Fafara says he’s seen too many people fall foul of lifestyle and urges musicians to learn from bassist Jonathan’s mistakes
DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara says touring musicians should learn from the mistakes of bassist Jonathan Miller, who was forced to quit the band over his addiction issues.
In a heartfelt resignation letter Miller, who checked himself into rehab in January, told his colleagues: “I’ve become an emotional drain on the band. I’ve felt isolated for months and I need time away from the lifestyle.”
Now Fafara believes others can avoid the same fate by taking more care of themselves.
He tells Noisecreep: “I just wish Jon the best. Everything he put into the band was massive. I hope he conquers his demons and has a wonderful life. I love him.
“But you’ve got to watch yourself on the road. You can’t fall prey to it. I’ve never really been that dude but I see so many bands and I go, ‘I’m glad your party’s good tonight – but let’s see where you’re at six months from now.’
“If you’re partying on the road it’s the same thing you have at home: you know what’s going to get you into trouble and what’s not. If you’re drunk every single night you’d better check yourself.
“I’m not here to preach to anybody, but I’ve seen a lot of people go by the wayside in the last 15 years. I’ve seen a lot of people around me die, or quit music, and it’s all due to the lifestyle.”
Fafara admits he’s “done everything there is” but he’s learned to control himself. He says: “I have people paying hard-earned money to come and see me in a sliding economy. I’m not going to let them down by being so drunk I can’t get the job done.”
And the singer offers the benefit of his experience to those who want to survive life on the road: “Get some sleep, get some food – and don’t fall prey to the hard drugs, because that’s another thing.”
Miller has been replaced by DevilDriver’s tour manager Aaron Patrick, although no long-term decision has been made on the role. But Fafara says: “I now have a straight-edge guy in my band playing bass. He brought a lot of different ways and thoughts about touring and life in general.”