Vocalist Dez Fafara of Santa Barbara, California metallers DEVILDRIVER was interviewed by J. Bennett for the October 2009 issue of Decibel magazine. An excerpt from the chat follows below.
Decibel: You had some beef with Cronos from VENOM back in 2007. Did anything ever come of that?
Dez: Well, I love VENOM. I collect VENOM shirts, and I wear one every night. Then VENOM offered us a tour, and no one was happier than me. Three weeks before the tour starts, they call and tell us the tour is off for the moment, but hold tight, and we'll call you back. But the way my life works — I mean, I've got through the end of 2011 already booked, you know? But it's VENOM, so I hold on. About a week and a half later, they call and say the tour is back on. Then two days before it's supposed to start, they call again to say it's off and that they'll call back in another three or four weeks. But we had another tour, so we flew to Australia with another tour booked right after that, and then they call back again and say, "OK, now we're ready." But we'd heard that so many times, you know, and I explained that we'd already booked another tour. Thinking that Cronos was a gentleman and had been in the business long enough to understand bookings was probably my naïveté, because he went up on Sirius radio and proceeded to go after me and the band in an extremely derogatory way. So, I responded in kind and said, "When I see you, let's take care of business."
So, a couple of years pass, and we see each other at an awards show a couple of months ago. I walked right up to him, in front of cameras, and say, "Hey, Cronos — what's up? I'm Dez from DEVILDRIVER. How are things?" He shook my hand and said, "Hey, man. Things are great. How's the band?" And I said "Good," and then walked away. And that's all that came of it. But it sucks when one of your heroes turn out to be a dick. As a fan, that hurt me. So, yeah, I told him I'd take care of business but nothing came of it.
Decibel: Was that just because there were cameras around?
Dez: No, I would've fuckin' thrown down with that motherfucker. First of all, he's like 60, and I do martial arts every day. I'm twice as strong now than I ever was in my 20s. But if you're gonna go against me or the band and you're gonna call us out and I deserve it, I'll be the first one to stand up and admit that I deserve it. But we didn't deserve Cronos going off on us on Sirius radio. I think maybe he realized that he needed me on his way down, because that's where he's going right now. [Laughs] Let's reinvigorate the feud: They did go out and do that tour, and when they did, they drew about 100 kids a night. And none of them were kids — they were all in their 50s. DEVILDRIVER is a different kind of band. We draw a lot of people, and we draw a lot of diverse people, from ages 13 to 35. So, I think VENOM realized they needed us to make their tour work in America. Their tour was miserable to the point that I don't know if promoters will have them back again. And I just watched my hero be a total asshole. So, I learned something as well.
Decibel: Well, you know what they say about fighting an old man…
Dez: Yeah, but even calling him that is not me taking the high road. I realize I'm not 20 anymore, either.
Decibel's entire interview with Dez Fafara can be found in the magazine's October 2009 issue.
For more information, visit DecibelMagazine.com.