The 13 Albums That Changed My Life - Dez Fafara

The 13 Albums That Changed My Life - Dez Fafara

- By Ramon Gonzales

The legendary Coal Chamber/DevilDriver frontman submits some of his most formative albums ranging from punk to new wave, rockabilly to goth.

At the helm of two of heavy music's most enduring forces, frontman Dez Fafara has spent the last three plus decades cultivating a legacy that positions him in a league of his own.

First transforming the landscape of metal in the early 90's as an outlier in Coal Chamber, Fafara built a reputation as a renegade, intent on revolutionizing heavy music, not just regurgitating it.

Already a decade into his tenure as one of the most dominant on the mic, Fafara took up the flag for groove metal menace DevilDriver - once again asserting an ability to defy expectations and push the collective culture of heavy music forward. The brand asserted the same visceral intensity that Fafara had become synonymous with, while giving the vocalist the ability to showcase other weapons in his arsenal.

For the last two decades, DevilDriver has remained among an elite tier of groove metal practitioners, setting a prolific pace with breadth of work spanning some nine studio albums. The band's proven durability and timeless approach to crafting sonic aggression, now positions them in an especially distinguished field. Devildriver are among a select few whose range spans from classic to contemporary.

On the verge of delivering the second installment of their Dealing With Demons cycle and completing the project set in motion back in 2020, Devildriver remain a driving force in the era of modern metal. Now ten albums in, the band's resilience and continued relevance is substantiated in a blistering 9-track effort that asserts their unwavering commitment to quality songwriting and creative catharsis. Volume II presents peak DevilDriver with Fafara fearlessly leading the charge.

To better frame the kind of foundation that produced such a formative figure, Knotfest asked Dez Fafara to submit his short list of ten albums that ultimately steered his professional course. True to his reputation for doing things his own way, Fafara had other plans. "You wanted 10, but I always break the rules, so here’s 13 albums that changed my life. They're eclectic and diverse, but that’s my musical taste. Here’s some of the albums that get jammed at the Fafara house all the time."

Per favore goditi dal mio gusto musicale per te questi sono i miei preferiti.

AC/DC Back in Black

Fafara - Absolutely one of the best records ever recorded - front to back. it’s almost perfection, both musically and lyrically.

The Stray Cats - self titled

Fafara - I was a stand up drummer in a psychobilly band from age 14-17 called The Screaming Wolves. This record is about as close to rockabilly perfection as it gets.

Motörhead - Ace of Spades

Fafara - This is what turned me onto heavy, heavy metal. I found Motörhead by listening to a tape I was given with Crumb Suckers on one side and Motörhead on the other. I thought they were punk til I saw a photo - fell in love right away and it obviously influenced me vocally in the future. Long live Lemmy the God!

Black Flag - The First Four Years

Fafara - This was my entry to Black Flag. I was already into UK punk like the Partisans and GBH, but when I found this record, it was all I could do to not jam it daily and I have played it from then on for my whole life.

The Decline of Western Civilization

Fafara - This is where I found FEAR, THE GERMS, etc and it became a massive part of my youth!

Sisters of Mercy - Walk Away EP

Fafara - Goth was a massive part of my life still is. I was first a punk rock- psychobilly- goth kid until I found metal, and this record is about as dark as it gets.

Bauhaus - The Sky’s Gone Out

Fafara - Absolutely still one of my favorite records of all time. The music, the vocals, the vibe of "Third Uncle" opening the record. Undeniably goth history.

Elvis - How Great Thou Art

Fafara - Dont know what to say but, I love Elvis. I was raised on his music and movies, and to be honest, this gospel record is so deep and so moving that even if you're not “religious”, the conviction in his voice will make you love this record.

Kava Kon - Tiki for the Atomic Age

Fafara - Do me a favor and check this out! I’m a huge tiki music fan and this stuff is next level atmospheric jam session 101. It’s my go to "Saturday afternoon by the pool" jams. I own it on vinyl, in fact!

Don Ho - Greatest Hits

Fafara - You may be fucking scratching your head at this pick, but his voice is like butter, and go listen to the song "Night Life", because before I die, I’ll be covering it! He was Elvis's favorite singer FYI!

White Zombie - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1

Fafara - Fucking undeniable, this record... groove, voice, hooks, genre-defining and underrated. It changed the landscape the minute it came out and had an impact on me vocally, 100%. Plus, Rob's a nice guy - I like him.

Jerry Vale - Jerry Vale Sings the Great Italian Hits

Fafara - I’m Italian, so question to you is: Have you ever heard Jerry? In my opinion, and I love both Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, but Jerry Vale’s voice runs circles around them and this record is jamming. if I’m cooking or en route to amore. Ciao.

Devo - Freedom of Choice

Fafara - I’m a massive new wave fan, so Devo tops the list, and after them for me comes Dead or Alive, Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants... New wave all damn day on a Sunday. I’m good.

Dealing with Demons Vol. II from DevilDriver lands May 12th via Napalm Records.

Pre-order the album – HERE

Dez also joins Coal Chamber for the seminal band's first show since 2015 at the inaugural Sick New World Festival. See the complete line up and set times below.

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