When Byron Stroud joined the heavy metal band Strapping Young Lad in 1996, he began a journey of psychological music. The music of this band isn't about the cliché of a perfect world, but it is about a life and mind in chaos.
"Basically it's a lot of emotions," said Stroud.
Devin Townsend formed the Canadian quartet in 1995. The band received people's attention after the first, self-titled CD, and has recently released its fourth album, "Alien."
As a "very emotional person," said Stroud, "music is an outlet for his anger," which describes the heavy, emotional lyrics on "Alien."
Of the 11 tracks on the album, "Two Weeks" differs from the rest. "We wanted something that let the people breathe," Stroud said about the harmonious melody that is track eight on the CD.
The quartet's current lineup consists of vocalist and guitar-playing frontman Townsend, bass player Stroud, guitarist Jed Simon and drummer Gene Hoglan.
On Tuesday, April 26, Strapping Young Lad will performs at Jaxx in Springfield. The performance takes of at 6:15 p.m. and will contain material from all four of the band's albums.
"The show will definitely be extreme," said Stroud, "SYL [Strapping Young Lad] is always entertaining."
Once identified as an underground heavy metal band, Strapping Young Lad now has an established fan base that loves the band's insanely heavy and angry music. "It's an outlet for anger and angst," said Stroud.
Connection: What bands or musicians are your influences?
Stroud: I personally have been influenced by old 70s bands like Deep Purple, AC/DC and all the thrash bands from the 80s. As far as musicians, bass players like Cliff Williams from AC/DC, Cliff Burton from Metallica and Roger Glover from Deep Purple.
How would you describe your music?
We looked at what Strapping Young Lad is. All major parts are extreme and chaos. Basically it's insane.
Which songs do you enjoy performing the most?
Honestly, I like all SYL songs, but I enjoy playing the stuff from the new album because it is fresh and new.
How did you come up with your name, Strapping Young Lad?
When Devin was in England people kept referring to him as the young strapping lad, so he continued to call the band that for humor. He never thought that he would do more than one album. People don't expect that we're all about heavy metal when they hear our name, but you have to have a sense of humor if you play this kind of music. You can't take yourself too seriously; you can't take life too seriously.
Strapping Young Lad performs with The Agony Scene, Misery Signals, Hippie Murder Machine and As Dusk Unfolds on Tuesday, April 26, at Jaxx in Springfield. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door for this all ages show. Doors open at 6 p.m. Jaxx is located at 6355 Rolling Road. For more information, visit www.jaxxroxx.com. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 202-432-SEAT.