Devildriver's Dez Fafara answers your questions

(Image credit: Ben Hoffman)

Dez Fafara doesn't mince his words and is more than happy to talk about, well, pretty much anything! But what do you want to know about the Devildriver frontman? We asked Metal Hammer readers to pitch questions to the man himself and we picked the some of the best to put to the Devildriver vocalist.

So, as Dez gets ready for his mainstage slot at Bloodstock this weekend, we get chatting about beer, weed, Coal Chamber, Freemasonry, nu metal and if pineapple belongs on pizza... Y'know, the important stuff!

Ryan Williams asks…
Outlaws Till The End just going be a one off or can we expect more?

“Well, last minute we stuck a ‘Volume 1’ on there. Our manager put it on there because she realised that probably a week before I turned in the record, I had 10 or 15 calls from some major, major artists. At first I wasn’t going to do a second volume, just to let you know. It took so long to get done. Money ran out, the logistics of getting this thing done, this is one of the most intense projects I’ve had to try to finish, but yes there will be a volume two. Don’t know when, but there will be.”

Chris Stewart asks…
Which releases do you think have made the biggest impact in the last three years?

“I fucking love Gojira. Power Trip are badass. And because I’ve got three sons and one of them is 20, and we’ve been listening to this stuff for years, like really heavy trap, like Scarlxrd or Ghostemane I fucking love that shit. I find heavy in all different forms and any band coming out doing their thing on their own terms, not trying to sell out that’s great.”

Carlos Da Hora asks…
What was it like to be an important character of the nu metal era. Do you consider yourself an evolution of nu metal or have you left it all behind?

“I’m very proud that I was part of a scene that will be talked about for fucking ages. I’m never looking in the rear-view mirror, but I’m very proud of everything I’ve ever done in my past for sure. We spawned a scene. Over here, nu metal is fucking huge right now. You’ve got bands like Cane Hill and I could go on and on, but they’re like hashtag nu metal. For some reason it became a dirty word, but it’s hilarious to me, some of the biggest bands on the planet right now are Korn, Disturbed, Deftones, Slipknot; they can run from the title all they want, but they’re nu metal, and they should live up to the standard of which they built, which was doing something fucking new and spectacular.”

Mark Watt asks…
When will we get a live album CD/DVD?

“Oh, Mark, it’s bucket list time. We definitely want to do to that, and I would think within the next year or two. It’s just finding the venue it should be maybe two shows, two different places with two different setlists. But I think rather grandiose, so we’ll see. But I’m fucking ready for Bloodstock right now. I’m going to fucking kill that stage, bro. We are bringing so much production that people are going to freak the fuck out. I’m excited, man.”

Trish Taylor asks…
Who inspires you the most musically and why?

“I would say from Johnny Cash to Peter Murphy to Iggy Pop to Danzig to Ozzy, to all my punk rock icons, all of my country heroes. I don’t know, man! Music inspires me, and what inspires me is people who have left a mark and have left a scar. So when I look at somebody’s discography like, let’s say Willie Nelson or Elvis, I’m like, how the fuck do you have 120 records? I only have 12 or something, right? And I’ve been in it for 25 fucking years. So I also look to the guys who have had long careers, like Ozzy, Danzig, Metallica. And those people are the people you should look to. They are authentic and that’s a big deal for me.”

Jaymes Halgat asks…
How many times have you shotgunned Budweisers?

“I’m sober almost two years now, but I really loved good cognac and red wine. So I’ve never shotgunned a Budweiser, but I’ve been to plenty of parties where people shotgunned Budweiser, so good for you, bro, have a good time.”

James Candlish asks…
How milky do you like your tea?

“I don’t drink milk because I’m vegan, but I like black coffee with nothing in it, I like green tea or my favourite is Darjeeling or English Breakfast tea. I like it real, authentic, hahah!”

Dustin Hall-Cooper asks…
What got you into being a vocalist?

“I started as a stand-up drummer in a psychobilly band when I was 14, 15. We were a lot like probably The Cramps meets The Germs. It was a crazy mix of punk rock and psychobilly, we were called The Screaming Wolves. I was tired of looking at the singer’s backside, so I was like, do I have a voice and I tried it out and I think the first time I really got into it was in a band called Piledriver. It was very Motörhead-influenced, I’m very influenced by deep, dark, guttural voices, so anything that is dark and deep. I started out way more guttural in the beginning, and then when I did Coal Chamber I backed off and tried to clean voices and weird voices and all the fucking psychotic shit in my head, and that was very experimental for me as a vocalist. I’ve gone back and listen to some of those records and thought wow, that was trip, why did I even try that? But I think when you’re younger you experiment a lot more, and that’s why I kind of stick to what I’m doing now, but I tend to change it up as well.”

