DEVIN TOWNSEND Doesn't Blame People For Not Understanding Why He Can't Make New STRAPPING YOUNG LAD Music
December 26, 2022
Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend once again reiterated that he has no interest in reforming STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, the seminal industrial metal outfit he fronted until 2007. Since the band's dissolution, Townsend has been asked repeatedly whether he would reform STRAPPING, only to cite the mental and physical toll the band took on him, in addition to his desire for new musical pursuits.
Speaking to Australia's AndrewHaug.com, Devin was asked how he feels when people want that "old, angry Townsend back." He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That's confusing. I can explain it until I'm blue in the face, and people are, like, 'Yeah, cool. Anyway, can you do it?' I think it's good for me having to try and work on my patience, because there's a part of that's, like, 'Really? You think that it's that easy?' I know why they want it. I love it too — I love it — but I can't do it.
"I said the other day in an interview, and this was an analogy I thought was really cool… So you go to a smorgasbord, you go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, and you go to that place because they have this type of shrimp, or whatever, that's, like, the shit — it's deep fried, it's got a spicy sauce," he continued. "And you know that that's the place, and you go there and you get a big plate of it and eat it. And you're, like, 'That is my favorite thing in the world.' And you go back and it's out; the restaurant's out. And you say, 'When are you bringing more shrimp out?' And they're, like, 'We ran out of shrimp. The ingredients that we had that created that dish, we don't have those anymore.' And as opposed to going, like, 'Oh, I understand. It's a bummer. Okay. Cool. See ya,' it's, like, they're yelling at the bowl of shrimp or they're yelling at the restaurant. They're, like, 'Ah, I want shrimp. More. I want more shrimp.' And [the restaurant says], 'But, dude, I don't have any more shrimp.' It's, like, 'But shrimp…'
"The well runs dry. There's no more water in the well. It seems absurd to me to yell at the well. It's, like, 'Dude, there's no more water in there. I know you like it.' But the thing that made it authentic, the process that made it important solved what it was that made that so vital. So to say, 'Oh, you can do it again…'
"I don't blame people for wanting it, and I also don't blame people for not understanding it," Devin added. "What I have to do is it's up to me to make peace with that. Because otherwise I'm yelling at the well; I'm yelling at the shrimp board. I'm saying, 'Why don't you understand? Why?' And they're going, 'Why isn't there more shrimp?' And then it becomes this weird argument about something that's completely irrational. 'Dude, there's no more shrimp, and I know that you want shrimp. Are we good? Bye.' That's all there is to it. And I think that for me, making peace with the fact that people aren't gonna understand is a big part of my process, man. That's up to me. That's on me, man.
When host Andrew Haug noted that Townsend is making no apologies for not being able to make new STRAPPING YOUNG LAD music, Devin said: "You can't. What am I gonna apologize for? It's, like, 'Dude, I ran out of shrimp. Sorry.'"
Townsend previously discussed his inability to reform STRAPPING YOUNG LAD earlier in the month in an interview with The Metal Meltdown. Asked if there is a chance of him ever making another STRAPPING YOUNG LAD album, he responded: "The answer to that is… I've said it a thousand times, so I'm sure if there are people who really don't know, they don't care enough to pay attention.
"I do understand the question, and I do understand why it's asked — I really do," he continued. "But I've gotta be careful with the answer because you don't wanna… I think it's easy to get so irritated by the question that you end up being flippant about it, and you end up being insulting to people when the question is coming from a place of people really, really like it and they really want it.
"So I'll say this: the same thing that made STRAPPING work so well when I was 25, whether or not you think 'Lightwork' is worth a shit or 'The Puzzle' is worth a shit, it's the same process. So the same thing that yielded that is the same thing that yielded this. And the only reason STRAPPING existed back then is because I was being true to myself. It's the only reason, because back then that was my truth.
"The process of making this music is rooted in trying to unfuck myself as I get older, because when I was younger I had a lot of issues," Devin explained. "So if people really love something that happened at any point in my career, whether or not it's 'Empath' or STRAPPING or 'Ziltoid' or 'Epicloud' or anything, then my hope is that they would understand that the thing that they probably appreciated about it is it's coming from a place of honesty. And if I can't be honest about something, the thing that people will like about it will not be there. Absolutely. And I would prefer to be disliked for what I am than to be loved for what I'm no longer.
"STRAPPING is a huge part of my life — was a huge part of my life — and I love all those guys and I still talk to them," Devin clarified. "However, the nature of what I did made it such that the lessons that I needed to learn from that period of my life were reflected in the content. And now it's not a part of my life in a way that I can relate to, and more so it's not a part of my life in a way that I have any desire to go back to.
"There's gonna be a certain amount of people that would hear that and they'd be, like, 'Yeah, he's said that before. I get it. I love the band, but I get it. I can respect that.' There's gonna be a certain amount of people that are just, like, 'Fuck that guy. What he needs to do is do that 'cause it's the only thing he's ever done that's worth a shit and everything else sucks. ' and there's gonna be another part that just says, 'STRAPPING who?' But for me, brother, I'm just, like… As hard as this is to say, because it's been such a weird couple of years, I'm pretty happy with where I'm at as a dude, and that's not worth sacrificing to go back to a time when I wasn't happy."
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's final studio album, "The New Black", was released in 2006 via Century Media.
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