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

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

Devin Townsend has heaped praise on Chad Kroeger, after the Nickelback 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.

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

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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 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.