DEVIN TOWNSEND defines Progressive – Into the Machine

So once again for the finale of the “mini-season” of Into the Machine, we wanted to talk with an icon of the scene.

I already talked a bit about Devin Townsend when we made the Ghosts of the Road episode with him. But I didn’t really talk about his music.

Back in the mid 90’s my brother saw Devin play with Strapping Young Lad in my hometown of Columbia, SC (Famously Hot!). I took note of the name of the band but had no internet to look them up. A few years later City came out and shortly thereafter the band name kept popping up on the Perpetual Motion Board (I talked about this message board at the start of the series) and this dude Devin Townsend. Around that time, I got a copy of Martin Popoff’s must-have “The Collector’s Guide to Heavy Metal”, which FullSizeRenderincluded a sampler CD from Century Media. The track, Underneath the Waves, from City was on there. (along with a bunch of other great bands like Sentenced and Nevermore).

So I bought City, and I didn’t really get it at first. It was a little too “industrial” for me at the time. Devin was apparently doing solo work as well that was “different” but it wasn’t until 2001’s Terria did I check in. This mostly had to do with the terrific artwork from Travis Smith. I knew this was gonna be something different. And boy, was it ever!

Then I went back to City and realized how genius it was. The rest is history. I bought all of the SYL stuff and Devin’s solo stuff and have been a fan ever since. I even recently read and highly recommend his biography out on Rocket88 books. (I love Rock Bio Books! I read loads of them. But that’s a story for another time…).

FreqsFact: I was and still am a great big fan of The Gathering. I always loved Anneke Van Giersbergen’s soulful, majestic vocals. I was pretty bummed when they split up. When I heard she was working with Devin on the Addicted album I knew it would epic. The pair have continued to work on nearly everything he’s done since. She didn’t tour with Devin on any of the occassion’s which I filmed, but this summer our team was invited to Summer Breeze to film stuff and generally hang around and enjoy the festival. Devin Townsend Project played and half way through the set, I was so excited to see Anneke step onto the stage to perform several songs with Devin. I had never seen The Gathering live, so this was my first time hearing her peform in person. And that, together with DT (now the third DT mentioned on this site!). Just awesome.

Randy M. Salo

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What do you think, Freqs?