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A Very Belated But Amazingly Blissful Musical Discovery
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alexkhan



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
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Location: Chino, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: A Very Belated But Amazingly Blissful Musical Discovery Reply with quote

Better late than never... And who may that be? Devin Townsend...

I got to hear 'Kingdom' from the album 'Epicloud' at work through a friend and I was thoroughly intrigued. Of course, I had heard of Devin Townsend since '93 when he appeared out of nowhere on Steve Vai's 'Sex & Religion' album. But that album didn't do much for me as I wanted another 'Passion & Warfare'. It was a period in my musical life when I really didn't want to listen to any vocals in my musical diet.

Fast forward to around a decade later when I was running Tone Merchants before Guthrie's life-altering clinic there. I was on a Symphony X trip at that particular point in time and went to see them play at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana. One of the opening acts was Devin Townsend. Looking back at that gig now, I remember Devin's gig better than Symphony X's headlining gig.

It was probably the most intense rock/metal music I had probably ever heard or seen live until then. I can't remember if it was his solo band or his metal band Strapping Young Lad but I remember seeing the name 'Devin Townsend' prominently so I'm guessing it was his solo material. In any case, it left a deep impression on me. My wife, who was attending the show with me, seemed to have been scared by his whole image, demeanor and the overwhelming intensity of the music. I left it at that. I was looking for a new guitar hero to latch onto... And, of course, Guthrie appeared magically at TM less than a year later...

Fast forward another decade and my life and career are completely different from what they were back then. What I can say remains a constant is that I'm always seeking out the very best, the very cutting edge, the most extreme, the broadest, the deepest... And it's certainly been like that in my musical tastes. Guthrie obviously satisfies that craving within the guitar music realm along with the likes of Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Mike Landau, and, recently, Tosin Abasi.

In classical music, there're the likes of Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and Stravinsky. In metal, there're Meshuggah, Slayer, early-Metallica, Morbid Angel, etc.. But I also need to go to the other extreme and enjoy the most mellow and relaxing New Age music from the likes of Secret Garden, Enya, 2002, Karunesh, etc. Another thing I need in my listening is a good dose of techno electronica and the most modern cutting edge sound designs and production techniques. And let's add classic pop, arena rock, and the most grandiose prog-rock elements along with Zappaesque humor for good measure.

What if there was an artist who could cover such extreme ends and everything in between in one comprehensive package - musical styles, compositions, songwriting, vocals, instrumentation, sounds, production, engineering, etc.? Well, I'm convinced now that Devin Townsend can cover 'em all and perform each aspect extremely well. From wall-of-sound thundering riffs that rival the best that Meshuggah has to offer to some of the most ethereal ambient New Age soundscapes, Devin serves 'em up aplomb with relentless intensity and also in a mind-bogglingly prolific manner.

The amazing thing about Devin is the endless stream (or flood) of catchy and memorable musical ideas - whether they're impossibly heavy guitar riffs, poppy female vocal lines, grand symphonic sounding orchestrations, bombastic operatic choral blasts, or beautifully relaxing acoustic melodic passages. I have simply never heard one artist cover such a wide stylistic range and aural palette and do all of 'em with such authority, competence and passion.

This quote below is about Devin's influences from his Wikipedia page:

Townsend draws influence from a wide range of music genres, most prominently heavy metal. Townsend has cited, among others, Judas Priest, W.A.S.P., Frank Zappa, Broadway musicals, ABBA, new age music, Zoviet France, King's X, Morbid Angel, Barkmarket, Grotus, Jane's Addiction, Metallica, Cop Shoot Cop and Fear Factory as his influences, and has also expressed his admiration for Meshuggah on several occasions, calling them "the best metal band on the planet". Above all, Townsend lists Paul Horn and Ravi Shankar as the "two most important musicians in his life". City was influenced by bands such as Foetus and Cop Shoot Cop, and The New Black's influences were Meshuggah, and "more traditional metal" like Metallica. He is also influenced by orchestral and classical composers such as John Williams, Trevor Jones and Igor Stravinsky.

