Nov 13, 2005

Devin Townsend - Interview

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

Rock N Roll Experience: Is there any chance that you would ever work with Steve Via again?

Devin: He just played on my new record...it's my solo record. It's like ocean machine kinda stuff.

Rock N Roll Experience: Is it really artsy?

Devin: Oh yeah..it's like one song that is kinda like an hour & 1/2 long kinda thing & it's like yeah....if you like my convoluted, crazy music, then chances are you'll like this one.

Rock N Roll Experience: How do you keep your voice in such good shape every night?

Devin: I do like an hour of warm-ups everyday....arpeggios & scales with different phonetics & stuff like that, but I don't have a super resilient voice, so if I didn't do like an hour of warm-ups a day, then it would just be like, you know, I'd lose it right away, so yeah, I just make sure that I drink lots of water & I kinda cut down all of my smoking & drinking & everything, so I just take care of it & it seems to work alright.

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you miss playing guitar when you toured with Steve Via?

Devin: I like playing guitar when it comes to writing music & sitting in my bedroom & playing & everything, but playing guitar live is like just for the looks for me, like I just wanna have something in my hands so I can entertain myself when I'm up there, but it's like....for the most part guitar is just to look cool on stage.

Rock N Roll Experience: You play ESP guitars right?

Devin: Yeah..I've been with them for like 12 years.

Rock N Roll Experience: Are you using Drop D tuning?

Devin: We are down to G...I play 7 strings, so GCGCGCE.

Rock N Roll Experience: What is that symbol on the front cover of the new SYL CD?

Devin: It's the SYL logo...we originally wanted it to look Japanese, but it's a fake Japanese symbol that's actually an S, Y, & L

Rock N Roll Experience: Did you purposely make the song titles hard to read on the back of the new SYL CD Alien?

Devin: Nope...didn't do it on purpose.

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you cut your hair like that on the top?

Devin: No..no, no, it's just all the headbanging..it falls out ha ha ha

Rock N Roll Experience: Why did you decide to shave your head when you joined Steve Vai's band?

Devin: He really liked the hair that I had when I came down there & I was kinda really into pissing people off at that time, so as soon as I found out that he liked it I shaved it off ha ha

Rock N Roll Experience: I thought the "Sex & Religion" (Steve Via) record was really great...everyone either loved it or hated it, but I thought it was great.

Devin: I still have not figured out how I feel about it...I can't say I love it & I can't say I hate it, but I'm proud of it, so...

Rock N Roll Experience: I think it might have been a little ahead of it's time.

Devin: Maybe..maybe, but It was also really weird....there was some really f*ckin lame parts on it too, so I think it's like, not lame, but just it was such a schizophrenic project..there were things that were really poppy & this & that & it was kinda presented as being a viable commercial entity & so I think that people were just confused by it...I'm proud of the work I did & I think there's some really great stuff on there & everything.

Rock N Roll Experience: Was there a cheese steak eating contest in Philly?

Devin: I don't know much about it...I think a few weeks ago, Raymond (FF's drummer) had a rib eating contest, but I was definitely not involved with that...I'm not a big fan of eating, so it's like leave it up to the big boys to take care of that!

www.rocknrollexperience.com

Rock N Roll Experience: When this FF tour ends, will SYL remain on tour?

Devin: Well, who knows...it's like everyday is a different life, so it's like you just gotta try & take it day by day & see if it's gonna work out & sometimes Strapping seems like it's gonna go on forever & sometimes it feels like it's gonna end tomorrow, so just never say anything & do it as it comes.

Rock N Roll Experience: Where did the name Strapping Young Lad come from?

Devin: I was in a band in England called The Wildhearts...

Rock N Roll Experience: Really? I didn't know that...which era of the Wildhearts were you in?

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Devin: About 93-94...they had just released their first record & were about to release their 2nd

Rock N Roll Experience: Okay..around the "Suckerpunch" era

Devin: Yeah..that was the time actually

Rock N Roll Experience: Back when they were good ha ha

Devin: Yeah..like when they "Were" good I was in it, so it was like..we did that & I moved over there for like a year while we did it & Strapping Young Lad was just a term in England for a fine, upstanding citizen & I kinda thought the irony of calling a really ugly heavy metal band that would be kinda cool, so...