"I have no desire to sign some guy's cock": the confessions of Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend

He’s signed a pussy, has a very weird phobia about money, and once saw the devil and aliens in the same evening. May we present, Devin Townsend!

How hard was it hacking off your famous skullet?

“That was the easiest decision that I’ve made in recent memory. At first it was kinda weird ’cause you get attached to it. It’s hard enough to get laid in general at this age, but when you’ve got massive, snot-covered poo-sticks hanging off your head, it becomes that much harder. I had to go to the bank to get a loan for my Pro Tools rig and I felt like Krusty The Clown. That was it!”

When was the moment you realised you had made it as a rock star?

“I don’t think that’s happened yet, but I appreciate the vote of confidence! That said, I’ve got everything I need to be able to make music 247 and if that means I’ve made it, then sure, I’m super-happy to have made it! But in terms of being a rock star, I don’t think I’ll ever be that…”

What is the strangest thing a fan has asked you to sign?

“Every single body part, male or female, has been presented to me as something a fan wants signed. On the female front, it’ll be up on Facebook in no time and my wife will be like, ‘Why did you do that?’ With male parts, I’m heterosexual, I have no desire to sign a guy’s cock. I signed someone’s cat once! That was the only time I signed a pussy…”

Your voice is quite operatic. Do you listen to opera?

“Fuck no, I hate that shit. I do what I do because there are no other options. If I could do something else with my voice then I would! But the tools I was given are the ones I use. That being said, I’ve never been a fan of singing, I prefer playing guitar, but when I was younger every singer I worked with was a douchebag so I thought I’d just handle it.”

You’re clean these days, but what was the weirdest thing you ever saw while high?

“I’m pretty sure I saw the devil and aliens in one night, which was pretty interesting. With psychedelic drugs, the high never goes away, you just learn to get used to it ha ha!”

What was your least favourite drug?

“Weed, even though most people I know smoke it. The problem is that it’s so benign – it’s not heroin, cocaine or acid. Because many feel it should be legalised, which I agree with, the danger is that you only hear the positive aspects. Whilst many of these are true, if your family has a history of mental illness, just one toke can send you off to Mars for the rest of your life. I’ve never done cocaine or heroin – those drugs are bad news, man.”

Did you ever find the ultimate cup of coffee?

“Sometimes the ultimate cup of coffee is a nice cup of Earl Grey ha ha! My connection with how good the coffee is depends on how much I need the caffeine. Some terrible cups have hit the spot just because it’s what I needed at the time. I’m no coffee connoisseur, more like a caffeine junkie!”

Have you got any phobias or irrational fears?

“Jewellery and loose change. Little chunks of metal, like earrings or stinky pennies. I can’t fucking stand it and when I have change in my pocket – I just have to get rid of it. Don’t worry, I’m okay with paper money, but little chunks of metal gross me out.”

When were you last starstruck?

“I don’t get starstruck that much anymore. Years ago we were on tour with Superjoint Ritual and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top was there. He had these custom-made dice and some kids ended up rolling some dice and losing 20 bucks to him. He might be a multi-millionaire, but hey, it would have been worth it to play dice with Billy!”

When were you last naked outdoors?

“I’m a little horrified by my naked body, so I try my best to keep that shit under wraps. I pee outside all the time, so between my cock, my hands and my face, I was naked in the garden 15 minutes ago!”

Originally published in Metal Hammer issue 244.

The A-Z Of Devin Townsend