DEVIN TOWNSEND is open to celebrating 30th anniversary of VAI's 'Sex & Religion' album:
'STEVE is a genius, and I love him'
Devin Townsend has spoken about the upcoming 30th anniversary of the release of the Vai band’s “Sex & Religion” album. Released in 1993, the alt-rock project featured Townsend, alongside guitar god Steve Vai. Devin made his comments while speaking to Eonmusic during his press conference on Saturday, June 19, ahead of his appearance at Hellfest in Clisson, France.
As reported by Eonmusic in a story that went viral in June 2017, Devin reconnected with Vai at the at the Starmus Festival IV: Life And The Universe in Norway, marking the first time the pair had shared the stage since the tour for that album cycle completed in December 1993.
During Starmus, the pair performed one track, “Here & Now”, and with “Sex & Religion”’s 30th anniversary coming next year, Eonmusic asked if Devin would like to celebrate it, citing that album’s second single, the Desmond Child-co-penned “In My Dreams With You”. Devin responded: “I didn’t like that song, but I love Steve. And if he wants me to do something with him, of course I’ll do something with him. He’s a genius, and I love him. I love that guy. But also I think a lot of what made that record interesting yet very odd was the fact that we’re very different. And back then we were really different. Now we’re less different, but we’re still very different. And the Starmus Festival was great to reconnect, but we’re still very different. And I may be wrong, but I think our reasons for doing what we do are fundamentally slightly different, and it’s always a little chocolate and cheese, you know? But among the people who I count as being closest to my heart, he is one of the very few. And as a friend, I would be happy to do anything that he would ask of me because I love him. It’s true.”
“Sex & Religion” saw Vai joining forces with a band of “monster musicians” — including drummer Terry Bozzio and bassist T.M. Stevens — to create an effort that was radically different from 1990’s “Passion And Warfare”. The VAI band split up after the album was finished, and Vai subsequently toured only with Townsend and several session drummers and bassists.
More than a decade after their initial musical partnership, these two creative giants again crossed paths. In 2005, Vai played a guest guitar solo on Townsend‘s “Synchestra” album, and in 2013, was cast as narrator on Townsend‘s “The Retinal Circus” live album. When Vai decided to record 2016’s “Modern Primitive”, which featured music he wrote in the period between his debut solo album, “Flex-Able”, and the aforementioned “Passion And Warfare”, he enlisted Townsend to sing on a song called “The Lost Chord”.