On February 10, Kaaos TV conducted an interview with vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER prior to the band's concert at Pakkahuone in Tampere, Finland. You can now watch the chat below.
On the split with longtime label Roadrunner Records and decision to sign with Napalm Records:
Dez: "I think it was a mutual understanding. A lot of bands have either left or got off that label. The label's not the same anymore at all. All the key people that signed me back in the day are gone. Napalm Records has done more so far for the setup of this next record than I think Roadrunner in the United States has done in four records. It was a different story with us in Europe, 'cause we had a girl named Michelle Kerr, who worked for us doing press for Roadrunner and so we had a very good presence. But I'm more than pleased right now, man, with what Napalm's doing. We're seeing so much. They're really into the music, they're really into the band, their marketing plan, their everything is right up there. In almost 20 years on Roadrunner, I've never e-mailed with the owner, but with the owner of Napalm, I'm e-mailing back and forth, and he's a metalhead. And I'm saying, 'Wait until you hear this new record.' And he's saying, 'I can't wait to get it in my hands.' That makes you feel good as an artist — to have a label behind you. I'm really excited for this record."
On why they chose to sign with Napalm:
Dez: "You feel the vibe. Max is the owner. He came out, we met him. He sat down and it was just obvious to me that he was into the band and that he was really gonna help us do the next-level thing. So we took a chance and I think it's gonna be a wonderful partnership."
On the progress of the recording sessions for the new DEVILDRIVER album:
Dez: "We're totally done. There are some things I'm gonna do. Now that we're listening to the record over here. I get home from Europe, and after two days, my producer flies in to my house; I have a studio at my house. There's a few other things I want to do vocally, just to make it the best I can, and then we're done. He's already mixing now, and we're listening to the roughs on the bus and making notes. So I love this process; that's my favorite process — listening to the mixes and doing the artwork. I do all of that. So I'm working on all the packaging. Napalm is giving us 16 pages in the booklet, so if you do buy the CD, you get something really extra. We've done a bunch of killer B-sides as well that, for me, are A-sides; I can't choose right now. We don't have any B-sides. It's the first record that the two songs that you think are gonna be… You know, you need two B-sides.. We can't tell what it's gonna be. So that's a really good thing, 'cause usually they stick right out. But I'm real proud of it. I think the guys did an amazing job. I'm really proud, especially of Michael Spreitzer on guitar, I'm really proud of him on this record. John Boecklin really came to the table. It was a united front. It was nice."
On the musical direction of the new DEVILDRIVER material:
Dez: "It's really heavy groove. Really heavy riffs. It's nothing like our last record, [2011's] 'Beast'. It's more along the lines of [2005's] 'The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand' or [2007's] 'The Last Kind Words'. I think we understand what we do and this time around we talked about what we do, what we do best and what we should do. And then when the songs started to come to me, I started calling those guys [and saying], 'Oh my God, this song is amazing.' The next one, 'This song is amazing.' I was really pleased, man. People will love it. If you're a fan of DEVILDRIVER, this is gonna be the record you're gonna love. I don't think I've ever said this my whole career, but I think this is probably one of the best records. This feels, to me, very cohesive; it's very team oriented. It's a monster of a record. From the time it starts out to the time it finishes, it takes your breath away. It's one of those records where, I think, once you listen to it, you're gonna push 'Play' immediately again. Because it's [got] huge hooks, big guitar riffs. The drumming is incredible. If you're a young drummer trying to learn this shit, you're gonna have a very hard time."
On the lyrical themes covered on the new DEVILDRIVER album:
Dez: "My headspace is a lot more positive, I think… over the last year or so. Previous records, I was going through some other times in my personal life. This thing is just exploring all sorts of emotions. Some story telling involved… some real personal lyrics, man… real personal lyrics to me. I think the fans are gonna love it. I think the minute they dig in to the lyrics and to the riffs, they're gonna latch on to this record. And it is one of the records that we said, 'Look, we're gonna put some of the older songs to the wayside, and we're gonna definitely play at least five, six, maybe seven of those songs live. Usually when a record comes out, you play two, three maybe four [new songs live] max. 'Cause people wanna hear the older stuff, too. But this one is one of those that if you ditched everything and you just played this record, I think everyone would go crazy. So that's another good thing, you know."