Dez Fafara (DEVILDRIVER, COAL CHAMBER) was interviewed on this past weekend’s (October 21-23) edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show about COAL CHAMBER‘s upcoming reunion tour as part of Australia’s Soundwave Festival. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. An excerpt from the chat follows.
Full Metal Jackie: COAL CHAMBER announced the reformation of the band specifically for the Soundwave shows [in Australia]and now that it’s out there, I know this has been sort of in the works and in the planning stages, now that people know about it, how do you feel about this happening?
Dez: Unbelievable. Full circle. I mean, to get those guys back in my life and clean off hard drugs and want[ing] to do shows, it’s incredible. The feeling is incredible and the love had been just incredible as well. I woke up at 4:30 the other morning with my phone ringing off the hook and my Twitter, everything going crazy, it’s so good to see. After all these years, we haven’t played together in 10 years.
Full Metal Jackie: It’s going to be 10 years since you guys have performed on stage; has there been any rehearsals yet?
Dez: We’re doing all that in January and February and we’re going to be really well rehearsed for it; we’ve been going over the set list and it’s been nothing but fun right now. I mean, going back and forth about a setlist with these guys just turns into jokes and hours of e-mails of jokes and we forget what we’re doing. So you realize that these guys are a big, big part of my life and I don’t even know if I’d be here with DEVILDRIVER for Meegs [guitar] and Mikey drums], so it’s good to have them back in my life and getting ready to go do COAL CHAMBER shows.
Full Metal Jackie: You’ve always really seemed to distance yourself from COAL CHAMBER in the press after you started DEVILDRIVER. Ten years later, what made you want to resurrect COAL CHAMBER and why now?
Dez: Well, I distanced myself from it so people can get over it and I could start a new thing, obviously. You don’t just want to keep talking about your ex-girlfriend when you’re dating a new hot girl. That’s the way that it was with DEVILDRIVER and then again, too, they had family and people around them, so I didn’t want to go in public and say I left them because they were on drugs, this and that. The fact is they’re clean and that being true means that they want to get back together and they want to do music so it’s just really cool.
Full Metal Jackie: The questions have always come up from when you started DEVILDRIVER — those COAL CHAMBER fans have always still been around and it was an important band that meant a lot to a lot of people.
Dez: It seems to be. I mean, when you walk away from it, you really don’t know, but now that the announcements have been made and all the hype that’s going on, it seems like, “Okay, yeah, we were very important.” But you can’t really look at it from the inside; you got to be on the outside, which is where I am at this point right now, on the outside looking in, and I’m having a great time with it.
Full Metal Jackie: Is it just going to be live shows or any plans to record new music?
Dez: No, none of that right now at all. We just got offered these shows; we talked, we had a long, probably month[-long] conversation and said let’s just go do these shows. It’s seven or eight Soundwave shows, so [we’re] just looking forward to that at this point.
Full Metal Jackie: How did the guys in DEVILDRIVER react to the news that you’re putting COAL CHAMBER back together?
Dez: You know, it’s funny because when you’re at DEVILDRIVER shows the COAL CHAMBER guys show up or my DEVILDRIVER guys will call me and say I’m hanging out with Meegs, so they know each other, they hang out. I don’t think it was any surprise to them after this long that we were going to get together and at least do some shows. By no means am I putting DEVILDRIVER down for COAL CHAMBER. I’m just going to go do some shows and then move on.
Full Metal Jackie: In all of these years that you’ve been doing DEVILDRIVER, did you ever in the back of your mind say, “You know what?! At some point I wouldn’t be opposed to putting COAL CHAMBER back together?”
Dez: No, no, for the last 10 years I’ve been, “No, I’m totally opposed to it, it’s never going to happen,” but things change, people change, hearts change, moods change and life changes, so you kind of got to go with the flow. And right now it’s making me happy. I do what makes me happy, and it’s going to be really cool to sing some of those songs onstage. I miss a lot of those songs, I miss playing “Loco” live, to tell you the truth. Meegs came up with DEVILDRIVER in ’09 and we did it in Pasadena and I felt it then, I was like, “Oh, man, I really miss playing this stuff.”
Full Metal Jackie: Is that the only time that you’ve guys have played a COAL CHAMBER song on stage?
Dez: Yes, that’s the only time DEVILDRIVER‘s ever done it and it was really cool; they let Meegs come up and Meegs had a great time, too, and him and I gave a hug. The fans went crazy and at that point that’s when we really started talking like, “What do you want to do? Do you want to do something?” And it took 10 years. It took three years from ’09 just to come to the point we’re at now.
Full Metal Jackie: Chela Rhea Harper is going to be on bass. Were Rayna (Foss) or Nadja (Peulen) asked to be part of the reunion?
Dez: Rayna was not. Rayna has been out of the band for a very long time. We did speak to Nadja. She has other things going and it wasn’t really in the headspace where we were at as a band. We found Chela; she’s Canadian and she’s a bad-ass player. She’s been playing for nearly 12 years. She plays five-string and it’s going to be good to have her on bass. She grew up with COAL CHAMBER. She’s only 26-27 years old. She knows the songs, and just hearing her on the phone, the excitement [in her voice], that’s really what I wanted brought to the table. Where Meegs and Mikey and I am right now, we’re really excited so we needed someone that filled that excitement drawer and she did for sure; she’s stoked.