Interview by Ann Bodan
When Devildriver embarked on its North American tour, I had the pleasure of asking Dez Farara a few questions. It’s been two and a half years since Devildriver has released a new album, and the latest album, Winter Kills, has proven itself to be the heaviest and most diverse. Be sure to catch Devildriver at the Masquarade on Oct. 8 with Trivium!
You guys put out albums very regularly. One every two years or so like clockwork. What kind of routine do you have after you get through with the touring cycle? Do you take a certain amount of time off and then go into writing mode?
We write on the road as well as off, but when a touring cycle ends its good to take a month or so off to gather thoughts, riffs and ideas to decide the direction the next effort will take.
We have a signature sound but each record has a totally different feel and that’s the important part is to keep the audience on their toes by delivering something different on every release.
Devildriver switched producers from Pray for Villains back to Andy Sneap for the last two albums. What was behind the change?
The last two records, Beast and the newest Winter kills, were recorded with Mark Lewis. Mark is a pro and knows how to get the best out of every player. He also understands our wants to never make the same record over again, so he brings to life all our ideas. Andy has mixed past records, but we’ve never recorded with him.
Tell me about the recording process for Devildriver. Is recording done live over a few weeks or do you use different studios? Maybe Devildriver records at home even?
The music was recorded over a month at Audio Hammer in Florida. I record my vocals at my home studio in Murrieta, California, and it was finished in about 18 days.
What is your favorite territory to tour in?
I love touring the United States, but the rest of the world also has a great time to offer up, seeing different cultures, eating different food, meeting new people, etc.
How do you balance your time with Devildriver, family and your personal life?
It’s a yin yang kind of thing. One must have balance and the way to achieve that is taking time between tours to be with family. That being said Devildriver, logs more road miles, more stage time than any band touring so we must be careful to avoid burn out.
I have heard you say the new album Winter Kills is about rebirth. Can you elaborate on that?
I live in the desert of California where the winter can be very desolate. I enjoy the rebirth of spring, summer, etc. We wrote, recorded in the winter, as well we are on a new label so the title fit perfect for the art.
Many times fans criticize bands that choose to let their music grow from one album to the next. For instance, your album Winter Kills is different from Devildriver’s other albums because it was written with the guitar riffs (and extreme heaviness) more the focus of the album. What do you say to fans who respond negatively to change, and miss the “music” off the new album?
Change must happen or art stagnates completely. This new record has a mix of both feels, the feedback has been unbelievable!
Where do you find inspiration for Devildriver’s songs?
Day to day life provides inspiration plenty….
I found out I had ADD when I was a kid. It’s been a long, hard road, but I think I have come to terms with it. I don’t take medications anymore because they just quit working. Now, I have little routines that keep me on track. For example, I write a lot of lists. Even when I pack for a trip I have to make a list or I forget something. With that said, are there any tips you could give that help you cope with daily life?
In all honesty, I have to keep busy or I go insane! I need schedules in order to survive. I also enjoy multi-tasking in order to keep busy. I’m also an advocate of medical marijuana for the treatment of ADD; it allows focus.