Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend once again reiterated that he has no interest in reforming STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, the seminal industrial metal outfit he fronted until 2007. Since the band's dissolution, Townsend has been asked repeatedly whether he would reform STRAPPING, only to cite the mental and physical toll the band took on him, in addition to his desire for new musical pursuits.
Speaking to Metal Wani's Adam Hayward at this year's Download festival, which was held June 9-11 at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England, Townsend was asked if he felt he had reached the pinnacle of his current writing style in DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, or if he is no longer interested in releasing albums in the same vein:
"I don't think I've lost interest as much as you exhaust the surplus of information that contributes to it," Devin said (hear audio below). "I think anything that anybody writes, it's only going to be effective if it's an accurate representation of what it is you're feeling when you were writing it. Because at that point, other people can utilize the music to reflect that same emotion back and I think in some sense, it's like music exists just to not feel you're completely isolated in a hostile universe. If you can see a reflection of something you relate to, then you're good to go. As I move through life, my life just shifts and the things that are important to me, sort of are focused elsewhere and after a certain amount of time, it's not that you lose interest, it's just that it's no longer relevant."
Townsend also discussed the array of projects currently in the works, including his proposed "The Moth" orchestral project as well as progress on a new DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT studio album:
"I'm fortunate in that because I'm left to my own devices, I would move laterally," Devin said. "I've got a management company and a record label and a bunch of people around me that my relationships are good with, that say 'You should focus on this now. I know that you've got a lot of things going on, but if you focus your energies here, it will allow you to facilitate that.' Strategy has never been my strong suit. I'm writing with the band again, DTP, it's a good band. I got an orchestra I'm working on. I've got some crazy, mellow, soft rock tropical thing I'm working on. There's tons of stuff. It all kind of occurs so subconsciously that I don't focus on it, never."
Townsend, who has gained a strong following after establishing DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT in 2008, was asked why his music is able to resonate so much with his fanbase:
"Maybe the fact I don't consider them fans or mine. [Laughs] They're people, right? The same thing I was speaking about earlier in terms of maintaining relationships and having people if this all ended tomorrow that would help me move house, it's the same relationship you want to have with the audience. If you're condescending at all and if you need validation from people… If I cease to exist, their life is going to go on. It's not anything more profound than that. I think that I rely on the audience to allow me to continue doing what I do. But in return, I need to be very careful that I'm not lying to people about where I'm at in life. That could mean something as simple as repeating something for the sake of financial wisdom or doing STRAPPING or something that's no longer of any interest to me. The people who are tapping me in the right direction, they may say. 'You should do this.' But if I'm not in the frame where I feel that's important to me, then the audience is going to pick up on that. It's a symbiotic thing in that they listen because it means something to me so I've got to make sure that I take care of me so it means something to them."
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's final studio album, "The New Black", was released in 2006 via Century Media.
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT's latest album, "Transcendence", was released last September. The follow-up to 2014's "Z2" double album (half of which was made up of the DTP full-length "Sky Blue"), it saw the award-winning Townsend exploring a relatively new way of working, collaborating with the entire DTP band during the writing stages of the record.