The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand (Roadrunner)
An interview with guitarist Jeff Kendrick
By Rick Florino
photos by Adam Bielawski
Over the course of two albums, Devildriver have morphed into a murderous metal machine. On The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand, the band combines a deadly drum assault with riffs that hook and kill. Refreshingly, no crossover into emo or hardcore occur, just some damn fine metal. Devildriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick dissects the riffs and the record that could solidify his band as one of the few dependable genre heavyweights.
What was the creative process behind The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand?
Mike (guitar), Jon (bass), John (drums) and I got together and started writing. Some people wrote more than others, but all four of us played guitar together. We gave Dez (vocals) a CD with all of the music on it, and he wrote to that. We demoed the hell out of it. When I was in college, I would always write ten rough drafts of papers, so it was the same thing with demoing.
I really dig the clean guitars that open and close the record. Was that circle intentional?
When we’d finished the record, the last song we wrote was the title track. We decided that because there’s the clean part at the beginning of the album, we should write the final track with that in mind. We figured that it worked out because it starts and ends in the same way.
In addition to those clean guitars, is there some experimentation with the chords in the new songs?
On “The Fury,” there are actually some dissonant, wide-stretched chords. Those passages are similar to some of the stuff that In Flames does with their interesting chords.
It was refreshing to hear some guitar leads on the record. Do you and Mike play an equal amount of solos?
Mike has the record’s biggest lead on “Pale Horse Apocalypse.” Our drummer actually wrote the higher parts on the beginning of “Sin and Sacrifice.” Then I wrote the pre-chorus and the solo part at the end. Everyone really has a knack for melody, especially Jon and Mike. They’re really good at writing accompanying parts. However, it’s a pretty equal effort, which I think is really different from most bands. In the end, we don’t have songs that sound all the same because we don’t have just one person writing.
How was working with producer Colin Richardson?
The production with Colin Richardson was just great. That’s the most fun part of a record, for me: Getting the sound to be slamming. Laying down everything is important too, but sitting there and getting your tone is the most fun. Then having it come through the big speakers, you’re just like, “Yeah!!” (laughs)
When will you guys record again?
We just demoed four pretty solid ideas during our time off. When we get the chance, we write riffs. Maybe within a year, we’ll head back into the studio. We just like to jam and have a good time. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
You’ve already evolved immensely from the self-titled debut. What triggered some of those stylistic leaps?
A lot of that has to do with Jon Miller joining the band. He joined just as we were finishing the first record. The other guitar player, Evan Pitts, left in the middle of the first record’s touring cycle, and he’d written a lot of the first album. So the only people that were writing on the first record were me and Boecklin. The band started as a formula, but it changed because of who was writing and who was in the band. The second record is a hell of a lot better than the first. It’s just more metal. (laughs)