Metal maniacs, Devildriver, have been rocking worldwide for nearly two decades with some of the heaviest and most dynamic metal creations of all time. Opening their wounds and diving in to create a piece of metal musical heaven, Devildriver dished out their seventh studio album, ‘Trust No One’, and are currently tearing up stages for your delight. I caught up with the man himself, Dez Fafara, to discuss the ‘Bound By The Road’ tour, living a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, career longevity, tattoos, and more.
First and foremost, tell us how the ‘Bound By The Road’ tour with Deathangel, Winds of Plague, The Agonist and Azreal is going so far.
The tour has been incredible. I think that the fans are really digging it because every band sounds different than one another, and that is really important this time around with the ‘Bound By The Road’ tour because everyone has their own vibe. The crowds have been incredible. We are pleased that the tour is doing well.
Awesome. Congrats on the success of your seventh studio album, ‘Trust No One’. Tell us about the conception and creative process behind the album.
You know, we stick with our signature sound, but we always move our sound a little forward. If you go back into our catalog, you’ll realize that we do have a signature sound, but every record sounds different from one another. We really wanted to come with something that had an intense groove over ‘Trust No One’, and even more distance ourselves from the past and what other people are doing. It is obvious that we did that because the record came out and was the highest charting record that we have had over the last seven releases. We are really stoked on that. As far as the writing process goes, we all put ourselves away in a room and write, and as soon as we have riffs and lyrics, we come together and start putting it together. Devildriver is a band that overwrites, and I think that is to our benefit, really. If you are going to write, you have to overwrite to get a good, quality record.
Right. You can always pick and pull from what you have collected and utilize what you previously created on the next record. Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about your favorite personal pieces and the artists that brought them to life.
On my left hand, I’ve got a mechanical pumpkin from Paul Booth. He did it at Ozzfest and I’ve known Paul for a long time now, he is such a nice guy. On my right arm, I’ve got a Henk Schiffmacher piece of a totem pole on my forearm that I got when I was 23 years old at Bob & Charlie Roberts Spotlight Tattoo studio in Hollywood. And on that same day, I got Bob Roberts to tattoo a purple lotus flower on my left arm. Those are some pieces that I really dig. Also, I got ‘So Cal’ written on my hand to remind myself that when I am away from home, I am going back to the most beautiful state in the nation; California. I also have my wife’s name, Anastasia, on my right hand.
Right? California is its own entity, literally the most beautiful state in the country.
You know, I was born and raised there. I am a California kid. I love the place. I’ve got a lot of cover up work as well. My whole chest is stuff that I am working on which is all black and gray so far, but we are going to be doing some color work to finish that up over the next four or five months. It’s a Mayan work; Mayan skulls, Mayan eagle, two hands holding hearts, etc, and we are getting ready to finish all of that. My whole back is open, and I am waiting to save that for something really special. I am covered in work.
You are well on your way, man. I perceive that you have such a Yin/Yang balance of comical pieces and theoretical/philosophical pieces.
I have a bunch of different stuff. I’ve got a chin tattoo, and when I first got that done, it was a huge thing. It is commonplace to tattoo your face these days. It’s cool to see. I got my first tattoo when I was fifteen years old, and that was when you were either getting tattoos because you had been in jail, you’re a biker, or you’re on the road side of the tracks, which actually, all three of those fit into my life! I have ridden motorcycles my whole life, I grew up around bikers, I’ve been to prison…..just not at the age of 15 years old. I started getting tattooed really young, and now I have watched the game change so much. It is really cool to see tattoos become more socially accepted.
It really is. I perceive that it is more universally “shocking” if you do not have a tattoo these days. So, rumor has it that you practice a vegetarian lifestyle. How has that affected your artistry and overall well-being in your life?
I adopted a lot of things over the last year or two to keep things going on the road. Everything from yoga to sobriety, no alcohol in my life, but I am a big proponent of marijuana. The vegetarian lifestyle just came to me because I saw some videos of cows and chickens getting tortured and killed, man. The horrible treatment that our livestock receives before they go on our plate made me just over it. And also for the planet; it is just not working out. I can go on for days. As soon as I started moving into that vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, I found food to be so much more than a burger and a steak. I feel better.
You know, I personally have lived a raw vegan/vegan lifestyle for years. I perceive food as energy and nourishment rather than a source of entertainment and enjoyment, and that is where I perceive individuals lose track of their health.
Absolutely. The way you feel after you eat a burger is horrible. I have rescue dogs and cats, and it’s no different. I have friends that have pigs and cows. My wife had a rooster that used to follow her around throughout her whole life and they never killed the thing and ate it. So, it was a natural choice for me to try to do something for myself and the planet, and hopefully, everyone will pick up on that. The meat industry is just terrifying.
It’s a cash cow.
Literally. No pun intended it’s a cash cow. We need water, and it’s going to this cattle that we’re eating. I just wish that people would really take a look at what is happening. I mean, every time that you watch a slaughter video of pigs that are smarter than dogs getting killed, or you see a cow running free and escaping from a slaughterhouse, that’s because that thing feels fear. It doesn’t want to be killed. Humans are horrible, man. We need to really look at what we’re doing to the environment and what we are doing to animals. Caging them for their existence? I mean, even the egg thing is insane.
It is insane. And mass society holds a blind eye to it. The blind eye is ultimately suppressing human existence and many don’t even acknowledge it.
That is changing with the youth. We have got to have all of these old people f***ing die off. It is going to continue to change. It is deplorable when we think about what we do to animals. You know, a study needs to be done about people that work at the slaughterhouses. Those people that are killing cows and pigs daily. There needs to be a study done about what is wrong with those people that they can actually go into a job daily and do that job without feeling.
Right! How in the world do those individuals go to bed at night? It’s scary.
I am actually working with a young film student now and talking to him about doing a documentary on slaughterhouse workers because I think that mentally when you really dive into those individuals, they are probably going to be very fucked up people. We need to make a change, and it needs to happen worldwide.
Excuse my judgment, but I perceive that there is such an ill and poor energy within meat products.
It is a poor energy. After you eat healthy food, you feel amazing. You don’t feel heavy, you feel lifted and your eyes feel clear. You know, it is the same thing being on the road without alcohol. I realized that I was destroying my body. I made some massive life changes and it’s been incredible in my personal and physical life, and I am trying to manifest that to people around me, and it is happening. You know, guys on my bus now are not eating so much meat, or won’t eat it around me because they know I will talk sh*t.
That’s awesome, man. Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
I have been in this game for a long time, and I think that the reason that I have is because I have never gained an ego. I will shake a hand anytime that anyone is near me. People know that I am in it for the music and because I love playing live shows. Thank you to everyone who has ever supported me in either of my bands and moving forward in the next 20-25 years, I appreciate the support. Don’t eat meat!