Devin Townsend to reunite with Steve Vai at Starmus festival

Devin Townsend receives his Riff Lord award from Chris Jericho
Devin Townsend receives his Riff Lord award from Chris Jericho (Image credit: Will Ireland)

Devin Townsend and Steve Vai are to be reunited for the first time in 25 years at this month’s Stamus festival.

Townsend provided vocals on Vai’s 1993’s Sex & Religion album and co-wrote the tracks Pigs and Just Cartilage – and the pair will hook up again at the Norwegian event on June 18-23.

Townsend revealed the news at Monday’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods in association with Orange Amplification, where the Canadian musician received the iconic Riff Lord award from Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho.

Townsend tells eonmusic: “We’re doing one of my songs with an orchestra, and I’m singing with him for the first time in 25 years. I’m also playing some of his stuff, so I think, now that I’ve been elevated to Riff Lord, I may get a promotion!”

He added: “It’s a festival that’s based around physics and science and I really enjoy that. Being 45 years old, and sober, and having kids and all that, I really respect that sort of process.

“I really like the idea that something that is maybe stereotypically known as being a knuckle-dragging genre, is able to participate in things that are really beautiful like this and contribute to it.”

Vai was specially invited to participate at the festival in Trondheim by Queen guitarist Brian May, who sits on the event’s advisory board.

Vai will also be joined onstage by artists including Nuno Battencourt and Grace Potter.

Tickets are available directly through the festival website, while a trailer for Starmus 2017 can be seen below.

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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.