Dez Fafara says that COAL CHAMBER "is not coming back."
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 Australia's "Scars And Guitars" podcast, Dez, who has fronted DEVILDRIVER since 2002, said: "If you're a band just starting out, you need to hear me. Do not start a band with partners — ever. 'Cause I can't go do COAL CHAMBER right now unless I get others involved. And I'm the one that came up with the name, I'm the one that started the band, I'm the one that took the ads out for players, and in the end, my dream, the thing I started, because it's with partners, I can't go out and fucking do it.
"So let me tell you what's happening," he continued. "I finally… And this is a conversation that could actually last hours, but we'll make it real fucking short. Most guys — [Glenn] Danzig, Rob Zombie — when they leave their bands, they play their songs. Rob was doing WHITE ZOMBIE songs the day he fucking exited. I didn't do that to my fans. I was, like, 'I'm not gonna do that to you,' because I held out hope that it would come back together. It did — 13 years later, it did. I waited 13 years to play 'Loco' and the songs that made me who I am, that gave me a gold record, that supported my family. I waited 13 years to find out that they can't continue, that they can't go on, that they're all still fucked up and in the same headspace. So now, what's happening is I've finally… I said to myself and to my wife, everyone around me, I'm burying it. No, it is not coming back. The minute I step on stage with DEVILDRIVER and do COAL CHAMBER songs, it's never coming back. I told Meegs [COAL CHAMBER guitarist Miguel Rascón] that. I told Mike [Cox, drums] that. I said, 'So you'd better get ahold of me.' What they said was, 'Call the lawyer.' Well, go fuck you, dude! How about that? So that's where it's at right now.
"When you're dealing with people that are partners, that suffer from mental illness — literally — you can't get shit done," he said. "And so, no. DEVILDRIVER is… I don't know if it's this year or the beginning of next year, but we've already begun rehearsing six COAL CHAMBER songs with full production; I'm bringing the balls to the table. And once I do that, even putting on a bit of COAL CHAMBER for myself on stage, there's gonna be no going back. Because once people hear this, and we've had some of the people hear this at the rehearsal studios, and they all said the same thing: 'Oh, dude, these songs played by this band are the way these songs should have been done.' They're not half assed; they're fucking ferociously on point. And now, me playing these songs with these guys, too, has made me feel reinvigorated. I mean, wait till you hear 'Loco' with two guitars and double bass played on point, spot-on. You'll lose your mind. So there's the answer for that."
Dez added: "I wish I could be the person that would say, 'Oh, it's definitely gonna come back,' and give the fans some hope and all this other shit. But I'm just a fucking realist, right? And life is short. One of the reasons I took the last year off is I buried two of my best friends from high school in the last two years. And I realized, 'You know what? Life is short. I'm gonna come off the road for a while. I'm gonna spend some time with family. I'm gonna re-evaluate,' and everything else. And part of that re-evaluation was the COAL CHAMBER scenario. Because we have a record deal on the table, we have all sorts of stuff that could move forward, I reached out and said, 'What's going on?' And it was, like, my drummer said, 'I'd rather build houses,' and my guitar player, Meegs, would rather live with his parents. So, fuck it! I'm doing DEVILDRIVER, and I'm doing COAL CHAMBER songs. And when I bring them, you guys are gonna shit!"
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]."