PODCAST: Episode #124: Dez Fafara on The New Devildriver Album and Family

We caught up with Dez Fafara of Devildriver to discuss his upcoming new album Dealing With Demons I, out on Napalm Records on October 2nd, 2020. We chatted with Dez on the state of the word, changes to the bands’ songwriting approach for this new record, considering different angles for lyrics and vocals, his long relationship with Napalm Records, plans for the next album after Dealing with Demons II – already being written, some musings on Coal Chamber, Dez’s many business successes – especially his new record label, and much more. You can order Dealing with Demons I here, and check out our chat! Continue reading

Devildriver – Trust No One

Devildriver – Trust No One ghostcultmag

There’s a scene in defunct medical comedy, Scrubs, where Lloyd the delivery guy gives JD (Zach Braff – whatever happened to him by the way?) a ride in his truck, asking him, “hey, by any chance do you like Speed Metal?” as he climbs in.

I did not” comes JD’s defeated narration, as ‘Devil’s Son’ by DevilDriver comes thundering from the delivery truck’s speakers. Since that moment, the merest mention of the band’s name has never failed to elicit a brief smile.

Over the years, the band have cultivated quite the name for themselves on the live circuit. Their shows are reliably jaw-dropping occasions (especially at festivals), as giant pits are created by hundreds of people running around in a big circle, seemingly at the behest of one huge, broken Sat Nav, either throwing up more unbreathable dust than a nuclear explosion, or churning up more foul-smelling mud than a weekend in the Somme.

Amusing comedy moments and fearsome live shows aside, their albums tend to be rather more hit and miss affairs. There are always a handful of quality tracks, but also a certain amount of repetition and mediocrity. New album ‘Trust No One’ (Napalm) happily bucks that trend, at least slightly, by being more consistent than a lot of their other records. While DevilDriver are likely to remain as one of those bands you either like or you don’t, there’s certainly more than usual to be enjoyed here.

Opener ‘Testimony of Truth’ sounds like the result of a night of fun with In Flames and Killswitch Engage. ‘Bad Deeds’ has a high energy attack complete with a great middle section, some lovely blastbeats, and a sound not too dissimilar to Slipknot, while ‘My Night Sky’ starts with an almost Iron Maiden-esque intro before turning into something much sludgier, with a monstrous groove and a killer chorus.

Go back to square one!” roars vocalist Dez Fafara on ‘This Deception’, and it sounds like he’s taking his own advice as this is straightforward and no-frills DevilDriver at its best. ‘Above It All’ is pretty good but also fairly throwaway, and just when you think the band might be slipping back into auto-pilot, up pops ‘Daybreak’ with it’s chunky riffs, mighty chorus, slightly off-kilter drums, and, well… everything really.

The robust title track is next and keeps up the momentum nicely. The Slipknot vibe returns for ‘Feeling Ungodly’, which although isn’t a bad song, isn’t a particularly great one either. This is followed by the equally unmemorable ‘Retribution’, and album closer ‘For What It’s Worth’ which after a subdued beginning, suddenly turns up the speed and cheerfully kicks your face off.

Two or three lacklustre songs aside, the only other downside on Trust No One is the artwork, a hopelessly executed and ham-fisted “wolf in sheep’s clothing” concept. However, dodgy album covers aside, and considering this is DevilDriver’s seventh album, it’s clear the band are not resting on their laurels here, delivering something that sounds fresh yet familiar, confident, and completely energized.

Somewhere out there, Lloyd the delivery driver is air-drumming and grinning maniacally once more, when in truth, he should really have both hands on the steering wheel.

7.0/10

GARY ALCOCK

[amazon asin=B01CFGCFKY&template=iframe image1]

Mikey Doling of Snot – Getting Some More

snot 2015 2

It has been over a decade since Southern California alt-punk-metallers Snot made noise within the heavy music world with their highly energetic punk driven alt metal sound and caught the LA scene by storm. Led by their charismatic frontman Lynn Strait, the world got their first taste of their music through their 1997 debut Get Some and they charged towards the world head on and made a name for them immediately.

