While many place Devin Townsend on a pedestal, where his work will more or less be expected to land in our year-end lists, Townsend himself believes artists such as Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger are more of a metalhead. Townsend recently spoke to Ultimate Guitar and was asked about what it was like to collaborate with Kroeger on 2019’s Empath. Townsend responded with the amount of respect he has for Kroeger, who he believes is in a different rockstar category than he is, stating:

“Chad’s brilliant. Chad is a phenomenally intelligent human being. But he’s a rockstar, too, on levels that you and I will never participate in. And so there’s gonna be a disconnect just based on that. You only have a few things in common, and then, after a while you run out of things to talk about. I think it was flattering for me at first, too. But again, guy’s have a very complex life, and I can’t understand a lot of it. How could I? It’s not within the realm of my world. But I think he’s exceptionally talented. I think he’s phenomenally intelligent. And I think that there’s a certain degree of intensity to his life that I just can’t hang with, man. It’s too much for me. For every hour of social activity, I need two hours on my own to recover. And there’s other people, and a lot of them are the people that end up being at that level of success that are never enough. You play a concert in an arena, and then you go to a club, and then you go parasailing, and then you drink all night. And I’m like, ‘I can’t do it.’ I hate it. Even if I respect and care for people, after a certain amount of time, again, I have to tap out. I’m like, ‘Dude, I can’t hang with this.’ I’m in bed by nine, usually. I don’t want to listen to Pantera at four in the morning, you know? And that’s not a character flaw at all, it’s just a different frequency that folks like that exist on. I’m not like that. But sometimes it takes experiences with folks like that to know that. Maybe you think you can hang, and then you get there. And I mean, with Chad, I remember being at his house a couple times, and just being, ‘Wow, this is so intense, man.’ He had a stage set up, and it’s metal all night. And I’m thinking, ‘Man, you are so much more of a metalhead than I am.’ But I do care for him. And I think he’s brilliant.”