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DEVIN TOWNSEND Explains His Incredible Creative Process Featuring Coffee, Loopers & Train Videos

This is incredible.

Devin Townsend Cropped
Photo by Paul Harries

Saying Devin Townsend is creative and prolific in his output is true, but it's a massive understatement. The guy is downright incredible, and in a recent interview with Rick Beato, he gives some insight into how he comes up with new ideas. Long story short, Townsend has a morning routine that involves jamming with a looper while watching (preferably snowy) train journeys.

"I built a little studio at home, but I've got it wired up so throughout where I live everything's kind of wired together," said Townsend as transcribed by Metal Injection. "So I've got a station in the morning that I make coffee [at] and I've got a thing where I put the coffee there and then I've got my looper and a bunch of [Line 6 Helix gear], and there's these videos you can watch online of just 10 hour train rides to the North Pole. So it's just a cab view going through [the ride]. Then I just drink coffee and I make loops that when I start working at night, I can unmute it in my room and I could say 'oh, where were we this morning?'"

He continued: "You basically just kind of jam while you're thinking about other things, and then eventually things start to evolve that you can then have as a soundtrack to the day. Yeah, I just drink three or four coffees and then I let it loop, and then by the time the the day's over, there's a lot of material that actually comes from that. So when I unmute it at night, I'll be working on something and I unmute those two lines and I'll be like 'oh that's cool, I wouldn't have thought of that.' Then you can take that, and then the line that's going from the lounge into there, has a pitch [knob] on it as well. So then you can modify it to whatever you're working on."

Check out the full interview featuring Townsend alongside John Petrucci and Tosin Abasi below.

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