DEVIN TOWNSEND: 'Learning To Fail Efficiently Is A Huge Part Of Success'

April 29, 2023

In a new interview with Framus & Warwick, 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 about the link between mental health and music, and how being an introvert has informed his art.

"I've been open about certain struggles that I've had in terms of my psychology over the years, mental health," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And I hope that by being open about it and by also learning from mistakes that I may have made in the past that put me in the position where some of the behaviors that I had exhibited were interpreted as being more indicative of mental illness rather than poor behavior on my part… And I guess the hope that I have for moving forward and doing the work that I do is that learning to fail efficiently is a huge part of success.

"I think what typically can happen is if people have made a mistake or if they've done something that was embarrassing or if they've done something that they found humiliating, the tendency is often to just stop and give up in a way," he continued. "But for me, I went through a bunch of things when I was younger, be it with drugs or with alcohol or just arrogance on my part that allowed me to exhibit behaviors that were inappropriate publicly. And my hope is that by showing people the process that I employ on a musical level that has yielded a lot of growth throughout the years, then maybe they will see their own potential misgivings as being something that's not like a final definition of who they are.

"I think that for me, I had been diagnosed when I was younger as a number of things, but it was really just because I was just messed up," Devin added. "And when it finally came around that that was more what the truth was, it was embarrassing, to say the least, to have to come out and say, 'Listen, this is where I was at.' And there's gonna be certain people in your life that will never unsee you as being that person, and I think that, for me, a lot of the growth has come from accepting the fact that you can only show growth by your actions as opposed to your words. So if you expect people to just believe that your ways have changed over the years without going through the effort of learning from your mistakes, and then acting in accordance to how you feel these lessons should manifest, then it's all pillow talk. And I like to think that the nature of my work is ultimately rooted in self-discovery. And so the process of making those mistakes, and continuing to make mistakes, of course, is a fundamental part of the process. And I think if you've chosen, which I have, to make art based on that as your foundation, man, you just have to suck it up."

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" — represents 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 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.

Find more on Devin townsend
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).