With the new episode of Devin Townsend’s podcast series, the singer/songwriter reflects on his journey of creating the 2009 album Addicted. The album includes popular songs by Townsend such as “Ih-Ah!,” “Supercrush!,” and “Bend It Like Like A Bender!” and marked several changes to the artist’s songwriting method as well as great growth in his understanding of mixing tracks.
In the episode, Townsend mentions that before Addicted, he hadn’t studied song structures, but he had a curiosity about the patterns used in music that make humans “vibe” with certain structural patterns. He compares this phenomenon to how people resonate with certain storyline patterns that can be found all throughout cinema and literature. Townsend took an interest in implementing these tried-and-true methods into his songwriting for the first time, and he says that he was able to quickly write the entire album by himself, even writing “Bend It Like A Bender!” in his car.
Though writing was swift, Townsend admits to feeling overwhelmed about his struggles to identify the problems with mixing his music, telling a friend, “I don’t know how to mix this stuff, it’s too dense, it’s too complicated, how I want it to feel, as soon as I start to remove all these layers it no longer feels that way.” Despite difficulty, Townsend began to tediously edit the recordings of each instrument, comparing them one by one, reworking each track and learning how to mix more quickly as he worked until reaching the final versions, which Townsend could truly say he was proud of.
The inspiration behind Addicted came not from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, which many people may think of in relation to the term “addiction,’ but rather Townsend’s self-proclaimed addictive personality. He explains: “I’ve got a certain degree of an addictive personality, like, if there’s something that I like or there’s something that I find pleasure in or has been useful for me to some level, it has been difficult for me to not just jump into it hook line and sinker.” He goes on to share that he felt addicted to work, anxiety and fear, throwing himself into long hours and rationalizing to himself about why he should be working constantly.
Townsend discusses the process of making some of his other albums such as Synchestra, Devlab, and The Hummer in other podcast episodes. The artist is preparing for the release of his new album Puzzle and kept busy over the holidays, posting a free live stream concert and releasing a cover of “Silent Night.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat