The Canadian exceptional musician Devin Townsend presents on his new solo album "Empath" a wicked mix of extreme metal, country, ambient/new age, orchestral and choral compositions and jazz, detached from all stylistic constraints. It is nothing less than a tour de force through the career of the 46-year-old synesthete who perceives "Empath" as an iridescent white album.
End of March. After a holiday in India, which Devin Townsend crowned with the first two shows of his acoustic tour in New Delhi and Mumbai, the first gig in Europe is coming up in a few hours. The Canadian is still sitting relaxed in a hotel room in Amsterdam before he will share the stage of the Effenaar in Eindhoven with the scene greats TesseracT, Haken, Leprous, Soen, The Gathering and Wheel at the debut of the "Prognosis Festival".
eclipsed: How was your trip to India?
Devin Townsend: The country has always been high on my wish list, but now a coincidence came to my aid. The photographer who took the pictures for "Empath" in Vancouver with me comes from India. She spontaneously invited me to her wedding. It was a really intense experience. I have to add, though, that I'm not exactly an Indiana Jones on vacation. I'll be glad if the hotel's good and I get something to eat. (laughs)
eclipsed: From the perception of a synaesthete: What colours does the new album have for you?
Townsend: "Empath" is for me a white album enriched with the colours of the rainbow. When it comes to sound and mix, it evokes an orange mood. The artwork represents this quite well in principle.
eclipsed: What feelings do you associate with these colors?
Townsend: Joy, silence, anger, grief - in principle I bundle all facets of my emotional life.
eclipsed: We made comparisons between you and Frank Zappa in our review of Empath. Can you understand that, or is it going too far?
Townsend: Yes and no. If the comparison is aimed at the fact that, just like Zappa, I only do what I want to do, then it fits. Otherwise, we're worlds apart. And that in terms of content and knowledge alike. Zappa always knew what he was doing. His musical and technical brilliance is simply carved in stone. On the other hand, I just play around a bit and hope that something meaningful comes out in the end. (laughs)