Strapping Young Lad , short SYL , is a Canadian extreme metal band from Vancouver, British Columbia. He is trained by Devin Townsend (guitar, vocals, keyboards, programming) after leaving the group of Steve Vai on the album Sex and Religion. Key members are Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass and Gene Hoglan on drums. Keyboards follow Will Campagna, Munesh Sami and John Paul Morgan.
Unlike many heavy metal bands, SYL is notable for the parody of some songs (Far Beyond Metal on the 1980's metal, for example), and the fact that its members do not take themselves seriously. In the words of Devin Townsend, "If you're mad, or if you're upset, or if you're happy, or if you're hungry, it's energy. And I think that's it, more than anything else, the essence of Strapping Young Lad. »>
In 1994, after recording and shooting for Steve Vai, Devin Townsend created the project Strapping Young Lad>, and wrote the album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, on which he recorded all the instruments except the drums. Posted on April 4, 1995, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing goes unnoticed first. The album sells to 143 copies the first six months>. Inspired by death metal>, thrash metal, and industrial metal, the album is well received by the specialized press; Metal Hammer's Andy Stout sees it as the "one of the most disturbing albums we'll ever hear for a long time" .
On February 28, 1996, he met Gene Hoglan, drummer of the Death, Dark Angel and Testament groups, during an Iron Maiden concert in Los Angeles. The two musicians then write what will become the City album, recorded with the help of Byron Stroud on bass and Jed Simon on guitar, in Steve Vai's studio, The Mothership. Released in 1997, the album, described by Kerrang magazine! as one of the heaviest records ever recorded, quickly becomes cult. About the recording, Gene Hoglan recounted the following story: "I was talking to Ross Robinson (the producer of KoЯn and Slipknot) not long ago, and he told me that when Korn was in the next room writing Life Is Peachy, they stopped playing to come to our door and they were completely blown away by what the Dev and I were doing. We wrote Oh My Fucking God during our first rehearsal, in five or ten minutes, and I guess Korn guys were behind the door all that time! I found it funny ... ">