Devin Townsend: Drums, bass, and guitar are done. We start editing as soon as the interviews are finished today and I think most of the record will be finished in two weeks and then we start mixing. I got this guy mixing a couple of songs named Randy Staub, who has done Metallica and Nickelback. When I did Ocean Machine years ago, his mixing style was what I was trying to emulate. It’s nice to have him on board.
How do you think the fans will react to the new album?
They will really like it. For fans that are reading this, and you don’t like it right off, give it a couple weeks. Listen to it later. You might not like it the second time and you might not like it the third time, but who knows? Even my best friend didn’t like it until he heard it ten times and now every time he hears it, he likes it more and more. It’s just a grower, but I also realize that we’re in a time where people don’t have the patience and the time to let things grow, but that’s cool.
The metal world is dying to know; what’s with the bald head?
My intention of music was never to sell myself and I think the hair was a reaction to going bald. Then all of a sudden, people were like “That’s your deal. You’re the guy with the hair.” I think a lot of people need that kind of niche to put people in. Ultimately, the hair was very uncomfortable and it smelled disgusting and it always got caught in my jacket. I don’t like washing my hair. It’s easier to get up and make more music if I don’t have to think about it.
Looking back at your career, are there any albums you’ve released that you believe are highly underrated?
Ziltoid is a killer record and people hate it. That’s cool because on the surface, many feel it’s a stupid story about an alien puppet that drinks coffee and its not even funny, but it’s not supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to be a metaphor on the public persona I had put out with Strapping Young Lad and how ultimately you’re putting that out there because you’re powerless in your own life to change anything, so you became a puppet of your own design. That record was, in my mind, one of the best things I’ve done, and people do not like it.
Even though you are working on these four albums, are you the type of musician that looks ahead towards the future?
I guess so. There’s nothing specific yet because there’s so much work to do with these four records. After these four records, I don’t have a record deal. So that may be what I do. I might do internet releases, and supplement my income with another job. I’m kind of, in a weird way, interested in making furniture (laughs).
If there was one thing you could change about your music career, what would it be?
I can’t spend too much time thinking about that, because then that implies that the person I am now was an accumulation of those mistakes that I’m dissatisfied with, and I’m not. I think regret is a useless emotion to me at this point. You could say “if you could, would you change anything?” but the bottom line is I can’t, so entertaining that thought is basically a fantasy I don’t enjoy. I’m proud of everything I’ve done. I’m proud of the mistakes I’ve made because ultimately, mistakes are the best teachers. As hard as some of those mistakes were for me, I don’t know where I would be without them.