DEVIN TOWNSEND on his upcoming 'The Moth' project: “it's gonna be like an onslaught”
In a new interview with the “Everblack” podcast, Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Devin Townsend elaborated on his recent comment that he will come off the road for a couple of years after his latest round of touring in order to work on his long-talked-about “The Moth” project. Speaking about what his wildly “over-the-top” symphony will actually sound like, Devin said: “Everything I do tends to evolve over time, and I think ‘Moth’ will be no different — at this point, at least; and who knows where it’s actually gonna land. But this point ‘Moth’ almost seems like a blanket term for a number of things, whether or not it’s a bunch of albums or a bunch of other media or it’s an Atmos thing or it’s characters or if it’s streaming — I don’t know what it is yet. But it seems like I’m calling this period of creative output, I just refer to it as ‘The Moth’, but I don’t know exactly what it’s gonna entail. I do know it’s a lot of shit though. There’s a lot of things that are brewing concurrently. So although I may not know exactly what it is yet, I have no fear that when it all finally gets done, it’s gonna be like an onslaught.”
Regarding his decision to stay off the road while working on “The Moth”, Devin said: “I think that the benefit of this one is over the past 15 years, maybe a little less since, since 2009’s ‘Addicted’ though, my life has been a relentless treadmill of a certain routine of tour, tour, tour, tour, tour, come home, blast out a record, tour, tour, tour, tour, tour, come home, blast out a record, tour. You know what I mean? And although I’m reasonably proud of most of that content, so much of it was not coming from a place of what I’m hoping this is, where you put your foot on the brakes and you’re, like, ‘Okay, I’m not going out now. I’m going to create an environment for me to figure out where I’ve landed as a person and as a creative entity.’ And the last time I had the opportunity to do that was STRAPPING YOUNG LAD‘s ‘City’ and ‘Ocean Machine’, I guess, because that’s before I had any momentum. That’s not to say that — and I guarantee that it’s not gonna sound like those because we’re half a lifetime or more later than that. But what I am saying is that the process that allowed those to be so articulate — like, at the time when I was working on those, when they were done, I was able to say, ‘Yeah, I spent enough time thinking about this.’ I spent enough time processing why I wrote this and where I’m at and what its intent was and why it should look the way it is that it had a force of will behind it that although I think I’ve been reasonably successful at maintaining over the course of this treadmill process, frankly, man, it’s not the same. It hasn’t been the same, ’cause I haven’t had a chance to just fucking be, like, ‘Dude, where are you? Where’s your head at?’ I haven’t been able to. Just to kind of keep the lights on, it’s been, like, you have to get on tour. You have to get on tour. You have to get on tour. So what I’ve done over the past, like, last year and a half, dude, I’ve toured six, seven months over the past year and a half. It’s just like relentless touring. So I finally sat with everybody, and I was, like, ‘No more for a while.’ And they’re, like, ‘Well, you have to keep touring.’ I was, like, ‘But do I? Really?’ They were, like, ‘Well, how are you going to generate income?’ And I was, like, ‘I’ll figure out a way. I’ll figure it out.’ Because the end result of being able to really sit with where I’m at and then create something, for better or for worse, that I think is accurate to where I’m at, unless I’m proactive to carve that time out for myself, it’s not gonna happen, man. I’m just gonna be back on tour and back on tour and back on tour.”
Devin released his latest album, “Lightwork”, in October 2022. Assembled from a barrage of material written during the pandemic, the LP — and its companion album of B-sides and demos, “Nightwork” — represented Devin at this stage of his life, post pandemic, and his reflections on what he (and many of us) all gone through. For “Lightwork”, Devin decided to see what would happen if he included a producer (an experiment he has been excited to attempt for some time) to help guide this selection of material. He chose longtime friend Garth “GGGarth” Richardson to help bring this idea to fruition.
Devin began his professional career straight out of high school when he was discovered by a record label and asked to provide lead vocals on Steve Vai‘s album “Sex & Religion”. After touring and recording with Vai, Townsend became discouraged by what he found in the music industry and went on to produce several solo albums under the pseudonym STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. Since then, Devin has recorded many more successful albums and performed all over the world.