DEVILDRIVER has written 48 songs for what is planned to be a staggered-release double album.
Even though the Dez Fafara-fronted outfit has spent most of the last couple of years recording its upcoming full-length collection of outlaw country-gone-metal anthems, "Outlaws 'Til The End", it has also been working on material for the follow-up to 2016's "Trust No One".
Describing the writing process for DEVILDRIVER's next album as "fantastic," Fafara told Metal Wani in a new interview that DEVILDRIVER wanted to release "Outlaws 'Til The End" in part because "we knew it would be three years till you got another record from us and we wanted people to be able to listen to something in the meantime.
"We're writing the record of our lives right now — that I can tell you," Dez said (hear audio below). "And making no bones about it, this will be the record of our career. This will be record that other artists judge us, as well as themselves, on once they hear this."
DEVILDRIVER is planning to narrow down the material it has written to "maybe 20, maybe 22" songs and enter the studio in June to begin recording the next album.
"[The fans are] gonna get a record a year, which means you're gonna a record this year" — referring to "Outlaws 'Til The End" — "you're gonna get a record in 2019, and you're gonna get a record in 2020. And that's the way art should be. I used to get a record every year from my favorite bands, and even two a year sometimes from bands like KISS. So, you know what? We're kicking it up. We're not gonna rely on this three-to-four-year-plan that bands are doing. It used to be where you had to go away for a year in order to let the fans catch up to you and this and that, and it is not that way anymore — you need to get art out and you need to be out in everyone's face and you need to be touring, and we're getting ready to kick that up in a big way. And that's why the last two years, we've really taken time off as DEVILDRIVER. I mean, we've only done probably three shows in the United States this year, and we'll only do a handful this year at all. So when we do start, it's gonna get ready to go."
Asked if there is a lot of pressure on him and his bandmates to deliver on their self-imposed goal of releasing a new album every year, Dez said: "I don't think so. The pressure is not there. When the songs are there, when the band is firing off, and when it's just coming together, there's really no pressure. And this is why we're doing a double album with a staggered release. I've always wanted to do a double record with kind of a concept feel. And a staggered release makes sense, 'cause people, every 12 to 17 months, can get a record from you. And that's where I'm at, that's where the music business is at, that's par for the course what every other artist is doing.
"I have three young sons and they're huge music lovers," he continued. "And they get a song a week, a record every six months, a record every year from their favorite artists. I don't know why metal has taken on this stance of, 'We're gonna give you a record every three years, every four years,' or TOOL, every eight, ten years. I don't know. Look, I know Maynard [James Keenan, TOOL singer], and I think that record's probably gonna be worth the wait, to tell you the truth. But in my circumstances and in every other circumstance that I see, bands need to be putting out a record every 17 to 18 months and they need to be doing this religiously in order to build their following and in order to actually raise the bar on the music that they're making. So we're very excited to do this. We have Napalm Records that has been behind us one hundred percent with everything we've bit off, and they really are looking forward to this double album staggered release that we're gona start to record in June and July."
Although Dez was able to confirm with "one hundred percent" certainty that the first half of DEVILDRIVER's double album will arrive in 2019, he refused to set an exact release date for the effort.
"I've realized with 'Outlaws 'Til The End', [which was] two and a half years in the making, I'll never put a release date on the record ever again," he said. "When the record is done, when it's in the can, when the photos are done, when everything is done and I have the record to hand in to the record company, four to five to six months from there will be the release date; otherwise, no, no release date."
"Outlaws 'Til The End" will be released on July 6 via Napalm Records. The disc is described in a press release as "both a startling curveball and a ferocious statement of individuality from a band who have been a constant and effective force in the heavy metal world for the best part of two decades now."
"Outlaws 'Til The End" was produced, mixed and recorded with Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, SEPULTURA, THE CURE), with DEVILDRIVER guitarist Mike Sprietzer also lending recording talents. The album was mastered by renowned engineer Alan Douches.