Monday, October 31, 2011

5 Great Devin Townsend Moments

Here at Born Again Nihilist, we're big fans of rock stars that embrace the loonier side of life, whether it be The Cramps plying their wares to a group of mental patients or Mastodon as cartoon snacks rocking out in Aqua Teen Hunger Force.And it has to be said it's hard to find someone who embraces the craziness of the world of rock and roll better than Canadian uber-producer/guitarist/singer/top bloke/ringleader/ of  various heavy metal circuses , not least the feral heaviness of Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Project, who are currently on their way to Europe to pummel our ears with their trademark prog-metal brilliance.So to celebrate, we 've compiled a short list of some of the maddest and best moments from everyone's favourite  headcase.Enjoy . . .

1. 'Vampira'

Proof that you can write a bad ass, old school heavy metal tune, AND get away with ripping the piss out of the genre's more, how shall we put this, less subtle proponents, 'Vampira' as a video is three and a half minutes of Townsend and his skeletal minions cavorting ,dancing and leering like some E-Number afflicted trick and treaters, and in the process making one of the best 'bad ' videos of all time.

2.'Deep Thoughts'

A series of 'motivational speaker' style promos made to promote the brilliant 'Addicted' collection, each of these videos, averaging about 15 seconds each, are the equivalent to getting slapped in the face with one of those bizarre religious pamphlets you find on the bus,and are pretty much indicative of the fucked up atmosphere and sense of sonic exploration of the fantastic 'Addicted'.

3.'Stop Clapping'

Because to be quite frank, it's rude.Especially at a rock festival.

4.Any Devin Townsend interview

 Articulate,funny ,warm , and ever so slightly demented,, as well as endearingly humble,  here the man himself gets a chance to speak, and in general comes off not as the mad metal professor of lore, but instead a s a guy you'd not balk at sharing a quiet pint with.Julia Hardy , who conducted this interview, recently commented on the video that Devin was "THE nicest guy in metal" .

5. 'Ziltoid The Omniscient'

In a career with a musical output  that could be described in places as 'wilfully eclectic' , and in others 'batshit mental', it 's a struggle sometimes to pinpoint just one moment in the man's illustrious canon of musical madness that is well and truly jumping the shark, but 'Ziltoid' , a coffee-loving alien who will stop at nothing to find the universe's best cup of coffee, may just be it.Essentially  a concept album about an invasion by the diminutive , caffeine addicted cosmic terrorist, it may be one of the silliest metal albums ever, helped in no small part( and this is typical of Townsend's work) , that while tongue may be firmly in cheek, there is never an iota of compromise with the music, and this is as brutal and compelling musically as anything DT has ever done.Bonkers.

Stephen O' Connor,

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