Dez Fafara says that COAL CHAMBER is probably "done forever."
The group that put Fafara on the musical map and gave him his first and only gold-certified album in the shape of the band's 1997 debut, COAL CHAMBER existed for ten years before disbanding in 2003 to pursue other musical projects. They reunited in 2011 for touring purposes but it wasn't until 2014 that the group began work on a new studio album of original material, 2015's critically acclaimed "Rivals". Several months of touring activity followed before Dez returned to DEVILDRIVER to make a new record, 2016's "Trust No One".
Speaking to Kaaos TV before DEVILDRIVER's June 23 performance at Nummirock festival in Kauhajoki, Finland, Dez said about COAL CHAMBER (see video below): "I waited thirteen years for the band that I started to get back together. And after releasing a record that was critically acclaimed and touring around the world and having fantastic shows, it was obvious to me that I don't wanna do that with those people. I don't wanna say any personal stuff about them, but it's just not working. I wish it did — for the fans, for myself, for the music — but there's some things that need to be worked on. And it needs to be a hundred and ten percent, or I'm not gonna take it out on the road."
He added: "When I left COAL CHAMBER, I thought it was done forever. Thirteen years later, we did a record. Right now, it's done, and I think it's done forever. That's my take on things."
Asked if his busy schedule with DEVILDRIVER is partly to blame for his unwillingness to devote more of his time and energy to COAL CHAMBER, Dez said: "That has nothing to do with it — nothing to do with it at all. If everything is fine in that other camp, with COAL CHAMBER, if they are all good and it's a hundred and ten percent, they can call me. If they get stuck on the side of the freeway at three in the morning, they can call me; I will come. But with the music, it has to be a hundred and ten percent with any band that I am with. And in the end, with those [COAL CHAMBER] tours, it was not a hundred and ten percent. And I don't wanna take it on tour unless it's a hundred and ten percent."
Dez had stated in previous interviews that COAL CHAMBER's original split happened because "I did not want to be around the band's hard drug use and I realized that going onstage every night that the money was feeding their habit, so I walked to save my friends." He added that his COAL CHAMBER bandmates were "clean" as of 2012, which made him realize that "it was the right thing to walk [away from the group back in 2003]."
DEVILDRIVER is currently working on an outlaw country covers album, "Outlaws Till The End", tentatively due in early 2018. The disc will contain thirteen "insanely heavy, swinging badass outlaw tracks by some of the best outlaw country artists," including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Paycheck, according to Fafara