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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Interview: Dez Fafara of DevilDriver


Almost a month ago DevilDriver released their latest album called Trust No One. Nino Milillo, writer of DutchMetalManiac and also fan of DevilDriver, already reviewed Trust No One here. Now it's time for him to ask some questions to DevilDriver mastermind Dez Fafara.

The reason I became a fan of DevilDriver is that it sounds very sincere. By that, I mean that I really ‘believe’ the words you are singing and that there is a story behind every lyric. After listening to ‘Trust No One’ countless times, the vibe that I’m getting is that the emotion on the record comes from a few lessons in life learned. Could you tell us some more about the source of inspiration for this album?

Within the last few years I've learned a great many lessons regarding people. I've made my circle very small and it will stay that way. There is many emotions written about, the song For What It's Worth for instance is a love song, while the song Trust No One identifies people who pretend to be friends and truly aren't.

Another thing I have noticed over time is that the entire band noticeably progressed and developed as musicians, as did the music itself over the course of years (and albums). For example, ‘The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand’ is a lot more raw and groovy, rather than the unmatched technicalities and aggression displayed on ‘The Last Kind Words’ and ‘Trust No One’. Seeing as the band’s line-up has lost 2 long time members, how did this affect the writing process and the chemistry?

Chemistry is BETTER, the game has been raised by bringing in players who are more motivated and in my eyes better not only in skill but attitude. VIBE IS EVERYTHING in a band, you compromise the vibe, you compromise the music.

I would like to add that, as far as drums go, you could not have recruited a better drummer than Austin D’Amond. There are few bands that attract my attention for their drums, I normally go for insane guitar stuff, but DevilDriver, as well as Chimaira, have always drawn my ear for their insane drum capacities. On the other hand, Neal Tiemann really fits the spot. He has shown some major riffage and skills on ‘Trust No One’, dare I even say, added a whole new dimension to your music. What’s the story behind the recruitment?

Story is simply this. My old drummer and I didn't gets long for almost 10 years and one night I called him and said we don't get along, he agreed and we split.

Jeff left because there were many problems inside the group do to his lack of contributions over the years so I brought in Neal a real writer and a good friend. Now it's a good time again!

This July, Dutch, and probably some German and Belgian, fans will have an opportunity on seeing you perform live, once again. What can we expect from the new DevilDriver, live? And equally importantly, how do you guys experience the Dutch crowd?

Dutch crowds are FUN! Expect pure energy!

You’ve always presented your music well enough to show your different influential styles, such as punk, but there’s always been a good flow in your lyrics and sometimes, it’s almost as if you’re spitting raps. This happens in your new track ‘’Feeling Un-god-ly’’. What can you say about influential artists in that particular area?

Not really influenced by rap it's not something I actively listen to but I do love cadence and a fast vocal approach, that's what your hearing 👍

Unlike some previous albums, ‘Trust No One’ did not include a cover track of some sort, which is a shame, because your versions of ‘’Holier Than Thou’’ and ‘’Wasted Years’’, for example, are really good. Is there any reason you did not record one this time, and will there be any new cover work in the future?

It's in the works for sure 👍

To get back to your new record one last time, one thing that I was itching to ask is: how DO you guys always get that trademark DevilDriver sound, even in the light of recent line-up changes? It is really nice to see how the music keeps developing without losing the sound that makes you DevilDriver.

Well that's hard to answer really, it's that DD has a sound and we all know it must groove and have a hook that's the only way to explain it.

A little bird whispered in my ear that you will be appearing on the set of a sci-fi movie, care to elaborate?

I can not say but yes I make my acting debut in August and I'm very excited!

Now for something completely off-topic, but interesting nonetheless: do you, or does the band, have a particular pre-stage ritual? Like, do you stare at yourself in the mirror angrily, or chug a bottle of Jack, or something else? And what’s the craziest thing you have on your rider?

Lol, it's like this --- 2 hours before the show we all meet up, smoke weed, have a cocktail or two and jam music. The bonding time before stage is as important as stage itself.

Fan question: The lyrics you write seem to be a collection of life lessons, or maybe even a philosophy as a whole. Is this a philosophy you will be passing on to your offspring? And would you like seeing your kids follow in your footsteps?

I've raised all 3 of my boys to be good stand up men, trustworthy and loyal to friends, to protect the family at all costs, to be kind and to be ruthless when needed in life. I do not want them to follow in my footsteps but to leave a trail of their own, that being said my youngest is an insane drummer and my oldest shreds on guitar 🌟

I would like to thank you for your time and this opportunity to ask you some questions (hopefully most of them were new and refreshing to you). Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of DutchMetalManiac?

See you soon at the shows thanks for your support 👍💀👍

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