STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mainman Devin Townsend recently told Canada's Chart Attack that the band's trademark humor is less apparent on the group's upcoming album than in the past — a move that he says was entirely intentional.
"One of the new things introduced is that the humor of STRAPPING has sort of changed to irony," Devin said. "So the humor is not really apparent. We tried to epitomize, like, let's just become a heavy metal band as opposed to an extension of Dev's paranoia. Let's take the obvious strengths of this band, the kinship we all feel with the energy, and use it to make something cathartic. Like, for the sake of the project, we will do this. For the sake of the project, it will happen this way. For the sake of the project, it's democratic."
With regards to whether the humor still exists in the band's lyrics, Townsend said, "Well, it's like, if you said the lyrics aloud, they're cheesy. But if you scream them, they're scary, you know what I mean? That was kind of the point with it. Obviously, all of us being raised in a no-war environment, 9/11 was a wake-up call for everybody. And I think the emotions that adults playing heavy metal have a responsibility of portraying are that of what we're truly feeling. And I think this record is based on insecurity and fear as opposed to anger, whereas [last album] 'City' was really hostile. This one is angry, but I almost get the impression that it's the anger you feel when, if you were just chilling out, and someone came up behind you and scared the shit out of you. You'd just turn around and go 'Holy fuck rah rah shit rah!!' That's me, that's my role in the band. And the other guys in the band are different. It's a freaky dude supported by a bunch of really commanding individuals. You know, like bandmates Gene Hoglan and Jed Simon and Byron Stroud… they're dudes, they're heavy metal dudes."
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's "SYL" is due on Feb. 11 through Century Media Records. It was produced by Townsend at Armoury Studios (FEAR FACTORY, KISS, MÖTLEY CRÜE, VAN HALEN) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is the band's first collection of new material in nearly six years.