Devin Townsend : 'I Hate When People Call Their Audience Fans'

"It sort of instills a hierarchy that I just think is pretty '80s to be honest," the musician adds.

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Devin Townsend recently touched on an interesting matter of fan relationship and the ability to interact with musicians much closer these days, primarily thanks to the internet.

Asked by Full Metal Jackie (via Loudwire) on whether the given state has affected his musical approach, Devy commented, "Yeah, I think it has in surprising ways; I've been so insular for so long in the way that I chose to participate in life in a lot of ways, you know?

"I like being a hermit," the musician continued. "I like being under the radar and things like this. For a long time I was a lot more hesitant to interact with the audience for whatever internalized reason, I was either afraid of it, or it just weirded me out, or I felt insecure about my own place in it, or whatever, but I think over the past decade, there’s been a lot of credence for me, just given to the fact that it's people."

Getting to the thick of it, Townshend added, "You know, some people are as smart as you; some people are not as smart as you. Some people are more talented, less talented. It's not really that distinction between artist, and I hate it when people call their audience fans, you know like my fans, it sort of instills a hierarchy that I just think is pretty '80s to be honest.

"So, getting together with people and hanging out with the audience is great for me as long as it doesn't end up being super weird," Devin continued. "Like some people will project things on you. They'll want to think that you are more than you are based on your ability to meticulously sculpt something in Pro-Tools, then come out and be like listen to me I'm this big he-man, when actually you're not.

"You just spend three weeks making yourself sound like he-man, right, so I think if the audience ends up being too over the top those sorts of interactions I find taxing, but for the most part I'll tell you it’s people and if I am in the right frame of mind, I love talking with people. I love being able to interact with people on a one-to-one level, and if it doesn’t get too peculiar, then I think it's great and those sorts of boat cruises offer a great opportunity to do that," the frontman concluded.

When it comes to Townshend's upcoming projects, Devin is set to kick off the recording of "Ziltoid the Omniscient" sequel on May 2 in Los Angeles. As reported, the frontman has also announced working on three projects during 2014, singling out Casualties of Cool, Ziltoid 2, as well as a relaxation music project with flutist Kat Epple.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I am not a big audience of him,but i understand what he wants to say and he has got a point there.
    Devin is without question one of the most intelligent and down to earth musicians today...
    Very down to earth. He's one of the most talented musicians on earth, and he could be a completely arrogant prick if he wanted to because of his talent. He's quite the opposite though. Townsend rules!
    Vicryl 2.0
    talented, yes! one of the most intelligent? No!
    Depends how you measure intelligence I suppose. Having a degree, or masters, or whatever but that doesn't necessarily equal intelligence.
    That's a good mindset to have. I don't like when artists think their words mean more because they're standing on a stage.
    Cant call audiences fans but he can call them "inbred ****ing ugly pieces of ****ing shit." Haha, I love Hevy Devy
    And we all love him for it. The DTP are not only super tight live but Dev is hilarious as a frontman. I remember seeing him headline a festival billed with mainly doom metal and extreme metal bands and they walked on to Venga Boys, he then proceeded to shout "If you're too cool for Venga Boys guys, get the **** out" in his wonderfully sarcastic voice. Legend.
    I do not really care for the artists that feel superior over their fans. This is why Sevendust is one of my favorite bands. Besides always putting on a kick a$$ show, they walk around the venue after the show shaking hands and signing merch.
    Also, after reading Loudwire's transcript, I have a feeling that Dev, in terms of mediators for communication, was referring more to musical cruises like Progressive Nation at See, rather than to expansion of the Internet.