In The Studio: Coal Chamber

They say “never say never” and if ever there was an occasion that such a phrase is worth repeating, it’s with the news that Coal Chamber are to return in 2015 with a new album entitled Rivals. When the nu metal titans split, they had fallen out with one another to the point of exhaustion and frontman Dez Fafara found himself in career no man’s land. Having cemented a new legacy for himself over the last decade with Devildriver, he has restored any credibility that the last days of his former band may have jeopardised.

Despite that, Coal Chamber playing a bunch of reunion shows made sense: they never did a farewell run and everyone’s got bills to pay, but it’s the news of a new album – something vehemently denied throughout those reunion dates – that’s really set the cat among the pigeons. Recorded at Audiohammer Studio in Florida with producer Mark Lewis, Rivals will be an album that virtually everyone will have an opinion about./o:p

“I had no intention of doing a Coal Chamber record and it was never spoken about,” explains a clearly stoked Dez. “We were on Soundwave and Meegs [CC guitarist] was playing me these songs and I thought they were incredible. I asked them what they were for, he didn’t know yet and that was the nucleus of making a new Coal Chamber album. I didn’t want to be part of anything nostalgic but these songs didn’t feel nostalgic. It all happened organically. We took this very seriously and locked ourselves away for months. I was writing two or three different vocal ideas for each song to make sure it was the best it could be. I think it’s OK to say that we are all proud of this record.”

Something that feels very apparent is that Dez knows that it’s a risk to go back to doing Coal Chamber. For every person going Loco, there’s a million waiting out there with a Spookycore jibe.

“Once the music started coming, nothing else mattered because I knew we were doing something good,” says Dez with a shrug. “It’s heavy and the songwriting is more mature, without alienating anyone who likes the band.”

As if you needed any more reasons to be curious about this record, an added bonus is that it features a guest appearance by Ministry frontman and industrial metal überlord Al Jourgensen.

“Al heard the songs and wanted to be on them… and I’m not going to stop him!” laughs Dez. “He sings at the beginning of a song called Suffer In Silence and it just sounds so awesome having his sound on one of our songs. I really can’t wait for people to hear the whole thing. We’re all excited about it!”