That about says it all in terms of what his music may sound like. He also mentions in other interviews about how he loved Def Leppard, the Eurhythmics, Enya as well as movie soundtracks. At times, there is certainly some Queen-like grandeur as well as Freddie Mercury-like vocal histrionics. He can also growl with the best death metal growlers out there but he's always melodic, even in his most extreme metal setting with the Strapping Young Lad.

His engineering and producing skills are also amazing. The sounds are some of the biggest and most modern sounding I've heard. Talk about a wall of sound... Try to imagine some Meshuggah aggression, a dose of Queen from the 'A Night at the Opera' era, a bit of Pink Floyd ambience, and a dash of Def Leppard with John Williams-like orchestration mixing 'em all up in a grand aural stew.

There are around 20 albums since he went solo in the mid-90's and also formed the SYL metal outfit. A good starting point would be the 2012 album 'Epicloud' - a culmination of his Devin Townsend Project that makes up the past 4 years of artistic activity and 5 albums. After thoroughly absorbing 'Epicloud', I'm now in the process of slowly taking in his most recent stuff and working backwards.

Another great bonus discovery has been the Dutch female singer Anneke van Giersbergen who is extensively featured on 'Epicloud' and another recent album called 'Addicted'. What an angelic and evocative voice she has! It's the most addicting beautiful female voice I've heard in a very long while.

Well, enough gushing for now. I'm going to go back to enjoying this amazing music through the fancy high-end headphones and other hi-fi gear I acquired over the past year. Just wanted to share this discovery to the adventurous music fans out there who may not have investigated him. Give 'Epicloud' a try through iTunes which also offers a few great bonus tracks as well. For me, this is definitely the best musical "discovery" I've had in many years.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a very recent video of Devin performing 'Kingdom' on EMG-TV.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nubJjB95VdY

Truly an amazing voice and an incredible singer. And a great guitar player as well who can also shred like no one's business but he rarely plays or uses a solo unless it fits the context of the song, which I think is great.

As far as a modern rock artist who sings, plays the guitar (and other instruments), writes songs and composes technically challenging music, designs sounds, produces, and engineers, I just can't think of anyone who even approaches this guy. Kind of like the modern day Prince of rock/metal...

And here are the live concert versions for two different DVD titles featuring the fabulous Anneke, who has overnight become one of my favorite female vocalists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jZjziohaPc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcAlE8ciNTU

Another great track called 'Awake!!' - Anneke really shines here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEVOEWRGdCM
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, yes, Devin can definitely shred with outstanding technique. But he rarely does because he feels most songs just don't need it. And he makes fun of the whole shred thing on this video (@ around 3:00). It's pretty funny and I respect this guy even more now. Laughing Like Guthrie, one thing that's really cool about Devin here is that he doesn't take it too seriously. This guy has a great sense of humor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YisKphWcKTA
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going over Devin and the band's gear for live shows, I think what he's doing pretty much exemplifies a major trend amongst touring rock/pop/metal bands these days - i.e., eschewing "normal" tube guitar amps/cabinets and using modelers like the Axe-Fx II direct to a submixing board which feeds their IEM's and the house board.

In a production setting like this where the drummer is playing to a click and pre-recorded synth and vocal segments, no one needs loud guitar cabinets or stage monitors to muck up the sound on stage. It's getting to the point now where traditional tube amps seen anachronistic for these types of shows.

On another note, I think it's cool that Devin is playing Peavey guitars. Yeah, not a particularly "cool" guitar brand but I'd imagine that he's getting the attention he deserves there and not getting lost in the shuffle within other large name brand companies. I'm sure the guitars are well built and play fine.

The thing is that when you're using EMG pickups through gobs of gain on the Axe-Fx II with a lot of processing, he's not going to sound any better or different in a mix like this than with name brand or boutique guitars. So kudos to Devin for just working with a company that appreciates him and wants to work with him. On the more recent live DVD titled 'The Retinal Circus', Devin is seeing playing a Sadowsky Tele-style guitar with two humbuckers so, obviously, he knows a very nice guitar when he sees one.

Here's another YT video of 5 tunes from the 'By a Thread' live concert DVD covering the 'Addicted' album and featuring Anneke van Giersbergen. The first track - 'Addicted' - is, um, quite addicting. Wink Seriously, it's intense yet very listenable and fun.

