"Ki", the first in a series of albums from acclaimed Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR) to be made available under the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT moniker, sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (Note: Internet/digital sales **ARE** included in the SoundScan totals.) The CD landed at position No. 69 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"Ki" was released in Europe on May 25 and was issued in North America on June 16 via InsideOut Music.
In a world of increasing conformity and musical banality, Devin Townsend is among the few real personalities who have character, charisma and surprising innovative creativity. As a solo artist and producer, leader of the (by now disbanded) STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, with whom he played Ozzfest and the main stage at the Download festival, and vocalist on Steve Vai's album "Sex And Religion", Townsend has always inspired fans and critics alike.
"Ki" track listing:
01. A Monday
06. Heaven Send
07. Ain't Never Gonna Win...
10. Lady Helen
12. Quiet Riot
13. Demon League
Comments Townsend: "'Ki' is the first in a series of four albums under the moniker 'DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT.' Each album is essentially a different band or collection of session musicians playing my music. They were chosen based on what the theme of the album is and the vibe that the album is trying to project. The album 'Ki' is very specific in this quartet of albums in that it controls its anger throughout, barring one song — 'Heaven Send' — and really is an exercise in having little to prove."
Devin adds, "'Ki' is a subtle, severe album. A challenge in some ways. As the 'intro' to the story (the story being the four records) it needs to set the stage. The point to the music is that the whisper is louder than the roar in many ways. 'Ki' is (on the surface) quiet and unassuming. Whenever it begins to lose its temper, it stops. It does not let it go, it is avoiding that temptation, as that sort of anger is really gratifying but ultimately just leaves me unhappy. 'Ki' is about control, and although it is not an overtly 'heavy' album, it is heavy thematically. On these four records, it starts with 'Ki', which is essentially a cross section of all the albums, but the idea is that it is not here to impose itself. It just does it's thing. Like a little a.m radio playing in the corner.
"Many folks have been waiting to see what I do next after SYL and 'Ziltoid', so after careful consideration, I wanted the first record to be quiet and subtle, however fear not chaos fans... the next two records in the quartet are progressively heavier, and the third album, 'Deconstruction', is the heaviest music I've ever created. So with 'Ki', I wanted to make it a bit of an appetizer. I know myself, that as I get older, a steady diet of chaotic music does little more than give me a headache. So with 'Ki', I wanted to re-introduce myself in a way that says, 'I can make chaos like you've never heard, but for starters, please get comfortable.' The common ground to my previous releases would be my voice, but even my guitar playing has changed. I use primarily a clean tone now (no distortion) and in terms of the sonics, I have used very little compression and it is not mastered very loud. The term 'Ki' loosely means 'life force' and, therefore, in almost the antithesis to my previous albums, there is no real editing or triggers on the drums. Much of the music was recorded 'live off the floor.' I wanted to preserve the energy flow without worrying so much about mistakes."
Rock Sound TV recently conducted an interview with Devin Townsend. Watch the chat below.