John Miller - DevilDriver

May 12, 2005

Tell me a bit about DevilDriver for folks who may not know too much about you guys.

We are a heavy metal band who are about to release our second record on Roadrunner Records and we're brutal.

Kickass. You guys are on tour with Machine Head.

Yeah, we're in Cleveland, OH as we speak and Machine Head is actually not going to be able to play a show today because Rob Flynn has a throat infection and we're going to headline the show.

That'll be cool.

Yeah, Machine Head is a great bunch of guys and we're really happy to be on tour with them. They're actually one of the bands I listened to when I was 15 or 16 years old in high school. Playing Machine Head covers in our little high school band. It's really cool to be on tour with them right now.

Did you ever think you'd be opening for them one day?

No, I thought maybe it could happen. It actually fucking did happen. That's actually been the case with a lot of the bands we've gone on tour with. Doing the Ozzfest and touring and going to Europe with In Flames. Going out with Opeth. These are all bands that I grew up listening to and now I'm out on tour with them and making friends with them. It's the coolest thing I've ever experienced.

Meeting Ozzy has to be incredible.

The Ozzfest last year I think was the best Ozzfest lineup to date and I'm really stoked that we got to play on the second stage and hang out with fucking all the bands. Really cool.

With Judas Priest.

Yeah, that's rad.

That was so cool because I had this one kid standing next to me during the whole show asking me about Priest and being really thrilled. That made me smile. You guys have been voted as the number three best new band.

Yeah, in Revolver. We got five for most underrated band too. We tied with Isis and Mastodon I believe. That's pretty cool. I think things are going to do well on this record. I think the record over all is just better than the first one and I think kids will latch onto it. We're really excited to go out and tour basically for the next year or year and a half. However long it takes. Definitely excited to play these new songs live. We're going to play two new ones tonight actually.

It's going to be called The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand. Tell us a bit about it.

Lyric wise, these are the best lyrics Dez has ever written. Especially the title track. That's my favorite song. It's going to be the last track on the record. I'd rather let kids read it for themselves then have me try to explain it. If Dez wants to explain his lyrics, he can go on ahead. I don't want to try and interpret them for other people. I didn't write the lyrics. It's definitely a lot different than Coal Chamber. The lyrics are a lot more serious and just more badass and fucking thoughtful I would say.

When people leave a band and form one of their own, the one comment I always hear from people is "is this band going to sound like the one they were in?" What the fuck is the point of forming your own band if you're going to sound like a band you were already in? It will sound different.

Yeah, I don't know if you're familiar with a band called Acid Bath but the singer went and formed a band called Agents Of Oblivion. It's one of my favorite records but it sounds nothing like Acid Bath. It's cool. It's all acoustic and dark.

That's the way it's supposed to be. If you're going to go out and do something on your own, it shouldn't sound like some shit you already did.

We sound nothing like Coal Chamber. We're fast and we're brutal. We are a straight up fucking metal band. Coal Chamber has different influences. Goth and electronic stuff. They were kind of in the nu metal thing that was going on at the time. We're just straight up metal. I think Dez is pretty unique as a vocalist. I don't really think anybody sounds like him. He's got his signature growl and I think it's cool to be a part of this. It's a nice little experimental thing that throws Dez from Coal Chamber in with a fucking brutal ass metal band. The end result being fucking awesome. We're all just really proud of it. We worked our asses off with Colin Richardson. He produced the record and we spent three months in El Paso, TX. We ate enchiladas in the middle of the desert and spit out this record. It was a great experience.

I bet it was. There isn't anything better than the Lone Star State baby. You're going to be kicking our asses on the Sounds Of The Underground tour.

Oh yeah. I can't wait for that to start. It's going to be cool. I guess Lamb Of God is going to headline it. It's going to be brutal. It'll be cool to get back on tour with Opeth too. We went out with them about a year and a half ago and they're good friends of ours. It'll be nice to see them again.

How did you guys get hooked up with the Sounds Of The Underground tour?

I don't know. I'm not sure how we did but I know we got it.

Do you know what slot you'll be playing?

We're going to be playing as far as I know right now between 12:30 and 3:30 every day. It's a rotating type of deal. It's all going to be on one stage now. Originally it was going to be on two stages. So between 12:30 and 3:30.

Are you going to play some of your new shit on the Sounds Of The Underground tour?

Yes, we are. We're going to play the first track on the record. Actually I'd like to have it be surprised for Dez.

I was on your website. Do you have a video out for your new record?

Actually just 30 minutes ago I saw the first cut of the video for "Hold Back The Day" which was sent to us from the guy who directed it. His name is Joe Lynch. The video was all shot in L.A. about two weeks ago and it should be premiered on Headbanger's Ball probably a week before the record comes out. Maybe before that hopefully. I'd like to see the video get out as soon as possible. Actually it's a really cool video. It's kind of a takeoff on the Black Sabbath "Paranoid" video. It's cool. It was used with the same cameras that shot Sin City. The camera quality is really cool. It's going to be exciting.

I love that they resurrected Headbanger's Ball. I used to watch that particular show and to me that was worthy of watching MTV. It's cool that they brought that back.

Yeah, I remember staying up late at night and trying to get the TV low so my parents wouldn't hear it. I was supposed to be sleeping and watching that. It was cool.

The tour is going well with Machine Head?

Oh yeah, except for the fact that Rob Flynn has been sick and it's just affecting Machine Head being able to perform. Everything else is great. We're ready to go tour.

Yeah, but you guys will have fun headlining tonight.

Yeah, it will be fun. It's part of the Cleveland Music Festival which is going on right now. I guess there's four different venues in Cleveland that you can buy a ticket for $10.00 and go to any of the four venues all weekend. I know tonight it's sold out over here so it's going to be fun.

When does that tour end?

The Machine Head tour ends June 11. The Sounds Of The Underground starts two weeks later on June 25. Then I think we might be going to Europe in the fall with Candiria as I'm hearing right now. They're cool.

Any other thoughts or comments?

Thanks for doing the interview with me. We'll have a drink when we get to Dallas.