DEVILDRIVER vocalist Dez Fafara recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his sobriety:
Dez: "I've been sober for almost three and a half years... If you've seen me on stage before, you know it can be volatile; it can be furious. Now, it's twenty times that, because sobriety has really kicked that in the ass... Being a vocalist — and anybody who tells you different is lying — the inherent thing is we're nervous and we're fearful, and we're tripped out to get onstage, and we're nervous as shit. What do they do? They hide behind [drugs and alcohol], and I did for years. I got drunk; now, I'm not nervous. I took a pill here and there; I'm not nervous. They hide that, and what it does is it dims that light; it dims that ferociousness; it dims that reality... I've been doing shows sober, and it's like fire. Lighting in a bottle. I try to tell every singer I know that's in the bottle to come out of it and get with the sobriety trip, because it's going to make [things] a lot better."
On DEVILDRIVER's upcoming double album:
Dez: "We've written 20 songs. The record's done. It's in the can. The first one's coming out next year; the second one's coming out the same month [in] 2021. This is the best writing I've ever done in my entire life. This is the best record I've ever been part of in my entire life. If you're a COAL CHAMBER fan, if you're a DEVILDRIVER fan, you're going to get both of the things that I do within this. I broke all the rules. It's heavier; it's darker; it's hookier. Somebody from the label said the other day, 'I couldn't even tell it was DEVILDRIVER, it was so different.' I said, 'That's a good thing.' A lot of the bands and the brands that I started with or brands that I'm alongside of, they write the same record over and over and over [and] they're wondering why their fans are getting less and less. It's because they don't venture out. They don't try to break any ground. We're breaking all the ground; we're breaking all the rules with this next record. I think people are going to just fucking love it. There's not a sellout bone in my soul, so there's nothing written for the radio. It's all true art, and people are going to get something that's full of expression. It's going to be bad-ass... When we set out to record this double record, we definitely set out to break boundaries — like, 'What have we not done?' 'Let's write a song that's way faster than that.' 'Let's write a song that's slower and groovier than that.' 'Let's start with a chorus first. We've never done that.' We tried to break every boundary that we ever had in order to give the listener something authentic and something different."
On DEVILDRIVER's future:
Dez: "I'm releasing a record next year; I'm releasing a record in 2021; I'm looking to hopefully put out in 2022 the next volume of 'Outlaws ['Til The End]'; and then I'm going to take some very long time off. I haven't had a vacation since 1993 — no honeymoon, no imposed vacation sitting on a beach. I'm not that kind of guy. If you want to see a DEVILDRIVER show, especially a headliner, now would definitely be the time. If you want to see it at the top of its very game, now would be the time... Look, I'm not 20, so who knows where I'm going to make an exit — but I'll be goddamned if I'm going to leave anything that's shitty or that's built for the radio. I'm not fucking doing that. I'm going to die with my fucking boots on, and I'm going to give people 100 percent authentic."
On his motivation to record the first volume of "Outlaws 'Til The End", which saw DEVILDRIVER performing metal versions of outlaw country songs:
Dez: "I was told with that record, 'You never put country alongside metal. It's going to be bad for the brand.' I was told [that] by several people in the industry — record company execs, people who don't do art for a living. I said, 'That's the point, man — to crash two buses and have a fiery crash that looks beautiful'... You can't be afraid to break boundaries in art. Music itself is that thing where people go, 'Oh, you don't want to do that. You don't to break boundaries. You don't want to change.' How would it be be a painter all your life, and me to come around the corner and hand you the color red and purple for the first time in your entire life? Are you going to look at me as an artist and go, 'Oh, I'm not using red and purple. It's never been used in this art form.' I'm the kind of artist [who says], 'Give me that red. Give me that purple. I'm going to throw the most insane painting. Let's go for it.' That's the kind of artist I am, and I like to break boundaries and do shit's that different."
DEVILDRIVER's new album was recorded with producer Steve Evetts (EVERY TIME I DIE, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN).
The band will support STATIC-X's original lineup — bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda — on the "Wisconsin Death Trip" 20th-anniversary tour later this month.