Anneke's voice is amazing. At times, she reminds me of Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA and Olivia Newton John with a dose of Enya and Shirley Manson of Garbage thrown in, but Anneke seems to have far more power and range as she can keep up with Devin note for note. How can a voice that is so delicate and sweet with an ethereal quality also be so powerful? Well, check it out - at least the first song but this video will give you a good inkling about what this band is like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=covSnV7qBck
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this recent video of Dev demo'ing a Framus guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bwVi0N0EZM

Interesting to see Dev alone with just a guitar and playing blues oriented stuff and doing some rare shredding. Listening to more and more of his stuff, there are occasions when he does cut loose on solos and play some very intricate composed single-note lines and he's definitely a world class "shredder" for lack of a better term.

This seems like a very nice guitar. There's something to be said about the look of single-cut guitars.
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fretfumbler



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting thread. I have to say, because of the Vai album Devin was involved with, as you mentioned, I never thought of looking the guy up -- for me, the vocals were just too much, and too much of the same.

But I'll definitely give him a proper listen now, you've intrigued me.

P.S. Nothing much to do with his thread: have you heard Kiko Loureiro's 2012 album 'Sounds of Innocence'? it's a fantastic find which I stumbled on after seeing him on the YouTube page for jamtrackcentral.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fretfumbler wrote:
Very interesting thread. I have to say, because of the Vai album Devin was involved with, as you mentioned, I never thought of looking the guy up -- for me, the vocals were just too much, and too much of the same.

But I'll definitely give him a proper listen now, you've intrigued me.

P.S. Nothing much to do with his thread: have you heard Kiko Loureiro's 2012 album 'Sounds of Innocence'? it's a fantastic find which I stumbled on after seeing him on the YouTube page for jamtrackcentral.


Well, regarding that Vai album, it was his album and songs so he's to blame. Razz

I've pretty much downloaded his entire catalog from iTunes and am digging all of it immensely although I like some stuff more than others. Some real gems from his old stuff as well but I definitely like the recent Devin Townsend Project albums the most, mainly 'Epicloud' and 'Addicted' which feature Anneke extensively.

His use of Annke's voice is a brilliant stroke of genius. I checked out a bit of her solo material and the stuff she did with The Gathering (an alternative hippie folk-rock kind of thing with some prog elements) and there's nothing to write home about here although I'm sure some people would dig it. Not for me at all but the way her voice and singing is being used by Devin is just incredible.

Kiko... Yes, I'm very well aware of him and have been for a long time. Fantastic player. I know that Guthrie really likes him too. Haven't checked out that album but I'll make a note to investigate. I just haven't been listening to guitar-oriented music at all recently.

It's been mainly classical, New Age, trance techno, and some jazz (Metheny's new album) but Devin's got me getting back into rock/metal again. Cool
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fretfumbler



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that's true about the Vai album.

But wow, I'm so glad I saw this thread - I've been listening to The Townsend Project albums - this is some of the best music I've ever heard, it's so layered and is just brimming with influence and style from so many genres and artists.

Thanks! Smile
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sumis



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ocean machine. that's probably my fav. apart from the second syl. saw the tour two-three years ago. amazing dude he is, and has always been.

[first post in a long time for me. good to see you're enjoying life ed.]

.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fretfumbler wrote:
Yeah that's true about the Vai album.

But wow, I'm so glad I saw this thread - I've been listening to The Townsend Project albums - this is some of the best music I've ever heard, it's so layered and is just brimming with influence and style from so many genres and artists.

Thanks! Smile


Glad to have shared and introduce this monster musician to the uninitiated. The guy is a musical genius and I don't throw around the term "genius" lightly. I'm going through his entire vast catalog and am absolutely amazed by the sheer variety of musical styles and a constant stream of catchy hooks and creative musical ideas - even in the most extreme metal settings.
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumis wrote:
ocean machine. that's probably my fav. apart from the second syl. saw the tour two-three years ago. amazing dude he is, and has always been.

[first post in a long time for me. good to see you're enjoying life ed.]

.


Good to see you here! I know there isn't a whole lot of action here in this age of social media but I actually like it that it's quiet. It's become more of a blog site in things loosely related with Guthrie and things I observe in the industry.

