003: Devin Townsend – Heavy Metal Genius and Life Philosopher – Part I

The Charismatic Voice with Elizabeth Zharoff

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Have you ever wondered what goes on in the bizarre genius of an extreme metal singer, songwriter, and producer? Devin Townsend, known to many as “Hevy Devy,” was one of my earlier introductions to metal on YouTube. He quickly became one of my most beloved because of his wide range of vocal styles from musical theater to hardcore screaming, all while contouring some of the most expressive vocal lines I’ve heard. Having released more than 25 albums, Devin has been given the title “The Hardest Working Person in Metal.” Also a total nerd, Devin’s concerts often feature an extraterrestrial puppet named Ziltoid the Omniscient, and he occasionally writes songs about Disney.   Our conversation on singing technique took a different turn than I expected as we went down the philosophical route, becoming one of the most transparent conversations I’ve ever had with a singer. We talked about the power of meditation in rewriting your inner dialogue around criticism, how nature enhances the creative process, and embracing your vulnerability versus living up to the expectations we set as professionals in the recording studio and in our live performances.In this episode, you will hear:

  • How nature enhances Devin’s creative process
  • Sustaining the longevity of a career
  • How Devin’s vocal technique was formed
  • Vocal warm-up and the SOVT exercise
  • How meditation helps us rewrite our internal dialogue
  • Why his objective for every project is to move forward
  • Music as his display of gratitude

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