A brief chat with Devil Driver’s Dez Fafara

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Credit: Dean Karr

Dez Fafara used to front nu-metal band Coal Chamber and, indeed, he took his old pals out on a world reunion tour last year. However, nowadays he’s all about Devil Driver, his far heavier metal band that dials up the chunky ugly riffs and forgets about pseudo-industrial imagery.

Make no mistake, Devil Driver is a truly intense band, one of the better contemporary metal bands on the circuit, in fact. On Saturday, Devil Driver plays Harpo’s with Trivium, After the Burial, and Sylosis. We caught up with Fafara to ask his what we can expect.

You have a new album out, Winter Kills. Is there any sign of change or progressionsince the last one?
Every record has a different sound, but it has our signature groove. I think on this one we harkened back to tighter arrangements, bigger hooks, a lot more groove in it, more audible sounding, and all in all, we realized that we needed to get back to the tighter arrangements. People are saying that it’s our best, but it’s us without compromising – compromising for the radio, compromising for other opportunities. I’m real proud.

Obviously, you reformed Coal Chamber last year. Is it fair to say that you have two bands active?
No. I revisited Coal Chamber, we took it around the world once and now it’s sitting down. I have no idea what’s going to go on with that project. I’m extremely focused on what Devil Driver’s doing right now. It was good to revisit my youth but my heart is with Devil Driver at this point.

Do you enjoy playing Detroit?
I love Detroit. When I come on stage in Detroit, I say, “Detroit is my house.” If you’ve ever been to a Devil Driver gig in Detroit, it surely is. It’s one of the most insane crowds around the globe, to tell you the truth. I love playing Detroit. Harpo’s harkens me back to when I was young and snuck out of my house to see bands like the Germs. It’s unbelievable.

What can we expect from your set?
110%. We’re playing 70 minutes, and we’re playing five songs off the new record, and then the favorites.

When this tour is done and dusted, what’s next for you and the band?
Go home for three weeks, and then start another month run with the same package. There might be another opener, Thy Will Be Done, which will be great. We’re booking ourselves all the way through 2016 on this record. We get a record out every two to two-and-a-half years. This one will be more like three because the record has been very successful. We entered the top 40 at number 32 and we’re the heaviest thing in the top 40. For us, it’s do or die band. We were never a production band, we’re always just ‘plus in and go.’ The punk rock ethic, if you will. Now, we’ve added production and a lot of other things so it’s growing in leaps and bounds at this point.


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