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DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara Talks to Full Metal Jackie About New Album ‘Winter Kills’ + More

Dez Fafara
Paul Brasil, Loudwire

DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show over the weekend. He talked all about the band’s new album ‘Winter Kills’ and a whole lot more. If you missed Jackie’s show, check out the full interview with Dez Fafara below:

It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. Dez from DevilDriver with us on the show. What’s up, Dez?

Hey, how you doing Jackie? Thanks for having me.

I’m doing awesome, here to talk about the brand new DevilDriver record ‘Winter Kills.’ The sixth album from DevilDriver coming out in stores Aug. 27. Dez, musically how have your ambitions for DevilDriver changed over 10 years since the first album and even since the last album ‘Beast’ just two years ago?

Well what I think we always want to do is develop ourselves and definitely move forward. I mean we have a signature sound on all of our records but every single one of the records is definitely different from one another and that’s really important. So the ambition is keeping it fresh by making it different.

I mean the best compliment I could hear is you know that record doesn’t sound like a previous record or the one before it and that’s always a compliment because it means we’re moving forward with our sound.

Dez from DevilDriver on the show again. ‘Winter Kills’ will be out in stores Aug. 27 and Dez — new label, new bassist. Was it important to view this new record ‘Winter Kills’ as something of a new beginning for DevilDriver?

Oh, absolutely. Yeah the new label Napalm. We also signed with Metal Blade for Japan. We stayed with Roadrunner overseas in Australia and it is a new rebirth. I mean new full-time bass player named Chris Towning. We have this new signature sound right now going on and we really captured a groove on this record. [But it's also familiar] as it’s full of big groove and huge hooks, tight arrangements.

I mean I think people are going to love it. If you are a DevilDriver fan you’re going to freak out. If you’re not, this one may be the one that’s going to turn you around and if you never heard of us … you may check this out and want to go back in our catalog and check out other things.

Dez from DevilDriver with us on the show. The new album is called ‘Winter Kills’ and ‘Sail’ closes the new album. It’s an AWOLnation cover, a band that you supposedly discovered through your teenage sons, as I read.

Yeah. I was in the car one day and they were playing the song and I absolutely connected with the lyrics “Blame it on my ADD.” I mean I suffered from attention deficit my whole life. And the song has the word sail in it and I’ve been on tour for 20 years so I liked it. I hit the guys up, they got back to me in 5 minutes and we’re like let’s cover this. But DevilDriver likes to cover obscure tunes; we covered “Black Soul Choir” from 16 Horsepower.

We started to realize that’s more fun, covering obscure stuff is more fun. We’ve never really done anything that’s current … My kids were playing it around the house and I was like man I really like this song. We heard that AWOLnation has heard it and they like the cover as well, which is really cool. When you’re covering another artist’s song and they like what you’ve done with it, that’s always a pleasure.

And is that direct link to their generation an asset to being conscious of how DevilDriver might appeal to new fans?

We didn’t use it in that kind of way, we just liked the song. If it appeals to a new generation then that’s killer. We like the song. We do like to obscure stuff. Right now that song is an obscure kind of runaway song … We had a kick ass time doing it.

Dez, over the years you’ve collaborated with numerous musicians. Ozzy, Anselmo, Sixx. How important is it to experience other people’s creative processes to evolving DevilDriver?

I love doing out of the box stuff, Jackie. I really do. This year I guested on the new Soulfly record and working with Max Cavalera from scratch in his studio for five hours writing a song — that was amazing. I was also on the Cancer Bats record they just released. I love that band. I love working with other artists. It’s something that’s out of the box and it’s different. It always helps you develop yourself.

You always find new little things you take back into the band you’re in and use. It’s always been a pleasure to work with guys like that. I’m still extremely humble by being in it this long but the people I’ve found and have been fortunate to work with; most of them are my heroes I grew up on. It’s an awesome thing.

Devildriver is going to be out with Trivium in the fall and it’s been a while in terms of touring, right?

We haven’t been in the U.S. in over a year so we’re really looking forward to this fall run.

Awesome, well, Dez good luck with this new record. ‘Winter Kills’ comes out Aug. 27, good luck with all the upcoming touring and appreciate you being on the show again, thank you.

You’ve always been the best, thank you so much Jackie. I appreciate it.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Joey Jordison of Scar the Martyr and Slipknot to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.

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