Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, Steve Vai, Etc. To Guest On Devin Townsend’s New Album “Empath”

Devin Townsend has revealed that Chad Kroeger (Nickelback), Steve Vai, Anneke Van Giersbergen, and Che Dorval (Casualties of Cool) have all guested on his new album “Empath.” Previously announced guests include: Elliot Desgagnés (Beneath The Massacre), Mike Keneally (Dethklok, etc.), Morgan Ågren (Kaipa), Sam “Samus” Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth), etc. The album is expected to be released in March.

Townsend said the following in a series of tweets:

“No sleep tonight. I’ve got the final stages of this year long process rolling through my mind. Almost done…another 3.5 weeks and this stage of it (the album) will be wrapped up.

Listened to the roughs of Empath on the flight and it had me teared up the whole way. I haven’t had this visceral a reaction to the work in many years. To think It all stemmed from taking a vacation! my god, what an intense period this has been. I’ll remember this past two years.

Thanks to some further guests, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Che Dorval, Chad Kroeger, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Lords Of The sound orchestra… it’s been total catharsis and tied intrinsically to the process of working through this transformation. It’s a lovely, complicated, weird one

Some people will totally love it, a fair amount will take awhile to have it sink in, some won’t get it at all, some will definitely prefer the bonus disk or the previous work, but fuck me, did I ever need to get this out of my system. It’s like 12 years of vomit at once…

I had a choice to either go commercial or uncompromised on this. Thanks to Garth Richardson and Chad for convincing me to not compromise. It’s a hard choice as you get older because the temptation to play it safe is huge for the sake of family and security.

Exhausting… pure catharsis. It was about middle age, realization, fear, death, moderation, meditation, and overcoming the internal dialogues. I guess it was ultimately about getting it right after all these years, then kind of realizing that you just have to let it all go…

Music is just an expression of gratitude I think. Ultimately it’s just another album in a long line of albums, some will like it, some won’t. But it appears as if it will be accurate, and that’s a huge huge relief.

Three drummers, two bassists, orchestras, choirs, ducks, cats, goats, birds, whales… and I didn’t sabotage this one, for once…

Have to be at the studio in 3 hours after a sleepless night. Sweet. Luckily it’s not an immensely complicated mix 🙄

There’s a reoccurring theme on this project that seems to have appeared, and that seems to be one of ‘anti-suicide’”


Generation Axe (Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Etc.) To Release “The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live in Asia)” In October

Generation Axe, the touring group featuring Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), and Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders), have announced that they will be releasing a new live album titled “The Guitars That Destroyed The World (Live in Asia)” On October 5. The effort, which was recorded on their Asian tour, can be pre-ordered via PledgeMusic. As previously reported, Generation Axe will kick off their 2018 North American tour in November.

[via The PRP]

Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Etc. Set For Second Generation Axe Tour

Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), and Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders) have announced dates for a second Generation Axe tour. Bassist Pete Griffin (Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, etc.), keyboardist Nick Marionovich (Yngwie Malmsteen), and drummer JP Bouvet will also take part in the trek.

Vai said the following:

“‘The Generation Axe‘ experience goes way beyond simply gathering five guitar greats on one stage to jam. The idea was to create a seamless show with one backing band and 5 completely accomplished and astonishing guitarists that take to the stage in various configurations, performing some of their solo music and merging together as cohesive co-creators of lushly orchestrated guitar extravaganzas.

Guitar Jams like this can get really messy when there is no organization and my idea was to create parts for everybody to play in harmony and off each other so it’s not a mess of noise. This worked out remarkably well. There are places where everyone is playing together in wild harmony.”

Tour Dates:

11/07 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
11/08 Anaheim, CA – City National Grove
11/09 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/10 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre (no Nuno Bettencourt)
11/11 Albuquerque, NM – El Rey Theater
11/13 Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre – Denver
11/15 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
11/16 Salina, KS – The Stiefel Theatre
11/17 Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
11/18 Des Moines, IA – Hoyt Sherman Theatre
11/19 Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
11/20 Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
11/21 Detroit, MI – Fillmore Detroit
11/23 Medford, MA – The Chevalier Theater
11/24 Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre
11/25 Kitchener, ON – Centre in the Square
11/27 Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
11/28 Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre
11/29 Albany, NY – The Palace Theatre
11/30 Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City – The Theater
12/01 Rochester, NY – Kodak Center
12/03 Greensburg, PA – The Palace Theatre
12/04 Westbury, NY – NYCB Theatre at Westbury
12/05 Richmond, VA – The National
12/08 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
12/09 Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
12/10 Davie, FL – Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
12/11 Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
12/13 Austin, TX – The Moody Theater
12/14 Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
12/16 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex – Rockwell
12/18 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

Devin Townsend & Steve Vai Reunite Onstage For The First Time In 25 Years

During the 2017 Starmus Festival: Live And The Universe science and arts event in Trondheim, Norway, Devin Townsend joined Steve Vai onstage for the first time in 25 years. You can see footage of them performing “Here And Now” below:

Devin Townsend & Steve Vai To Reunite Onstage For The First Time In 25 Years

Devin Townsend was recently interviewed by, and revealed that he will take the stage with Steve Vai for the first time in 25 years. That performance will take place at the Starmus Festival: Live And The Universe science and arts event, which will be held on June 18-23 in Trondheim, Norway. Townsend said the following:

“We’re doing one of my songs with an orchestra, and I’m singing with him for the first time in 25 years. I’m also playing some of his stuff, so I think, now that I’ve been elevated to Riff Lord, I may get a promotion!”

Dave Grohl, Sammy Hagar Etc. Set For Fourth Annual Acoustic 4 A Cure Benefit

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Don Felder (ex-Eagles), Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Sammy Hagar, Vic Johnson (The Circle, etc.), Sarah McLachlan, Steve Vai, and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) have been set for the fourth annual Acoustic 4 A Cure benefit. This special acoustic show benefits the Pediatric Cancer Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and will be held at The Fillmore in San Francisco, CA, on May 15. The event usually features James Hetfield as well, but with Metallica’s busy tour schedule Grohl was recruited to fill in.

Incubus To Headline Desmond Tutu Tribute Concert

Incubus will be headlining a special acoustic event on the 85th birthday of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is a leader in the South African anti-Apartheid movement and an advocate for human rights around the world. The event will take place on October 7, at The Saban Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, and will also include: Steve Vai, Donovan, Spencer Davis, Fishbone and more. Proceeds from the show will go towards the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.