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Devil In The Details: An Exclusive Interview With DEVILDRIVER

By Halo, Heavenly Contributor
Monday, September 26, 2016 @ 2:31 PM

“When the vibe is compromised , the music is compromised.” - Dez Fafara

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Band Photo By Dan Santoni

With DEVILDRIVER's 7th album release Trust No One this past May and the charting success it's had since release date, fans are noticing a difference in the band's attitude and overall presence while on stage. DD has some amazing fans of which I saw in full force at Rocklahoma. DEVILDRIVER had one of the biggest crowds, surpassing the numbers of some of the headliners. They should have been playing the main stage in my opinion. Epic performance. I was fortunate to be able to speak to Dez and a few of the guys for a few minutes after they finished their set. Can I just say that these guys are some of the “good “ ones in the music scene. They are in this crazy world of music for all the right reasons.

Several of the guys walked up to me with an entourage of security and staff and I was thinking 'oh shit this looks like it's gonna be a serious discussion', but then immediately Dez walks up looks at the KNAC sign on my table and says “I grew up listening to KNAC, it fuckin ruled LA. Hell yeah!” He then proceeded to give me a big hug and from then on it was like sitting and talking to really good friends.

KNAC.COM: Thanks for taking time out to talk to me. After doing the Trust No One album release I was excited to see you guys live and talk with you about the new release.

FAFARA: Thanks you for the badass review ! I did read it. Thank you for understanding our sound and “getting us”.

KNAC.COM: Thanks for the compliments, I could hear a different tone or feeling coming from this album than past albums. Something about the mood has changed. I personally felt this to be raw and full of real emotion. What has changed with you guys? There's a different dynamic going on and it’s a positive change happening.

FAFARA: YES! The Dynamic is completely different. New members and the vibe is the way it's supposed to be finally. With our new band members, Austin on drums, “Ashes” on bass and Neil Tiemann – guitar, we are fitting together and making the music we have wanted to make. When the vibe is compromised, the music is compromised. Mike Spreitzer was quoted saying “this is the record I’ve wanted to make for 12 years!” This is so true. We are in a good place right now.

KNAC.COM: This album was hard to put in a genre! For those that aren’t too familiar with Death Metal one may classify it as that but your sound is much more than that. In my review I said melodic, groove, southern rock, it truly was a mix of all genres. Dare I say I like country (laughing)? I do, I’m a Texas girl. I pay attention to sounds and what I think I hear in other's music even if it's not a country band or pop band for example. You just never know who or what influenced them during that album or the band's sound in general.

FAFARA: Give this girl a raise!!! Fuck yes!!! We don’t put ourselves in one genre. We have all types of influences. Thanks for recognizing this. Each of us in this band have many diverse influences. I like black metal all the way to Waylon Jennings.

TIEMANN: Hell, I was slammin to Dwight Yaokum on my day off!

KNAC.COM: Hi Neil! So I remember seeing you on stage a while back with American Idol David Cook.

TIEMANN: Wait!! Did I look good?? (smiling)

KNAC.COM: Of course, redheads always look young. (Neil smiling) So tell me how was going from playing that style of music to DEVILDRIVER? What's it like playing with this guy (Dez)?

TIEMANN: Dez is a metal God, so to be playing on stage with him is amazing. I’m having the time of my life. I never imagined myself playing with this band. It was just was fluke chance meeting.

KNAC.COM: OK so you guys tell me, I heard you two (Dez & Neil) met through your wives and good ol' Instagram?? Tell me if there is any truth to this? I think I read it was over them talking about dogs??

FAFARA: (laughing almost uncontrollably) Oh my God, yes! How did you know that? Yes, our wives were talking to each other on instagram about our Great Danes. My wife said she invited a couple over to our house that she met on Instagram. My response, “Are you fucking kidding?” anyways 2 hours later the wives are hanging out and Neil and I are listening to ‘Black Sabbath’ and drinking cognac. KNAC.COM: Ah the marvels of social media. (at this time drummer Austin D’Amond sits down) Hi Austin, thanks for sitting down with us for a few minutes. Tell me what it's been like for you getting to hang out and play with this group of guys?

D'AMOND: Oh it's been one of the most surreal experiences. My Dad was a huge COAL CHAMBER fan. We used to take long drives listening to CC. My Dad has passed away but it's almost a spiritual thing for me. Connects me and my dad to something. The universe was telling me something when I got the opportunity to play with Dez. I’m so stoked to about us as a band. This album sounds sick! It's only our first album with this group of guys(Dez, Neil, myself, Mike and Ashes) and I am excited to see what's next musically for us.

KNAC.COM: Musically and lyrically this album touches people with the raw, honest, in your face lyrics. What would you say the difference is with this album lyrically?

FAFARA: Lyrically this album leaves nothing to guess. For example, "Clouds Over California", you question the meaning of the lyrics possibly. But for instance, the title track "Trust No One", lyrics are “I've been destroyed by trust.” That leaves nothing to the imagination. We all as humans can identify.

KNAC.COM: This album is refreshing with the honesty and relatable thoughts and feelings it leaves with you.

FAFARA: I think the music should be a mirror to my life. As an artist it's incumbent upon you to help and pay attention to the world around you. This should be reflected in the music.

KNAC.COM: Napalm seems to really understand you as artists, tell me about working with them.

FAFARA: We love our label. They love us. They “get us”. They understand what we are about and fully support our vision. We are excited to say we just signed another 3 record deal with a 4th option. That’s pretty rare.

KNAC.COM: That’s awesome!! Congrats guys! Well now that you’ve spent more time with me than scheduled I guess I’ll let you guys go…

FAFARA: No worries, we had fun with you. You’re awesome. Thank you for knowing us and our music. Thanks for the badass photos, too. You fuckin rock girl! We look forward to more encounters with you and KNAC.COM.

KNAC.COM: Thanks guys.

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