DEVILDRIVER Frontman On Outlaw Country Covers Album: 'It's Unprecedented What We're Doing'

July 15, 2017

United Rock Nations conducted an interview with DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara after the band's June 10 performance at the French edition of the Download festival in Paris. You can watch the full interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On how he feels about 2016's "Trust No One" album a year after its release:

Dez: "It's our seventh record and normally by that time, bands are declining and it was our highest [Billboard chart] debut yet and our most critically acclaimed record. So, there's something happening. The vibe in the band is incredible. The writing partners are all vibing and together. The band is having a great time, which is very important. There's not inward struggle, so it's fantastic."

On how he defines "success":

Dez: "You have to vibe with the band. I think when a band gets along and has a good time when writing a record, you can feel it and people are feeling that. The writers I have now, have all come together and have just come up with something great."

On new bass player Diego "Ashes" Ibarra (ex-STATIC-X):

Dez: "We've never had a permanent member since our original bass player left. We've had so many bass players. Diego is permanent. He's a fantastic guy to tour with; he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met."

On the band's forthcoming outlaw country covers album, "Outlaws Till The End", which is tentatively due in early 2018:

Dez: "It's something very special with twenty, twenty-five guests. It's unprecedented what we're doing. That's all I can say because I've been completely silenced by the label, so I have to have respect. They're not original DEVILDRIVER songs, so what I have told the press, I can tell you: they're outlaw country cover songs, but done heavy, real heavy. So let me give you an example: [a version of Johnny Cash's] 'Ghost Riders In The Sky', sang at the Cash Cabin [in Hendersonville, Tennessee], with John Carter Cash, his son, his wife Ana Cash, Randy [Blythe] from LAMB OF GOD and me. Every song is stacked with people and it's coming out phenomenal. It's something that people need to know, is when you're in America, you go on a tour bus, you'll hear BLACK FLAG, BLACK SABBATH, right into Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson. There's an outlaw country thing there that metal guys respect that and the outlaw country guys respect what we do. They go hand-in-hand in America. There's definitely a lot of huge metalheads who listen to country."

On the reason behind recording an outlaw country covers album:

Dez: "'Trust No One' is only a year old. We're going to take our time writing the next record. I didn't want people to wait three and a half years to get a new record, so let's give them something cool in the meantime. I thought [the album would have] maybe one or two guests; it's turning into a complete monster. The people who are on it, it's incredible. Randy from LAMB OF GOD, Lee Ving from FEAR, who's my idol. Legends from the outlaw country world as well, like a lot of people have come to the table with this."

"Outlaws Till The End" will contain thirteen "insanely heavy, swinging badass outlaw tracks by some of the best outlaw country artists," including Nelson, Cash, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Paycheck, according to Fafara. Produced by Steve Evetts, the album will feature appearances by nearly two dozen "high-caliber guests," among them Blythe, Ving, Glenn Danzig, TESTAMENT's Chuck Billy and guitarists John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE) and Mark Morton (LAMB OF GOD).

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