Devin Townsend

Name Devin Townsend
Birth date 05 Mai 1972
Land Canada
Stadt Vancouver


Strapping Young Lad

Devin Townsend

Bent Sea

2011 2012 Die Band Seite

Steve Vai

Devin Garrett Townsend (born May 5, 1972) is an influential Canadian multi-instrumentalist musician, vocalist and producer, drawing on progressive metal with influences from jazz, blues, progressive rock, industrial, ambient and classical music.

Devin Townsend was born in Vancouver, Canada. He first came to public attention in 1993. At the age of 19, Devin was chosen by Steve Vai as a vocalist on the album titled Sex and Religion as well as the accompanying world tour. Prior to this Devin had been playing the Vancouver metal scene with his band Noisescapes. Noisescapes recorded a demo which was sent out to several labels including Relativity Records, the label to which Steve Vai was signed. Devin thought that a way to make the demo grab peoples' attention was to mail the demo wrapped in a pair of Devin's old underwear. This tactic worked and a copy wound up with Steve Vai. Steve Vai was impressed with Devin's vocal abilities and decided to include him in his latest project.

Shortly after Devin finished touring with Steve Vai in 1994 he landed a gig touring with The Wildhearts, beginning a long relationship with The Wildhearts' singer Ginger. Around this time Devin also contributed guitar parts to the Front Line Assembly records Millennium and Hard Wired.

Devin began writing and recording his own music under the name of Strapping Young Lad in 1995. Strapping Young Lad began as a solo project, with Devin performing vocals and playing most of the instruments, except for drums, which were played by Adrian White on the album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing.

The year 1995 also saw Devin release a pop punk parody album Cooked on Phonics under the name of Punky Brüster. The album Cooked on Phonics was created with the help of Adrian White, fellow members of the Vancouver metal scene and people who had helped to record the album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing.

In 1997, while continuing with his Strapping Young Lad project, Devin released an album called Biomech, under the moniker of Ocean Machine. The Biomech release has created confusion over the years due to the fact that shortly after the album's initial release, Devin's label, HevyDevy Records, requested that the name of the project be changed to Ocean Machine: Biomech and that the artist name be changed to Devin Townsend. Many fans continue to refer to the artist as Ocean Machine. Interestingly, the Australian distributor refused to change the CD covers and the album is still released in Australia as Biomech by Ocean Machine.

Over the years Devin has become known for creating a completely new studio and touring band for each solo release. This may be partially explained by the fact that while the solo releases are thematically similar each release usually has a very different sound when compared to the preceding album. Devin has stated that each album has a different sound because he writes from his experiences of the past year and what he is feeling at the time the material is written.

Devin changed his approach to his solo material in 2003 by no longer releasing albums under the name of Devin Townsend. Devin now releases music under the name of The Devin Townsend Band. Devin has stated that The Devin Townsend Band will be a more permanent band than the bands that had been assembled for his previous releases and that the band was created to parallel and oppose Strapping Young Lad, with his more mellow music being released by The Devin Townsend Band, and the more angry music released by Strapping Young Lad. More information on this project is listed separately.

Devin has also experimented with electronica, initially with the Project EKO EP, which was available as a bonus with the Special Edition of Accelerated Evolution, and more recently with the dark ambient record Devlab. His latest ambient electronic album was released in November 2006, and is called The Hummer.

Devin Townsend still releases some material under the name Devin Townsend, but this material is generally only available for purchase from Devin's website at Devin has chosen to do this for material that he does not believe is appropriate for the general public or casual listeners. To date two Demo albums have been released in this manner, as well as Devlab and The Hummer.

Devin Townsend produces, either alone or with others, all of his own work. Devin has also worked with other artists in producing their music. Townsend's work is often experimental and progressive. By utilizing digital audio tools and multitrack recording processes, Townsend layers sounds, sometimes with several layers of the same instrument and he will frequently lay down a soundbed of atmospheric noise giving a dense wall of sound effect.

Devin Townsend has his own label, HevyDevy Records. This label is used almost exclusively for his solo material, but has also been used for a couple of releases of side projects that have involved members of Strapping Young Lad.

Following a hiatus after the birth of his son Reyner, Devin announced in November 2006 that he is back in his home studio writing and recording material for a new project. This new album was tentatively titled The Mighty Masturbator but has recently been renamed Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin on the HevyDevy Forums website. Devin describes it as being a mix between Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band. This album will be released under the Devin Townsend name instead of The Devin Townsend Band. Devin is reported to be creating the album completely by himself. That is, he will be singing, playing guitar, playing bass, playing all synthesizers and samples and mixing and producing it himself. Devin has stated on the HevyDevy Forums that he is using The Drumkit from Hell on this release, which was used by Meshuggah on Catch Thirty-Three and developed by Tomas Haake of the same band.

As of February 2007, Devin has gone into the studio with the band Darkest Hour to produce their album Deliver Us.

In May 2007, Devin announced in a Ziltoid the Omniscient press conference that he no longer plans to tour or make albums with Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band, due to "burn-out" associated with touring and promoting. He does however, intend to continue his career as a producer and with his own solo projects, such as his puppet shows associated with Ziltoid the Omniscient and new albums.


On May 10th 2007, Devin announced on his official message board that he is stepping away from both bands for awhile and producing solo albums.


Produced albums