Following its original release in 2014, Devin Townsend’s debut as Casualties Of Cool will see a full worldwide release on the 15th January 2016, with the album joined by a bonus CD with B-sides as well as a brand new bonus live DVD featuring a full set filmed at London’s beautiful Union Chapel during the short run of shows that took place around the album’s launch. Now they are pleased to launch a video taken from the DVD; you can watch the live version of “Daddy” on YouTube or by scrolling down.
Devin had this to say:
Casualties of Cool is a project that means a great deal to me, and also one that we have only had the chance to play live with three (3) times (!). This DVD we made was the second show we ever played and the first with Morgan on drums, so there’s an element of ‘warts and all’ involved that I take into consideration. However, Casualties is very refreshing for me. No click tracks, no backing tracks, no talking and a hefty dose of live improvisation make this a situation that I believe with some exposure could hold an absolute ton of potential. The idea is to take a typical folky aesthetic and wrap it in a moody, kind of haunted David Lynch type aura. It’s great fun and Che is brilliant.
I have always said that having played metal and then trying to do something different is akin to having had done porn and then trying to be a ‘legitimate’ actor. I love metal and will always play it, but damn… I think given half a chance Casualties Of Cool could be really awesome as a live entity.
So anyways, I’m not holding my breath but we took some time and 3 cameras to our second gig ever at the Union Chapel last year in London, and here is a song. I hope some of you enjoy it. :)
For Townsend, ‘Casualties of Cool’ is an escape – from over 20 years of relentless productivity, of the pre-conceptions of him that come with being one of the biggest names in his sphere. A project over four years in the making, largely at night when home from turning the dial up for the day job in the studio, ‘Casualties of Cool’ has seen Townsend look at himself in order to go forward.
Digging out a battered old Fender amp and telecaster, he revisited the rootsy country and North American folk music of his youth. It provides the backbone of the album that’s eventually come to fruition, opening with ‘Daddy’s’ shuffling percussion and bluesy finger-picked motif, resurfacing during ‘The Code’s’ sultry twilight atmospherics and ‘Forgive Me’s’ hushed ambience. It’s a subtly applied but vital part of this record, providing the bones for the flesh to hang from. “My childhood was full of that type of music,” says Townsend. “At Christmas my grandfather would insist on the whole family sitting around singing uncomfortably along to Johnny Cash songs and Irish stuff like the Clancy Brothers. It was a big part of my childhood, it’s not like I’m putting on a new hat here.”
The luxuriant vocals of Ché Aimee Dorval have draped themselves over a previous Townsend release – 2009’s Ki – and so it was perhaps no surprise that the two would find their way back to each other. Recorded by Aimee herself on her laptop, her voice is as important as the shuffling folk that permeates the record, in acting as a glue for the whole thing – her wistful tones hold together constructs so freeform at times they might disintegrate.