As I stated somewhere else, no Facebook or Twitter for me. No other forums - especially the gear forums... Really couldn't care less what's going on over there. Life is too short and time keeps speeding up as we get older. This forum, now approaching its 10th anniversary, is my little Internet sanctuary hideout. Mr. Green

Yes, life is good - busy living it to the fullest and enjoying all the great things it has to offer. I have great jobs, a great family, and great friends (and, no, not the FB type) all around the world. What more can I ask for?

Well, Devin has been an amazing discovery for me because he amalgamates all these disparate styles that I love in a unique yet very cohesive manner - from the most extreme over-the-top skull-crushing metal to the most sappy New Age and everything in between. I absolutely love it.

BTW, I listened to 'Ocean Machine (Biomech)' today all the way through. Yes, it's an awesome album. I can see why this one put him on the map in an authoritative way. I'm digging the SYL stuff as well - especially 'Alien'.

Thanks for dropping by and please do so more often.
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Last edited by alexkhan on Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this funny clip while browsing all things Devin on YT. This is Devin at the Framus/Warwick booth at the recent NAMM Show spamming a new model that they built for him. He's definitely not enjoying the NAMM cacophony which is something I can easily relate to. It's one reason why Guthrie tries to stay out of it as much as possible. Devin is a very funny guy. Laughing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zOjl_AmQPo#t=129
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more cool discoveries on YT...

Here's a very recent video of Devin on EMG-TV doing a guitar medley featuring some of his well-known riffs, licks and chordal passages. Devin is a great player who plays to write and perform songs - not solo or improvise. He's a world class "shredder" but, going through his albums, I'd say he "shreds" less than 1% of the time. His songs rarely ever need it. But when a song calls for it, he nails it time after time with awesome technique and very musical phrasing.

Please note that he uses an open-C tuning (from low to high: C G C G C E) so the fingering he uses here won't work at all with standard tuning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdhUvQdxHH8

Also, here's a ProTools "Skool" session for one of his densely produced tunes called 'Supercrush' featuring Anneke on vocals. Pretty amazing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D5OIyTZM9U
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alexkhan



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still totally in a blissfully obsessed phase going through Devin's vast catalog. I've got 25 albums now (including the recent live DVD/CD box sets) and most of the albums are in 50~60 min range with some maxing out at 72 mins. It'll take months to thoroughly absorb all the stuff although I've now got a good idea of all his stuff and how he developed over the years.

What's amazing is how consistently good he is over all this material. Yes, some are better than others but all are good - even his early-90's demos and the leftover bonus tracks, etc. Some of the albums are absolutely incredible and easily comparable to the best rock albums of all time - especially 'Ocean Machine'. After listening to it from front to end 5~6 times over the past week, it reminds me of the days when I listened to truly great albums - the Beatles' 'White Album', Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'The Wall', Jimi's 'Electric Ladyland', The Who's 'Who's Next', The Rolling Stones' 'Beggar's Banquet', Joni Mitchell's 'Blue', Radiohead's 'The Bends' and 'OK Computer', Jeff Buckley's 'Grace', Led Zeppelin's 'IV', etc. You know, the days when we listened to whole albums from start to finish, not skipping around to certain songs or making up playlists...

'Ocean Machine: Biomech', as far as I'm concerned, is one of the best rock albums of all time. It's certainly the best "prog" rock or metal type of album I've ever heard. This album is so deep yet atmospheric and still rocks hard with a cool but intense energy. There are tons of memorable melodies, guitar riffs, vocals, arrangements, and sounds that stir the imagination. It has some "alternative" and "grunge" vibe of the 90's - some Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Jane's Addiction kinds of vibe but with more diffusion in the guitar sounds and spacious-sounding production. The moody atmospherics reminds me of classic Pink Floyd from the 70's. The singing is absurdly good. It really is a stunning album. I can't recommend it highly enough...

