INTERVIEW: Devin Townsend

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Our reporter, Dan Willis, had chance to speak to Canandian progressive metal frontman Devin Townsend and talked over family matters, his favourite UK venues and much more.

“Okay, let’s see if we can make this interview not suck” is the first words uttered by Devin Townsend, former frontman of Strapping Young Lad, a Canadian extreme metal band that first began all the way back in 1997.

A lot on the metal scene has changed since Strapping Young Lad first burst into the limelight. “I don’t really feel like much has changed myself. It’s just a different era with different inspirations” Devin says.

There’s no doubt that Devin’s career has evolved in many different ways since Strapping Young Lad. Devin has also had the chance to make solo material for his record label HevyDevy Records. The only reason Devin set up the label however, wasn’t as glamorous as he believes it should have been.

“It wasn’t a matter of wanting to really set up my own record label – no one else wanted to sign us” Devin laughs. Devin set up HevyDevy in 1997, and still exists to this day.

In 2002 Devin formed the Devin Townsend Band – a line-up which recorded and toured for two of his solo releases.

“What sounded good to me back in 1997 may not sound good to me now – my sound tends to change with age” Devin says.

In 2007, Devin decided to take a break from recording and performing and went on hiatus to spend time with his family. It also allowed the songwriter to figure out what he wanted to do next with his career.

“What I require not only to be creatively active but also creatively valid, is real experience. If you like in a vacuum and all you do is write, you’re going to run out of ideas quick.

“When I take time away and do life things, and when I return, there’s a whole host of experiences that I believe require a soundtrack.” Devin says.

As for 2017, Devin and his Devin Townsend Project will have their hands full with an eye-watering schedule. “As of next week we’re touring all the way to December, and all I’m trying to do right now is clean my garage, get in shower and make sure my family are okay before I leave. It’s going to be busy.” Devin says.

When it comes to touring the UK, Devin sounds excited.

“The UK almost feels more like home than home. My managers live there and it’s also where my grandparents were from. I’ve got a lot of history here. It’s hard to underestimate how much I appreciate the metal scene here in the UK, and how much I truly appreciate being able to perform here.”

If you want to catch the Devin Townsend Project on his upcoming tour, he’ll be performing in Manchester at the Manchester Academy on March 13. For all other UK dates, they can be found here.

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