An Interview with Devildriver Frontman Dez Fafara
Influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera, and Johnny Cash, Devildriver was started by Dez Fafara (former Coal Chamber frontman) and Evan Pitts. Released through Roadrunner Records in 2003, their self-titled debut album focused on death and thrash metal. Their second album, "The Fury of Our Maker's Hand," released in 2005, was greatly influeced by Scandinavian death metal, specifically in relation to the guitar work.
Touring the United States, Europe, and Australia in support of their album, DevilDriver played with headliners In Flames, Fear Factory, and Machine Head. They also headlined in the Burning Daylight Tour. "The Fury of Our Maker's Hand" was re-released as a Special Edition in 2006 with three additional studio tracks, three live recordings of previously released material, and a DVD of all of their music videos to date.
Their third album entitled "The Last Kind Words" was released mid-June in Austrailia and the UK, and will be released late July in the US. Devildriver promoted their album in the UK at the Download Festival, alongside headliners Linkin Park, Iron Maiden, and My Chemical Romance.
Vocalist Dez Fafara took the time to answer some of my questions.
Roya: Tell us a little about your re-release:
Dez: It's always a good thing when the record label wants to do a special re-release. It shows they have faith in the band for the long haul. The special edition is real cool; it has different cover art, inside liner notes, all the videos, as well as extra tracks. It's perfect if you're a fan and you want something extra between records.
Roya: Tell us about the DVD.
Dez: It's not really a DVD, in the proper sense, it's really just a gathering of all the videos, some that have been shown on MTV, or in the case of Europe, some that haven't seen the light of day, again another cool thing if you are a fan of Devildriver.
Roya: How was it recording "The Last Kind Words?"
Dez: We recorded in ElPaso, Texas, a mile away from the Mexican border, on a 1400 acre pecan ranch. The gear was incredible, the food was amazing and the accommodations were unbelievable! There was nothing to do but make music and shoot guns. PERFECT!
Roya: How long did it take to record?
Dez: We finished in about 3 weeks with the final fourth week in Santa Barbara, CA to wrap some vocal stuff.
Roya: How does this album compare to your previous albums?
Dez: The record is tighter, faster tempos, more solos and guitar work all around. It's full of hook and groove with a powerful live feel--that's a punch in the face. Working with Jason and Mark was killer, and they got the best out of every player; I want to work with them again.They knew how to capture an intensity and lay it down to tape without loosing the vibe. We know that this is our time to do the opposite of whats popular in metal. The fans want it kicking and heavy, so here we come with it!
Roya: How was the European leg of this tour?
Dez: Touring festivals is always a good time! Summer camp everyday with all these bands and crew runnin around. The European run was fun as all hell!
Roya: "Horn of Betrayal" was your debut on Sirius Satellite's Hard Attack channel--how was the response to that?
Dez: The response has been huge on this record, but we owe a special thanks to Hard Attack and Jose for blowing it up man! It's humbling when the heaviest radio station on the planet supports your band, UNO!
Roya: Tell us about the back up growls your 9-year son, Simon added to the album.
Dez: He recorded some final vocals in SB and he came in after school one day, picked the phrase "You will live below angels and above beasts" as a line. He listened two times put on headphones, I held him up to the mic and he busted out a corpse style growl that made me jump back like..."WHAT THE FUCK!"...pretty good debut for the kid!
Roya: How does it feel to be dubbed by Phil Anselmo, the former Pantera leadman and current Down lead singer, as the next Pantera?
Dez: As far as that goes... That's my brother, I would like to see where and when he said that. You got to give me a source before I can comment on trying to fill the largest shoes in metal.
Roya: I heard you won't pinpoint the exact genre of metal that DevilDriver play. Why? tell us about that.
Dez: It's hard to categorize us man. We just got our own sound! We will continue to define it over the years.
Roya: Why did you change your name from Deathride to DevilDriver before your first release.
Dez: Simple...The label couldn't nail down copyrights and things so we had to let it go.
Roya: Anything you'd like to add?
Dez: To anyone that supports what we do thanks so much! See ya on the road!
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