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Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend first came into the public attention in 1993, when at the age of 19 he was picked by Steve Vai tobetheVocalist on his Sexand Religion album and the accompanying world tour. Previous to this Devin was playingtheVancouvermetal scene with his bandNoisescapes. Noisescapes recorded a demo, which was sent out to severallabelsincludingRelativity Records, the label on which Steve Vaiwas signed. Devin thought that a way to make this demograbpeoples'attention was to mail it wrapped in a pair of his old underwear. Thistactic worked, because a copy wound upwithSteve Vai,who was impress ...read more

Devin Townsend first came into the public attention in 1993, when at the age of 19 he was picked by Steve Vai tobetheVocalist on his Sexand Religion album and the accompanying world tour. Previous to this Devin was playingtheVancouvermetal scene with his bandNoisescapes. Noisescapes recorded a demo, which was sent out to severallabelsincludingRelativity Records, the label on which Steve Vaiwas signed. Devin thought that a way to make this demograbpeoples'attention was to mail it wrapped in a pair of his old underwear. Thistactic worked, because a copy wound upwithSteve Vai,who was impressed with Devin's vocal abilities and decided to include him in hislatest project.

Shortly after he finished touring with Vai in 1994 Devin landed a gig touring with The Wildhearts, beginning alongrelationshipwith TheWildhearts' singer Ginger. Around this time Devin also contributed guitar parts to the Front LineAssemblyrecordsMillenium and HardWired.

Following this, in 1995, Devin began writing and recording his own music under the name of Strapping YoungLad.StrappingYoung Ladbegan as a solo project, with Devin performing vocals and playing most of the instruments on Heavyas aReallyHeavy Thing.

The same year (1995), Devin released a pop punk parody album under the name of Punky BrĂ¼ster called CookedonPhonics.This albumwas created with the help of fellow members of the Vancouver metal scene, and people who helpedrecordtheHeavy as a Really HeavyThing album.

In 1997, while continuing with his Strapping Young Lad project, Devin released an album called Biomech, under themonikerofOceanMachine. This release has caused much confusion over the years, because shortly after its initial release,Devin'slabelHeavyDevyRecords requested that the name of the project be changed to Ocean Machine: Biomech, and theartistbechanged to Devin Townsend.Many fans however, still refer to the artist as being Ocean Machine. Interestingly,theAustraliandistributor refused to change the CDcovers, and the album is still released in Australia as Biomech byOceanMachine.

Over the years Devin has become known for creating a completely new studio and touring band for each solo release.Thismaybe partiallyexplained by the fact that while the solo releases are thematically similar each release usually has averydifferentsound to that of theirpredecessor. Devin has stated that each album has a different sound because he writesfromhisexperiences of the past year, and what heis feeling at the time.

In 2003 Devin changed his approach to his solo material by stopping releasing albums under the name ofDevinTownsend.Devin nowreleases music under the name of The Devin Townsend Band. Devin has stated that TheDevinTownsend Band willbe a much morepermanent band that those assembled for his previous releases, and was createdtoparallel and opposeStrapping Young Lad, with his moremellow music released by The Devin Townsend Band, and hismoreangry music releasedby Strapping Young Lad. More information on thisproject is listed separately.

He has also dabbled in electronica, initially with the Project EKO EP, which was available as a bonus with the SpecialEditionofAcceleratedEvolution, and more recently with the dark ambient record Devlab. His plans to release anotherambientelectronicalbum reached fruitionwith the release of Hummer in November 2006.

Devin Townsend still releases some material under his own name, but this material is only available for purchasefromhiswebsite atwww.hevydevy.com . Devin has chosen to do this for material that he does not believe to be appropriateforthegeneral public, and thecasual listener. To date he has release two Demo albums in this way, as well as DevlabandHummer.

Devin Townsend produces, either alone or with others, all of his own work. He has also worked with other artistsinproducingtheir music.Townsend's work is often very experimental and progressive. Utilizing digital audio tools andmultitrackrecordingprocesses, Townsendlayers sounds, sometimes with several layers of the same instrument, and he willfrequently laydown asoundbed of atmospheric noisegiving a dense wall of sound effect.

Devin Townsend has his own label HevyDevy Records. This label is used almost exclusively for his solo material, buthasalsoreleased acouple of releases for side projects involving members of Strapping Young Lad.

Devin Townsend has bipolar disorder and has had a self-imposed stay in a mental hospitaL. Devin has also usedthedisordertheme in theStrapping Young Lad record Alien. From May 2006, after the new Strapping Young Lad release "TheNewBlack"and a successful tour,hitting the road at the Ozzfest, Devin is taking a hiatus from making records to enjoy sometimeoffwith his wife Tracy and their newbornbaby Rainer.

He will be back in 2007 with a new project style (like Terria or Infinity) he hopes to record in Spring.

THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND BIOGRAPH.

BiomechIn 1998 (just after the release of Strapping Young Lad's City), Devin Townsend released a new albumentitledBiomech.Biomechwas originally released under the band name Ocean Machine and Townsend himself explained thatOceanMachine wasthe opposite ofStrapping Young Lad in the way that the songs were in a more mellow and progressivestyle,rather than themetallic industrial thrashings ofSYL.

