- BlackOrpheus. "Salon de Voltaire: An Intimate Dialogue". StarVox music zine. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: Darkwave lobby". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Various authors. "Projekt: darkwave - 'Almost Human' (along with third party, published reviews)". Projekt Records/Various magazines/ezines. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Voltaire. "Voltaire's official MySpace". Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Dragon*Con Biography: [Voltaire]". Dragon Con. Archived from the original on 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- The Oddz. "The Oddz' official MySpace". Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Eternal Vigilance - Voltaire and the Skeletal Orchestra Tour Dates 2009".
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Live!'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Chi-Chian at Scifi.com". Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
- Voltaire. "Books" (Flash) (in Projekt Records). Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Voltaire. "Toys" (Flash) (in Projekt Records). Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- Newborn Dead: Brooklyn embraces Horror, Fangoria
- Doe Deere. "Voltaire & Jayme’s Goth Wedding". Doe Deere Blogazine. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
- Voltaire. "Music" (Flash) (in Projekt Records). Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 11'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 12'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Songs of a Goddess'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 17'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13. Page on Promo 17 from Projekt Records' official site
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Projekt: Gothic'". Projekt Records.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 21'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Strange as Angels'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Holiday Single 1'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 20'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Promo 23'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'A Dark Noel'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Where's Neil When You Need Him?'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'Almost Free CD'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "Projekt: darkwave - 'CONTAMINATION'". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
- "projekt.com almost free cd". Projekt Records. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Voltaire (musician).|
- Official website
- Voltaire (musician) on Myspace
- Voltaire on Twitter
- Voltaire on Facebook
- Voltaire (musician) at AllMusic
- Projekt Records
- Chi-Chian online at Sci Fi
- Vorutania (Fansite)
- interview with Sepiachord.com