Vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER was interviewed on the May 20-22 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below. A few excerpts follow.
Full Metal Jackie: Dez, how did spending the last few years working with COAL CHAMBER reinvigorate your passion for DEVILDRIVER?
Dez: "Well, what it did is, like with anything special in your life, when you are away from it for a while, you really start to miss it. And DEVILDRIVER did six records in twelve years, a ton of touring... I mean, we were on the road harder than any band out there, and we just needed some time off. And what it did with me is really make me miss DEVILDRIVER, miss the music, miss playing the stuff, and I'm really excited to get back on the road."
Full Metal Jackie: "Trust No One" is the first DEVILDRIVER album since guitarist Neal Tiemann and drummer Austin D'Amond joined the band. How did their personalities and the way they work affect the recording process?
Dez: "Well, their personalities are wider in the band. I mean, they're great guys. I've been friends with Neal for almost three years. He's an amazing guy, an amazing guitar player. I've wanted to play with him for a very long time, so when the spot came up, it was like he was a no-brainer. And Austin's personality is just a really kind of funny, light-hearted guy, and he's a monster on the kit. They got together with Mike [Spreitzer, guitar], and they've been writing for close to a year, year and a half on this, and we've had a long time to write. We came with about twenty-three songs and narrowed it down to about twelve [or] thirteen. So the process working with these guys was really great and invigorating when it came to stamping back in life to what I love, which is DEVILDRIVER."
Full Metal Jackie: Did mistrust in general inspire the album title, or was it a monumental incident with specific people?
Dez: "No, not even a monumental incident whatsoever. It's just in general. I raised my children with a huge sticker on the refrigerator for a long time saying 'Question Authority.' And 'Trust No One' is basically along [those] lines. I don't think that 'Question Authority' would have worked for a title. But you've gotta really watch people, and you've gotta watch 'em before you bring 'em into your circle, and after you do bring them into your circle, then you've gotta watch 'em even closer. And as they exit, you'll realize that a lot of the times you bring in people, and as they exit, they are not, or were not, what they said they were the whole time they were in your life. So, basically, I'm a very private person and my circle is very small. I have had some monumental fallouts over the years with some people, both personal and in business. And, basically, because you come to a realization where positivity is more important than anything in your life. And if someone is bringing you negativity, bringing you down, not having a good time with you or around whatever you are doing, you know, it's time to vacate the situation. 'Cause I am a glass-half-full guy; I'm always pretty positive, and I'm always willing to have a really good time. So, in the last couple years, that's been what's going on with me. I've been, 'Look, are you positive in my life? Okay, cool. Come around more. If you are not, I may lose your phone number.'"
Full Metal Jackie: [In the past] you've recorded in Florida, Texas and did "Trust No One" in California. How does the locale affect the band's attitude and temperament and in turn affect the music?
Dez: "Right. Good question, Jackie. I mean, I think on this one, [it was] really special. Mike built a studio at his house that's beautiful. We did the music there. And everybody will say the same thing. It's incredible to kind of creep out of your room and walk into the studio, and not have to drive somewhere or be away from home. We're already away from home so much when we tour that I also built a home studio here. So, doing the vocals here at my house was an incredible thing, where I could work all day and then have dinner with my kids and my wife at the end of the night. I did fly out to Florida to finish vocals with [producer] Jason Suecof, who worked on [2007's] 'The Last Kind Words', so anybody who's a DEVILDRIVER fan will know that record; it seems to be a fan favorite, 'The Last Kind Words', and I did vocals with Jason on that. So I finished vocals on 'Trust No One' with Jason. And I think having somebody come in, having all these different minds work with me, it was a great thing; it really brought out a lot in what was going on. And I think with the cadences I'm using, and with the music that was brought, I think you're really gonna love this."
To see a full list of stations carrying Full Metal Jackie's program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.