In the new issue of Metal Hammer, on sale now, DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara answered questions from readers in the magazine’s regular “People Vs…” feature. Asked by one reader if there will ever be a new record from COAL CHAMBER, the band that put him on the musical map and gave him his first and only gold-certified album in the shape of the group’s 1997 debut, Dez replied: “I’m not gonna say yes or no. I’m not gonna say no, because we’ve all spoken. The main thing for me is that the relationship is all good after numerous fallouts in the beginning and after sone stuff went horribly wrong when we got back together to release [2015 comeback album] ‘Rivals’. The vibe in that camp is very cool at the moment, and we all have each other’s backs. I wouldn’t put it past us, but right now I’m definitely concentrating on DEVILDRIVER.”
COAL CHAMBER existed for ten years before disbanding in 2003 to pursue other musical projects. They reunited in 2011 for touring purposes but it wasn’t until 2014 that the band began work on a new studio album of original material, the aforementioned critically acclaimed “Rivals”. Several months of touring activity followed before Dez returned to DEVILDRIVER to make a new record, 2016’s “Trust No One”.
DEVILDRIVER‘s 2019 co-headlining tour with STATIC-X saw the Fafara-fronted outfit performing material from COAL CHAMBER for the first time.
In an interview with KCAL 96.7‘s “Wired In The Empire” radio show, Dez stated about his decision to perform COAL CHAMBER songs with DEVILDRIVER: “I’ve kept those things separate for so many years, man. It’s just time for me to embrace everything that I’ve done.”
He continued: “COAL CHAMBER‘s not coming back. It is what it is. And I’m not gonna wait another 15-20 years to sing the songs that gave me gold records and allowed me a career. And I say it every night, ‘Look, this song gave me gold records on my walls and you people out here gave me a career. Thank you for both of them. Let’s get loco.'”
Fafara painted a bleak picture of COAL CHAMBER‘s future during a 2016 interview with Revolver magazine. He stated at the time: “I had a lot of fun doing that record and playing shows with them again. But there were some circumstances that were not ideal and that’s why that thing is not continuing as of right now. If something comes up and I have time and want to make a record and the members have their shit together, I’ll do it. But as of now, there’s some deep-seated shit that certain dudes in the band still need to work out. And if they work it out and want to tour or make another record, they can come back and give me a call. But right now, everyone in DEVILDRIVER is stoked. No one’s fighting. And I feel lucky to be where I am.”
Dez had stated in previous interviews that COAL CHAMBER‘s original split happened because “I did not want to be around the band’s hard drug use and I realized that going onstage every night that the money was feeding their habit, so I walked to save my friends.” He added that his COAL CHAMBER bandmates were “clean” as of 2012, which made him realize that “it was the right thing to walk [away from the group back in 2003].”