Each episode of "Tour Tips" features a touring act sharing five pieces of advice for artists who want to hit the road. In this episode, which was filmed on June 4 in Joliet, Illinois, vocalist Dez Fafara of California metallers DEVILDRIVER shares his tips for being on the road.
DEVILDRIVER guitarist Mike Spreitzer told Dublin Concerts in a recent interview that the band has already begun working on material for the follow-up to last year's "Winter Kills": "We've already started writing for it," he said. "I know [John] Boecklin [drums] has a bunch of songs. I haven't really had a lot of time to write, because I just moved into a new house and I've been building a studio in my garage to replace the studio that I have in my parents' house, which I have outgrown, and that's where we've been doing all the pre-production. I can't even feel creative in that studio, I've been in there for so long. So I'm getting all my stuff out of there. I've been building this studio in my new house. I've been working on it for almost a year, in between tours, and it should be done in July. We have July and August off, so I'm going to spend all that time writing for the next record. Boecklin's already got probably, like, somewhere between three and five songs written, and a tentative date for recording of November/December, which means the record will probably be out some time next summer."
Asked if DEVILDRIVER is feeling the pressure to top "Winter Kills", Mike said: "I've never really felt pressured. The only thing I kind of feel pressure about is not repeating ourselves too much, and hashing out the same type of record that we've done before. You know, I see things from a different perspective than our fans do, but there's a different vibe for every record for me. It always seems to come very organically for us. I just sit down and write. I don't really think about trying to do this or that or have a direction I want to go. To some extent, I do. Now that we've done the song 'Sail' [AWOLNATION cover], I think that kind of opened up some doors for me, where I can have more atmospheric tones, meshed with brutal guitars at the same time. Whereas before, I kind of strayed away from that. I didn't know if DEVILDRIVER fans would be into something like that, but they obviously do. 'Sail' has gotten a great response. You know, it's not our song, but we added a lot of elements to that."
"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. This figure is in line with the opening number of DEVILDRIVER's fifth CD, "Beast", which also shifted 11,000 units back in February 2011 to land at No. 42.
The instrumental parts for "Winter Kills" were recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida while the vocals were laid down at singer Dez Fafara's home studio, with Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, ALL THAT REMAINS) handling production duties. The album's cover artwork features a photograph by Dean Karr. The layout was done by Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature.