Devin Townsend has been diligently working on new material ever since the temporary demise of Devin Townsend Project. Townsend recently announced he'll release a new Ziltoid EP sometime eventually, and now in an interview with Metal Wani talks about his coming album Empath. Townsend says the album is everything from Strapping Young Lad throwbacks and super progressive bits to really mellow and melodic parts.
He clarifies that yes, this is going to be a disparate collection of songs.
"Currently I'm not thinking about how I'm gonna do it live, I'm not thinking about what comes out on what record. All I'm doing is just writing, and I'm writing constantly.
"That material has come out in a lot of different ways. There's a real healthy orchestral element, there's a surprisingly heavy element, throwback to Strapping [Young Lad] in a certain way, there's a really melodic and commercial aspect that's come out, there's a really avant-garde super super proggy part, and there's a really mellow part.
"Technically, if I was following the same trajectory as what I had done with DTP, I could put these all out as different albums and release them concurrently. But I think it's important for me to recognize the reason I did that during the beginning of DTP is because that's what was important for me to do.
"That process of putting out different music consecutively was a real fundamental part of that period and growth. And I don't know if that's the case right now.
"So what may be the alternative is to make an album, at least this first one, 'Empath,' that includes all of that in some ways. At first I was trying to fit it all into a single record, but I think in my mind I was trying to compete or at least be cognizant of the fact that 'Transcendence' came prior and that was a very concise statement.
"And there's a certain amount of people I think are gonna be expecting the follow-up to that should be similar. But the more I think about it, I'm just like, 'Man, this is not 'Transcendence.' This is a really disparate collection of songs.'
Later in the interview, Townsend says he's not sure how he wants to release Empath. He says originally he wanted to release it as a single record, but it could be a double record. That or a single record with a bunch of bonus tracks strewn throughout all the world markets.
"Now, one of the couple of things could happen. At first I thought 'Empath' should be a single record for a couple of reasons. Number one: I always thought that double records just suck. I always thought it was too much material. My impression was always, 'Couldn't they have just like cut it down a bit?'
"But the more I start listening to this, the more I'm trying to get all these emotions into one place. There's a part of me that really thinks maybe this is just one of those records. Maybe this is a double record that includes all the best parts of what I've done recently.
"And then, all the stuff that doesn't make it– I mean, it will always come out. It will find a way wether or not it's bonus tracks or Germany needs an extra song or Japan needs an extra song or India needs an extra song… There's always a call for a lot of extra material, so that's never an issue.
"But unfortunately for my pride on some level, I think the record I'm making now is a super-bloated, super-progressive, chaotic, beautiful thing that I just think I need to purge. I think I just need to make it – it is what it is and it acts as a stop gap between what I've been doing with DTP and maybe what I'll do next with the 'Moth.'"
Townsend says he has to deliver the record by November and it'll be out in March 2019.