Devin Townsend is a multi-instrumentalist and producer known for both his solo career and his work with the group Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band. Townsend's first experience in the music industry came when he was asked to contribute lead vocals on Steve Vai's 1993 album, Sex & Religion. After touring with Vai, he found himself discouraged and angry with the music business and used his negative emotions to make his first solo album Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, the following year under the name Strapping Young Lad. He formed a band to back up his vocals and together they released Strapping Young Lad's critically acclaimed album City, in 1997. Townsend started his own label called HevyDevy Records, through which he released most of his solo work, and in 2007, he broke up Strapping Young Lad and the short-lived Devin Townsend Band to spend more time with his wife and children. In 2009, he began working on his album series The Devin Townsend Project, which features four albums recorded and written with different styles. He released Ki and Addicted in 2009, followed by North American and Australian tours, and Deconstruction and Ghost in 2011. the Devin Townsend Project showcased Townsend's production style with layered tracks and vocals that ranged from classical ballads to raw screams.