Devin Townsend on Writing With Nickelback Producers: ‘It’s Everything I Dislike About Music’
There is perhaps no musician active in the metal world today as multidimensional as Devin Townsend. Whether he's writing about Ziltoid the coffee-obsessed alien, creating the one-of-a-kind 'Retinal Circus' or injecting unparalleled beauty into heavy breakdowns, Townsend comes from all ends of the sonic spectrum. However, his self-induced freedom to try anything almost led Townsend to release a song he genuinely despised.
Since wrapping up 'Z2,' the long-awaited Ziltoid sequel, Townsend actually met up with producers who helped put together music for Nickelback, Daughtry and 'American Idol' contestants. Townsend describes to Decibel, "I went to L.A. two months ago because some people in my world thought, 'This [uncertainty] is dangerous for your future, so you need to go write with somebody.' So I went to L.A. and I wrote with a team who produced all the Nickelback stuff recently, Daughtry, all the American Idol people who win, and I wrote a song with them. And I hate it in such a way that is hard for me to quantify."
Townsend continues, "I really like the guys, I think they’re really talented, but I told them yesterday or the day before that I’m not putting it out. There’s no f---ing way I’m putting it out. I can’t spend 25 years sticking to my guns to try and sell people this. It’s everything I dislike about music, with my voice on it. It’s f---ing disgusting. It’s not their fault, but with my voice on it, it’s just not where I’m at."
The musician adds, "For me, music is about expressing the inexpressible, and as I get older, man, what I feel the need to express becomes less and less poignant to others. It’s a shame. When people are like, 'Nothing you’ve done is as good as you did when you were younger.' And I’m like, 'You may be right.' But what I’m doing now is exactly what I feel like I should be doing. So what do you do? Do you go write a f---ing pop song and cash in and then spend the rest of your life thinking, 'I could have stuck to my guns but instead I sucked a c-ck…'"
Check out the full interview with Devin Townsend over at Decibel.