In a brand new interview with Noisey, Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend spoke about the culture of “V.I.P Packages,” which seems to be the only way for fans to meet the bands they admire these days. Some of these come at a really inflated price on top of the standard ticket costs and include anything from a signed item, a photo to watching soundchecks or a collectable lanyard.
Asked for his opinion of paid meet-and-greets, Devin said: “I have two thoughts on the matter and they cancel each other out, so that kinda sucks.
“The music industry is really difficult. The overhead for me to do this is fucking crazy; we have to pay around fourteen thousand dollars a month just to function.
“We didn’t tour for a year, so I had to come up with fourteen grand a month just to keep everything going. Then when we do tour, it’s fucking expensive. A thousand dollars per person to fly shit class from Vancouver, too.
“A lot of the times, fans may think bands are taking the piss by simply doing a meet-and-greet, but if we don’t do them, we simply can’t do what we’re doing. It’s not like we do them then get a bonus at the end of the tour. On the other side of it, if you’re in the band and you’re hypersensitive to people’s energy, like I believe I am, meet-and-greets fucking beat the shit out of you. Not because you don’t want to meet people, but because in order to do it correctly, you really have to invest yourself and be present and ready to talk to people and sometimes accept hyperbolic praise or criticism, and you have to be emotionally resilient enough to not let either… I mean, it’s about them. They’re paying for a moment and your job is to be present and that’s really challenging on tour.
“If you think meet-and-greets are fundamentally stupid, then you’re never not gonna think that.
“Some bands are, like, ‘Fuck that, you can come meet me at the bar.’ I never go to the bar, and if I am at the bar, please don’t talk to me, because I’m there to hang out with my friends.
“We try to do the best with our packages, but at the same time, there’s still people who are critical of it.“
Devin Townsend Project will be touring Europe starting later this month with support from Between the Buried and Me and Leprous. Check the poster below for dates.