DEVILDRIVER Frontman: 'Political Statements Are Far Out Of My Bounds'
February 4, 2017
On January 25, Harel Golstein of Metal Temple magazine conducted an interview with DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he finds touring boring after doing it for so long:
Dez: "No, not boring for me. You're either built for the road or not, and I love the road. I love being on the road, so the routine is actually the good part for me. The first week is always the hardest. Once we're in the routine, it's the best. You're on auto-pilot, the shows become even tighter, everything goes as planned. I'm excited for this [upcoming North American] run [with DEATH ANGEL, WINDS OF PLAGUE and THE AGONIST]. You get more used to the setlist that you're doing, the stages, the time you're going on at night, you get used to everything the more it goes on. I'd say about two or three days in, we get really, really fired."
On whether DEVILDRIVER would have played the inauguration of President Donald Trump if asked:
Dez: "Nope. [Laughs] Not out of disrespect for the office, or even for him as the president, because he is the president at this point. This is the first election since I was 18 years old that I did not vote. I just felt like as much as it is a right to vote, you also have the right not to vote. I couldn't get behind either one of the candidates. However, Trump's stance on bringing jobs back to America, etc., that works for me. His stance on Israel, actually, from what I'm familiar with and I'm not a political person, so keep that in mind, but I believe his stance on Israel is much better than [Barack] Obama's, correct? I'm the musician; I'm not political. Political statements are far out of my bounds. I don't have enough information on any of these topics to even bring to the table anything intelligent. [Laughs] Honestly, opinions with musicians when it comes to politics, they just get them in trouble so much. I strive to be a unifier in what I do. My opinion and I've been asked about it a lot, I didn't vote this year. I couldn't get behind either one of the candidates and we'll have to see what happens in the next coming years."
On the band's 2016 "Trust No One" album:
Dez: "Actually, we debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard Top 200. [Editor's note: 'Trust No One' debuted at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Current Albums chart; it debuted at No. 43 on The Billboard 200, which includes catalog titles, so both older and newer titles could chart alongside one another.] That is the highest debut and the most we've sold on a record. We've got a fanbase that stays with us because we have an evolution. If you listen to any of our music and listen to the different records, you'll get a signature sound, but we definitely move forward on every single record and have an evolution both in the styles of songs that we're doing and the things we're bringing to the table. That is really part and parcel and had a big deal to do with the debut [on the chart]. You got to understand we're debuting that high in America without any kind of active radio song. That's an incredible thing for heavy metal. We're real proud of it."
On whether DEVILDRIVER has started to write music for its next album:
Dez: "I write daily and so do the other guys. The record is not even a year old. I believe it's about eight months old. I said to Neil [Tiemann], my guitar player, 'Hey, when should we start thinking about looking at new songs?' He's like, 'Oh, man, I got ten written already.' If you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life. I love to write music and so do my guys."
On his thoughts on the current state of the American metal scene:
Dez: "I think it's totally fresh. I think there's a lot of bands out there doing heavy things, doing diverse things. There's bands who have been around for a while who are trying to mess with their sound a little bit. Even SUICIDE SILENCE, going out of the box for themselves and trying to move forward with their sound. I applaud it. There's a lot of really great metal out there right now. I'm inspired by the scene. I am a guy who has got my ear to the ground. Most of the time I hear bands way before they get record deals. This year, I've kept to myself, and listened to what I'm used to listening to. I didn't want any new influences on me because I'm writing. I'll do that a lot. I didn't hear the new LAMB OF GOD record, or the new HATEBREED record, or a ton of records that came out a year ago or two years ago because I was writing. I got to wait until I'm done recording and writing before I listen to new stuff because I don't want newer music to influence what I'm doing. I'm not even stealing. It will come unconsciously. If I go listen to those records and I like something in my head, it will come to me unconsciously. What's really cool is when I get done with a record, I often have five or six, seven metal records that have been released and I get to kick back on some Saturday and listen to a ton of music by my friends like LAMB OF GOD or HATEBREED. Then I call them and go, 'I just finished my record. I heard your stuff and it's badass!' Sometimes they'll be like, 'It's been out for six or seven months and it's the first time you've heard it?' And I go, 'Yeah, I have to keep myself in a bubble or it would affect me."
"Trust No One" was released in May 2016 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2013's "Winter Kills" was once again produced by Mark Lewis (ARSIS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER) with assistance from Jason Suecof (AUGUST BURNS RED, DEICIDE, DEATH ANGEL).