Alternative Music Hub recently conducted an interview with Dez Fafara (DEVILDRIVER, COAL CHAMBER) about COAL CHAMBER‘s upcoming reunion tour as part of Australia’s Soundwave Festival. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Alternative Music Hub: How excited are you to play as COAL CHAMBER again?
Dez: Very excited; it has been a slow progression. Meegs [Miguel Rascón, guitar] and Mikey [Mike Cox, drums] started to come around in ’05. They came around to a sold-out DEVILDRIVER show in California and Meegs pulled my wife aside and apologized to her about everything that went that caused my family to move into a one-bedroom apartment and start all over again. I thought that was rather big-hearted of him and they were off hard drugs for 2-3 years then. Cut to ’09, Meegs came up to DEVILDRIVER to play [COAL CHAMBER's] “Loco” with us on stage in Pasadena. At the end of it, he came up and gave me a hug and said, “I want to do this in the future.” Now in 2011 we are talking about doing shows. They have been off the hard drugs for some time so they can play at 100 percent capacity. We want to bring back the Ten Ton Gorilla back on the stage.
Alternative Music Hub: That is good to hear as the drugs were an issue that caused the breakup.
Dez: When I left COAL CHAMBER, I told the press I was leaving because I wanted to go a different musical direction. But what I did was take the high road and not say in front of their wives, parents and families, all of whom I have known for years, that, “Hey, they are so strung out on drugs they are going to be dead.” I just took the high road and said I was leaving. That was good because I never went against them in the press. It allowed them to get clean and allowed us to be friends. I realized that every night I was on stage with a microphone in my hand, I was putting money in their pockets which led to putting drugs into their hands. Once we stopped going on stage as COAL CHAMBER, their money ran out, their fame ran out and they eventually had to get clean. Now that they are alive, what more do you need to say apart from, my friends are alive and want to play music.
Alternative Music Hub: What is the situation with [former COAL CHAMBER bassists] Nadja [Peulen] or Rayna [Foss]?
Dez: Well, Rayna was far gone, way in the beginning. She has some stuff she is dealing with internally, which I don’t think will bring her back to music. Nadja, we had talks with her. We needed the enthusiasm as well as… We didn’t want any demands; because we had no demands. It was the best interest of the original members was to go find someone with the same interest as we did and enthusiasm. That is where Chela [Rhea Harper] had come from. She’s [a] real-deal player. She grew up with the music of COAL CHAMBER, brings that enthusiasm and she is an amazing-looking girl so she will have a great stage presence.
Alternative Music Hub: I know it has been said that COAL CHAMBER are only playing Soundwave but if it all goes well, could we see other tours around the world?
Dez: Since we announced we are doing Soundwave, we have offers to do tours and we are not even discussing it. We have been offered three or four record deals. We want to come down and have a fun time and full of happiness. Once we get home from it, then we may discuss it. Keep in mind three days after we get home from Soundwave, I go on tour of America with DEVILDRIVER. So with DEVILDRIVER being booked, it will be hard to have both.
Read the entire interview from Alternative Music Hub.
COAL CHAMBER 2012 lineup:
Dez Fafara – Vocals
Miguel “Meegs” Rascón – Guitar
Mike Cox – Drums
Chela Rhea Harper – Bass
New COAL CHAMBER bassist Chela Rhea Harper:
COAL CHAMBER prior to breakup (featuring Nadja Peulen):