DEVILDRIVER's recent co-headlining tour with STATIC-X saw the Dez Fafara-fronted outfit performing material from COAL CHAMBER, the band that put him on the musical map and gave him his first and only gold-certified album in the shape of the group's 1997 debut.
COAL CHAMBER existed for ten years before disbanding in 2003 to pursue other musical projects. They reunited in 2011 for touring purposes but it wasn't until 2014 that the band began work on a new studio album of original material, 2015's critically acclaimed "Rivals". Several months of touring activity followed before Dez returned to DEVILDRIVER to make a new record, 2016's "Trust No One".
Speaking to KCAL 96.7's "Wired In The Empire" radio show about his decision to perform COAL CHAMBER songs with DEVILDRIVER, Dez said (hear audio below): "[On this first tour, we're playing] 'Loco' and 'Fiend', and on the next tour, you're gonna hear a few more. I've kept those things separate for so many years, man. It's just time for me to embrace everything that I've done."
He continued: "COAL CHAMBER's not coming back. It is what it is. And I'm not gonna wait another 15-20 years to sing the songs that gave me gold records and allowed me a career. And I say it every night, 'Look, this song gave me gold records on my walls and you people out here gave me a career. Thank you for both of them. Let's get loco.'"
According to Fafara, the COAL CHAMBER songs are elevated far beyond their original form when they are performed by his current bandmates.
"When you hear 'em done by DEVILDRIVER, it's a whole new world," he said. "Two guitars and double kick — it's incredible."
Fafara painted a bleak picture of COAL CHAMBER's future during a 2016 interview with Revolver magazine. He stated at the time: "I had a lot of fun doing that record and playing shows with them again. But there were some circumstances that were not ideal and that's why that thing is not continuing as of right now. If something comes up and I have time and want to make a record and the members have their shit together, I'll do it. But as of now, there's some deep-seated shit that certain dudes in the band still need to work out. And if they work it out and want to tour or make another record, they can come back and give me a call. But right now, everyone in DEVILDRIVER is stoked. No one's fighting. And I feel lucky to be where I am."
Dez had stated in previous interviews that COAL CHAMBER's original split happened because "I did not want to be around the band's hard drug use and I realized that going onstage every night that the money was feeding their habit, so I walked to save my friends." He added that his COAL CHAMBER bandmates were "clean" as of 2012, which made him realize that "it was the right thing to walk [away from the group back in 2003]."