Newt Briggs of The Las Vegas Mercury recently asked STRAPPING YOUNG LAD frontman Devin Townsend about the potential homoerotic implications of the band's name, which Briggs argued sounded like a gay Irish porno film. "In retrospect, I guess I could see that," Townsend said. "The thing is, I'm equally disgusted by both men and women. Personally, I'm heterosexual because I'm with my wife and I love her, but sex just isn't important enough to me to give it a whole lot of thought. Human beings are gross. We're ugly fucking pink things. To a certain extent, it's really funny that a life choice like where you're going to put your penis can be so significant in our society. On my list of priorities, sex is — like — really, really low."
Townsend has spent the last few years fronting sporadically a variety of projects: OCEAN MACHINE, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD — each serving a specific (if somewhat self-indulgent) artistic need.
"STRAPPING YOUNG LAD is a vehicle for me to be wild and extroverted and ridiculous," Devin said. "It gives me the chance to say, `Look at me. I'm a heavy metal guy. I'm Rob Halford or Bruce Dickinson or whoever.' That's why we've got the Marshall stacks and the double-kick bass and the flames and everything. It's kind of like a parody. I get up there and tell the audience that they're idiots and that they should buy our T-shirts and all that shit, but it's not serious. It's just to get people's attention.
"I don't deal with conflict well, so sometimes things will happen that will make me feel sort of powerless," he said. "But instead of being able to actually deal with the problem, I just suck it up — that's the way I was raised. Music, then, becomes my one avenue for letting things go, and when I get the chance, I let it rip. It's like therapy in that way. Maybe that's why STRAPPING YOUNG LAD is such a fitting name for the band. It makes me feel strong. Like I'm actually in control and not trapped in a huge, empty, pointless void." Read more.