DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara Talks ‘Trust No One’ Album, New Band Members + Touring
DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. Jackie got the scoop on the chemistry in the band with two new members, the new album 'Trust No One' and DevilDriver's tour with Hatebreed, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance. Check out the chat below.
Dez, how did spending the last few years working with Coal Chamber reinvigorate your passion for DevilDriver?
Well what it did, is like with anything special in your life when you are away from it for awhile you really start to miss it, and what DevilDriver did like six records in 12 years, a ton of touring. You know we were on the road harder then any band out there, Jackie, you know that. We just needed some time off. What it did with me is really make me miss DevilDriver, miss the music, miss playing the stuff and I am really excited to get back on the road.
It's the first DevilDriver album since Neal Tiemann and Austin D'Amond joined the band. How did their personalities and the way they worked affect the recording process?
Well their personalities are wider in the band. I mean they are great guys. I have been friends with Neil for almost three years, he is an amazing guy, amazing guitar player, I‘ve wanted to play with him for a very long time. So when the spot came up it was like and no brainer, and Austin's personality is just kind of a funny, light-hearted guy and he’s like a monster on the kit.
They got together with Mike and they have been writing for close to a year, year and a half on this and we have had a long time to write, we came with about 23 songs and narrowed it down to about 12 / 13. 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.
Did mistrust in general inspire the album title, or was it a monumental incident with specific people?
No. Not even a monumental incident whatsoever. It is just in general. I was just, you know, 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 “Question authority” would have really worked for a title. But you got to watch people, you got to watch them before you bring them into your circle, and after you do bring them into your circle you got to watch them even closer,and as they exit you will realize that a lot of the times, people as they exit they are not, or where not what they said they were the whole time they were in your life.
So basically I am a very private person and my circle is very small. I have had some monumental fall outs over the years with some people, both personal and in business. Basically you come to the realization that positivity is more important than anything in your life. 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 is time to vacate the situation. 'Cause I am a glass half full guy. I am always willing to have a really good time. So in the last couple years that has been what's going on with me. Look are you positive in my life? Ok cool come around more. If you are not, you know I may lose your phone number.
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?
Right. Good question, Jackie. You know, I think on this one really special. Mike [Spreitzer, guitar] built a studio in his house that is beautiful. We did the music there, and everybody will say the same thing, it is 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 are 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 is could work all day and then have dinner with my kids and my wife. You know at the end of the night I did fly out to Florida, to finish vocals with Jason Suecof, who worked on The Last Kind Word so anybody who is a DevilDriver fan will know that record. It seems to be a fan favorite, The Last Kind Word, and I did vocals with Jason on that. 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 am using, and with the music that was brought, I think you're really going to love this.
DevilDriver with Hatebreed, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance together on tour will be a show that literally, exhausts the audience. What is the most important thing about the way you pace your set in the context of all of that energy?
I think exhausting the audience is a great way to put it, Jackie. I think that is what it’s all about with us. We have been putting a set list together that is incredible. If you have seen DevilDriver many times then this will be the time to come out for sure, 'cause we’re playing a lot of stuff we have not played in a long time or have never played before live. We are going to pace the set to be very quick, people that have seen me live know that I really don't like to talk. There's not a lot of banter that goes on and when the set starts the energy is not going to stop until the set hits.
I think Hatebreed is on the same level to do that, as well. When I took Jasta out with Coal Chamber, [Jamey Jasta] has a side project called Jasta, we started talking and I said -- you know, man, we've never toured together. We've obviously played alongside each other at festivals for years, but we've never done a tour. When this thing came up, it was just the appropriate timing. He's got a record coming out, as well, the same day. So it's team heavy. Everybody should go out and purchase both the records, put us on the charts, it's important to keep heavy music up there.
In addition to this record, the tour, what else is to come for DevilDriver and for you in 2016?
There's a lot of touring going on. We're hitting the U.S. and then we're going over to Europe and the UK, then we'll do Australia. We're looking at some Japan dates, South America dates, trying to get over to China. We're just going to really work. For me, there's a lot of stuff coming down the pipeline. I just secured a movie role in a pretty big science fiction film that's going to start filming in late August so I have to be home for that.
Just a lot of touring and a lot of good times. I mean, I'm really looking forward to getting back out on the road with DevilDriver with this new lineup and seeing people come out to hear this new music. i'm really looking forward to getting ready to release Trust No One. I want to share this record, man, with people. I think out of all the things that we've done, this just has a different something to it. It's just on par to be one of those records you look back and go, ok, the reason it's a standout record is the way we were feeling, what we were writing and what we were trying to share. I think people are really going to love this thing. It's got a street vibe to it. Just like the title says, Trust No One, you're not going to have to ask what anything lyrically means. It's going to hit you straight on.
Thanks to Dez Fafara for the interview. DevilDriver's 'Trust No One' is out now and is available to purchase via Amazon and iTunes. Look for the band on tour with Hatebreed, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance. All tour stops can be seen here. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
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