Fafara hails bassist Peulen as “mediator” who’s “critical” to the band’s return

Dez Fafara has hailed bassist Nadja Peulen as Coal Chamber’s “mediator” – and says her return to the band was “critical” in making their reunion a success.

The band started touring in 2011 following an eight-year break, with Chela Rhea Harper on bass duties after Peulen originally refused to come back.

Once they decided to record latest album Rivals – their first in 13 years – Peulen agreed to take part.

Fafara tells Joel Gausten: “When we talked about making a record, it was very much on the top of our heads. She was in a really great place personally and with us. She’s a monster on stage, and she’s an absolute monster in the studio. I don’t know a lot of bass players on a record that’s going to be of this calibre who can just go in and wail on it like that.

“She brings her own style to things, and she’s a bit of a mediator between us as well. Not so much now, because there’s never any conflict.

“But when she hears us say something that makes us laugh, she brings another perspective – like, ‘Oh God, I remember.’ Then we all start laughing at her view of what she was seeing before the split. So it’s critical.”

Fafara says he was surprised to discover how influential Coal Chamber had been in their first incarnation. He says: “I had one kid, who was like 17, say to me, ‘Dude, you started all this, man. You started all this scene.’

“I was like, ‘What scene? What bands do you think Coal Chamber started?’ When he went through the list, I was actually taken aback. Anytime you can have influence on bands coming up, it’s a good thing. When you get a diverse culture of people coming out to see you after being gone 13 years, you just kind of look up at the sky and say, ‘Hail the Stars’.”

Coal Chamber’s current UK tour continues:

May 26: Bristol Motion

May 27: Exeter Lemon Grove

May 28: Brighton Concorde 2

May 29: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

May 30: Manchester The Ritz

May 31: London Koko

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