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Coal Chamber’s Dez Fafara Says Nu Metal Never Left, Reminiscences On The Early Days


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DevilDriver/Coal Chamber frontman Dez Fafara has again opened up about nu metal, this time to Metal Hammer. Looking back at the scene when it initially started, Fafara recalled:

“There was a big camaraderie thing between the bands, and we were all doing something unique. Deftones were doing something entirely different from what System were doing, with their Armenian influences. Coal Chamber had a way heavier sound with a gothic feel; we were one of the only bands who understood Bauhaus and The Cure as well as we understood Black Sabbath and Ride The Lightning. So we watched everybody come up and get signed and eventually we signed with Roadrunner Records. The rest was history.”

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On the rise of the genre in the 90’s:

“Clubs started to pack out again. One by one, we all got signed. We were there the night Deftones got signed — a limo rolled up and Madonna rolled through! We were like ‘Holy shit, this thing’s on fire!’ The next one to get signed might have been Korn, then us and then System.”

On the negativity often associated with the term ‘nu metal’:

“My guitar player [Meegs Rascón] said it best: ‘nu metal’ was a great term until the second wave of bands came in and we all got put into that ‘nu-metal thing’. At that point, even among us, it became a dirty word. Right now, they call DevilDriver ‘groove metal,’ and there aren’t many other bands that get called that. So if ten or twenty other bands come out and have that groovy feel and they get big and suddenly ‘groove metal’ becomes an ugly term, do you hide from it? Of course not – it’s something you started. I feel proud that I was part of the scene. I have no room for the fucking purists, so I don’t give a shit. I know that we all did something special and we helped save LA.”

On the so-called ‘nu metal revival’:

“Everybody’s asking, ‘What’s up with the nu metal revival?’” he says. ”I’m like, ‘It’s never left!’ Hello? Slipknot: arguably one of the biggest bands on the planet, next to Metallica – nu metal. Korn: never left, bigger than ever right now – nu metal. Deftones: getting ready to come out with a slamming new record – nu metal. System Of A Down: bigger than life – nu metal.

So when did the revival start? These bands never went anywhere. But since we’re coming back and doing a record after thirteen years, there’s a revival? Those bands are still around, they’re bigger than life and they have influence over everybody. Go ask the guitar player in Suicide Silence what his favorite band is and he’ll tell you Korn. I’d like to think that because of the broad diversity of what we did, now you have all of these metal bands with diversity who sound like they’re doing something different. That’s it in a nutshell.”

There’s more on that, Coal Chamber and DevilDriver over at Metal Hammer.

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