Niko Kaartinen of Finland's Imperiumi webzine recently conducted an interview with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mastermind Devin Townsend. A few excerpts from the chat follow (translated from Finnish by Mike Portnoy forum member "tommidt"):
Imperiumi: "The New Black" is STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's fifth and final record for Century Media. Is this the last record of SYL's career?
Devin: "I hope so. I believe so. I signed a five-album deal with Century Media and this is now the fifth. There you have five records; they are very happy with that and I've done my job. Next! (laughs)"
Imperiumi: What did the Century Media people think when you told them that you were going to take rest of the year off to be with your family? Wouldn't this be the best time to promote SYL [seeing as you have a new record coming out]?
Devin: "Well, this might get me in trouble, but I couldn't care less. Should I be on tour while I have a newborn baby at home? My wife is pregnant, so should I be far from home drinking booze and pretending that I care about heavy metal? In how many different ways I can say that I don't care? In how many ways I can say that I'm through with this thing? I said I'd make five records, [and] I did them. We are now doing a European tour, playing some big shows. Fine. We'll do Ozzfest; those are big shows too. We don't need anything else, in my opinion. . . You can keep 'The New Black', I don't care anymore. Keep the rights to the band, do what you want. I don't care anymore, and I think it is just stupid. The manager, the band and record company look at me now just like I am the enemy, because I feel this way. But what can you do? You can't just keep going like this anymore. I have done this for a several years now."
Imperiumi: But still, it is about your life. You want to be able to control it.
Devin: "Exactly, if you are not able to control it, you are wasted. You'll end up being a junkie or an alcoholic who ends up cheating your wife. Or you'll end up a fake rock star, thinking you actually are one."
Imperiumi: Is the the gap between SYL and your solo material becoming closer?
Devin: "It feels like I'm less and less angry all the time. Even THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND will put out softer stuff in the future, so the SYL material feels even harder now compared to my solo material. My next recordings will probably be something like this (points out the beautiful nature of Finland's Provinssirock festival), something [representing] beautiful scenery. Beautiful things. I don't have to be hard/tough (heavy) anymore. I'm 34 years old, I'm already old."
Imperiumi: How do you want SYL to be remembered?
Devin: "As a big middle finger! How else?"
Imperiumi: Does Gene (Hoglan, SYL drummer) know yet that this is the last record?
Devin: "Umm... I don't know. I don't think anyone knows that. I just HOPE this is the last one, because I don't have anything to say with this band anymore. Who knows what the future will bring? Now I just hope that I can do other things."