Devin Townsend: “When you ask people about their favorite amp, the acceptable responses are always the cork-sniffin’ ones. If it’s an Axe-Fx, people go, ‘That’s sacrilege!’”

Devin Townsend
(Image credit: Paul Harries)

Devin Townsend has come a long way since he emptied his bowels inside Steve Vai’s guitar case. Back then, in the early ’90s, Devin was barely out of his teens and had just scored his big break singing on Vai’s album Sex and Religion. But as a guitar player himself, he felt overawed in the presence of the virtuoso – and expressed his feelings in the worst way imaginable.

What’s amazing is that he and Vai have remained good friends in all the years since then. And as Devin says now, that ghastly prank was really a backhanded compliment. “I was fortunate enough to work with Steve early on and realised he was so much better than me,” he admits. “And if one can’t articulate your discontent in an elegant way, then your options are mainly just shitting on things, I think!”

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).