The typical rocker fills his life with beer cans, liquor bottles, dime bags, vials of coke and random groupie hookups. But DevilDriver front man Dez Fafara isn’t a typical rocker. Instead, Farfara kills time on the road training with tour manager Bo Marasco.
What inspired you to train in Kenpo?
Basically, on the road, you just sit around and watch TV, and that’s when people get in trouble with alcohol and drugs. There’s nothing but time on the road to kill – I don’t think many people know how much time there is on the road. So to find something more positive, I said to Bo one day, “Hey, why don’t you train me?” He is a brown belt, on his way to getting his black, and he’s a bad ass. He’s been doing this since he was like 13-years-old. So we started training one day in Europe, and one thing led into another, and now I’m on my orange working up. For me it has a more positive approach on the road, something positive to do on my time off, and not only that, something great for my body, my mind, my spirit [and] my soul.
Take me back to your first day of your training.
Well it was a situation where we were backstage in a bar in England, and we found a quiet place with concrete floors and went through our stretches. He started to show me little moves and learning how to focus on that. Getting myself away from the road for a minute was a pleasure…From that first day, it was commitment on. He did promise not to break my jaw, but everything else was on limits.
Have you incorporated any other disciplines into your training regimen?
Right now, it’s specifically concentrated on Al Tracy Kenpo. If he shows me any other shoot fighting moves or boxing techniques, it’s just kinda on the side to say, “Hey if you did this block and this didn’t work, don’t forget also you got this.” So he will be mixing a little bit of boxing in, but we also take 15-20 minutes of sparring just strict boxing so we can get the energy level up and everything working. I’m not opposed to learning anything else. I just wanna keep my mind straight on what I got, get to certain point of accomplishment and then branch out, but I wanna do it when my sensei says it’s time. Right now he can beat my ass, so I gotta wait until I can give him a run for his money before I incorporate other things.
So do you follow MMA hardcore?
You know, I catch fights and I know some dudes by name, obviously guys like Gracie and legends like that. I follow it, but not a point where I can name dudes and what’s going on.
In a match, who would you place your money on? Chuck Liddell or Bo?
(Laughs) I’d go with Liddell, first of all because I just moved from Santa Barbara and he’s a North County boy and a complete bad ass. I’m not gonna take anything away from Bo, even though I heard him make comments (laughs). One night, I don’t know if it was his last fight or the fight before, but we went to downtown Santa Barbara and watched it at a bar with everybody, and it was insane. I love the energy of that. You know what’s really killer is my young ones, who are 12 and 14, they were doing martial arts when they were young, and my youngest got to his purple belt, which was great for the kid. They stopped for a time being, [but] now that they’ve seen me doing it, they’re considering looking around and finding a dojo. So that’s killer to bring them back into it because they see me doing it. They were loving it.