“It’s important for people to know we’ve been on the road constantly,” says vocalist Dez Fafara, during a phone interview just a day after the band returned home from a long stretch touring Europe, the U.K. and Australia.
DevilDriver—which includes guitarists Mike Speitzer and Jeff Kendrick, bassist Jon Miller and drummer John Beocklin—clocked in a total of eight weeks of touring with less than three days off.
“We were on the road with our buddies in Suicide Silence, Trigger the Bloodshed and Behemoth for much of the tour,” says Fafara. “We hit almost every country including Czechoslovakia. Then after a week off, we went out again and toured all over Australia. We literally just got home Dec. 20.”
And apparently there’s no real difference between playing to fans in America or fans abroad. “For me, man, I just love playing live shows period,” he exclaims.” And as far as American crowds versus [crowds] in other countries all over the world, people like their beer and like their metal. As for me, if I’ve got a bottle of red wine and the club is full then I’m good.”
South America, however, is a particularly enjoyable, if not chaotic, destination.
“The fans out there are diehard, they love it and we love playing shows out there,” Fafara explains. “They can get fucking intense though. Like in Chile, the cops had to escort us in because fans were getting too crazy.”
In any case, it’s been a successful, amazing year of globetrotting tours for Fafara, who also sang in late ’90s nü-metal sensation Coal Chamber. The band’s new album, Pray for Villains, was released in July and the record debuted at No. 35 on the Billboard Top 200—not too shabby for the Lady Gaga and Kanye-dominated charts.
“We’ve had a great year, it’s been truly amazing for us as a band,” says Fafara. “It was the best thing for us to end the year by playing in Australia where it’s, like, 80 degrees in the summertime, and then come back for the holidays with my family.”
But it’s time to hit the road yet again, as DevilDriver is packing its gear for its headlining “Bound by the Road Tour,” backed by Goatwhore, Thy Will Be Done and Suffocation.
“We really envisioned a true metal gig where there were some brutal bands and every band playing was good,” Fafara says. “Suffocation is fucking legendary in the death metal world, so to have them tour with DevilDriver is an honor. Goatwhore is one of my personal favorites, a few of the members were in this band Acid Bath—for those who know metal—and Thy Will Be Done is another great metal band off [Hatebreed frontman] Jamey Jasta’s record label. We’re looking forward to a kickass tour with our friends.”
While Fafara admits to being ecstatic about DevilDriver’s success in the world of metal, he’s also wary not to let it get to him, a motivating force behind what he calls the band’s “proficient work ethic and prolific writing ability.”
“I’m surrounded by great musicians, that’s all there is to it,” he says.
Fafara was unaware that online AOL Radio recently named DevilDriver song “Pray for Villains” one of the best metal songs of 2009.
In March, the band heads out to the U.K. and then plans are afoot to hit the studio in April.
“We’re so excited about going into the studio again to record, it’s going to be amazing. After a few months, in June, we’ll be back on the road again here, in Europe, Asia and beyond,” Fafara says. “We live for touring, we’re a touring kind of band.”
DevilDriver w/Suffocation, Goatwhore and Thy Will Be Done at The Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us, www.devildriver.com. Thurs, Jan. 7. Doors open 6:30PM. $18 advance, $20 door.