Is DEVILDRIVER's 'Outlaws 'Til The End' A Country Album?
May 3, 2018
DEVILDRIVER's long-awaited full-length album of outlaw country-gone-metal anthems, "Outlaws 'Til The End", will be released on July 6 via Napalm Records. The disc is described in a press release as "both a startling curveball and a ferocious statement of individuality from a band who have been a constant and effective force in the heavy metal world for the best part of two decades now."
DEVILDRIVER has revealed the second video in a series of new interview commentary videos supporting the release of "Outlaws 'Til The End". The second segment, titled "Is This a Country Album?", features members of DEVILDRIVER as well as album guests John Carter Cash, Randy Blythe of LAMB OF GOD, Lee Ving of FEAR, Hank3, Wednesday 13, and Burton C. Bell of FEAR FACTORY discussing what the record is and isn't, and how they feel country and metal fans will receive the album.
In the video, guitarist Neal Tiemann sums it up: "It's not a country record... it's pure DEVILDRIVER metal. It's got some light moments in it, but it's also go some of the heaviest points of DEVILDRIVER's career [on it], I think." He adds, "I've always thought the lap steel could be a cool element to add to a metal record."
DEVILDRIVER's haunting rendition of Hank3's "Country Heroes", featuring Hank3 himself on vocals, can be streamed below. The track kicks in with an ominous classic outlaw/country western intro, instantly careening into a heavy assault accented by Hank3's Ozzy Osbourne-influenced vocal approach. Quickly veering towards full heavy metal with a grooving double bass foundation, the track travels into heavy-hitting signature DEVILDRIVER territory, wrapping up with a hair-raising, whiskey-soaked solo by guitarist Neal Tiemann.
"This record would not have meant as much to me without having Hank3 on board," says DEVILDRIVER vocalist Dez Fafara. "He is one of the most authentic and real outlaw country artists out there right now. I chose to record 'Country Heroes' because the lyrics are extremely well-written, and using the names of all the outlaws within the song really does the song justice. 'I'm drinking some George Jones and little bit a Coe...' etc., that is genius writing from Hank3 and should be recognized as such.
"I've heard this song as 'heavy' in my head for a very long time, so to re-track it and have Hank3 appear only to sing almost Ozzy-ish is just an over-the-top treat to the ears! Enjoy," adds Dez.
"Outlaws 'Til The End" was produced, mixed and recorded with Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, SEPULTURA, THE CURE),with DEVILDRIVER guitarist Mike Sprietzer also lending recording talents. The album was mastered by renowned engineer Alan Douches.
Completing this unprecedented project is a host of metal and country luminaries providing unforgettable cameos: horror metal icon Wednesday 13 lends his incensed rasp to George Jones's "If Drinking Don't Kill Me", 36 CRAZYFISTS frontman Brock Lindow brings fire and soul to Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road", and FEAR FACTORY's Burton C. Bell helps to turn Richard Thompson's anti-war classic "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" into a brooding gothic metal extravaganza. Meanwhile, LAMB OF GOD members Randy Blythe and Mark Morton contribute to an exhilarating decimation of Willie Nelson's "Whiskey River" before Randy makes a second appearance on DEVILDRIVER's version of cowboy standard "Ghost Riders In The Sky"; the latter featuring the son of Johnny Cash himself.
"I knew right away that I wanted to have guests on this record, and the first guest I wanted was John Carter Cash," Fafara recalls. "I didn't want this thing to exist without John, without Hank 3 or without Randy. Basically, there were a certain amount of guests that I definitely wanted on it, but as I kept asking people, everyone kept saying yes!
"Randy and Mark are both from the country and they were immediately on board. With John, we wound up talking for two hours when we first met, all about his love of heavy metal and my love of outlaw country and my love of his dad's music. All he wanted to do was talk about metal and all I wanted to do was talk about outlaw country. It was the craziest thing."
Not only just content with a collaboration with John Carter Cash, the album also features the iconic voice of FEAR, U.S. punk rock legend Lee Ving. "Lee has a country band called RANGE WAR and when he first started in music, his mother gave him her mandolin to play, so he played country music before he ever did punk rock," Fafara notes. "I've been fortunate enough in my career to do songs with Ozzy [Osbourne] and some of the greats, but doing a song with Lee Ving? What can I say… he's my ultimate hero in life. I had a FEAR shirt on the first time I ran away from home, you know?"
"Outlaws 'Til The End" track listing:
01. "Country Heroes" Written by Hank Williams III Performed by Hank3 & Dez Fafara
02. "Whiskey River" Written by Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud; recorded by Willie Nelson Performed by Randy Blythe, Mark Morton of LAMB OF GOD & Dez Fafara
03. "Outlaw Man" Written by David Blue; recorded by the Eagles Performed by Dez Fafara & Neal Tiemann of DEVILDRIVER
04. "Ghost Riders In The Sky" Written by Stan Jones Performed by John Carter Cash, Ana Cristina Cash, Randy Blythe & Dez Fafara
05. "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)" Written by Bobby Bobby Borchers, Wayne Kemp, Mack Vickery; recorded by Johnny Paycheck Performed by Dez Fafara & DEVILDRIVER
06. "If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" Written by Harlan Sanders, Rick Beresford; recorded by George Jones Performed by Wednesday 13 & Dez Fafara
07. "The Man Comes Around" Written by Johnny Cash Performed by Lee Ving of FEAR & Dez Fafara
08. "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere" Written by Dwight Yoakam Performed by Dez Fafara & Neal Tiemann of DEVILDRIVER
09. "Copperhead Road" Written by Steve Earle Performed by Brock Lindow of 36 CRAZYFISTS & Dez Fafara
10. "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" Written by Richard Thompson Performed by Burton C. Bell of FEAR FACTORY & Dez Fafara
11. "A Country Boy Can Survive" Written by Hank Williams Jr. Performed by Dez Fafara & DEVILDRIVER
12. "The Ride" Written by J.B. Detterline Jr., Gary Gentry; recorded by David Allan Coe Performed by Lee Ving of Fear & Dez Fafara
Dez Fafara - Vocals Mike Spreitzer - Guitar Neal Tiemann - Guitar Diego Ibarra - Bass Austin D'Amond - Drums