Knotfest 2015 was the band’s first high profile show since several attempts at restarting the band in 2008 and again in 2014 since the tragic 1998 death of Strait in an auto accident. This time with new vocalist Carl Bensley, the band played their hearts out in front of their semi-hometown crowd and paying tribute to Strait, who was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1998.

Guitarist Mikey Doling shared his thoughts on their set. “Intense set. My guitar rig wasn’t working for a lot of the show. I played half the set. I figured I would play it out and then smash the guitar at the end and threw it away.

So did he enjoy Knotfest? “This reminds me exactly of what we were doing. This is Ozzfest. This is the same thing. It feels exactly the same. It’s really fun.

Snot-3

He also talked about their return and how much the band has changed since those days.

Back in the day we were so young. We were so reckless. We were playing music just to have a good time and party [with] girls and drugs. Nowadays we play because we really love playing music together. I love playing music with Jamie Miller and John [Fahnestock] aka Tumor. Mike Smith is great. Sometimes Sonny [Mayo] is around. You know what I mean? We’re all family. That’s what’s different is that we appreciate it so much.

Snot-2

Being away from the scene, the members of Snot spent time in other bands over the years to hone their craft and tour the globe. He also shared how different the band’s mentality was back then as well.

Snot back then? We were young music fans. We loved punk rock music. We loved funk. I loved heavy metal. We were fans and we all picked up initially and mushed it all together and made Snot. It turned out we were good at it. Good enough to have a career. It turned into a passion. That’s it. It still is that way. It’s 20 year now. We’re still just as aggressive about touring and playing music as ever.

Speaking of Mayo, he clarified his status in the fold, and where he stands within the band today.

He has a non-profit thing for sobriety style rehab. He’s real busy with that and he doesn’t really tour as much. Mike Smith did a lot of touring with us back in the day. He wants to tour so whoever’s available…let’s go.

Doling recalled the old days and leading up to the making of Get Some. Fans from that era were drawn to the record through songs such as “Snooze Button,” “Joyride” and “I Jus Lie.” While much of their songs gave listeners a taste of their chaotic lifestyle, he admitted that a lot of that reflected on the way they wrote their songs.

Shit dude it was so fun. When we were writing it in our rehearsal space, it was right next door to a strip club. We all lived in the same house together right up the street. We’d right music, take strippers back to our house, party with them, bang them and that leaked into our music, which turned into our record Get Some. You can listen to that record and literally hear it – strippers and rock n roll and drugs. That’s what it was like making that record. We were just wild! It was fun.

 

Was he surprised the record got done with all of the debauchery happening around them?

Not really because we were very serious about writing. I like the way the record came out,” said Doling.

The shows they are doing now pay tribute to their fallen singer. Doling talked about Strait and the kind of person he was, considering many people discovering the band now never had a chance to see him person live or even meet him in person.

I’m proud to say Lynn was my best friend. We were roommates. Lynn had a ton of charisma. If you ever watched Happy Days, he was the Fonz. That’s all I could say. I’ve never met anybody like him….James Dean you know. He was a cool motherfucker – that’s all I could say. I’ve never saw him get turned down by one girl. He was like ‘I’m gonna pick up that chick…’ and he did.

As an artist, he was always writing. He always had his book with him and his pen. He’s a unique, badass rockstar.

In 2000, a record called Strait Up was released, based on incomplete songs originally aimed to become their never completed second album. What was released were songs with guest vocals by a number of their peers from the scene at the time, including Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber and Devildriver.

Snot_Strait_Up

While the record was well received at the time, Doling had different feelings about the release since then and was never in favor of including those tunes in the current set list.

