Dez Fafara Of DevilDriver/Coal Chamber

Dez Fafara Says Transition From Coal Chamber To DevilDriver Wasn’t Spurred By Death Of Nü-Metal


DevilDriver/Coal Chamber frontman Dez Fafara guests on the latest episode of the ‘Talk Toomey‘ podcast hosted by ex-Primer55 bassist Josh Toomey. During the chat Fafara was asked if his initial departure from Coal Chamber and transition into DevilDriver was in part sparked by the then waning nü-metal movement. He replied:

“No I wasn’t even thinking that, I mean dude Coal Chamber was heavy as fuck, so I don’t know what you’re talking about. I mean have you heard the first Coal Chamber record? It’s tuned to fucking god knows what. We toured with Pantera and Black Sabbath, this shit was heavy. The reason I left Coal Chamber was far from like ‘OK, I see the scene dying, I better make a fucking move now.’

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No, it was far from that. It was like ‘I can’t be around these cats no more .’ Their lifestyle and the way they treat me and everyone else and the way it was going down, it was like ‘fuck this.’ You know? The way I left was right after a tour I got in a cab, and fucking called… swiped my card at 33,000 feet and said ‘I’m done,’ I left a tour and said ‘fuck this, I’m, done. This is not how it’s supposed to be.’ So it was far from like ‘Ahh, the music’s taking a dive.’

If you really look at it man, there was probably a few years when people bagged on every band that came out of that scene, but if you look at the biggest bands on the planet right now, they’re the same. System Of A Down, Korn, Deftones, Disturbed, can I just go down the line? From that same era, so was music changing? Like no, hell no it wasn’t. So here’s what happened to me.

I’ve always been turned on to aggressive music. I’ve always been turned on to different aggressive music. I mean even right now you and I could have a whole separate show on bands I found in the last two weeks that no one’s ever heard of. So my mind is constantly—and I’m a lot like Philip [Anselmo] when it comes to that—I’m constantly listening and diving in. I come  from a punk rock and psychobilly background. Obviously Coal Chamber had way heavier elements. But I was listening to a lot more raw, different, heavier stuff.

I mean like even Superjoint demos with Philip were like tripping me, like ‘woah what the fuck is going on here?’ And go down the line when it wasn’t cool to even listen to black metal; I was insane about that scene for awhile. So for me it was like, I wanna get out and do something that’s a lot more brutal. And it has a lot more uptempo and groove to it as well.

Coal Chamber had a lot of chug to it… you can only push the players so much for what they can write. So it wasn’t the music, it was more like ‘Hmm, this thing’s falling apart and I got a family and kids and a career,’ it’s like I’m not gonna fall apart with it. If the ship is sinking everybody’s looking for a fucking life raft you know? Everybody.

And it just so happens—and a lot of people don’t know this—but when I was doing Coal Chamber‘s last record “Dark Days“; I was leaving those sessions and driving like two and a half hours up into the mountains of Santa Barbara and recording DevilDriver at that time. Making the demos for DevilDriver at that time to hand over to Roadrunner to get the first record deal we did.”

Later spurred by the flak Suicide Silence have been taking for introducing clean singing on their latest single “Doris“, Fafara went on to be supportive of artists who try new things:

“Don’t be afraid to grow as an artist. I mean look at the time you come from and I come from. Artists were so different it was… Everybody had a different look and a different sound. You couldn’t take 15 bands and put ’em all on the same stage and they’d all sound the same. Right now I could take a hundred bands and put’ em all on the same stage and they’d all sound the fucking same. There’s just something to be said for growth and doing something different.”

You can hear the whole conversation over at Buzzsprout and iTunes.

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