And that's just one of many great albums. I've just never run into such a large body of work that I had not heard of before. It really makes me think: "What the hell else have I been missing out on?" Embarassed I mean, I try quite hard to keep up with what's going on in various different musical genres and scenes and have felt that I have a decent pulse on things: from metal to pop and from jazz/fusion to classical, etc. And I'm quite interested in what's happening now. I'm interested in music that defines the current era that we are living in. I really don't care about the 70's and the 80's anymore - I'll play a few classics from those eras every now and then but I'm just not interested in listening to oldies music for nostalgia's sake. It needs to be as vital now as it was back then and very, very few albums retain that timelessness and vigor.

Anyway... based on what I've absorbed so far, here is my list of the best Devin stuff on a scale of 1-10:

1. 'Ocean Machine' - a rock masterpiece of the highest order (10)
2. 'Infinity' - an intense wall-of-sound album (9.5)
3. 'Addicted' - best amalgamation of catchy pop and heaviness ever (9.5)
4. 'City' by Strapping Young Lad - the most intense metal album ever (9.5)
5. 'Accelerated Evolution' - in the spirit of 'Ocean Machine' (9.0)

The above five are amongst the best rock/metal albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. These are albums I enjoy as albums, not a collection of songs or musical pieces. I made some playlists out of Devin's stuff and it doesn't feel right listening to his music that way.

The next group of albums slightly below the above five are all in the 8.0~9.0 range in no particular order.

'Epicloud' - very epic with a glossy pop finish, a good place to start
'Terria' - a fan favorite with a number of great songs, a little uneven
'Alien' by Strapping Young Lad - another intense extreme metal onslaught
'Ziltoid' - a heavy rock opera a la Zappa with twisted humor and great metal
'Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing' by Strapping Young Lad - the title says it all
'Physicist' - underrated and with raw production but with some great songs

'The Retinal Circus' live DVD/CD set released late last year is awesome as well. I give this one a 9.5. It's a live musical with actors, actresses, acrobats, dancers, and plenty of props but the music of the band remains the focus. It even features Steve Vai as the show's narrator. The acting/miming and the entire production is great. I thought it'd be cheesy just by the initial look of it (the 'Kingdom' video) but I was wrong, very wrong... There's a storyline that all of us can relate to that also serves as a "subconscious biography" of DT. It was very interesting and engaging. I can't recall seeing anything quite like it.

Then there's the 'By A Thread' 4 DVD/5 CD box set of 4 separate shows filmed in London in mid-November of 2011. It features four albums produced by the Devin Townsend Project in their entirety plus some encores of older great songs and fan favorites. The best of the bunch is definitely the pop and techno-flavored 'Addicted' featuring Anneke on vocals. The remainder include the cool, minimalistic, and tense sounding 'Ki', the super heavy and bombastic 'Deconstruction' which carries on the Ziltoid tradition, and the New Age mellow 'Ghost', which is more like a laid-back folk-rock kind of thing. All very cool in their own ways.

The metal of Strapping Young Lad is another subject that needs some commentary. I've always had this metal part in me that I have never been able to shed. I guess I just love the sound of super distorted guitars and I'm mainly talking about rhythm here - the palm-muted chunky chug-alongs, not shredding or even solos of any type. I guess that all started with my infatuation with Deep Purple in middle school and went from there. Over the years, I've been into certain eras of Ozzy, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Exodus, Morbid Angel, Faith No More, Korn and, more recently, Meshuggah and Periphery.

And I've tried to get into some other well-known metal bands over the years but just haven't been able to get into them. I'd say, "Yeah, sounds alright. But it doesn't make me want to buy any of it." And now I hear the SYL stuff featuring Devin and I'm thinking, "Geez, this is the metal I have always envisioned - super heavy, insanely fast, and ultra violent but also melodic, majestic, and musical." I listen to SYL's 'City' and then if I put on Metallica, Metallica sounds like a lame amateur has-been. No disrespect to Metallica but that's what they sound like after I listen to SYL's best stuff.

It's akin to me not listening to other "shredders" anymore besides Guthrie. Ultimately, it comes down to the music. It's not so much about the technical execution but what's coming out of the head and the feel/passion one exudes. It's all about ideas, creativity, and inventiveness from the head and the feeling and the passion that come from the heart. I'm listening, not watching. I have absolutely no interest in watching YT videos of people just playing and executing what other people came up with. I want to hear someone's own individuality, own voice, own style, own ideas... There are so many people who can play very well these days but so few who can come up with their own original compelling music.

