Boundary-crossing guitarist shares ideas about transforming color into music
Exclusive video interview with FGPO’s Jon Liebman
July 31, 2019
By David Sands
Devin Towsend ain’t afraid of no genre! While the Canadian guitarist, singer and producer is most recognized for his work in the heavy metal and prog-rock spheres, he’s also got a reputation for pushing boundaries, delving into sonic terrain as varied as country, new age, ambient noise and orchestral musical theater.
Townsend got his start in the early 90s playing with his prog metal bands, Grey Skies and Noisescapes. That work caught the eye of Steve Vai who invited him to joinhis band as a vocalist and record on the album Sex & Religion. The Canadian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist followed that up in 1994 by founding the extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad, a group that turned heads with its unusual time signatures, and polyrhythmic guitar riffs and drumming, blast beats and dense Wall of Sound production.
Beyond that, he’s also released numerous albums on his own and with his group The Devin Townsend Project. Over the years, he’s also collaborated with Skinny Puppy, Frontline Assembly, Punky Brüster, Lamb of God, Gwar and Rammstein, among other artists. His latest album, Empath, was released in March.
FBPO’s Jon Liebman spoke with Townsend about his new album, tour plans, latest gear and his thoughts using applied synaesthasia to create music during a meetup at this year’s Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
Watch our interview with Devin.