Devin Townsend Says Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger is “a Functioning Genius”


The ongoing Devin Townsend / Chad Kroeger love affair is endlessly entertaining to me, precisely because it takes metal conventions and turns them right on their big stupid heads. Devin Townsend, one of metal’s most-respected, venerated heroes, praising its most notorious supervillain? It’s fucking perfect. I’m not a closet Nickelback fan or anything, I just love the storyline because of how stangry it makes metalheads.

Kroeger appeared on Devin’s newest album Empath, of course, as both a guest vocalist and spiritual guide. Devin’s had nothing but good things to say about the advice Chad offered him that brought Empath into its final form, and he continued the Kroeger press parade in a recent interview with Consequence of Sound, saying:

“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 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.”

“A functioning genius.” “More like a scientist than a rock musician.” “Clever.” “A godsend.”

I friggin’ love it!! Keep those accolades coming, Devin. Continue to challenge metal norms. Never quit being you!

Kroeger appears on “Hear Me,” which you can stream below. Empath is out now and can be ordered here.

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