DEVILDRIVER’s DEZ FAFARA: ‘All Our Records Sound Different’

DEVILDRIVER’s DEZ FAFARA: ‘All Our Records Sound Different’

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Distorted Sound magazine recently conducted an interview with DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Distorted Sound: The [new DEVILDRIVER] record [“Trust No One”] definitely feels like it has a new energy and I feel that this is because of the new members [drummer Austin D’Amond and guitarist Neal Tiemann]. What did they bring to the band?

Dez: Well, I feel that the drums are incredible. The kid really nailed it, and he has a sense of groove that undeniably is what DEVILDRIVER is and what we needed. The main addition to the band would be Neal on guitar, and he basically replaced a departing member that had a lot of problems with other members due to lack of contributing to songs, over the whole career. The difference is that Neal came in with twelve songs. Usually you bring in a new member and you’re, like, “Dude, you need to sit out for like a year and a half.” But it wasn’t like that. We let everyone come in with what they have, and the first song that we released, “Daybreak”, was Neal’s. A lot of people didn’t know that I was working on a side project with him for like a year and a half before he joined, so I already wanted to do something with him, and then the opportunity came for him to be in DEVILDRIVER.

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Distorted Sound: So with every member contributing, do you feel this album is the best product you’ve put out?

Dez: I mean, look, it would be so cliché so say, “Yeah, this is the best!” I never want to say that. What I want to say is that if you are a DEVILDRIVER fan, you know that all our records sound different. You cannot compare “Beast” to “Pray For Villains”. You can’t compare “Winter Kills” to “Trust No One”. What we wanted was an aggressive sound and a really aggressive record; vocally understandable, though, so that you can get with it. We wanted something groovy and heavy, and we also wanted to make sure we distance ourselves from anything that is going on in any sound or in any scene. The way that we did that was that we altered our guitar tones and everything else to really come up on something that is fresh and new. Someone was doing an interview with me right before you called, and he said the same thing: “This thing has so much fucking fire, and you can feel it.” I think when you have members that come in and want to be part of a project, that want to get on a midnight flight and play four hours later and they’re hungry, you can feel it. The only analogy I can give is that I know a hundred bands that tour together that hate each other. You can feel it. You can feel it backstage, you can feel it on the records, you can hear the record, and it may be touted as the best shit, and then I listen to the record, because I know the band, and I’m, like, “Huh, they hate each other!” It’s fucking obvious! And I don’t want to be in one of those bands, so when you get new cats and it’s been a very long time since we’ve had new members in this band, you get that new feeling.

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