GetYourRockOut conducted an interview with guitarist Jeff Kendrick of California metallers DEVILDRIVER on March 9 at the Manchester stop of the band’s U.K. tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE. You can now watch the chat below.
In a recent interview with Kaaos TV, DEVILDRIVER vocalist Dez Fafara stated about the band’s split with longtime label Roadrunner Records and decision to sign with Napalm Records: “I think it was a mutual understanding. A lot of bands have either left or got off that label. The label’s not the same anymore at all. All the key people that signed me back in the day are gone. Napalm Records has done more so far for the setup of this next record than I think Roadrunner in the United States has done in four records. It was a different story with us in Europe, ’cause we had a girl named Michelle Kerr, who worked for us doing press for Roadrunner and so we had a very good presence. But I’m more than pleased right now, man, with what Napalm‘s doing. We’re seeing so much. They’re really into the music, they’re really into the band, their marketing plan, their everything is right up there. In almost 20 years on Roadrunner, I’ve never e-mailed with the owner, but with the owner of Napalm, I’m e-mailing back and forth, and he’s a metalhead. And I’m saying, ‘Wait until you hear this new record.’ And he’s saying, ‘I can’t wait to get it in my hands.’ That makes you feel good as an artist — to have a label behind you. I’m really excited for this record.”
Regarding the progress of the recording sessions for the new DEVILDRIVER album: Dez said: “We’re totally done. There are some things I’m gonna do. Now that we’re listening to the record over here. I get home from Europe, and after two days, my producer flies in to my house; I have a studio at my house. There’s a few other things I want to do vocally, just to make it the best I can, and then we’re done. He’s already mixing now, and we’re listening to the roughs on the bus and making notes. So I love this process; that’s my favorite process — listening to the mixes and doing the artwork. I do all of that. So I’m working on all the packaging. Napalm is giving us 16 pages in the booklet, so if you do buy the CD, you get something really extra. We’ve done a bunch of killer B-sides as well that, for me, are A-sides; I can’t choose right now. We don’t have any B-sides. It’s the first record that the two songs that you think are gonna be… You know, you need two B-sides.. We can’t tell what it’s gonna be. So that’s a really good thing, ’cause usually they stick right out. But I’m real proud of it. I think the guys did an amazing job. I’m really proud, especially of Michael Spreitzer on guitar, I’m really proud of him on this record. John Boecklin really came to the table. It was a united front. It was nice.”
On the musical direction of the new DEVILDRIVER material, Dez said: “It’s really heavy groove. Really heavy riffs. It’s nothing like our last record, [2011’s] ‘Beast’. It’s more along the lines of [2005’s] ‘The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand’ or [2007’s] ‘The Last Kind Words’. I think we understand what we do and this time around we talked about what we do, what we do best and what we should do. And then when the songs started to come to me, I started calling those guys [and saying], ‘Oh my God, this song is amazing.’ The next one, ‘This song is amazing.’ I was really pleased, man. People will love it. If you’re a fan of DEVILDRIVER, this is gonna be the record you’re gonna love. I don’t think I’ve ever said this my whole career, but I think this is probably one of the best records. This feels, to me, very cohesive; it’s very team oriented. It’s a monster of a record. From the time it starts out to the time it finishes, it takes your breath away. It’s one of those records where, I think, once you listen to it, you’re gonna push ‘Play’ immediately again. Because it’s [got] huge hooks, big guitar riffs. The drumming is incredible. If you’re a young drummer trying to learn this shit, you’re gonna have a very hard time.”