“The illusion was shattered so quickly”: Devin Townsend on the realities of hitting the big time
“You try to play it off nonchalantly, but it was crazy, man… This sounds weird — but it was actually simultaneously disheartening,” Townsend admits.
Image: Gary Wolstenholme / Redferns via Getty Images
Devin Townsend has reflected on the realities of stardom when he got his first major gig as Steve Vai’s vocalist.
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In an interview with Monsters, Madness and Magic on YouTube, the Canadian singer and heavy metal guitarist about what it was like to move to LA after landing a new job.
“You try to play it off nonchalantly, but it was crazy, man… This sounds weird — but it was actually simultaneously disheartening,” he admits.
“I had fetishised the whole idea of moving to Los Angeles, having an Ibanez guitar, knowing and going to functions with these people you might only see in magazines, without any expectation of it ever happening.
“And so, when it did, it was like, ‘Oh, [this famous person] just a dude. And that guy’s really short, and this guitar that I always wanted actually sort of sucks to play.’ And there’s all this stuff about it that just seems like the illusion was shattered so quickly.”
However, Townsend continues by explaining that this realisation is not always a bad thing, as the wake up call was in fact beneficial for his career.
“I think it worked in my favour, because I got that idealism out of the way quickly enough that, when I started to structure my work and my own creative endeavours later on, it was devoid of that, so my relationships tended to be a little more straight up.”
In more Devin Townsend news, he recently claimed that The Beatles would have used digital gear in their music, if they were able to.
In an interview with Line 6, Townsend addressed why he is more of a “futurist” when it comes to gear: “I’ve got a buddy who’s extremely disparaging about technology, and his go-to line is always, ‘Well, The Beatles didn’t need that,’” Townsend explained. “And my answer is always, ‘Dude, they didn’t have that.’”