Ocean Machine released only one album. While Ocean Machine was more or less a solo project of Devin Townsend, heformedaband fortouring purposes (including many members from the 1998 lineup of Strapping Young Lad) and thatbandtouredextensively in 1998 and1999 through Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada (sometimes only as "support" toDevinTownsendon the Terria Tour). Tour dates can befound here: Devin Kingdom.

Songs from the album have been, and still are, performed by The Devin Townsend Band and Ocean Machine isnowconsideredto be a part ofDevin Townsend's solo career. Since all of Devin's albums after Biomech have been releasedunderthe nameDevin Townsend or The DevinTownsend Band, new prints of Biomech now read Devin Townsend: OceanMachineinstead ofjust Ocean Machine. This is the same forairings of the music video for "Life".

Devin saw his music in colours and explained that Ocean Machine was blue whereas Strapping Young Lad was red.Bassdutieson Biomechwere handled by JR Harder while the drums were performed by Marty Chapman. Townsend completedallotherinstrumentation on the album,which includes vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizer, all production onthealbum andof course all song writing duties. A videowas made for the track Life, easily Biomech's most mainstream song.

No SleepIn 1998, Strapping Young Lad released their first live recordings on an EP titled No Sleep 'Til Bedtime. Itwasjustbefore the EPwas released when Devin announced he and SYL drummer Gene Hoglan would be entering the studio toworkona new project called Infinity.It was assumed at the time that Infinity would be a new "band" similar to OceanMachine.Themusic Infinity would be coloured white,according to Townsend.

InfinityWhen Infinity was released, it was to the surprise of Devin's fans as the artist was credited as Devin Townsendandthealbum asInfinity. Previously it was assumed Infinity would be the band name. The second surprise was thenudephotograph ofDevin that was usedas the cover art. The artwork for the disc was completely white with a nakedDevincrouching (coveringhis more "explicit" body parts) andgrinning like a madman. This image was unlike what was seen ofDevinthus far. A video andsingle/EP was released for the stand-out trackChristeen, but as with Life, Devin was dissatisfiedwiththe outcome as hebelieves his music doesn't translate well to film.

It was also with the release of Infinity that Strapping Young Lad began touring as The Devin Townsend Band andmergedsongsfromBiomech and Infinity into a separate set.

PhysicistDuring this era, Devin began working with Jason Newsted (who was still a member of Metallica at the time)andthepair of them,along with Tom Hunting of Exodus, completed a 3 track demo under the name IR8. After this, DevinandJasonbegan talking publicly about anew project they were working on called Physicist (or Fizzicist) which they claimedwouldbe"heavier than Strapping Young Lad". The IR8tape was leaked, and aired by a Californian radio station that JamesHetfieldofMetallica was currently listening to. Metallica were unhappywith Jason working outside of their band and made itdifficultforhim to continue with Physicist. This prompted Devin to record the albumhimself with his Strapping Young Ladbandmates,butas a Devin Townsend album.

Physicist's combination of Extreme metal with more mellow "pop" melody was a massive hit with fans and critics alike.

TerriaTownsend followed up Physicist with Terria, a warm and organic progressive album that had moreatmosphericandsoothing parts thancrushing riffs. Terria was recorded with Gene Hoglan on drums, Craig McFarland on bassand JamieMeyeron keyboards.

SYLIn Feb 2003, Strapping Young Lad released their self titled follow up to City. A month later (March 31) a brand newlineupof The DevinTownsend Band released A.E and for the first time, the two bands toured separately for theirseparatealbums,once again creating a clearline between DTB and SYL.

Accelerated Evolution was released to grandiose praise from critics, fans and musicians like Steve Vai. It is also thefirstalbumreleased byThe Devin Townsend Band.

SynchestraA live "in studio" DVD was included as a bonus with the Special Edition of the second Devin TownsendBandalbumSynchestra,released January 30, 2006 to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Devin describes Synchestra thus.

































































"It's a really dynamic, colorful, and long thing thats been worked on now in some instances since before 'Infinity'.Thisrecordwon't demandmuch from you, it will be an inviting and a summery nature theme. There's some dark bits, but justforcolor,and nothing imposing. It playslike a movie. oh...and it's big" HevyDevy Forums May 31, 2005.

So far, the only touring Devin has been doing to support the new album Synchestra is the beginning half of the OpethtourwithDarkTranquillity. It is highly unlikely that the DTB will tour extensively again until 2007, due to Devin and hiswifeTracyexpecting their firstchild in October 2006. The video for the first single from Synchestra: Vampira - first airedonlineMarch 17,2006.

Taken from hevydevy.com « hide

Similar Bands: Devin Townsend Project, The Devin Townsend Band, Strapping Young Lad, Punky Bruster, Casualties of Cool

LPs
Ziltoid the Omniscient
2007

3.7
599 Votes
The Hummer
2006

3
116 Votes
Devlab
2004

2.5
131 Votes
Terria
2001

4.3
667 Votes
Physicist
2000

3.4
289 Votes
Infinity
1998

4
409 Votes
Ocean Machine: Biomech
1997

4.4
770 Votes
EPs
Christeen + 4 Demos
1998

4.1
21 Votes
Live Albums
The Retinal Circus
09/30/2013

4.5
26 Votes
Unplugged
2011

4
24 Votes
Official Bootleg
1999

3.6
16 Votes
Compilations
Ass-Sordid Demos II
2004

3.8
5 Votes
Ass-Sordid Demos I
2000

3.6
8 Votes

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