Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STEVE VAI, LAMB OF GOD, DARKEST HOUR, GWAR) spoke about his vegetarian diet and his passion for cows during an interview with Gilles Lartigot of “Heavy Metal Food”, a new Radio Metal column associating metal music with cooking. The third part of the chat, which was taped on December 14, 2011 at Foufounes Electriques in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, can be seen below.
When asked if he considers himself to be a vegetarian activist, Devin replied, “No. In fact, I’m the opposite of that, I think. I find that people who are active about such things run the risk of preaching, and I have no religious interests whatsoever. I think that religion is incredibly cruel, and I think that my biggest problem with being vegetarian, usually, is other vegetarians. Because I find, a lot of times, humans in general are… life isn’t easy for anybody, so a lot of people are doing what they can do in order to get by. And I think that when somebody actively tries to convince other people that what they’re doing in their life is not as relevant as what they’re doing in their life, it’s in my mind very similar to religion — it’s like, ‘Because you’re not like me, you’re wrong.’
“The risk a lot of times, in my mind — and I may be incorrect — the risk of challenging people directly with their beliefs is that society is such that there’s too many of us, so a direct challenge automatically engages people’s defenses. So I believe, with my music and with what I do — humor and whatever — is a way to disarm. Because I think if people enjoy what you’re doing, then they’re more willing to listen to why you’re doing it. And for me, I think that there’s really the risk of being confrontational for the sake of being confrontational and then people tune you out instantly.
“People say, ‘Well, why don’t you talk about being vegetarian?’ And I’m like, ‘People will find out.’ The people who are interested in what I do and why I do it, being a vegetarian is a big part of that. But I think that, again, any opportunity that I’ve had to tell people, ‘Hey, don’t eat meat, don’t do drugs, don’t drink,’ any opportunity that I’ve had to do that, I tend to say, ‘The choice is yours. The reason I don’t do it is this; this is the outcome of it. If this is what you’re interested in, this is the steps that I have gone [through] to do that.
“It’s like, when people have that agenda, it’s very easy for the fallibility of them to be called into question. If somebody puts themselves out as a martyr or as a sort of religious, perfect human being, it’s only a matter of time before somebody finds a YouTube video of them, like, jacking off in a toilet or something, you know what I mean?! It’s like, we’re humans, man — we’re, like, simple creatures.”
Townsend played four shows in London in November 2011 dedicated to his tetralogy album concept — a great journey through Devin‘s different states of musical moods — which he started in 2009 with the albums “Addicted” (2009) and “Ki” (2009) and finished with last year’s “Deconstruction” and “Ghost”. The concerts were professionally recorded and filmed for a unique four-disc DVD release, which is tentatively due in July. Devin states, “I love being able to make huge projects. In this age, it’s essential.”
DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT released “Contain Us”, a special tribute box set for its epic quadrology (“Ki”, “Addicted”, “Deconstruction” and “Ghost”) on November 29 in North America. “Contain Us” was designed and created by Man Alive‘s Tom Bejgrowicz (who also conceived the classic and must-have MISFITS “Coffin” box-set) and is the ultimate collection for every diehard Devin fan. The standard box-set is priced at $80.00 while the hand-numbered box with the 10″ and a lithograph drawn and autographed by Devin is $100.