WATCH NOW! Facebook Twitter Instagram LOGIN

A Man Of Many Colors: An Exclusive Interview With DEVIN TOWNSEND

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Monday, December 12, 2016 @ 4:29 PM

"I had been doing DTP for so long the sound was getting real stale for me."

- advertisement -
Live Photo By Gnarly Charlie

Over the last 21 years Devin Townsend has released two dozen studio albums through his various musical projects, including STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, CASUALTIES OF COOL, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, and as a solo artist. While it’s a cliché for an artist to attest that no two albums in their discography are alike, in Townsend’s case this claim is true.

Prior to the September release of the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT’s Transcendence album, Devin Townsend’s musical well had just about run dry: “Before the record I was out of ideas, I think,” Townsend says. “That’s where I was at. I had been doing DTP for so long the sound was getting real stale for me. There’s so many records with this kind of mid-tempo, heavy rock stuff with orchestrated shit, lots of echo, and suspended chords and all that stuff. It’s kind of what I had been doing for so long. I just didn’t have any gas in the tank. So prior to this album I just had no inspiration whatsoever.” He tried to find ways to change that and take it out of the comfort zone. That ultimately led to a fair amount of inspiration and what ultimately became the theme for the record.

Becoming a father radically changed Townsend’s view on life. Around 2006 when his wife Tracy was pregnant with their first child and when he was trying to quit STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, Townsend was besieged with turmoil.

“I look back at some of the images of that time and videos, and I’m just like, God, I don’t remember being that guy. I was trying to quit smoking weed and trying to quit drinking and all these sort of things that were going on. And it was a lot of change at one time, right? But I think that was why it was interesting—is because Tracy got pregnant, because we had a kid, and because we never really wanted kids… all of a sudden we have this other entity in our life. For me, whatever path I guess I’m on, to have another entity in my life that allows me to sort of reflect on the nature of a lot of these things; like your fear of dying or your fear of whatever seems to be rooted in this inability to really commit to people. For a lot of people kids wouldn’t work for them at all. But for me, I think because I was inherently so selfish for so long, being thrust into a situation where I was biologically attached to somebody to the point where I would do anything for them was a paradigm shift in every conceivable way.”

Townsend describes that in order to love somebody, like really love somebody, you have to accept that they’re going to go away. “There’s like an impermanence to it all. Through that I realized that in order to be present for the people I care for, I’ve gotta care of myself. And once you start taking care of yourself I found I started to connect more to the mortality of it and a bit more respect for myself, and then as that starts coming there’s more self-esteem.” For Townsend, it began to snowball to the point where with Transcendence, it was more of a sense of gratitude: “I’m really lucky I got people in my life that are good, and I’m really lucky I get to make music. And that has been probably the most overwhelming thing about this whole process—is just the realization of a whole bunch of stuff I was oblivious to for so long.”

Throughout the new album Townsend’s lyrics allude to his sense of powerlessness and the realm of the spirit.

“It’s coming from a place of ‘I’m surrendering’, I think, to the fact that I don’t understand anything. To commit to something either being unequivocally yes or no just seems like super arrogant (laughs). You know, anything that I’ve experienced in my life points to the fact that I’m a participant in something that is so far beyond my capacity to understand. The only possible hope I have is to like surrender to it all and just try and participate and enjoy my coffee, more than anything else, right? I heard a quote the other day: ‘As opposed to trying to count the drops of water in the ocean, you just go for a swim’, right? I think that’s a good analogy for where my spiritual leanings are at this age.”

Please log in to view RANTS




 Recent Features
Sweet Insanity: An Exclusive Interview With Guitarist NIKKI STRINGFIELD
It Never Gets Old: An Exclusive Interview With JESSE JAMES DUPREE
Megalomanium: An Interview With ERIK MARTENSSON Of ECLIPSE
Coming In Hot: An Exclusive Interview With TODD KERNS Of BLACKBIRD ANGELS
Conqueress: An Exclusive Interview With DORO PESCH
Re-Energized: An Exclusive Interview With DINO CAZARES Of FEAR FACTORY
Initiation: An Exclusive Interview With C.C. MCKENNA Of DEATH DEALER UNION
Hell Is Coming Too: An Exclusive Interview With RODRIGO VAN STOLI Of OFFICER X
Nothing Compares To Metal: An Exclusive Interview With JUTTA WEINHOLD And HOLGAR MARX Of VELVET VIPER
Dead Groove: An Exclusive Interview With HOLLY WEST Of DEAD GROOVE BAND
The Hellish Joyride: An Exclusive Interview With MICHAEL EHRE Of THE UNITY
Transcending Deth: An Exclusive Interview With BRENDON SMALL Of DETHKLOK
Still Raging: An Exclusive Interview With GUS G Of FIREWIND
Black Celebration: An Exclusive Interview With JAMES RIVERA Of JAMES RIVERA'S METAL WAVE
Touchdown!: An Exclusive Interview With UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER
Junkman Archives: LEMMY And INGER LORRE In The KNAC.COM Studio, February 2008
KNAC.COM Recaps 2023 The HELLFEST OPEN AIR Festival
Inject The Metal: An Exclusive Interview With FRANK GODLA Of METAL INJECTION FEST
Mind Of Metal: An Exclusive Interview With CONAN GONZALEZ Of EXMORTUS
It Is What It Is: An Exclusive Interview With JACKIE CHAMBERS Of GIRLSCHOOL
We Are Legion: An Exclusive Interview With MADELEINE LILJESTAM And RIKARD EKBERG Of ELEINE
Victorious: An Exclusive Interview With NITA STRAUSS


©2023 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News