Q + A with Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend’s Epicloud is out now and Record Collector Magazine asked the multi-instrumentalist a few questions:

What was your first record?
“Star Wars Original Soundtrack”.

What albums were you most into when you started playing?
Jane’s Addiction Nothing’s Shocking, Grotus Brown, Kings X Gretchen Goes To Nebraska, Cop Shoot Cop White Noise, Young Gods Only Heaven.

Did you ever write songs ‘under the influence’?
I didn’t start experimenting with drugs until I was in my mid-20s, and that period lasted for about 10 years.

Have you kept studio notebooks of your albums?
Yes. Tons!

What’s the last album you bought?
Captain Beefheart Clear Spot.

Of all the people you’ve worked with, who taught you the most?
Steve Vai, in most ways. The good and the bad. An amazing teacher.

What backstage incident makes you laugh the most?
Blowing a fire extinguisher off, pretending I was farting on the audience, with Steve Vai, only to discover that the powder congested the gear and the people in the front row. I left the stage and took out my aggression on what I believed was a garbage bag full of trash backstage, only to realise it was an expensive bottle of perfume and leather boots that Vai had purchased for himself!

Who would you do in karaoke?
Billy Joel.

If you were running an ice cream van, what would it play?
Jingle Bells.

Which question do you wish people would stop asking?
Are you really going to eat all that?

For more of Devin’s interview, see Record Collector Magazine on sale 3 January.