Not really. I produced that record and honestly, if I could do it again I wouldn’t do it. At the time I thought I was doing something cool for Lynn. It turned into some bullshit record company thing. I don’t know. I think it lost its focus. Yeah it was about Lynn and it’s cool but I don’t think it was a necessity. I think we vented on that and…I don’t know…I wouldn’t do it again if I had a chance. With all due respect to Lynn, of course, but it turned into something I didn’t want it to be,” he said.

snot lynn strait and dobbs

In terms of a much spoken about new Snot album, Doling admitted to writing new songs towards their upcoming second album. While material was written back in 2008 with then-vocalist Tommy Vext, he said those songs would not be included because they are not where the band stands today.

We didn’t really attempt to write a record with Tommy. We just wanted to record a couple of songs. Those songs don’t count. We weren’t happy with those songs. I’m still not happy with those songs. Tommy did a great job but as the band Snot, I think we lost our identity at that point. I think we know where we’re at now.

I don’t think we didn’t know what we’re doing. Now I know. The record we’re going to write – it’s going to be funky, it’s going to be punk rock. I think we lost that edge when we tried to record before. We kind of got sucked into the whole, almost metalcore thing. I don’t know why we’re doing it [or] what was influencing us. We lost the recipe for what Snot does and we took a hard look at ourselves and know what we need to do now to sound like Snot.

Aside from Snot, the various members of Snot had kept busy with various projects and Doling had kept himself busy also playing guitar with Belgian metallers Channel Zero and producing other bands.

Producing records is going well. I just did a record with a band called Sunflower Dead. It’s getting really strong reviews. It’s getting a lot of radio play. I did the new Hemlock record. I’m getting ready to do a band from Japan called Gunship 666. I’m busy with that. That is fun. I love being in the studio.

By Rei Nishimoto

INTERVIEW: The Future Is Here: Dino Cazares of Fear Factory

Fearfactory

The fascination behind science fiction and all of the connections with the world around them has been something that attracted the interests of the members of Fear Factory. For over two decades, the Los Angeles based industrial metallers have created some groundbreaking music fusing aggressive guitar riffing with aggressive and melodic vocals switching off. Continue reading

On The Road… with Coal Chamber And Fear Factory

coalchamberfearfactorytour2015

One of the more interesting bills this summer of tours in the US is the co-headline tour from Coal Chamber and Fear Factory. Both names recall a simpler time when pants were baggy, fishnet sleeves were cool on guys, and even venerable old groups were “getting jiggy wit it” to Nu-Metal. Coal Chamber of course started around the same time as Korn and Deftones in California, to spur the “Nu” tide and bring their gothy spin to the Ozzfest crowd (Sharon Osborne managed them for a spell too). Fear Factory of course is the pioneering industrial metal band who paved the way for many and also mixed in the style du-jour with their own back then. So it’s not that big a shock that in 2015 with one band already touring behind a comeback album (Rivals by CC dropped in the spring from Napalm) and another about to launch a new album, these bands would team-up like Marvel. Coal Chamber always puts on a fun show live and played a mix of hits and newer tracks. Led by fireplug Dez Fafara, they gave the fans what they wanted: nostalgia. Fear Factory, on the cusp of releasing Genexus (Nuclear Blast) this summer, kept it tight on old jams and one new one, ‘Soul Hacker’. Joining them for a few early dates was Devil You Know, who are working on a new album too. Rockers like Saint Ridley and Madlife (not pictured) are setting the table for this tour too, so get to the club early. Shot here on the first night of the tour at the Rialto Theater, in Tuscon AZ, Melina Dellamarggio of Melina D Photography brings you all the action you missed as if you were there.

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

 

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

Coal Chamber, by Melina D Photography

Fear Factory, by Melina D Photography

Fear Factory, by Melina D Photography

Fear Factory, by Melina D Photography

Fear Factory, by Melina D Photography

Devil You Know, by Melina D. Photography

Devil You Know, by Melina D. Photography

Saint Ridley, by Melina D Photography

Saint Ridley, by Melina D Photography

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GWAR B-Q VIP Passes Nearly Sold Out, Phil Anselmo Signing Added

VIP GWAR bq

With under two months to go, GWAR’s GWAR B-Q has announced they are nearly sold out of VIP passes for the event. In addition to the previously announced VIP Meat & Great with bands like Clutch, Cro-Mags, Ghoul, Goatwhore and more; there will be an exclusive celebrity signing with Phil Anselmo only for VIPs.

