When we first learned that the butt of every rock music joke, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, would be appearing on Devin Townsend's new album a few months ago, we'll admit we raised a couple of eyebrows.
But since then, Devy has revealed in interviews that Chad actually convinced him to write the album that he wanted to write rather than cash out on a more mainstream sound. Elaborating further on that with a recent interview with Consequence Of Sound, he's gone as far as calling Kroeger a "functioning genius":
“We met by chance, and ended up forming a friendly acquaintance,” Townsend tells us. “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 realize 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 analyze 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.”
“And I’m fascinated by people who are clever, and specifically, when the cleverness of them is something that I can make mental notes, and refer back to my own work with. It was a godsend for me be fortunate to interact with him for a few days, because just by watching him function and by being able to ask somebody with that sort of pedigree questions that had been plaguing me about my own career, it allowed me to make decisions on Empath that I don’t know if I would have made had I not made his acquaintance.”
Chad Kroeger contributed some backing vocals on the new song 'Hear Me', which is...well, it's probably by far and away the heaviest song Chad's ever been on! Check it out below:
Devy also announced a run of intimate solo acoustic shows throughout Australia in September (don't bet on Chad being there with him though):
Listen to 'Empath' now.