Devin Townsend rules out reforming Strapping Young Lad

He however flattered by demand for the group’s return.

Devin Townsend

Image: Gary Wolstenholme / Getty

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Despite the fact that Devin Townsend’s current tour and upcoming Bloodstock headline slot covers quite a lot of Strapping Young Lad material, the prog-metal virtuoso has revealed he has no plans to reunite the band.

Townsend does, however, take the demand for a return of SYL as a compliment. In a fan Q&A with Metal Hammer, he responded to the question “When are you reforming Strapping Young Lad?” with: “My favourite part of that question is the word ‘when’, as if there’s been any indication it’ll happen. I’m not reforming Strapping, but the fact that people are so into that band and keep wanting me to do it is a huge honour for me, that’s the biggest possible comment anybody could give to me. I like to think I’ll keep making projects that people will pine for, so thank you so much for caring about it.”

In the Q&A, Townsend also sheds some light on where the hair for the original Ziltoid puppet came from (his own head), the dangers of Gear Acquisition Syndrome and, despite dismissing the band’s return, the albums he’s most proud to have made with Strapping Young Lad: “Alien is the one I’m most proud of technically because Gene [Hoglan] and I had a lot of fun making it. I’m not a huge fan of the final mix but I’m an imperfect perfectionist and nothing is ever right.”

In our interview with Townsend, he discussed the challenges of creating one of his most ambitious musical projects yet: his latest solo album, Empath. The record features some of the most mind-bending, genre-confusing music Townsend has made to date, and the guitarist acknowledged that it might appeal only to the core of his fanbase, saying: “In a way, that makes it smaller than what it was, and I kind of like that in a weird way. There’s a sense that if I can just maintain the people who really understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, then I never really have to have any airs: I don’t have to have any masks whatsoever, I can just do what I do.”

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