Old news. . maybe, but good news non-the-less!!
U.K.’s Bizarre magazine recently conducted an interview with Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR) about “Addicted” and “Deconstruction”, the second and third in a series of albums to be made available under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Bizarre: Could you tell me a little about the third record? It’d be cool to know how things are going to progress with your character from here. It’s called “Deconstruction”, isn’t it?
Devin: The character decides to deconstruct it after he’s recognized that there’s something underneath it all that needs to be dealt with. So he decides to take himself apart, every element of himself…from the booze, to the sex, to the religion… and just figure out why he does what he does. In some ways the character is convinced that he can figure it out. That he is more important or intelligent than every other human and he wants to try for a very selfish reason. But at the end of “Deconstruction” he realizes that what he’s looking at is a cheeseburger, which is a metaphor for anything. By trying to figure out what it is, he’s realized that what he’s looking at is something really stupid and inconsequential and he doesn’t even eat cheeseburgers so he’s got a headache. And he realizes through that deconstruction that, no matter how far you go into reality or infinity, you’re always in the middle. That’s the nature of infinity — whatever direction you go in, you’re always where you are. So by going in all these crazy directions you get all this information that ultimately just fills your head with noise.
“Deconstruction” is a really heavy record, a real symphony in a lot of ways, but with heavy musicians from the metal world — friends of mine. I love metal and have listened to it my whole life so I’m just involved with artists from other bands. Specifically death metal vocals, because I can’t really do that. I can fake it, but I can’t do the real guttural thing. So I’m trying to find friends from death metal bands who can play various characters on the album. It’s going to be an absolutely mind-bendingly heavy record. And then, the last record, where the guy figures out that he doesn’t have all the answers, features acoustic, pop sort of folk songs. Really beautiful mellow things.
Bizarre: So what kind of conclusion does he come to?
Devin: I think he realizes that the whole quest was sort of pointless, because he’s back exactly where he started in the first place. A little worse for wear because my head’s full of all this stuff, but now I’ve realized that I don’t need to do any of that stuff. It’s not really important at all. The things that are important are free. Maybe being an artist is really nothing to do with making a point or a statement. I’m just doing my thing, I’m accountable for it — for example, explaining it in interviews. I’m definitely into explaining what the project is about, but it’s not about me. I’m not on some sort of quest or mission, it’s just an art project.
Throughout the ages, it seems that artists have been trying to connect with something bigger than themselves and so this project is just a rendezvous with that kind of energy. It’s like, here’s this metaphor — look at “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings” or the “Divine Comedy”. They’re all basically the same, which seems to prove that humans are simple and very similar to each other. I get mails from people saying, “We’re very much the same.” And, you know what, all humans are the same so keep in mind that as a friend, as a person, there’s a good chance that I wouldn’t get along with ninety per cent of the people who think we’re the same.
I have like three or four friends and am a very private person. As Devin, the person, I’m very different from my artistic self. Everything that I’m saying, in these song and records, as “I” isn’t necessarily me — it’s the character I’ve created. I mean, what do I do? I eat chips and watch TV. There’s no profound anything. I like art, and I’m capable enough to do it the way I feel it needs to be done from my perspective and I’m not afraid to do that anymore.
Bizarre: Can you tell me which death metal artists you’ll be working with on the next album?
Devin: I want people with established fans. I start touring in January so I’m going to see if anyone will be interested that. There’s a lot of cool vocalists that do a lot of different styles and there are a lot of different characters on this record. So I’d like to be able say, “I know that your band are into this, so here’s a character that personifies that.”
The thing to keep in mind that I don’t want to make a record that tries to haul people up on their beliefs. The characters are more observing the things around them and I don’t want to create parodies of these high-profile metal musicians. I truly want to make a record that’s crazy heavy and there are certain things I can’t do. As a vocalist, I can scream and I’ve got a really good singing voice, but I can’t do the really heavy vocals. When I write a song, I hear these monstrous death vocals, but every time I try to do it, I can’t. So I want somebody who can shake the floor. I’ve got ideas but I haven’t talked to anyone yet so I don’t want to say anything.
Read the entire interview from Bizarre magazine.