California metallers DEVILDRIVER are working on an album of outlaw country covers, to be released later in the year. According to singer Dez Fafara, the effort will include thirteen "insanely heavy, swinging badass outlaw tracks by some of the best outlaw country artists," including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Johnny Paycheck and Steve Earle. Produced by Steve Evetts, the album will include appearances by "fifteen high-caliber guests," among them LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton.
Said Fafara: "So just to be fucking clear, it's never been done; we are the first! We have been working on this for a year! Get ready — you've never heard anything like this!"
DEVILDRIVER guitarist Neal Tiemann told Guitar World about the band's approach on the covers album: "I think the point is to keep the memorable melodies and lyrics intact while providing and alternate and heavier music bed. It's easy to get carried away in one of our own riffs, so we've been sure to keep refocusing on the essence of the original material."
The project started out in early 2016 when Fafara was thinking about remaking punk classics. "I loved the idea of focusing on a single genre, but I felt that country was a better way to go, because the songs would give us more ideas to work with," explained DEVILDRIVER guitarist Mike Spreitzer.
Added Tiemann: "While the theme is centered in outlaw country, we're adding some numbers that go against the grain, rather than fit inside those genre barriers."
DEVILDRIVER's latest album, "Trust No One", was released in May 2016 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2013's "Winter Kills" was once again produced by Mark Lewis (ARSIS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER) with assistance from Jason Suecof (AUGUST BURNS RED, DEICIDE, DEATH ANGEL).