Devin Townsend and Chad Kroeger: The Bromance Continues

  • Axl Rosenberg

It’s been more than a year since Devin Townsend and Chad Kroeger first fell in love. That’s ample time for one to decide if a new acquaintance is going to be a true PLP (platonic life partner), BFF (best friend forever), or just PAL (pal). And given that Kroeger is still gushing about Devy, I think it’s safe to say the duo are definitely BFFs, if not PLPs.

I’m basing this on a new interview with with Canada’s* TODDcast Podcast, during Kroeger recalled his and Devy’s meet-cute and subsequent bromance, calling Townsend “the most wonderful human being ever.” Kroeger says Devin hit him up on Twitter to compliment him on the riff from Nickelback’s “Feed the Machine,” and…

“And the crazy thing was, out of the blue — absolutely out of nowhere — the day before he did that, I watched him doing a guitar clinic in a guitar store somewhere. I don’t know where it was, and there was all these shredders sitting around wanting him to [do] arpeggio sweeping and tapping on all six strings at the same time kind of thing. And he didn’t really do that. He spoke a lot about his head space and where he was and the way he used to think and the way he thinks now, and it was far more interesting than watching someone go, ‘Watch how fast I can play.’ And it was endearing. I just immediately had a connection with him. I was, like, ‘I’d really like to get to KNOW this guy.’ The next day, he said something on social media about how he liked that riff.

“And the funny thing was — and we both laugh about this now — he said, ‘Well, I heard you didn’t like my band and that you were talking shit back in the day,’” Chad continued. “And I was, like, ‘Well, that’s not true.’ And I said, ‘I actually heard that you didn’t like my band and you were talking shit back in the day.’ And he was, like, ‘Well, that’s true.’ [Laughs] ‘Yeah, ’cause I thought I wasn’t SUPPOSED to like Nickelback. I was like everyone else, ‘There’s this radio band,’ and blah blah blah.’ Anyway, so I got his phone number from Scott Cook, our engineer, because Scott’s worked on TONS of Devin’s records. And I texted him. I just said, ‘Hey, this is Chad. I just wanna let you know, I think that’s really cool what you said,’ and on and on and on. And the next text that he sent me was — it looked like a 10-page e-mail. And he just spilled his guts on ALL these things in one text. And he was, like, ‘I’ve gotta let you know, I feel bad for anything I may have said back in the day.’ And he shouldn’t have said it, ’cause I didn’t hear anything [laughs], to be honest with you. But he was so nice and SO genuine. And he’s SUCH a wonderful human.

“It must be insanely therapeutic for him to get up on stage and scream and belt the way that he does and get all of that out of him, because there isn’t one ounce of that anger or aggression that actually lives inside of him. He’s the most wonderful human being EVER. He’s just lovely. And he’s SO smart and SO funny and fast — he’s really witty. And I just love that about him. I don’t think he can tell a lie. If you just ask him anything, he’ll just give you the honest-to-God truth about ANYTHING in his life. And it’s just SO refreshing; it really is.”

Wow. I’m not sure I’ve ever liked anyone as much as Kroeger likes Townsend. I don’t even like any of my five kids enough to classify them as “the most wonderful.” I mean they’re okay but there are people out there doing more for the world.

What was I talking about?

Oh, right: Chad and Devin, BFFEAEAE. Kroeger, who provides some of the vocals of Devin’s song “Hear Me,” from this year’s excellent Empath, went on to discuss the possibility of him and Townsend ever producing an honest-to-Gordon Lightfoot collaboration, to which Chad replied:

“I don’t know what I would bring to the table. He’d have to slow down a lot. [Laughs] He would be screaming and I would be harmonizing — to the best of my abilities. I have NO idea what any version of that would sound like. But I’d be down. We just have to give it a try.”

Oh, Chad. So modest.

Like Chad, I also can’t imagine what his team-up with Townsend would sound like… which is exactly why I hope it comes to fruition someday. Can you imagine if Devin manages to make Nickelback cool? If someday we look back and are like, “Yeah everyone hated Nickelback until Devin made the world reconsider their work”? I can’t either. But stranger things have happened! Maybe, if they’re feeling really adventurous, they’ll do something no one is expecting and make, like, a rap-metal song or something. If Devin managed to make Nickelback and Limp Bizkit cool at the same time, I think he would become a likely candidate for a Nobel Prize.

Listen to the entire interview below, and then go sacrifice a chicken to the spirit of Piggy from Voivod that this happens someday.

*Townsend and Kroeger are also both Canadian. All those Canadians, with their beady little eyes and flapping heads, stick together. Build that wall! Build that wall!


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