DevilDriver are one of the most recognized bands in the North American metal scene; touring worldwide, playing the biggest festivals and always gaining new fans. The group recently released their fifth studio album Beast, which has since taken the world by storm. Recently I got the chance to fire some questions off to vocalist Dez Fafara who gave us insight into the new record and his career with Roadrunner Records.
The new album Beast came out recently. Can you give me an insight into the name?
Dez: I needed a name that would be as visceral as the music. Beast fit perfect as well as my youngest son uses “Beast” for everything that is cool – (“That skateboard is Beast; That meal was Beast”) so it seemed appropriate.
How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Dez: Writing goes like this – everyone writes separate, then comes together and demos at Mike’s house. Once these demos are complete I go in with my guy and restructure/re-edit their tracks and lay vox – from there we pass back and forth till it’s what everyone wants (I have the final say in all matters).
Having written DD music since 2003, has it gotten easier over the years to create an album?
Dez: We started writing in 2002 – writing never is easy but what we do is try to make sure each record sounds different than the previous one.
Do you have any favourite songs off Beast?
Dez: “You Make Me Sick” and “Blur”.
You recently lost Jon Miller on the bass. Have you guys found a replacement who we can expect to see this summer?
Dez: We hope Miller gets off drugs and alcohol – that being said there is no permanent replacement, we have been using Aaron Patrick for now, he’s straightedge and brings a different vibe to the camp.
This summer you are playing both Heavy MTL and Heavy TO in July. How do playing big festivals differentiate to club shows?
Dez: Fests are different – you might play in daylight, you play with many other bands, I do love fests!
Is there any difference touring/performing in Canada compared to the rest of North America?
Dez: Shows are shows, but the Canadian Audience does love their metal so we will give em 100%!
Do you have any rituals before hitting the stage?
Dez:: A few rituals. [smiles]
Dez, you’ve released all your albums on Roadrunner Records it seems. How has it been working with them since 1997?
Dez: RR has been there for me through two bands and years of hard work, I have respect for the integrity of their work place and get furious when I hear other bands on the label slag RR… If your record isn’t doing good don’t blame the label, blame your crappy music. [laughs] Beast hit top 40 with no commercial radio, Top 10 in Australia – I’d say RR is doing their job and doing it well!
Other than your albums are there any highlight albums on Roadrunner Records which you love and think fans should check out?
Dez: The whole catalog minus some pop shit is worth checking out!
What’s next for DevilDriver?
Dez: We’ve been writing already – tour till late 2013 or until more wheels fly off the cart!
Be sure to check out DevilDriver when they play HeavyTO