Ronan McGreevy of The Irish Times recently conducted an interview with Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Irish Times: You’ve had 25 albums and counting. How do you keep up the pace?
Devin: I’ve been doing it for so long now. I’ve had a month to reflect on it. Every step of the way is like a rebirth for me. It is an obscene amount of work and the worst part of it is that I’m still trying to figure it out. It is not like it is 25 completed statements. It is 25 ideas that just keep progressing hopefully to a point where I finally get it. At this point of my life I’m asking myself: why do I make so much music? I’ve got tons of music I’ve been writing recently, but my desire to pound out records is all but gone. I come from a blue collar background. I don’t have a lot of time for people who don’t take care of their own problems. Everything that needs to be done takes effort.
The Irish Times: In an ideal world, musicians should only release a record and tour when they are ready to do so, but has the collapse in record sales made that something which is now impossible?
Devin: That really is it. There is a certain inspiration that comes from that. I don’t think anything that I have done has been forced by commerce exclusively. This is what I do for a living. I’ve got a band on salary and I haven’t picked a lucrative genre. Luckily, my creative juices are pretty much on tap. If I’m compelled to do something, I can go for it and get it done. Given the option, I wonder would it be more in line with my personal nature to be doing a record every three years and touring every now and then. Money up to this point has prevented that.
The Irish Times: I saw a recent interview with METALLICA where Kirk Hammett said they have to tour for financial reasons, yet they are multi-millionaires. Why do you think that is?
Devin: I’m sure METALLICA have got more money than God, but they have got a group of people who rely on them. They’ve become like a family over the years. There are lots of people who are heavily invested in the project. In order to keep the boat floating to allow them to do what they do with these people, they’ve got to make sure that everybody makes a living.
Read the entire interview from The Irish Times.