DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: 5 Great Non-Metal Albums for Metalheads | Revolver

DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: 5 Great Non-Metal Albums for Metalheads

Killer tunes for Italian dinners, tiki bars and Halloween decorating
dez_credit_stephaniecabral.jpg, Stephanie Cabral
photograph by Stephanie Cabral

Metal lifer Dez Fafara has always had more than a few sides to him when it comes to music. The vocalist cut his teeth with nu-metal OGs Coal Chamber, who notably covered Peter Gabriel's synth-pop hit "Shock the Monkey" with Ozzy Osbourne. Fafara's current focus is DevilDriver. The long-running groove-metal crew know how to go hard, no question, but they're far from one-trick ponies — their last LP was a collection of country covers, 2018's Outlaws 'til the End, Vol. 1, after all. Now, they're gearing up to release the ambitious double-album, Dealing With Demons, the first half of which is due out October 2nd via Napalm Records. Considering Fafara's creative range, it should be no surprise that the DevilDriver frontman's listening choices should encompass a lot more than just metal. Indeed, when we asked him to list five non-metal albums he loves, he jumped at the opportunity to share some less-aggro records that could still resonate with his fellow metalheads. Check out his picks below.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In

Nothing is better than listening to Nick Cave on a rainy evening with candles by a window. Nick's voice is as pure as it gets and this record is haunting. "Red Right Hand" is a masterpiece that discusses musicians and how they are often discovered across the tracks from normal society. The song "Do You Love Me" is absolutely sung with conviction and speaks of true love. This is my go-to on a stormy night.

The Godfather soundtrack

This record is playing every Sunday as I make red gravy for the family for our weekly afternoon pasta "sit down." Without going track by track, I'll say this — you'll not find a stronger representation of Italian culture in music than this record. It's a fine example of how a soundtrack can take on a life of its own when inserted into your life! This is one I own on CD, on vinyl and on 8-track. I have a 1978 Cadillac Biarritz, yellow on yellow, and it has an 8-track player ... This is the first record we jam on long drives — it sets the mood!

Haunted Mansion soundtrack

I can't live without this one! One side is the ride narration done by Paul Frees, who's a master at his craft, and no one will ever have a better delivery than him. The other side has sounds from the ride without narration. I own multiple vinyl of this and whenever October starts coming around, this is jamming here at the Fafara house as we put up Halloween decorations.

Kava Kon - Tiki for the Atomic Age

First off, I love all things tiki! I have a giant tiki bar in my house with over 150 mugs on display — we own the bar from 1960 out of the Mayan Theater in L.A., which is large and vintage. I loved tiki way before it became a trend, so dark tiki bars — even though I'm sober — are still great haunts for me. The music, the musical tones, the laid-back atmosphere and the nostalgic kitsch that goes along with the south sea flair takes me away from the very busy, very hectic life that I lead and allows me to chill for a minute or more. 

Kava Kon is at the top of the list when it comes to outstanding, well-made ambient vibes. I'm sure if you give this a listen it might be on your top list, as well, for when you want to get away from songs with vocals and listen to some very eclectic and interesting musical landscapes ... plus there's nothing like a badass Hawaiian shirt and killer tiki mugs, let's be honest! 

Don Ho - Tiny Bubbles

So, I love Sinatra, Dean Martin and early standard guys, but one guy has a syrupy tone to his voice that's just my favorite: Don Ho! Almost underrated. And sure, you think Don Ho, you think tiki bar, tiny bubbles and lounge singer style — but did you know how many other musicians actually looked up to this guy for his songwriting capabilities? Guys like Elvis — another of my favorites — in fact, loved Don and his vocal tone and songwriting. Listen to the song "Night Life." The lyrics will resonate with anyone like myself that comes alive after midnight as he spells out in lyrics and with incredible delivery: "The nightlife, it's no good life ... but it's my life."