Devin Townsend couldn't connect with video game soundtrack

A promotional picture of Devin Townsend
Devin Townsend

Devin Townsend has revealed how he was approached to write the soundtrack for hit video game Fallout.

The hardworking Canadian has his hands full with a string of musical projects, but says he would love to do a movie soundtrack one day.

However, he’d need guarantees that he’d not be tied down by bureaucracy before he agreed to get involved.

Reflecting on his brief flirtation with writing music for video games, Townsend tells The Jasta Show: “When I was about 25, EA, Electronic Arts, said, ‘Hey we’ve got a gig for you. We hear that you’ve done music.’ I was like, ‘Great. I could sit at home and write a bunch of video game music.’

“But the parameters for it were so contrary to the process that makes anything I do creatively of any value, that I failed in it in such a way that I realised right there I can either do it the way I do it, or it’s not gonna happen at all.

“He was like, ‘We can’t get the rights to American Woman, the Lenny Kravitz version.’ And I’m thinking in my head, ‘I fucking hate that song.’”

The video game executive asked Townsend to rework the song to avoid coming up against any copyright issues, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Townsend adds: “I went home and I tried and I came back the next day and said, ‘Dude, I’m out.’

“Following that, this game Fallout, they offered me the gig. I couldn’t do it. He was like, ‘This part’s got zombies in it.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t play video games, I don’t care about zombies.’

“He kept coming back to me saying, ‘It needs to be creepier and more zombie-like.’ I’m thinking to myself,’ Zombie like?’

“I would love do a soundtrack but I think the parameters for that would have to be – watch the movie, write it. Make something that is in line with your emotional connection to what you see.

“The bureaucracy that comes along with this stuff is brutal.”

The Devin Townsend Project released their latest album Transcendence this month. The band tour Europe early next year.

Devin Townsend Project 2017 European tour

Jan 28: Antwerp Trix, Belgium
Jan 30: Esch-Sur-Alzette Rockhal, Luxembourg
Jan 31: Paris Le Bataclan, France
Feb 01: Bordeaux Rockschool Barbey, France
Feb 03: Madrid La Riviera, Spain
Feb 04: Barcelona Razzmatazz 2, Spain
Feb 05: Marseille Le Moulin, France
Feb 07: Milan Live Club, Italy
Feb 08: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
Feb 09: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Feb 10: Munich Backstage, Germany
Feb 12: Zagreb Tvornica Club, Croatia
Feb 13: Budapest A38, Hungary
Feb 14: Vienna Arena, Austria
Feb 16: Prague The Roxy, Czech Republic
Feb 17: Leipzig Taubchenthal, Germany
Feb 18: Krakow Kwadrat, Poland
Feb 19: Warsaw Stodola, Poland
Feb 21: Hamburg Grunspan, Germany
Feb 22: Arhus Voxhall, Denmark
Feb 23: Gothenburg Pustervik, Sweden
Feb 25: Bergen Blastfest, Norway
Feb 26: Oslo Sentrum Scene, Norway
Feb 28: Helsinki The Circus, Finland
Mar 01: Seinajoki Rytmikorjaamo, Finland
Mar 03: Stockholm Berns, Sweden
Mar 04: Malmo KB, Sweden
Mar 05: Copenhagen Amager Bio, Denmark
Mar 07: Berlin Columbia Theater, Germany
Mar 08: Dortmund FZW, Germany
Mar 09: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Mar 10: Amsterdam Melkweg, Netherlands
Mar 12: Bristol Colston Hall, UK
Mar 13: Manchester Academy, UK
Mar 14: Glasgow Barrowlands, UK
Mar 16: Birmingham O2 Institute, UK
Mar 17: London Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, UK
Mar 18: Nottingham Rock City, UK

Devin Townsend wanted 'to vomit' after giving studio control

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.