Devin Townsend was recently interviewed on Kaaos TV. Couple of excerpts follow:
Asked on what comes to his mind when he thinks about guitar solos, Devin replied:
“‘Me’ is the word that springs to mind, which is weird because I don’t enjoy playing guitar solos. However, when I was a teen, that’s all I wanted to do was play guitar solos.
“I just wanted to be a lead guitar player. I wanted to be better than everybody; I wanted to have all the technique, I wanted to do all that stuff. Then I joined Steve Vai’s band [in 1993] and all of a sudden, I was, like, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore.’
“It was humbling and it was liberating because he was so much better than I was. It was liberating as well because I realized by watching him do it that with my skill set, there would only be a certain amount of things that I could say with the guitar, so I chose to look at other places for my expression and it’s kind of strange in that it used to mean so much to me to play solos. Now I’m fine not to play solos at all – legitimately fine with it.”
“He sang a little harmony on ‘Hear Me’ and we spent a couple of days talking and spending time together and I was fascinated by his brain. I thought he was a genius.
“I haven’t met many of them, so to be present with someone like that was really exciting, but also confusing because I had made assumptions on his band and the nature of his work that when I met him, I recognized I was deluded in my own ways and you fall into these patterns of what other people think and jealousy and all these sorts of things.
“At the same time, they are certainly not my favorite band. But what they do they do because it’s what they are meant to do and the thing that I took from that experience was that’s what I should be doing, too.
“By following that same process, what comes out of me is ‘Empath,’ right? Chad is intense, and I realized that after spending time with him why he is able to have the success that he’s had because I think he’s able to handle that. I couldn’t do that. It’s too much.”