COAL CHAMBER's DEZ FAFARA No Longer Drinks Alcohol But Still Loves His Cannabis

February 8, 2024

In a new interview with The Break Down With Nath & Johnny, COAL CHAMBER and DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara spoke about his decision to finally get sober nearly eight years ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Alcohol and all the partying and staying up, that never really affected me. What had happened with me is I had just realized that for X amount of years, I'm having a cocktail before stage, a couple afterwards, maybe one on the day off, and I would never get hammered, fall down, fight, none of that. But I woke up one morning in 2016 and my TM [tour manager] said, 'Hey, you were up late last night.' And I said, 'Yeah, I was, I was in the front lounge listening to music till 4:30 a.m.' 'Well, I came out there to go to the bathroom. You were out there by yourself, just hanging.' I said, 'I was. I enjoy music and late night and having a cocktail. And it's my special time.' And he was, like, 'Well, how long is that gonna go?' And I quit drinking that day, actually, in 2016. I walked off the tour bus that day. I got the date tattooed on my wrist and I've never looked back. A lot of my very close friends are sober, and we help keep each other that way. And a lot of them are in the industry."

He continued: "Don't get me wrong — I still love my cannabis, and I'm a very proactive. I mean, I own The High Outlaw, which out here is in multiple shops, 34 dispensaries. I actually own a distribution center out of Palm Springs for cannabis, one of the largest in California. So, that still plays a part of my life. After the day is done and everything is shut off and I know there's no business, that plays a part of my life. But I don't think alcohol should play a part in your life after a certain time.

"I had one of my mentors — a huge guy in business — actually say to me, 'Yeah, it just really doesn't look good after age 34,' the guy with the bottle of whiskey in his hand backstage," Dez added. "And I'm, like, 'No, it doesn't.' And I went a little longer than that. So we're good.

"I don't miss my love affair with that fucking beast whatsoever. I sleep better. My relationships are better. And like I said, it never really affected me in the way that it does a lot of people."

A few years ago, Fafara told the "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" podcast about his decision to stop drinking alcohol altogether after spending many years on the road and in an environment not exactly conducive to staying sober: "There were moments in my early days where I was the guy who had a half a bottle of whisky and a tab of acid riding on top of the tour bus in COAL CHAMBER. I was into the insanity of it. But I never had any bottom-of-the-barrel moments. There was never, 'God, I keep waking up hung over,' or, 'What did I say last night?' or any of that going down. It was just a situation where I think after the age of, like, 30, traces look bad on a dude. They just look bad on a guy… It was kind of a turning point where I said, 'Why am I having a cocktail before the show? Why am I having a cocktail after the show? What is this?' It became a thing. Two hours before the show, you start getting ready, you go in the back lounge, you have a cocktail with your bros, you listen to some music, you go do the show, afterwards, maybe you have a cocktail or two, then you go to bed. I was, like, 'I'm going to put this down.' And it came in a moment when I was very inspired by my wife, who is heavily influenced by medication, who is heavily influenced by just living well, living healthy, being happy, right? And, she says to me, 'Now this is the point in your life.'"

In a 2020 interview with High Times, Dez stated about how his appreciation of CBD and cannabis came about: "I've been a longtime proponent of marijuana as far as cannabis for medical use goes. For a long time, I had ADD, ADHD. I have social anxiety. I mean I definitely chose the wrong job. It's been like that my whole life, and cannabis has helped that a great deal. So when I use cannabis strains, I look for strains high in CBD and very low in THC cannabinoid profiles. It delivers a real kind of mellowing effect, but your clarity is really there. And it really takes care of your pain. What I've found is, if I smoke high-THC cannabis, I get really anxious in social situations. I go somewhere, and then I'm out of there. But if I smoke CBD strains, I can be on a Zoom call with, like, 1015 people, and I'm dominating the call."

COAL CHAMBER recently completed a U.S. tour as the support act for MUDVAYNE. Additional support on the 26-city "The Psychotherapy Sessions" trek, which was produced by Live Nation, came from GWAR, NONPOINT and BUTCHER BABIES.

COAL CHAMBER played its first two shows in eight years at the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas in May 2023 and at the Inkcarceration Music And Tattoo Festival in Mansfield, Ohio in July 2023.

COAL CHAMBER existed for ten years before disbanding in 2003 to pursue other musical projects. They reunited in 2011 for touring purposes but it wasn't until 2014 that the band began work on a new studio album of original material, 2015's "Rivals". Several months of touring activity followed before Dez returned to DEVILDRIVER to make a new record, 2016's "Trust No One".

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