My Prog Hero: Fallujah's Alex Hoffman on Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend gurning on stage
Devin Townsend at the Royal Albert Hall (Image credit: Jake Owens)

“I got introduced to Devin Townsend’s music through our old guitar player Rob Maramonte, who’s now in The Zenith Passage. When he played me Supercrush! and Hyperdrive! from Addicted, I was blown away. I love the pure sound of the Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen – her voice is just perfect on those tracks. Out of all the different bands in the prog scene, Devin Townsend seems to be universally and objectively amazing.

I’ve always been drawn to music that’s underground and complex and for some reason, dance music is one of the genres that does it for me. I’m actually a big electronic music guy. I’m really into a lot of the more underground stuff, but one of my pathways was through ambient music. I got started with Brian Eno, Nils Frahm (Kiasmos), and Ólafur Arnalds.

Devin Townsend is the complete opposite of dance, but he also has an electronic, cinematic element that I like. I like how his music can be so cheesy, atmospheric, heavy, catchy and melodic all at the same time. If anyone else did that, I’d be turning it off, but Devin’s material is so enticing it’s like being really hungry and wanting to eat the greasiest burger – Devin is that greasy burger! Every melody, every progression lands just where you want it. That’s a very specific skill set. Everything about his music is just turned up to 11 until it’s almost comically broad and vast, although there are exceptions like his more chill albums: Epicloud, Ghost or [side project release] Casualties Of Cool, which I also love.

Alex Hoffman

Alex Hoffman

When Devin Townsend tweeted that he thought our last album [2014’s The Flesh Prevails] was really good, it made us freak out a little. He said this without knowing that we’re fans. We’ve had a few online exchanges and then we got the offer to support him on tour [this autumn]. We were like, ‘Fuck, yeah! Sick!’ It’s going to be the biggest tour we’ve done. I have not met the guy yet and I’ve only seen him live once but soon I’ll be able to watch him every night!”

Fallujah’s Dreamless is out now via Nuclear Blast. Visit the band’s Facebook page for more.

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.