Although they’ve always proudly charged against the musical grain, DevilDriver have never made a record quite like Outlaws Til The End: Vol. 1. It’s the perfect combination of country grit and neck-wrecking metal, a game-changer delivered by true heavy metal outlaws.
The band rebuilt classic country songs from the ground up, and injected them with DevilDriver’s signature sonic assault, and vocalist Dez Fafara’s unmistakable roar. The album also features guest appearances by John Carter Cash, Ana Cristina Cash, Hank III and Mark Morton of Lamb of God.
With songs like “(Ghost) Riders in The Sky,” “Whiskey River,” “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)” and “Country Heroes,” Outlaws ‘Til The End might be one of most invigorating records DevilDriver has ever made.
Guitar World recently spoke with Neal Tiemann, the band’s guitarist, about the new album and more in this new interview.
What made the band decide to do a country-themed album?
It actually started with Dez. Like any band, we’ll all be sitting in the back-lounge listening to music as we’re getting ready for a show. So, there was always the fair share of Pantera and In Flames, but he’d also be listening to Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Sr. The rest of us never batted an eye. For me, growing up in Texas, I heard them a lot. One day, Dez suggested we do a country covers record. We all laughed at first but then took a step back, and it slowly came to fruition. But it really all started with that back-lounge hang.
How have fans reacted to the new album?
Surprisingly well. We weren’t sure how people would take to singing on a DevilDriver record but everyone we’ve talked to on this run has been taking it in and loving it.
What was the criteria used in determining which songs to do?
We tried to pick songs that had some kind of meaning to us. Dez was adamant about doing the Willie Nelson song, “Whiskey River,” and whenever I hear Dwight Yoakam, it reminds me of fond memories with my dad. So, “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” had special meaning. We listened to a lot of back catalog but also dug deeper to find songs that had a good melody or could transfer to metal. Then we took it from there.
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Interview with Neal Tiemann by Clicking Here!