Devin Townsend has crafted a career based heavily off doing whatever he wants and, in the process, has formulated his own identifiable sound no matter what genre he chooses to tackle. The man is just downright impressive. So what would happen if you pair Townsend with the producer team that does music for Nickelback and Daughtry? Exactly what you'd expect.
While Townsend joked in 2009 about sounding like Nickelback, Devin recently revealed that he was told by "people in his [musical] world" to go try and write with someone to get out of a slump. So Townsend got in touch with the aforementioned producers, wrote a song with them and said he "hates it in such a way that is hard for [him] to quantify," according to an interview with Decibel.
"I really like the guys, I think they’re really talented, but I told them yesterday or the day before that I’m not putting it out. There’s no fucking way I’m putting it out. I can’t spend twenty-five years sticking to my guns to try and sell people this. It’s everything I dislike about music, with my voice on it. It’s fucking disgusting. It’s not their fault, but with my voice on it, it’s just not where I’m at.
So I told everybody that I’m not putting it out, and now we have to pay for it, but what are you gonna do? To put that out, all of a sudden you have to pay fifty grand to put it on active rock [radio] and then you have to go and do interview and try and sell something you don’t like. I have honesty Tourette’s, man, and that’s gonna cause me nothing but grief. But I tried it. With that whole scene, you pay to get a Number 1 song. This is how it works: these are the chords you can use in the summer, these are the chords you can use in the winter, here are the topics that sell…"
Townsend also talks about radio rock being rigidly formulaic to the point of being unenjoyable:
"Neither did I. We’re talking about, well, U2 had a chord structure off The Joshua Tree that works every time. You go on active rock radio and you see what’s popular, you get the tempos and the chords, and there’s people who make millions off of that. I don’t begrudge it because I actually think it’s fascinating, and I think a lot of the people who are involved with that… it’s brilliant. But for me, music is about expressing the unexpressable, and as I get older, man, what I feel the need to express becomes less and less poignant to others. It’s a shame. When people are like, 'Nothing you’ve done is as good as you did when you were younger.' And I’m like, 'You may be right.' But what I’m doing now is exactly what I feel like I should be doing. So what do you do? Do you go write a fucking pop song and cash in and then spend the rest of your life thinking, 'I could have stuck to my guns but instead I sucked a cock…'"
Am I the only one who's a little curious about what Devin Townsend radio rock would sound like? Even if it's just basic chord structures and generic melodies, I feel like Townsend's voice and passion would still shine through.