Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend Says Steve Vai, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger & More Among Guests Involved With New Album “Empath”


It would appear that Devin Townsend has invited his friend Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger to guest on his forthcoming new album “Empath“. While Kroeger remains a divisive figure in the rock/metal scene, he and Townsend have held a held a friendship over the years with Townsend valuing his input.

In a series of tweets made late last night (December 02nd), Townsend said the following after having just wrapped up a round of mixing sessions for “Empath” with Nolly Getgood (Periphery, etc.):

“No sleep tonight. I’ve got the final stages of this year long process rolling through my mind. Almost done…another 3.5 weeks and this stage of it (the album) will be wrapped up.

Listened to the roughs of Empath on the flight and it had me teared up the whole way. I haven’t had this visceral a reaction to the work in many years. To think It all stemmed from taking a vacation! my god, what an intense period this has been. I’ll remember this past two years.

Thanks to some further guests, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Che Dorval, Chad Kroeger, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Lords Of The sound orchestra… it’s been total catharsis and tied intrinsically to the process of working through this transformation. It’s a lovely, complicated, weird one

Some people will totally love it, a fair amount will take awhile to have it sink in, some won’t get it at all, some will definitely prefer the bonus disk or the previous work, but fuck me, did I ever need to get this out of my system. It’s like 12 years of vomit at once…

I had a choice to either go commercial or uncompromised on this. Thanks to Garth Richardson and Chad for convincing me to not compromise. It’s a hard choice as you get older because the temptation to play it safe is huge for the sake of family and security.

Exhausting… pure catharsis. It was about middle age, realization, fear, death, moderation, meditation, and overcoming the internal dialogues. I guess it was ultimately about getting it right after all these years, then kind of realizing that you just have to let it all go…

Music is just an expression of gratitude I think. Ultimately it’s just another album in a long line of albums, some will like it, some won’t. But it appears as if it will be accurate, and that’s a huge huge relief.

Three drummers, two bassists, orchestras, choirs, ducks, cats, goats, birds, whales… and I didn’t sabotage this one, for once…

Have to be at the studio in 3 hours after a sleepless night. Sweet. Luckily it’s not an immensely complicated mix 🙄

There’s a reoccurring theme on this project that seems to have appeared, and that seems to be one of ‘anti-suicide’”

As for the three drummers Townsend briefly mentioned above, he recruited Mike Keneally (Dethklok, etc.), Morgan Ågren (Kaipa) and Sam “Samus” Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth) for the album, which is tentatively expected in March. Townsend disbanded his Devin Townsend Project earlier this year to focus on “Empath

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