DevilDriver have reluctantly withdrawn from this year’s Bloodstock Festival because, as revealed in a statement from frontman Dez Fafara, a doctor is advising the singer against flying overseas as he still contends with prolonged heart issues stemming from a bout with COVID back in 2021.
In an interview with Radioactive Mike Z earlier this month, Fafara outlined just how serious his COVID battle was. He genuinely thought he was going to die and was giving somber instructions to his wife Anahstasia regarding funeral arrangements. She even initiated communication between Fafara and members of Coal Chamber, which helped spur their reunion in the end.
Ultimately, the vocalist pulled through and even though he’s now physically able to return to the stage and perform, he’s not exactly at 100 percent.
In a statement released through Bloodstock’s social media channels, Fafara laments DevilDriver’s withdrawal while detailing just how much of a toll COVID took on him as well as what his current physical state looks like.
“In 2021, I came down with Covid which left me with heart problems. I had to live downstairs in my house, as I could barely walk more than a few feet without collapsing. I, in fact was saying goodbye to my family at the time and didn’t think I would pull through,” he begins.
Fafara goes on to say that his recovery began with walking one block and then two, gradually increasing the physical load on his body. “It took me 14 months to get to a point where I could perform again onstage,” he adds.
Regarding the advice he received from his doctor, Fafara explains, “My cardiologist (who saved my life) has asked me to not take any long flights this year at all as we monitor the situation. It has been a very long road for myself and my family, but am returning to form. Even on tour [in the U.S.] now with DevilDriver, I must do the show, then go straight to my bunk to rest, as I still have inflammation in my lower heart and it’s that what’s preventing me from taking flights overseas.”
He apologizes for the inconvenience DevilDriver’s festival exit may have caused and expresses hope to tour overseas within the next 12 to 24 months, as soon as he gets the “all clear” from his doctor.
“I want you all to know it’s thinking about touring, being on stage again, and playing music that’s actually helped me to survive this,” Fafara goes on, “I love you all please be good to each other and I’m grateful for any prayers you can send our way as they will certainly be well received. We certainly would not be pulling out had health not come into play.”
Realizing the timing of this announcement, which comes right as Coal Chamber were announced as direct support for Mudvayne on a 2023 tour, the vocalist also notes that this statement was intended to reach festival organizers before the tour announcement and the email mistakenly was not sent at the intended time.
“We see Bloodstock as extended family to us and feel horrible our mail didn’t get set,” Fafara concluces.
In addition to reactivating Coal Chamber, Fafara has quite the loaded year with DevilDriver’s Dealing With Demons Vol. II set to be released on May 12 this year on Napalm Records.
The first single, “Through the Depths” can be heard directly below and view the album artwork and track listing beneath the video.
DevilDriver’s co-headlining tour with Cradle of Filth ends March 26 (see remaining dates here) and you can catch Fafara live with Coal Chamber this summer at these dates with Mudvayne, GWAR, Nonpoint and Butcher Babies — get tickets here.
DevilDriver, “Through the Depths” Music Video
DevilDriver, Dealing With Demons Vol. II Album Art + Track Listing
1. “I Have No Pity”
3. “Nothing Lasts Forever”
5. “Through the Depths”
7. “It’s a Hard Truth”
8. “If Blood Is Life”
9. “This Relationship, Broken”
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