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Biography

DEVILDRIVER, originally going by the title of DEATHRIDE, was conceived in Santa Barbara, California during mid 2002 as a side project of COAL CHAMBER frontman Dez Fafara. Far removed from the Nu-Metal cliches of his former outfit, DEVILDRIVER presented a much harder proposition with a keen eye towards Death Metal.

The band, also featuring guitarists Dragon (Jeff Kendrick) and Sleeper (Evan Pitts), bassist Shak (Jon Miller) and drummer Junk (John Boecklin), signed to the Roadrunner label for a Ross Hogarth and Dan Certa produced debut album. Originally going by the projected title of 'Straight To Hell' the album would subsequently be re-named simply 'Devildriver' for issue in October 2003, plugged by a promotional video for the track 'I Could Care Less'.

DEVILDRIVER united with DANZIG and SUPERJOINT RITUAL for the October 2003 'Blackest Of The Black' North American tour. The band got back on schedule in the New Year supporting OPETH on their 'Lamentations Over America Tour 2004' commencing in Redmonton, Canada on 20th January. DEVILDRIVER also landed the support slot to IN FLAMES European dates in April. That Summer the group joined the roving cast of the mammoth BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST and SLAYER headed 'Ozzfest' events. DEVILDRIVER missed the July 29th 'Ozzfest' gig at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California when their bus broke down.

Touring plans for the Autumn of 2004 saw the band joining up with the DANZIG headed 'Blackest Of The Black' tour, organised by Glenn Danzig and comprising DOYLE, featuring ex-MISFITS guitarist Doyle, Norwegian Black Metal pioneers MAYHEM, Thrash veterans DEATH ANGEL and EYES OF FIRE. However, with just days to go before these dates the entire tour was abruptly cancelled.

DEVILDRIVER had the previously unreleased track 'Digging Up The Corpses' included on the 'Resident Evil: Apocalypse' movie soundtrack. The group maintained momentum by entering Sonic Ranch studio in Tornillo, Texas on 15th November with producer Colin Richardson to cut their second album.

Ex-DEVILDRIVER guitarist Evan Pitts forged BACKMASK in late 2004, an alliance with lead vocalist/guitarist Shane McFee (son of DOOBIE BROTHERS guitarist John McFee) and the HIRAX and TCHILDRES credited drummer Dan Bellinger. Pitts would be substituted in the DEVILDRIVER ranks by Mike Spreitzer. Meantime, US gigs for DEVILDRIVER in May saw a road alliance with THE HAUNTED, MACHINE HEAD and IT DIES TODAY.

Initially announced as an opening act on the SLIPKNOT / SHADOWS FALL US arena tour of Spring 2005 the band was forced to drop off the billing due to "Union enforced time constraints". A new DEVILDRIVER album, 'The Fury Of Our Maker's Hand', shifted over 10,000 copies in its first week of US sales to debut at no.117 on the national Billboard charts. The band had their track 'I Could Care Less' featured on the soundtrack to the 'Rainbow Six Lockdown' game issued by 3volution Productions.

The Summer of 2005 found the group participating in the US 'Sounds of the Underground' touring extravaganza, a collaboration between independent labels Ferret Music, Prosthetic Records, Trustkill Records and Metal Blade Records. The mammoth billing for these shows saw the band sharing stages with CLUTCH, OPETH, POISON THE WELL, FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES, CHIMAIRA, NORMA JEAN, EVERY TIME I DIE, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, THROWDOWN, HIGH ON FIRE, UNEARTH, ALL THAT REMAINS, A LIFE ONCE LOST and GWAR. Regional additions included MADBALL and TERROR, splitting the East and West portions of the tour respectively, THE RED CHORD on the East Coast, FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES in the Midwest and Southeast and HIMSA for Western gigs. Jon Miller of DEVILDRIVER took over the STRAPPING YOUNG LAD bass position in mid July as their regular bassist, Bryon Stroud, had been previously contracted out to FEAR FACTORY.

Former DEVILDRIVER guitarist Evan Pitts announced another new formation in early 2005 billed VEINGLORY. Meanwhile, Dez Fafara donated his vocals to the ROADRUNNER UNITED 25th anniversary album 'The All-Stars Sessions' released in October, featuring on the track 'Baptized In The Redemption' composed by Dino Cazares, formerly of FEAR FACTORY. The band acted as direct support to GWAR's US dates commencing 7th October in Sayreville, New Jersey, also packaged with A DOZEN FURIES and MENSREA. Maintaining their road ethic, UK gigs in December for DEVILDRIVER saw a strong package billing allied with LAMB OF GOD and THE AGONY SCENE. Subsequently, IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM and DEVILDRIVER pooled their talents for a January 2006 US tour. The group heightened their road profile further by hooking up with BURY YOUR DEAD, REMEMBERING NEVER, IF HOPE DIES and ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER for the US 'Burning Daylight' tour in May. The band also put in a significant appearance at the METALLICA and KORN headlined 'Download' festival in Castle Donington, UK on June 10th.

The band and producer Jason Suecof utilised Sonic Ranch studios in El Paso Texas for their next album, 'The Last Kind Words', commencing recording on November 13th. Meantime, Jon Miller, Jeff Kendrick and John Boecklin activated instrumental side project BELT-FED in union with PRESSURE 4-5's Joe Schmidt. Upon release 'The Last Kind Words' sold over 14,000 copies during its first week of release to debut at no. 48 on The Billboard 200 chart.

DEVILDRIVER supported KATAKLYSM, UNEARTH and headliners Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR on their North American tour beginning on April 20th in Cleveland, Ohio.

In July 2008 DEVILDRIVER were joined for their Dallas, Texas 'Ozzfest' performance by drummer Kevin Talley, associated with DAATH, DYING FETUS, CHIMAIRA, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, THE RED CHORD, HATE ETERNAL, M.O.D., MISERY INDEX and SUFFOCATION. Regular drummer John Boecklin took the time out to get married the following day.

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