Dez, Oct 16, 2003


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman


Jason Perlman: This has got to be an exciting time for you to be playing with this band and doing music that you really want to do and not be kind of pigeonholed with what the label is wanting you to do, what the fans are wanting you to do. You get to play with guys who want to do the same thing you are wanting to do and its got to be a release to get on the road and do your own thing finally.
Dez: It is as if things have come together magically right now. I am a happy camper. I have a bunch of good guys. I think this band is incredible. This first night in Columbus right now, and Phil (Anselmo) took me on tour for a long time on my previous project so now he is kind of coming to the rescue. I get to play the music that when I got off stage on my previous gig I used to go into the back lounge and listened to. I say this the diversity that made Coal Chamber who we were in the beginning; the first maybe album or so. That got to be old in the end. The diversity is what split us up basically. This is a new starting point for me, the fact that it is raining for the first night is amazing and I love it. And it is almost Halloween. It is coming together great.

JP: Obviously there are going to be fans of Coal Chamber who are going to come to check you out and going to be expecting a certain sound. How do you think they are going to react to the sound of Devildriver? Do you think they will be open to what you are doing now?
Dez: I think that they will be open to it. With anything you are going to gain or lose fans and what we want to do is put on a show that is pure energy and that’s just American metal. I think that is what we are and if people can appreciate that and what I was before I think they will appreciate this.

JP: And I read somewhere I think it may have been your bio that you were in a bar somewhere and someone slipped you a number.
Dez: It was a breakfast place in the small town we live in.

JP: That has to be one of the strangest band stories to be slipped a phone number in a diner some morning and it turns out to be a guitar player for the band.
Dez: It was a little place I eat at in the mornings. And we were friends for a year or a year and half before we started doing any music together. It was while I was making Dark Days, the last album with Cold Chamber that we started writing and getting together. We became friends and yeah it is a weird story. I mean what if I wouldn’t have called him what would have happened. I still would have found people but I feel I found the right people in the strangest ways. Everybody kind of got found in the strangest ways. A lot of my band members were in another band together and I went and saw them in a club. I said, “God, if they would just get rid of this guy or that guy those couple guys would be great.” They broke up a couple of weeks later and now here they all are, too. So everything happens for a reason.

JP: If you didn’t feel the connection you made, you mentioned doing some music while you were doing Dark Days; if you didn’t feel that connection do you think you would have been as aggressive to start this band or was that connection made early on.
Dez: I just knew I needed to go and do my own thing, and I was going for it aggressively. Everybody lived in the same town as me it all just really worked out we all became friends we had a lot of barbecues for like a year straight before we decided to do it. So that is how it came together.

JP: Roadrunner obviously has kind of embraced the band, so how cool was it to know you still had a label to go and let you do that and not say well the contract says this.
Dez: Well I have a Roadrunner tattoo on me that I have had for years and I have always backed them. They love heavy music and they know who they are they are a metal label. They love the fact that we do heavy metal music. They didn’t have any kinds of restrictions on me. They were like, “Go ahead and do what you want.” I said we are going to make something brutal and they said go do it! It feels like I am starting myself over again and it feels good.

JP: It’s kind of ironic that your first show is going to be with Phil (Anselmo) since announcing that he is through with Pantera and that part of him is done and he’s focused on Superjoint. And now you’re out here with this band kind of putting the stamp on Coal Chamber. It’s almost a chance in the wind that it has happened but it is totally a refreshed tour.
Dez: I respect Superjoint a lot and have become good friends with a lot of the guys. I have been friends with Phil for a long time and had serious conversations with Phil about my previous project. And he gave me some advice about what to do and what not to do. It’s just all around working out great, man. I get to sit at the side of the stage every night and watch fuckin Superjoint and Morbid Angel. I would go to the show even if I wasn’t on the tour so…

JP: It almost seems like just noticing you body language from the Coal Chambe’rs days you seem generally excited about being on tour where before it was, “Fuck, we got to do another show.”
Dez: That was a different band. Before they had their own boss and I was my own boss. We didn’t really get together. Everything was the opposite. I got a bunch of guys that we all hang out everyday and it is a great time for me. What can I say? My heart is filled with music again. Not just the bullshit that comes with being in the industry for years it still is a refreshing life for me at this point. I wake up with a smile on my face everyday.

JP: Did ever you think you would be at that point again or someday were you just so down that you never thought you would see the light.
Dez: I can always see the light. To me it is just the legacy of longevity, that’s all I care about. So I always knew I wasn’t going to quit music or anything. It’s like my mother, every time I lay my head on a pillow it’s because I have music in my life, so I owe her everything. I will never walk away; you would never walk away from your mother. The fact that I was with band members who didn’t want to tour as much and now I am making my own calls and we are going to tour fucking constantly. We are going to put out an album a year if we possibly can we are just going to throw it down.

JP: I know you have the Coal Chamber tattoo and it has been a big part of your life. Do you regret anything about the band or is it just page in your life?
Dez: I never regret anything; ever. Even if I stub my toe or get a bee sting I have no regrets. What doesn’t’ t kill you only makes you stronger.