Many other perks and all the fest info can be found at the Ultimate Bohab Guide To GWAR B-Q, and the FAQ page for the fest: https://gwarbq.com/faq.

Phil Anselmo with Down, photo by Echoes In The Well

Phil Anselmo with Down, photo by Echoes In The Well

GWAR B-Q ticket standard

 

Premium/VIP Ticket benefits include:

An exclusive VIP Laminate (mailed in advance)

Entry to B4BQ pre-party show at the National

VIP seating at the B4BQ

VIP Meet n Greet with B4BQ bands

VIP drink specials at the B4BQ

All day entry to GWAR B-Q at Hadads Lake

Official GWAR B-Q event t-shirt

GWAR B-Q swag bag stuffed with FREE shit!

FREE beverage ticket/token for the GWAR B-Q

Access to VIP Pavilion at the GWAR B-Q

Access to VIP Restrooms at the GWAR B-Q

Access to Express Lanes including – Main Gate Entry, Merchandise Booth, and Beverage Ticket Kiosks at the GWAR B-Q

Exclusive Celebrity Signings – GBQ Bands TBA

Not to mention the pinnacle of any Bohab’s miserable existence; a Meat-n-Meet signing with GWAR, and a chance to win the ultimate prize; a once in a lifetime opportunity to be killed on stage by the mighty GWAR!

Get your VIP tickets here: http://gwarbq.com/buy-tickets

GWAR -BQ Adds Clutch As Co-Headliner, Pre-Party, VIP, Show Details

Clutch, by Evil Robb Photography

Clutch, by Evil Robb Photography

Maryland rock royalty Clutch have been added as the co-headliner of the 6th Annual GWAR BQ. In addition the B4BQ event pre-party show now features the entire lineup of the Summer Slaughter Tour, as well as Coal Chamber and Fear Factory.

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The B4BQ has come into its own as an event the last few years, after getting its start as an informal gathering. The show will be held at The National (708 E Broad St, Richmond, VA) on Friday, August 14th. Doors are at 2:00 PM and features Coal Chamber, Fear Factory, Arch Enemy, Born Of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation, and Beyond Creation.

 

Tickets to the B4BQ go on sale TODAY! June 3rd at 2:00pm EST Buy yours here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/01004EC398BD3071

 

VIP Ticket Options and Package Details Are also now available

VIP GWAR bq

Premium/VIP Ticket benefits include:

An exclusive VIP Laminate (mailed in advance)

Entry to B4BQ pre-party show at the National

VIP seating at the B4BQ

VIP Meet n Greet with B4BQ bands

VIP drink specials at the B4BQ

All day entry to GWAR B-Q at Hadads Lake

Official GWAR B-Q event t-shirt

GWAR B-Q swag bag stuffed with FREE shit!

FREE beverage ticket/token for the GWAR B-Q

Access to VIP Pavilion at the GWAR B-Q

Access to VIP Restrooms at the GWAR B-Q

Access to Express Lanes including – Main Gate Entry, Merchandise Booth, and Beverage Ticket Kiosks at the GWAR B-Q

Exclusive Celebrity Signings – GBQ Bands TBA

Not to mention the pinnacle of any Bohab’s miserable existence; a Meat-n-Meet signing with GWAR, and a chance to win the ultimate prize; a once in a lifetime opportunity to be killed on stage by the mighty GWAR!

Get your VIP tickets here: http://gwarbq.com/buy-tickets

Coal Chamber and Fear Factory Confirm Upcoming North American Tour

 

coal chamber fear factory jasta devil you know saint ridley madlife tour

Fear Factory and Coal Chamber will be hitting the road together on an upcoming North American tour with Saint Ridley and Madlife. Jasta and Devil You Know will on select dates.

