Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine conducted an interview with vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER when the band played in Stockholm with MACHINE HEAD on November 3. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Metalshrine: How’s the response been to the latest album? Has it been all good?
Dez: Unbelievable! It came out Top 40 in the United States and we’ve gotten radio airplay, which is impossible now. No. 9 in Australia and it did really well over here as well. All through the U.K. and all through Europe. We’re really pleased. We put one out every two years, so you never know what to expect. We’ve put out a lot of music. In 10 years we’ve put out five records, and I think it’s due to the fact that we were only together for six months before we got our first record deal and most bands have five or six years before they get their first deal. Their writing process slows down and we’ve just been writing right now. We enjoy what we do.
Metalshrine: Yeah, I was gonna ask about that, if you write while on tour?
Dez: We do!
Metalshrine: I just talked to BRING ME THE HORIZON and they said that they don’t have the time for it or the urge to do it.
Dez: Some musicians are different and they may have their own way. What I feel is that if you’re a musician, you should write every day, so I write a song every day. I have books and books of lyrics to song structures. The day before our last tour, Jeff, my guitar player, gave me a riff and I was like, “That’s the first verse of the first song on the next record!” I just heard it and I’ve got the ability to just hear, but we do like to write on the road. If your time is consumed by drugs and booze, you don’t have the time to do it, but that’s not what happens within our camp, so we have plenty of time to just sit around and write. Otherwise it would get really boring.
Metalshrine: These days, do you use your phone or a computer to record it?
Dez: We bring out some recording equipment. We don’t bring it to Europe because that’s really hard to do. Especially since they charge for every extra seat, so you get charged like a fucking million dollars, but in the States we bring it out and set it up and it’s like, “Hey, we’ve got an idea!” and just go. It warms my voice up for the show and it’s better than soundchecking in the afternoon. That fucks me up because I’m not ready. It blows my voice out for the night.
Metalshrine: Next album?
Dez: We’re probably gonna stop the grind some time after July next year, maybe into October next year. We usually put out a record every two years, if we don’t go away and write and go back out on tour, but I have a feeling we’re gonna be taking maybe a year to take off to write and really regroup. I mean, for 10 years straight we’ve earned the name “the hardest-working band.” We clock in more shows than any band I can think of.
Metalshrine: How do you make that work with a family?
Dez: You have to have a woman that is really behind you and my woman is my best friend. She’s a rock and she knows she has the life of a wife of a sailor. She met me when I was doing it. Most men in America can get maybe three weeks off at home or whatever. I can come home from a tour and have two or three weeks off, go out on tour and then have three weeks off. I actually get more time at home, like home all day. And she likes to travel with me and I took her and the kids last time to Australia and I’m taking them this time to Soundwave and I take them all over Europe as well. There’s some places she’d like to return to and others she doesn’t. She really wants to come to the Scandinavian countries, so next time I come out here, I’m gonna bring her.
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.