Devin Townsend is one of the few musicians who globally needs no introduction.
Whether it be for his work with Strapping Young Lad or the Devin Townsend Project or anywhere in between, the man is an enigma. A legend.
And a true gentleman of the metal scene.
Known for his boundless energy and creativity, Townsend touches down in Australia this month for a run of four shows only, playing a splattering of everything from his back catalogue and material from his new album Lightwork.
It promises to be one of the tours of the year, with the man himself sitting down with HEAVY recently to tell us all about what to expect.
“The thing is, I’ve had the good fortune of playing with some fantastic musicians throughout my career,” he measured. “But the group of people I’ve got working with me right now are the most capable of playing everything, so it’s allowed for me to put together a set that I think is… a good cross-section of material. Also, because I’ve been touring with them for this whole year – and the sound person – I’m confident that it’s the best I’ve been able to present the material by a longshot. Having that is really great for me, because, although it’s been good in the past also there’s been certain things where I think ‘man, I wish that was different’ or I wish that was articulated differently or maybe this player’s really good at this but no so good at that or vice versa – not to be disparaging against anybody I’ve worked with, I’ve just got, like you say, a huge amount of material that typically I use different players for all of them. So what I’ve done with this recent one is I’ve just found people that I am confident can do all of it. And they had to learn how to do all of it too. The first thing that I did with some of these players… they didn’t know how to play some of the stuff, and it took them touring to figure it out. Now, I feel that the presentation of the material is… I’m excited to be able to show it to people because I’m like, ‘this sounds fucken great’. That’s how I feel.”
In the full interview Devin talks about writing set lists, his essential non-essential things to pack for tour, pleasing as many fans as possible, what we can expect from the shows, the early days of his career and what he was expecting out of music, what some of his motivating factors were, how early experiences helped shape his career, what drives him to keep experimenting, retaining his passion for music, the creative process and if it becomes easier or harder over time and more.