Jul 24: Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ (with Devil You Know)
Jul 25: Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM (with Devil You Know)
Jul 26: Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX (with Devil You Know)
Jul 28: Alamo City Music Hall – San Antonio, TX (with Jasta)
Jul 29: Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX (with Jasta)
Jul 30: Granada – Lawrence, KS (Jasta)
Jul 31: Pop’s – Sauget, IL (with Jasta)
Aug 01: Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH (with Jasta)
Aug 02: Track 29 – Chattanooga, TN (with Jasta)
Aug 03: The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC (with Jasta)
Aug 04: Music Farm – Columbia, SC (with Jasta)
Aug 06: Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL (with Jasta)
Aug 08: Water Street Music Hall – Rochester, NY (with Jasta)
Aug 10: London Music Hall – London, ON (with Jasta)
Aug 11: Irving Plaza – New York, NY (with Jasta)
Aug 12: The Chance – Poughkeepsie, NY (with Jasta)
Aug 15: Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA (with Devil You Know)
Aug 16: Agora – Cleveland, OH (with Devil You Know)
Aug 18: Bourbon Theatre – Lincoln, NE (with Devil You Know)
Aug 19: The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO (with Devil You Know)
Aug 20: The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT (with Devil You Know)
Aug 21: Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV (with Devil You Know)
Aug 22: The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA (with Devil You Know)

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Fear Factory on Twitter
Fear Factory on YouTube

Coal Chamber – Rivals

coal chamber rivals album cover

Thirteen years is a long time. And lots of things have happened in the time frame since Coal Chamber’s last album, 2002s Dark Days. Let’s see what’s different. Physical copies of albums don’t sell all that well. Boy bands gave way to something even more horrifying in Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Rock Band and Guitar Hero were an odd fad. EDM unfortunately exploded onto the mainstream.

Oh and Nu-Metal was swapped out as the popular sub-genre by Metalcore and/or the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Even Coal Chamber’s frontman Dez Fafara switched scenes and released six consistently solid albums with Devildriver.

So the question becomes what can Coal Chamber, Nu-Metal pioneers that suffered a fiery first death, offer this brave new world of extreme metal? In new album Rivals (Napalm Records) just maybe their strongest and most focused release ever.

Lead single ‘I.O.U. Nothing’ sets an aggressive and confident tone that permeates the following 38 minutes. And confidence is the right word here as Coal Chamber sound like a new band as opposed to one trying recapture its former glory. It’s all mid-tempo crunch from there on out with über-producer Mark Lewis providing a clean, but menacing mix. It’s public knowledge that their 2003 onstage demise was dramatic and highly amplified by substance abuse, but time does really seem to heal all wounds here. Dez and Co. have taken years of successful and momentum gaining reunion tours and channeled it on Rivals. For the faithful, ‘Suffer in Silence’ and ‘The Bridges you Burn’ are straight Nu-Metal rippers from when the genre had teeth instead of gimmicks. But there is musical progression as well, ‘Another Nail in the Coffin’ and the title track are more in sync with Devildriver’s punishing groove than channeling the 90s.

Not every blow connects, ‘Light in the Shadows’ and ‘Empty Handed’ feel more like afterthoughts or songs that couldn’t quite crack it on Dark Days. But the important take away in Rivals is the energy and level of commitment. Especially from a band that didn’t need to release a new record and continue touring. Drummer Mikey ‘Bug’ Cox and guitarist Miguel Rascon had been toying in other musical ventures for years and we all know what Fafara has been up to. They didn’t need to, but the great news is that they wanted to.

coal chamber band 2015

Rivals is a solid recording even if you didn’t take Coal Chamber or the sub-genre they had been associated with seriously. And in defense of Nu-Metal, for how many kids (myself included) was that a gateway drug to other bands? Maybe I wouldn’t have eventually learned of Relapse Records if I didn’t start with Korn and Mushroomhead first. Maybe there’s a great column waiting to be written on the importance of Nu-Metal, but that’s for another time.

So if not for the strong music, respect Rivals and Coal Chamber for being available to a new generation of young and hungry metalheads.

8/10

HANSEL LOPEZ