According to an interview with Townsend, the album is a concept album focused around a man who is obsessed with finding the true nature of reality. In the process of this journey, he goes to Hell and meets the devil. The devil shows him the secrets of the universe, presenting a cheeseburger to him. However, being a vegetarian, the man cannot eat the cheeseburger, rendering his attempts at working out the true nature of reality pointless. The album is chaotic in nature and has elements which are prominently humorous, which is a radical departure from Townsend's more recent work. Townsend also stated in this interview that Deconstruction is a musical representation of facing your fears and overcoming them. Townsend explained that he wanted the album to have a positive message, despite its highly chaotic nature.
The album's choral and orchestral parts were written and arranged by Townsend using Pro Tools software. The parts were later transcribed into conventional musical notation for the orchestra.
"Enter Deconstruction. From the beginning, the idea was to 'go to hell' in a metaphoric way and face the devils. Also, face them with the knowledge that if you are TRULY a bad person, then that was an acceptable outcome as well. At least you know. And that was the point. Face yourself. Accept yourself, and ultimately…get over yourself. The album is a complicated, erratic and nonsensical kind of 'prog' thing that uses (in my opinion) the music as an illustration to the theme. I feel like early in the record, I meet 'the devil' (Juular) and it ends up that the devil is me. -Now keep in mind my view on religion at this point, the story is not about 'Hell' or 'The Devil'…(or even the cheeseburger), it’s supposed to be a confrontation of those things that had haunted me and lead me to regretful decisions in the past. I went into Deconstruction with enough sleep, and with the mindset of not letting it take me over, not letting my obsessive nature derail the objective. I went into it full speed, and no stone was left unturned. In fact, it was early in the process that I decided to underline that intention by inviting a ton of guests as well as well. Hell…a philharmonic orchestra? Go for it. If the part of me I was afraid of wanted to make a statement, give it the kitchen sink as well! So the record, (as one would imagine), was a heck of an undertaking. File management alone was a nightmare, but the whole time it was done with a sense that I needed to know what was at the end of the rainbow. What was I afraid of? Why do I fear myself? Why do I fear the shadows?… The story arcs as a result (in a vague way) about a character who is so convinced that in order to participate with the world, he has to confront it, he has to control it, he has to 'deconstruct it' until he understands it all There is an arrogance that predisposed him to think he is capable of understanding the infinite complexities of it all, however, the punch-line is that Infinity is just that…infinite. And as a result of trying to hold and document it, he misses the point. The point is to participate with it, and to 'surf it', but to try and hold it or accumulate the experiences in terms of possession leads to confusion, chaos and an inability to enjoy the things about life that make it worth living. His quest climaxes in the song 'Deconstruction' where after conquering 'The Devil' and all these things, he is determined to understand the true nature of the universe. Is it some sort of weird math equation? Fibonacci? some sort of spiritual enlightenment?… And when he is convinced he is on the cusp of the 'ultimate answer', it is revealed to him that what he has been analyzing, (to the behest of his personal relationships and enjoyment of life), has been something ultimately futile from a distance. I used a cheeseburger' as the object, but it doesn't really matter what it is… it's just a metaphor for essentially 'Everything is in everything…it’s all the same…it’s all one thing…' so after this, the conclusion of the record ultimately ends up with the character realizing that the time has come for him to admit his shortcomings, admit that although he's essentially full circle with just a head full of experience, it's important now to spend whatever time he has left as an artist or as a human, enjoying the process without the need to control it. (Although that may lead to the thought that things end up perpetually simple or unwilling to quest, it's actually the opposite. I believe it allows itself to manifest in whichever ways it compels itself without judgment over the outcome)." - Devin Townsend (via hevydevy.com)
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