DevilDriver headlines Bound By The Road tour at Oddbody’s
By Matt Clevenger
Photo: DevilDriver’s (l-r) Diego Ibarra, Mike Spreitzer, Dez Fafara, Austin D’Amond, Neal Tiemann photo: Ben Hoffman
It’s been a few years since a Coal Chamber reunion temporarily sidelined Dez Fafara’s side project DevilDriver, but now the California groove-metal rockers are coming back strong.
Touring in support of their new album, Trust No One, Fafara and company will perform at Oddbody’s Tuesday, Feb. 21, with Death Angel, Winds of Plague, The AGONIST, and Azreal as part of Napalm Records’ Bound By The Road tour.
Named after ceremonial bells used by Italian Wiccans to drive away evil spirits, DevilDriver originally formed in Santa Barbara, California, in 2002. The band succeeded early on, signing with legendary metal label Roadrunner Records almost immediately after forming and touring with Ozzfest for several years. Since then, the band has produced a steady stream of radio-friendly metal hits and built a national following touring with a long list of metal artists ranging from Danzig to Iron Maiden.
Their songs have attracted interest in the film world as well. Single “Digging up Corpses” was featured on the “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” soundtrack. Other songs have appeared on the TV show Scrubs and the video game “Rock Band.”
DevilDriver was on a temporary hiatus from late 2014 until 2016 while Fafara focused on a Coal Chamber reunion tour. They returned in full force last year, releasing their seventh album on Napalm Records and hitting the road for a U.S. tour opening for Hatebreed.
This year they’re already planning a busy tour schedule, starting with a headlining slot on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise sailing from Miami, Florida, and the Bound By The Road tour, which will stop in Dayton at Oddbody’s. Fafara took a break from his hectic schedule to talk with Dayton City Paper about the new album, the new tour, and what to expect from DevilDriver’s live show.
The Bound By the Road tour features DevilDriver, Death Angel, Winds of Plague, the AGONIST, and Azreal; how did that lineup get together?
Dez Fafara: You know, agents started talking to each other, and as soon as I saw those bands submitting for the tour, I decided it would be a really great package. So we had everybody call them up and put this tour together. I’m very excited about the lineup…
You’re also doing the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise–will that be your first time playing on a cruise ship?
DF: That’s just going to be such a good time. It’s the first one that I’m doing, and there’s a lot of great bands on that. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity to not only play the shows and be on the boat, but to walk around and get to meet a lot of people who are really hardcore metal fans.
You spent a few years just focusing on Coal Chamber–what led you to come back to DevilDriver?
DF: I just took a little bit of time off from DevilDriver and went into the Coal Chamber world, because we were all getting along and the opportunity existed. But I really can’t let DevilDriver sit too much. It took a good year and a half, or maybe two years off: it was just time to come back. And the new record debuted so high. The new DevilDriver record debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard charts. So that’s a big win for heavy radio and a big win for DevilDriver.
Do you think the band’s sound has changed on Trust No One?
DF: I think 100 percent. DevilDriver has seven records, but they all sound different from each other. There’s a signature sound, yet we’ve evolved on each record. I think Trust No One definitely has a sense of that momentum moving forward musically.
What’s going on with Coal Chamber, now that you’re touring with DevilDriver?
DF: I don’t know, I’m just in DevilDriver World right now and not really focused on anything but that.
What’s next for DevilDriver after the Bound By The Road tour wraps up?
DF: After this tour, we come home, and then we go to South Africa, then we go overseas and do a lot of big huge festivals like Download in the U.K. and Paris, go all through Germany and France. Then we come home here and we’ve got some real special stuff lined up for the summertime and the fall, but I can’t talk about it yet.
I’ve read that you were also cast for a role in an upcoming science-fiction movie, is that true?
DF: I got cast for something that isn’t filming yet for another eight months, so hopefully I’m still on that cast list. I had to sign an NDA, a non-disclosure agreement, so I can’t say too much about it.
This isn’t your first time visiting the Dayton area–have you ever appeared at Oddbody’s before?
DF: Definitely, and there’s something about those audiences that are really, really cool. The shows are always great, so we want everybody to come out and enjoy the diversity in the package. Everyone’s going to be having a great time.
We’re looking forward to seeing everybody at the show, so come on out and get your groove on with us.
DevilDriver performs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Oddbody’s, 5418 Burkhardt Rd. in Dayton. Show starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $30-$35. Death Angel, The AGONIST, Winds Of Plague, and Azreal are also on the bill. For tickets and more information, please visit DevilDriver.com or Oddbodys.com