On October 9, Ned of the WGRD 97.9 FM radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan conducted an interview with DEVILDRIVER and COAL CHAMBER vocalist Dez Fafara. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
On DEVILDRIVER‘s split with longtime record label Roadrunner and new deal with Napalm Records:
Dez: “[It was] just time to do it, I believe. Roadrunner‘s gotten sold out to Warner Brothers; they’ve become a whole new animal. The guy, Monte Conner, who signed us [to Roadrunner], isn’t over there anymore, a lot of the other bands aren’t over there anymore, and it’s gonna start dissipating as they go. They’re picking up more classic artists — I mean, they’re starting to deal with LYNYRD SKYNYRD and RATT and this and that — and it was just time to go. We needed another label, someone who understood what we did. Napalm came to the table and said, ‘You know what? Look, we love the music and we’re behind it.’
“As soon as Monte Conner left [we knew it was time to go]… I knew he was leaving, as we left shortly before him.
“We were with Roadrunner a long time — they did a great job with my career; I’d been with them since late ’94, so I owed them a lot, I owed them a great deal. But when the internal things change and they start moving the furniture around in the house and everything and it’s unrecognizable, then it’s time to move locations, which is what we did. And it’s important for a metal band to have a label that understands the music, understands what we wanna do, the kind of touring we do and wants to get behind it. DEVILDRIVER is rarely off the road, and so it’s important for a label to be behind it when you’re on the road. You want them to do the same work that you’re doing. Napalm seems like a great fit and we’re looking forward to seeing how this record does.”
On when fans can expect to see a new DEVILDRIVER studio album:
Dez: “Right now I’m hearing sometime around late September [of 2013]. The [other] guys [in the band] start recording in December, I start recording [vocals] in January, and we leave for tour in March with CANNIBAL CORPSE overseas for a big co-headline run. So I’ve gotta be done by the end of January. And we’re looking for a really bad-ass tour wrapped around it as well; we ‘ve talking to a bunch of people right now.
On what the new DEVILDRIVER material sounds like:
Dez: “I’m in the back lounge in the process of writing it. We’ve got a really spectacular record coming. I mean, the record is so diverse. We’ve kind of taken a jump ahead and also laid back into our groove and where we come from, so I think it’s gonna be a really outstanding record. But we’re not prepared to play out live with it. I’m in the back still writing lyrics and such.”
On the status of the COAL CHAMBER reunion:
Dez: “What we did is [the members of the original COAL CHAMBER band] started talking over the last six years — they were coming around to DEVILDRIVER shows and such; I mean, they actually hang out with the DEVILDRIVER guys in L.A. more than I do, ’cause I live outside of L.A., about two hours. We did that Australian run [as part of the Soundwave Festival in February/March 2012] and it went just spectacular. After that, we went down and we did South America for nine days [in September], and that went killer. So now we’re starting to kick around, like, ‘OK, do we wanna hit the States? Do we wanna do something?’
“COAL CHAMBER, for me right now, is like a really fine woman, man. I’ve gotta re-date her — she’s back in my life, I’ve gotta see how she is, and we’ve gotta take our time with each other. And that’s what we’re doing. And I think that’s the important thing — we’re doing it for the love of the music as well. There’s a lot of people that never got to either see COAL CHAMBER live or haven’t seen us in a long time due to the breakup.
“It’s good to see [the other guys in the band] off hard drugs, man, and you can see their guys are crystal clear, and it makes me wanna do music with them again.
“Right now, with COAL CHAMBER, that’s what we’re doing — we’re taking it slow. About a week ago, they sent me some new tunes and said, ‘Hey, would you ever think about doing a new record? Here’s some new tunes.’ And they were absolutely killer. They were moving forward with their sound, but yet you could tell it was COAL CHAMBER, but it wasn’t so linear. So who knows what’s gonna happen in the future, man? We’re just playing it by ear at this point. I’ve got a lot going on right now, so we just have to really see.”