Arvin Payton Jr. asks…
What was the song you most enjoyed recording on
Outlaws Till The End Vol. 1?

Outlaw Man by The Eagles. It’s my favourite song, and when I used to drink at three in the morning you’d hear me jamming it out the back of the bus. It’s why no one guests with me on it, it was like, this is my fucking song.”

James DePaolo asks…
When you listen to the first Coal Chamber CD nowadays, what is the first thing that enters your mind?

“I’m fucking proud that it was completely authentic. It was so real and so in the moment and so fucking from our hearts, we had no idea what the fuck we were doing. That makes me the most proud of all. We were just doing what we were doing, and we’re still on that train. I can’t learn how to skew anything. It’s been too long, I’ve been taught the opposite way, which is come real or fuck off.”

Matt Davis asks…
Does pineapple belong on pizza?

“Fuck yeah, absolutely it does, 100%. It’s fucking tasty.”

Brett Savageau asks…
What’s your favourite strain of cannabis to get you in the mood before a show?

“Any strain that’s backstage, haha! I personally like an OG indica, or a really good kush, and just saying this now, marijuana should be legalised around the world, it takes care of so many medical problems. It treats seizures, it’s treating Alzheimer’s, it’s treating so many things, it’s a cancer killer. I love marijuana, and I supported it back in the '90s, you could go to prison for it, and I did go to prison for marijuana, and so to see it happening now, becoming worldwide and people starting to recognise the benefits of it. Hey, look, let’s let the politicians recognise the money, because that will help them bring it in, and you’ll better everybody’s life, man. How many people kill each other driving drunk, or beat their wives when drunk? That doesn’t happen on weed.”

Trevor Curtis asks…
Are you still a Mason?

“Yes I am, once a Freemason always a Freemason. Once you give of yourself and do charity work for others you realise that reaching down your hand and lifting up the burdens of others and keeping yourself on the level and doing business in the proper manner where you’re trusted, that’s a very important thing to me and I wish more men would get involved in the Masonic tradition. It’s something that absolutely lifts you up, it’s brotherhood and it’s a fantastic way of giving back to your community. If you do charity work and you lift someone out of their burden, that should feel good for your heart. There’s not enough of that going around now. Even up until the mid-70s, Freemasonry was massive because everybody wanted to get involved, go to lodge and help their communities, and that’s really not happening. I’m sitting in lodge room and granted, I’m from a North Hollywood lodge, so there’s a lot of younger guys, but most of the cats are in their 70s. It’s a great thing for a man to belong to, and don’t believe the hype on all the bullshit that you hear. Yes, it’s a secret society, but it’s more a society of secrets, rather than a secret society.”

James Mulcahy asks…
Would DevilDriver ever consider covering some Coal Chamber hits?

"We are definitely going to play Coal Chamber songs, because that thing is not coming back. It’s either that, or like my manager said to me the other night, maybe you go out and you do Dez as Coal Chamber and you go give the people all that stuff. I just don’t know. Here is the thing: I waited 30 years for that band to get back together, I didn’t do any of those songs, so when Danzig left his band he did his songs, when Rob Zombie left White Zombie he did his songs, so all these guys have let their bands to go solo and they do their old band’s songs. I never did that, I wanted to hold that true and after we got back together, the record was successful, the tour was successful, but realising that the band couldn’t continue anymore for multiple reasons, it was better just to keep that down. But because it died, now do I wait another 10 or 12 years for the songs that make me who I am and when the people want to hear those songs? The minute they hear the intro to some of them they go insane, and I bring those songs to another level by taking them with musicians that are 10 times the power of those musicians and playing those tunes and embracing that? Yes, I feel that it is time to do that. But I have to be patient with that and do it in the right moment.”

Devildriver's latest album Outlaws 'Til The End: Vol. 1 is available now from Amazon and from HMV. Devildriver will play Bloodstock on August 10-12 – tickets are available now.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.