Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR) has released a new video message regarding the status of the recording/mixing sessions for "Deconstruction" and "Ghost" — the third and fourth in a series of albums to be made available under THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker.
"So I think I'm about 75 percent finished [with] 'Ghost' and it seems like it's gonna be double record, and the label has graciously agreed to do that," Devin can be heard saying in the clip.
"I've got it kind of in the ballpark mix-wise.
"We leave on tour in, like, two weeks, so I've gotta get it finished and into mastering before then.
"It's gone really well, pretty easily.
"It's a pretty diverse record.
"I've been very fortunate to have some really cool people involved with it — obviously Mike [St-Jean] and Dave [Young] playing drums and keyboards; a lady named Katrina sang the female vocals and did a great job; Kat Epple, who is a flute player, did all the wind instruments, and [did] just amazing work. I've been listening to her since I was a teenager, so it's a real big honor for me to have her agree to be on one of her records.
"'Deconstruction' is next.
"We've got this American tour and then I come back and do 'Deconstruction', and it looks like I'll be using the Prague Symphony And Choir for certain elements of that. And it looks like that's gonna be a double record, too.
"About two weeks ago we went to PNE — Pacific National Exhibition — down in Vancouver, and there's this tunnel right beside it that has a very interesting reverb. What I did is I got my buddy to play slide guitar and then we were fortunate enough to be able to use a spoken-word piece from a Seattle poet named Buddy Wakefield, and I just cranked it in our car and recorded the reverb of this tunnel. And I think what we've tried to do on this record, in a lot of ways, is utilize more natural environments to give it a real sense of being there — like there's frogs that we taped and being out in the field... things like that. I think it adds a depth to it that you can't really get from stock plug-in reverb. It might be psychosomatic, but at least every time I listen to [the song] 'Radial Highway' I'll remember this night here and the fact that it was very odd for the people passing us seeing a bunch of hippies taping the room."
Even though "Ghost" is fourth album to be made available under THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker, Devin is recording it third, because "Deconstruction" (the as-yet-unreleased third THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT album) is "a nightmare technically and I wanted to make something lovely before diving into that," Devin previously said.
Songtitles set to appear on "Ghost" include:
* Radial Highway
* Infinite Ocean
According to Devin, "'Ghost' is the mellowest (by far) and prettiest record I've done so far" with a "very wonderful vibe." It will be released with "the shitstorm that is 'Deconstruction' simultaneously" — possibly in early April 2011. Townsend added, "I contacted dozens of drummers to work on 'Deconstruction', but the reality of the budgets became apparent very quick. [So] I chose two dudes… [Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based band drummer] Ryan Van Poederooyen [TERROR SYNDROME, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND] for the midtempo and proggy stuff, and Dirk Verbeuren [SOILWORK, SCARVE, ABORTED] for the grind. I will be working with hopefully all the others on other albums. I need to play 'Deconstruction' live as well, so I chose to do it this way."
In a May 2009 interview with Stream Of Consciousness, Townsend stated about "Deconstruction", "The whole idea of 'Deconstruction' is deconstructing why we're attached to heavy music.
"I put out [the first THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT album] 'Ki' and people want to listen to it and it's like this is a really good record. But there's a whole network of people that are like, 'No no no no no! We only want heavy music, we only want chaotic music, we only want devilish, horrible, destructive music,' and I'm like, 'Well, why? I'll do it for you, but just tell me why first.' 'Because we love it, because we love it.' 'Why do you love it? Ya know?' 'Fuck the world, fuck the world, fuck everything man, only heavy, only metal,' and I'm like, 'OK, I'll tell you what I'll make you that record, but I'm going to sing about why we're liking this music.'
"Honestly, at the root of it, I think humans are really terrified and I think a lot of people who really love heavy music love it because it's a way for them to protect themselves. If you put this thing forward and are like, 'I'm going to scare people with my music,' then no one's going to get to the root of the fact that maybe it's just you that are terrified and that's your way of protecting yourself, that's your defense mechanism. It's one thing to say, 'Oh I'm mad at God,' but maybe you're really just mad at your father, you know? And I think that all these themes... that's the thing that's really interesting to me about heavy music now it's like, yes, I love heavy music, absolutely, but, man, to think that's the only thing that I'm able to offer and that's the only thing that certain people are willing to accept from me…? You know, it's not like I'm pissed off about it, but it's kind of like — are you sure you really want to know why you really like this with the exclusion of everything else?"
Townsend performed his "Ziltoid The Omniscient" concept album in its entirety on July 2 at Tuska as a special one-off world-exclusive show. His DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT also played a set the following day at the festival, which featured additional appearances by TESTAMENT and OBITUARY, among many others.
"Addicted", the second in a series of albums from Townsend to be made available under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker, came out in November 2009 and has become the fastest-selling solo record in Devin's career.
(Thanks: Dylan Hardy)