DEVIN TOWNSEND Explains His Longevity As An Artist
July 8, 2023
Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend, who has spent his entire career making unique inroads with many styles of music, always following his particular muse in any way it leads him for almost three decades, spoke to "The Rock Metal Podcast" about his longevity as an artist. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I feel that the thing that is most important to me about the output that I have is that it's authentic to the frame of mind that I was in when it was being written. And so essentially just trying to document those moments in your life. And if you do it accurately, then I think people tend to resonate with that, because there's not a lot — really — of human emotions; you've got about 12 [laughs], and then nuanced versions of each. But it's all pretty simple. So if I do it in a way that is important to me, first and foremost, the chances of other people being able to relate to it are reasonably high. So my objective has always been to keep tabs on myself so that when I am writing, I'm able to call myself out, to the extent that I'm able, on my own B.S.s as I'm writing it. And the end result of that, I think, is longevity, because there is maybe a certain of the industry that still feels like the audience is stupid, in a way, that all you need to do is pull one over on them and then you can sell records. And maybe there's certain genres that are like that — maybe there is. I wouldn't dare to make assumptions on which ones are. But the one that I'm involved in, at least, any time I do anything that is kind of veering towards that, they're, like, 'Yeah, you're full of shit. We know.' So I've gotta be careful. And that authenticity that gets imposed on the material, I think, is what has created a long career for me, and I'm super grateful for it."
Devin began his professional career straight out of high school when he was discovered by a record label and asked to provide lead vocals on Steve Vai's album "Sex & Religion". After touring and recording with Vai, Townsend became discouraged by what he found in the music industry and went on to produce several solo albums under the pseudonym STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. Since then, Devin has recorded many more successful albums and performed all over the world.
Devin released his latest album, "Lightwork", last October. Assembled from a barrage of material written during the pandemic, the LP — and its companion album of B-sides and demos, "Nightwork" — represented Devin at this stage of his life, post pandemic, and his reflections on what he (and many of us) all gone through. For "Lightwork", Devin decided to see what would happen if he included a producer (an experiment he has been excited to attempt for some time) to help guide this selection of material. He chose longtime friend Garth "GGGarth" Richardson to help bring this idea to fruition.
Devin recently announced the third release in his "Devolution" series. "Empath Live In America" will be released on August 4. The "Devolution" series so far has comprised unique live performances, and this one is no different. "Empath Live In America" is a document of the tour that was cut short in early 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic. The lineup for this album saw Devin joined by Mike Keneally, Nathan Navarro, Diego Tejeida, Morgan Ågren and Ché Aimee Dorval.
"Devolution #3 – Empath Live In America" will be available as a limited CD digipak, gatefold 180g 2LP and as digital album.
Devin is currently taking part in the "DreamSonic" tour headlined by DREAM THEATER and also including ANIMALS AS LEADERS. The trek kicked off on June 16 and will run through to the end of July.
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