The Last Kind Words
It was almost like DevilDriver liked the abuse-or at the very least were incapable of saying no to any and every tour they were offered. However, as Dez Fafara’s crew logged miles with curious tourmates like progressive metallers Opeth, Dark Arts practitioners Dimmu Borgir or Gothenburg melodicore pioneers In Flames, something even more important than the recruitment of new fans happened: DevilDriver paid attention. The influence from nearly every band they shared a stage with is what makes The Last Kind Words so compelling. The band’s sound is still based around chunky rhythms and Fafara’s hoarse, explosive snarl, but the intensity levels reach previously untapped heights. Part of that evolution comes from a disregard of speed limits-this is without a doubt the fastest DevilDriver disc from start to finish. But the band are unafraid to throw in classic Euro-riffing such as on opener “Not All Who Wander Are Lost” and “These Fighting Words” or black metal melodrama during “Horn Of Betrayal.” No matter how much DevilDriver add to the mix, it still comes out sounding like DevilDriver. These days, that’s not a bad thing. (ROADRUNNER) Brian O’Neill
Lamb Of God’s Sacrament
Machine Head’s Through The Ashes Of Empires
Slipknot’s Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
IN-STORE SESSION WITH FRONTMAN DEZ FARFARA
The Last Kind Words is an interesting album title. Is this your No More Mr. Nice Guy?
It actually means the last kind words that you hear before being let loose in the world without a manual of any kind are “You’re human, so go and have a good go of it.” I was writing about so many things from religion to humanity to how one should be treated to how one should take revenge, I thought that would be an excellent title.
Have you been soul-searching as of late?
As of always! I don’t know; I just found myself going a lot deeper lyrically on this record, and I didn’t want to give anything less than that. I mean, I wish I could write about hot rods and fast women, but I can’t.
There does seem to be a newfound maturity this time out, lyrically. Does this mean Dez is growing up?
I don’t know how to even answer that question; I just knew that [for] the people who were going to buy this record, if they were going to believe it lyrically, I had to match the music that the band came up with. The music was incredibly inspiring to me, and I had to match that. I hope I did so.
“Clouds Over California” in particular seems quite introspective.
It’s a point where you’re sitting in your house watching the rain come down, and it occurs to you that someone who you’ve been friends with all your life has done nothing but harm to you and your family, and finally concluding that you have to let that person go out of your life. On the surface, everybody deals with that; but I rarely wrote about those kinds of things because it’s not every day that I have to cast a friend aside. But that happened this year. It’s a very specific event, and that’s another thing-I usually don’t write about specifics, but this time, I did.
You also did something else new-allowing your 9-year-old Simon to sing on the record.
More like growl! We were recording the last week about a block from my house, so he came down after school. He has an incredible growl! And it was intense to be able to share that with him and for the band to allow us to do that, especially on such a very important record.
Coal Chamber’s third album, Dark Days, was its last. Do you ever think about how markedly different things are at the same point in time with DevilDriver?
I would need two bottles of wine and a fat pack of weed and three hours to talk about the differences! During the making of that third Coal Chamber album, nobody was talking; I didn’t see anybody; other members were strung out on drugs; and everybody was fucked up on money and fame. DevilDriver is the exact opposite in every way, and that’s why we made the record that we did. –Brian O’Neill