Devin Townsend calls Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger a “functioning genius”

Devin Townsend (Image credit: Adam Gasson/Total Guitar Magazine - Getty)

Devin Townsend (opens in new tab) has heaped praise on Chad Kroeger, after the Nickelback (opens in new tab) leader contributed to his new album Empath.

The record launched back in March through InsideOut Music, with the album also featuring appearances by artists including Steve Vai, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Ché Aimee Dorval and Ryan Dhale.

But it’s Kroeger who Townsend singles out in a new interview with Consequence Of Sound (opens in new tab).

He says: “We met by chance and ended up forming a friendly acquaintance. One thing that I would say about Chad that I think will eventually be known about him, is that he is a functioning genius, in my estimation.

“I think that people don’t realise how clever that guy is. And his success in a lot of ways, I believe – although what he’s writing is coming from a place of what he wants to write – I think is his ability to analyse the public and musical structures, and the ways that people react emotionally on a commercial level is such that he is almost more like a scientist than he is a rock musician.”

Townsend goes on to say that it was a “godsend” for him to work with Kroeger as it allowed him “to make decisions on Empath that I don’t know if I would have made had I not made his acquaintance.”

Townsend will head out on tour across Europe with special guests Haken later this year.

Devin Townsend: Empath (opens in new tab)

Devin Townsend: Empath (opens in new tab)
Devin Townsend's new album features the epic lead track Genesis and he's joined by a raft of guests including Chad Kroger, Steve Vai, Anneke Van Giersbergen and Mike Keneally.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.