Devin Townsend's tired.
It's a recent Thursday afternoon, and he's just about to start mixing the forthcoming LP from shock-rock outfit Gwar. He produced the album, tentatively titled Go to Hell!, and he's talking, in between yawns, about Gwar's frontman, Dave Brockie — better known as Oderus Urungus.
"He's got one of the best voices I've ever worked with," said Townsend, the eccentric frontman for Strapping Young Lad, who'll spend the summer playing Ozzfest. "I hope that they're satisfied enough that it's true to their catalog, because it's definitely different for them. The music is pretty over the top, in a lot of ways. It's been an interesting experience trying to put it all together."
But again, Devin's drained — and the timing couldn't be worse. His band's forthcoming album, The New Black, comes out July 11, and he's got Ozzfest ahead of him. But he's hoping to take some time off this fall to recover from the last decade and to be a dad. Devin's wife and manager, Tracy, is pregnant; she's due to deliver the couple's first child in October.
"I'm going to take a hiatus from making records for a while," Townsend said. "In the past 10 years, I've put out 20 records." That includes Strapping, the Devin Townsend Band and his own solo projects, like 2001's Terria. "[It's been] bang-bang-bang-bang. As soon as I finish one, I'm writing another, and when that one's done, I'm writing another. I just don't want to write records right now.
"The records I make, I'm there from the writing of the first note through the click tracks to the miking of the drums to the editing of everything to the production to the vocals to the artwork," he continued. "And it's been so many years of doing it. I won't ever stop doing what I do, I just need a break so I can go sit on a beach somewhere and drink Corona after Corona and stumble back to a hotel."
Leave it to Devin to go out on a high note: The New Black, which features 13 cuts, is devastatingly brutal.
"With this record, we just set out to make a really good-sounding, riotous record to listen to, and we achieved that," Townsend said. "It's what it needed to be. Fans will like it. I mean, considering the amount of time we had to do it, I think we did a really good job."
The band will shoot a video for the first track, "Wrong Side," Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey, with director David Brodsky (Diecast, God Forbid). The video's concept is hard to describe — just know that it involves three Devins ("Dreaming Devin," "Devil Devin" and "Angel Devin") who work against each other with ungodly results.
As for Ozzfest, Devin's too exhausted to be excited.
"I don't even know what the Ozzfest is all about. Everybody seems to be making a real big deal about it, and for me, it's just the next gig we're doing," he said. "People talk about the Ozzfest and what it can do for your career, and I guess I'm just oblivious to it. ... I'm in a weird position, because there's all this rock and roll stuff [that goes on backstage at Ozzfest], and everyone's really into putting their party pants on and getting liquored up and high. I just don't fit in as well as a lot of people."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Motörhead have set Kiss of Death as the title of their forthcoming record, which is being eyed for an August 29 release. The album was produced by Cameron Webb (Manntis, Your Enemies Friends) and will feature "Kingdom of the Worm." ... British extreme-metallists Napalm Death have begun work on the follow-up to last year's The Code Is Red ... Long Live the Code. "This thing is already sounding totally immense," frontman Barney Greenway said of the new LP, which should be in stores before the end of the year. "It's fast and furious, as you'd expect, but we're also throwing a few curveballs in." The disc, tentatively titled Smear Campaign, will feature the title track, "Persona Nongrata" and "Call That an Option?" ... Some members of Norwegian black-metal incorrigibles Gorgoroth may have spent much of the past year in court or behind bars, but that didn't stop the infernal band from recording a new album. Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam was documented at Lydriket and Earshot Studios in Bergen, Norway, and is scheduled for release July 25. "Wound Open" is available for streaming at Candlelight Records' MySpace page. Gorgoroth's last album, Twilight of the Idols (In Conspiracy With Satan), came out in 2003. ... Bay Area thrashers Light This City, featuring the comely Laura Nichol, will tour this summer with Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish and others starting July 14. The band's finished recording the follow-up to 2005's Remains of the Gods and plan to have it ready for a September 12 street date. The disc will feature a guest vocal appearance by Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad. ...
After serving an eight-year murder sentence in Sweden, Dissection frontman Jon Nödtveidt re-formed the influential band and, last week, released their first studio album in 11 years, Reinkaos. But now Nödtveidt has announced that he's leaving the music industry for good. "I have reached the limitations of music as a tool for expressing what I want to express," he said in a statement. "With Reinkaos finally released, I realize that there is nothing left for me to do with Dissection. We have succeeded with our task to manifest, in essence, a truly satanic record blessed by the dark gods. ... It wouldn't even be desirable for me to follow it up since everything that I ever wanted to express is in there." Dissection's final show will be in Stockholm on June 24, and according to the band's Web site, the concert will be recorded and shot for future DVD and CD release. ... Dillinger Escape Plan, Necrophagist, Cattle Decapitation and the Number Twelve Looks Like You are among the bands that have been confirmed for Show of the Summer, which will take place June 10 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and June 11 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Haste the Day, Chiodos, Sworn Enemy, From a Second Story Window, Full Blown Chaos, Misery Index, Animosity and Arsis are also on the bill for the weekend festival. ...
Technical death-metal act Dying Fetus have found themselves a new drummer in Duane Timlin. The news comes after an exhaustive yearlong search for a replacement for Erik Sayenga, who quit the band last May "due to circumstances beyond his control." "We wanted to move forward in the certainty of having the right person for the group," the band said in a statement. "[He] has demonstrated to us that he has the skills and dedication we were looking for." The band has been writing material for its forthcoming, yet-untitled LP, which should surface later this year. Look for the disc to feature "Parasites of Catastrophe," "Unadulterated Hatred" and "Raping the System." ... German prog/power-metal virtuosos Blind Guardian have confirmed that they will tour North America in November and December to support their September release, A Twist in the Myth. "I think we have widened the range of the Blind Guardian universe more than we have ever done before," frontman Hansi Kürsch said. "We can't wait to hear and see your reaction." Tracks include "This Will Never End," "Otherland" and "Carry the Blessed Home." Blind Guardian will shoot a video for "Another Stranger Me" before the tour begins. ...
Former Mr. Universe Thor will release his next muscular slab of metal, Devastation of Musculation, July 25. The disc was co-produced by Thor and Mike Kischnick and recorded in British Columbia. The album title comes from a program Thor saw about a bodybuilder whose career came to a painful and premature end. "[He] wanted to have the biggest biceps in the world," Thor said in a press release. "He pumped himself up with so many steroids and oil injections that his arms reached 50 inches and actually exploded." Tracks include "Lords of Steel," "Lies of Eternity" and "Cold White Ghost." ... Veteran Swedish death-metal band Dismember will be on their first North American tour in more than five years from September 30 in Bedford, New Hampshire, through October in Montreal. Vital Remains, Grave, Demiricous and Withered will also perform. Dismember's seventh full-length studio album, The God That Never Was, came out earlier this year. ... Sahg, a new stoner/doom band in the tradition of Kyuss and Electric Wizard, will release their debut album, Sahg 1, July 25. The band's "Boundless Demise" can be heard on Candlelight Records' MySpace page.