DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara has confirmed to Australia's The Rockpit that the band will return in 2016 with a new studio album. The CD will mark the group's first release since the departures of guitarist Jeff Kendrick and drummer John Boecklin and addition of axeman Neal Tiemann and former CHIMAIRA sticksman Austin D'Amond.
"Over twelve years, we put out six records and we really never really took time off," Dez said. "Where most bands take a year and a half off between cycles, I'm kind of a road warrior and I never did that. And it became [clear] to me and everybody else around me, I was, like, 'Look, man, I need a little bit of time off. I need at least 9-10 months off music just to hang out with my family'. When that happened, [Dez's reactivated 1990s band] COAL CHAMBER ironically just came to the table and said, 'Hey why don't we do the record in between that time?' So DEVILDRIVER, by the time we come back, I'm recording a new DEVILDRIVER record at the end of this year. I'm sitting on twelve blistering songs that I'm in love with and I'm recording those [in] October-November this year and sometime next year, [in] spring/summer/fall, I'm going to release another DEVILDRIVER record and get right back in a DEVILDRIVER cycle. I don't want DEVILDRIVER sitting around too long but we definitely needed to take a break out of the markets and a break from touring for a little bit."
He continued: "We put out a record every two years solid for twelve years and we never really took a year off between touring which most bands do. And it was, like, 'You know what? Let's recharge, Mike [Spreitzer, guitar] went home and does his studio and is surfing every day. I was helping to redo my studio here as well, and by the time they were all ready, which is now... I mean, they have been writing daily and sending me songs nightly... By the time we all get done here, we'll probably get in July-August with about twenty songs and I'll start narrowing it down and then we'll get together in October-November and do a record. I'll tell you now, it's definitely going to be something blistering! The music is on a different level right now, with what's going on with DEVILDRIVER. That being said, [I have just released] the [new] COAL CHAMBER record ['Rivals'], [and] we'll be touring [in support of it]. It is limited touring, but we're hitting everywhere in the world. And whether we hit everywhere in the world twice really has to do with are we still having a good time and how the record is doing, etc. etc."
Asked what makes Austin the right drummer for DEVILDRIVER, Dez told Full Metal Jackie: "What made him the right guy is he's more than capable.
"You can understand when members leave a band, and Jeff, the guitar player, left 'cause he just didn't wanna tour anymore, and I totally understood that after the schedule we kept for almost 13 years. And John wanted to try and do some stuff on his own, and it was more than okay with me after that length of time. So, when you do replace members, what you wanna do is you wanna get people who are more than capable — or more capable than even who you had [before]."
He continued: "I definitely am looking forward to playing with Austin. He's a great guy, he's a great drummer, [and] he's got an incredible stage presence. And when he came in for the audition, he absolutely just smoked it. He's just an incredible guy. And you get a real good vibe from him, which is another thing. We're gonna tour a lot, so you're gonna have to have that."
Boecklin and Kendrick played their last show with DEVILDRIVER as part of the 2014 Knotfest in Devore, California.
DEVILDRIVER's latest album, "Winter Kills", sold around 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 32 on The Billboard 200 chart.