And what I hear in Devin's music is that no one, and I mean no one, sounds like him. I'm sure there are many who try to ape what Devin does but I'm willing to bet that they sound horrible because it isn't who they are anyway. Ditto for Guthrie. No one sounds like Guthrie. Many people can play his licks now but that's all they do - just play licks to show off, not music that they came up with in an inspired stroke of creativity. You walk around NAMM and you see so many people do just that: show off the licks they've been practicing for many hours on end just for NAMM. Laughing Oh, well... I suppose some people have to start somewhere to get noticed.

But, seriously, I do think "shred" has reached the rock bottom now. And I don't consider Guthrie "shred" at all because, to me, he's a great musician who happens to play the guitar. As mentioned many times before, I don't really care to see what his fingers are doing during the shows. It's fine if I can't even see him at all. But I do want to be able to hear him well and really listen to his playing and the music he's making. Then I like to tell Guthrie afterwards what I thought of his playing and the music that particular night. And what I really dig is hearing him do something I haven't heard him do before, which still happens quite a bit even though I've seen him live at least a hundred times now.

Every now and then (very rare), there'd be some "shredding" (lots of notes played fast on the guitar, I guess) in Devin's music. But I wouldn't hear it as shredding, just a small part of the song that is enhanced by the particular musical passages. I don't miss the shredding or guitar solos at all in most of his music because it doesn't need it. What good would a solo do? I suppose that can be said about a lot of music these days. It seems that most people just don't want to hear guitar solos. I don't either - unless it adds to the song and sounds really, really good - i.e., it's a good piece of music in its own right.

Well, I've gone off the tangent here but, overall, I'm on the basic theme. Good music is what matters and that means what's coming out of one's head - which means good writing, not at what BPM one can play 16th notes. Hey, I love instrumental music as much as I ever have but I simply don't care about virtuosity anymore. I only care about the compositions and the quality of the music. How well the instruments are performed is secondary. After that would be the overall production and the sound of the entire band. The sound of the individual instruments would be on the bottom of my list of what I'm listening for. So, to me, people spending way more time fiddling over their guitar sound compared to other much more important factors above just seem silly to me.

For me, a good example of this would be Van Halen. Sorry, I just could never ever get into Van Halen and have never bought a VH album in my life. I certainly admire EVH and what he did but I was never a fan. I dunno. Maybe it was the goofiness of DLR (and then later Sammy Hagar) and their whole party schtick. And then I'd observe all this obsession by EVH's fans to duplicate his sound from his early years and I just never saw the point of it. For me, I never cared for the band's music, so EVH's guitar playing and sound, no matter how brilliant, just didn't matter to me. The thing is I can say that about many great players. SRV is another. The music and his singing just never did much for me, so I didn't want to sit through that just to listen to a minute or two of guitar playing brilliance. To this day, I'd much prefer to listen to Led Zeppelin although Jimmy Page couldn't touch EVH or SRV when it came to individual guitar playing or tone. You get my drift. Good music > good guitar playing > good guitar tone...

BTW, Devin's guitar tones sound great because they fit the music. Tone cork-sniffers will sneer at Peavey or Framus guitars with EMG pickups going through a digital modeler hooked up direct to the house PA or a recording board, but I'd much prefer to listen to that than bedroom doctors and lawyers with boutique gear. Wink Seriously, Devin sounds great. He thinks deeply, broadly and thoroughly about the sounds he uses. He looks at all the different sounds as a classical composer would consider the different sections of an orchestra and all the different instruments. He's always considering the big picture of the song, the arrangements, and the production first and then how each instrument's sound fits in. And that's how I'm looking at the guitar these days - not an end in itself but a small component of the overall sound of a band/artist, both live and on a recording...
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Ed Yoon
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BOING Music LLC - Managing Partner
.strandberg* Guitars USA
Ed Yoon Consulting & Management
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JohnnyFavorite



Joined: 01 Jul 2012
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here a link to a new Devin interview in Guitar Interactive magazine, if you're interested, Mr. Yoon:

http://view.ceros.com/lick-library/gi24/p/12
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