DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: "The Earth Knows How to Purge Itself of Brush and People"

Those wildfires, man. They are getting more and more out of control every year.

We lived in Santa Barbara at the time and we lived on a mountainside with eucalyptus trees and those things explode like bombs! When we got the call to evacuate; well my wife got the call to leave and I was actually on tour. So I get this call and from the back of the tour bus I'm arranging hotels for my wife and kids and dogs, but we've been in the same place now for three years and it feels great. That being said I live up in the mountains here in California, so "fires" is like an evil word completely.

Have you ever seen that show on Showtime called Years of Living Dangerously?

No I have not.

It's a documentary that mostly focuses on climate change, but there was just this one whole episode focused on the fires in California and Arizona over the past 10 years or so, and with Arnold Schwarzenegger saying that there is no longer a fire season; it's just year-round.

Right, right; no I haven't seen it. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do is usually to watch documentaries with my wife. What people need to know to is that nature cleans itself out. So when it's time for a mountain to go up in flames, when it's not started by humans, it's time for it to clean itself out. We've had several mountains around us that have caught on fire in the past couple years and we were just driving by one yesterday and it was just so green. An intense green. So you know; the Earth knows how to purge itself of brush and people.

So are you guys doing any writing right while touring and promoting Winter Kills?

We are writing. Pretty prolific, this band is; and pretty efficient. We like to get an album out every two or two and a half years usually. But we have been writing and we have about seven songs right now; and lyrics to one. But I do have books of lyrics -- I write daily. There was an interesting email that was sent out to me from my manager. ... This guy speaks about the industry and a lot of people listen to him. You know he's been in it forever working in record companies. And he just said, listen. Things are changing. If you think you can put out a record every three to four years and survive, it's not going to happen any more. It's not possible. You know, when I was younger it was a record a year, so I don't personally like to wait more than two years. It's like -- and I don't want to dumb it down like this -- but it's retarded! You know, we're musicians, we should write and record. I'd like to put the guys in the studio this fall at least to get the music done and I'll sing on it next year and hopefully have a release in late 2015, early 2016 -- that would get our next record two years and four months from our last one. I don't want to miss that deadline and I don't think our fans want us to either!

That's a very true perspective from your manager.

Yeah man, you know, it's about getting content out there. If I had it my way we would put out a new record every year, but there's just no way with DevildDriver's touring schedule. We play more shows a year than any band out there right now. Unless you have a residency in Vegas, we play more shows. With that type of a grind, trying to get music out and have it be correct and good.

What's going on with your other band Coal Chamber?

You know, a lot of people have been asking me lately. The world tour we did was an absolute success right across the board, which was a humbling thing, man. I mean, you realize you've been gone for 12 years and then you play in front of 60,000 people and everyone's singing the songs ... it's just ... it's hard to even answer that question. It was eye-opening. There are things going on; we've been asked to do some festivals and some yours. But we'll just see what happens with DevilDriver's touring schedule, as well. I don't want the two to become convoluted. I want to make sure I'm taking the right time with both as well. But we have been hit up to do a record by every label on the planet at this point. I think lately, in the past month, we've been really entertaining the fact of doing a new Coal Chamber record. I think it would be really fun and a lot of people would want to do it. I have a crystal ball but I don't use it for those things. Laughter.

Are there any newer bands on the metal scene that really stand out to you?

I think the band's were taking out on tour are excellent. Look at Whitechapel, you know? They've got a top 10 record. They are about as heavy as heavy can be! For somebody that's like new to music, you know, if they put them up against someone like Slayer -- this band is hea-vy. And the guys are great. I also think Revocation is a great band. And Carnifex is great. I'm interested in the new Suicide Silence. I can't wait for that to come out. It's going to be fabulous. My thing is I have my ear to the ground and I not only listen to local demos that I get when I'm on tour, I also listen to all kinds of music across the board. I may wake up listening to blues and go to bed listening to black metal. But there's a lot of bands doing cool things out there.

DevilDriver is scheduled to play the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Monday, May 19.

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