• Tiana Speter

INTERVIEW & PODCAST: Devin Townsend

 

A man who has spent decades onstage, in front of the camera and in the studio, and a man who barely needs any introduction; whether you adored him for his prolific turn as founder and frontman for Strapping Young Lad back in the day or you’re a fan of his extensive and continuing solo career, Canadian creative alchemist Devin Townsend is undeniably one of the most dynamic and fascinating artists of this generation.


From his vocal range, which spans over five octaves, to his genre-defining and genre-defying work in the more progressive metal waters, Devin is everything and everywhere at once creatively. A man who can pull of a pitch-perfect howl in a ballad mixed alongside folk, metal, rock and cinematic flourishes without breaking a sweat, it’s little wonder Devin is so beloved - or why he has also previously been described as being the Frank Zappa of metal. His latest solo release, Lightwork, aka his brand new album dropping this Friday 4 November, follows on from his more recent work Empath, Snuggles and The Puzzle…and, once again, Devin has carved out another masterpiece, albeit one that finds itself branching more into moments of ambience and mellowed introspection. But, true to form, there are moments of heaviness alongside all that trademark tasty layered Devin production lying in wait, and, overall, Lightwork almost feels like you’re stepping into Devin Townsend's personal dream land. And, as today’s episode of Behind The Soundcheck reveals, it’s not really a coincidence, with Devin actively using the album to both find himself as he is in his current personal and creative life, and also leap drastically outside of his comfort zone. The light and shade of Devin has always been as revered as much as his incomparable reputation for being one of the nicest men in the business, and entirely living up to this reputation and then some - the man himself joins host Tiana Speter on Episode 8, Season 2 of Behind The Soundcheck to chat all things Lightwork, ambition, creativity and more.


IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Devin's life between completing and releasing Lightwork into the world, including his "post-pandemic" activities, nerves, creative ideas and actualising said ideas.

  • Devin's varied experiences between life in a band and following a creative vision, being an "uncomfortable" person and the duality of being a human being.

  • How Devin found himself accepting things he had no control over during the past few years, and ultimately releasing an album that is less indicative of being in pain and more reflective of making positive choices and looking for solutions in his own life.

  • A last minute addition to the closing track on Lightwork, and how it resonates with Devin's experience ultimately making the album.

  • Devin's connection to his own music, how that plays into his own audience's own connection, and the function of artists.

  • The power of the mind, patterns and the negative profitability of fear.

  • The ultimate driving forces behind Lightwork and why Devin had been afraid in the past to experiment like he has with this new solo album.

  • Devin's experience for the first time ever allowing a producer, fellow Canadian dynamo Garth Richardson, into his creative process, the realities that accompanied that "experiment" and finding the balance amongst some chaos.

  • Discerning the root of control as an artist and a human, and Devin's gratitude of an absence of comfort zones.

  • And finally, high school reunions and a bonus pop vinyl chat post-end credits!

 

CATCH DEVIN ON EPISODE 8, SEASON 2 OF THE SOUNDCHECK'S PODCAST BEHIND THE SOUNDCHECK BELOW, ON SPOTIFY, APPLE PODCASTS - OR CHECK IT OUT WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS FROM.


BEHIND THE SOUNDCHECK

HOST & PRODUCER: Tiana Speter
GUEST: Devin Townsend
THEME SONG: Hall Of Shame by Osaka Punch
 

DEVIN TOWNSEND'S NEW SOLO ALBUM LIGHTWORK, AND ITS ACCOMPANYING DISC NIGHTWORK, ARE DUE OUT THIS FRIDAY 4 NOVEMBER VIA INSIDE OUT MUSIC & SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA. FOR MORE INFO, HEAD HERE.

 

CONNECT WITH DEVIN TOWNSEND:

 


BY TIANA SPETER