Occasionally in life, you meet someone who you feel you could sit down and have a mind-blowing conversation with for hours upon hours. That man, for me, is Devin Townsend. I recently saw him play in San Francisco and got the great opportunity to interview him after the show. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I wanted with him, as the venue was waiting on me to shut down for the night. However, the questions that I did ask got very well thought out answers. Also, he looks damn sexy in a suit. The interview is below for everyone to read in all it’s glory. Enjoy!
Bröötalisk: I had a nice little chat with Mikael Akerfeldt last week, and he told me that while you two don’t see each other often, you’re like a brother to him. Is the feeling mutual?
Townsend: Oh yeah. Definitely. I remember we would sometimes call each other up at night. Well, it’d be night for me in America, and it’s 2 in the afternoon over in Sweden. We would talk over the phone getting drunk off of wine and playing each other demos. He’s one of the few people out there that I feel like I can do that with.
“The cheeseburger was honestly as big of a ‘fuck you’ to the world as I could possibly give.”
Bröötalisk: You’re latest album, Deconstruction, features numerous artists, ranging from Tommy Giles all the way to Fredrik Thordendal. What was it like working with these people, and would you ever want to do it again?
Townsend: It was a lot of fun. I picked the artists that I wanted to work with based on how well I liked them as a person, and not necessarily on their music. I remember the record label trying to make a really big deal about the album because of all the “A-listers”. They wanted to throw a huge sticker on the cover that listed all the artists featured. I had to talk them out of it because I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. I was making the album simply because I wanted to see if I could do it. I wouldn’t want to do it again though. I feel like I’ve already done what I wanted to do, and now I want to try something new.
Bröötalisk: Speaking of Deconstruction, I have to ask: how did you come up with the plot of the album? Where did you get the idea to make a cheeseburger the meaning of life?
Townsend: It was one of those things where, again, I wanted to see what I could do and how far I could go musically. I feel like a lot of artists do the whole “Main character goes on a quest to find the meaning of life” thing, and this was kind of my take on that. As for the cheeseburger, I wanted to basically say that we have no idea what the “answer to life” is, and we as human beings cannot even begin to comprehend what it is. And that’s my problem with religion as well. How do you know there’s a higher power? I believe that we cannot even fathom what the “big picture” is because our minds aren’t that complex. The cheeseburger was honestly as big of a “fuck you” to the world as I could possibly give.
Bröötalisk: I’ve heard a lot of rumors about your next album. Is it going to be Z2?
Townsend: Could be.
Townsend: Could be.
Bröötalisk: Ghost II?
Townsend: Could be. I really have no idea. With every album, I write one or two songs where I go, “Okay that’s the direction that I want to go with this album”. I have a few songs written, but none of them really stand out to me yet. I honestly just need a month off. I’ve been touring and writing like crazy and now I’m going to Europe where I’m not even fully prepared…I just need some time off *laughs*.