Coal Chamber with founding bassist Rayna Foss (1997)
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Genres||Nu metal, alternative metal, gothic metal, industrial metal|
|Years active||1993–2003, 2011–present|
|Members||B. Dez Fafara
Mikey "Bug" Cox
Chela Rhea Harper
|Past members||Rayna Foss
Coal Chamber is an American nu metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1993. Prior to Coal Chamber, Dez Fafara and Meegs Rascón formed the band She's In Pain in 1992. The two decided to create Coal Chamber. They disbanded in 2003 after ten years together, but announced a reunion in September 2011. Their first drummer, Jon Tor, was eventually replaced by Mike Cox (who beat out his older brother for the spot). After bass guitarist Rayna Foss joined, the Coal Chamber lineup was complete.
In 1997, their first album, Coal Chamber, was released. They toured very heavily supporting this album. The album produced one single and a video, "Loco". The video was also added as an extra after the ending credits of Dee Snider's film, Strangeland. The band also recorded an exclusive song for the soundtrack, titled "Not Living".
Chamber Music followed two years later. Between the two releases and after the band's tour with the metal act Sevendust, bass guitarist Rayna Foss married Sevendust's drummer Morgan Rose and became pregnant, necessitating another bass guitar player on tour, a role filled by Nadja Peulen.
Foss came back for the recording of Coal Chamber's third album, but left after the studio sessions to raise her daughter, Kayla Moray Rose. Dark Days was released in spring 2002. Their only single and video was for the track "Fiend".
Formation and early years (1993–1995)
Originally called Seal Chamber, the band gained a large following early in its career, arguably because it was the first "darker" themed nu metal band, with an image that had more in common with the goth subculture than hip hop culture.
In late 1994, Dino Cazares of Fear Factory championed a demo tape by Coal Chamber, causing a huge local stir with gigs at The Roxy Theatre and Whisky A Go Go, eventually leading Roadrunner Records to offer the band a contract.
Fafara dropped out of the band quite suddenly due to disagreements with his wife about the band. In spring 1995, Dez reunited with Coal Chamber, which ended his marriage but revitalized the band. With a renewed sense of energy, Coal Chamber was able to regain their deal with Roadrunner by the end of 1995.
Coal Chamber (1996–1998)
In 1996, Coal Chamber played in the first Ozzfest, acquired Mike "Bug" Cox, and recorded their first album, Coal Chamber, released on February 11, 1997. Nathan "Karma" Cox directed their first video, "Loco".
In 1997, Coal Chamber toured Europe with Machine Head, Napalm Death, Slipknot and Skinlab, including a show at the Dynamo Festival in the Netherlands.
Chamber Music (1999–2001)
Chamber Music was released in late 1999 and took a step away from the nu metal image of their prior release, having instead a more Gothic metal inspired feel. With the bit of commercial success Coal Chamber received after Chamber Music, the band toured on headlining and festival tours. The band managed to catch the attention of Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon Osbourne who became their manager, though they later parted ways over personal and creative differences, a theme which continued within the band causing them to take a break from touring and resulting in their non-participation in the Tattoo the Earth tour in 2000.
Dark Days/Disbandment (2002–2003)
The band followed up with their third album Dark Days in early 2002 to mixed reviews. Bass guitarist Rayna Foss had left the band to raise her daughter shortly after the album was recorded; she was replaced by Nadja Peulen who had taken Foss's place during her pregnancy between the first two albums. Rayna fell out with frontman Dez Fafara, saying that she and her husband had "found Christ" and would be leaving Coal Chamber for good.
In May 2002, it was announced that Coal Chamber had broken up after an on-stage altercation between Fafara and Rascón during a show in Phoenix, Arizona. They had been fighting verbally before the show and continued to fight on-stage with Rascón hitting Fafara in the head with the headstock of his guitar. Fafara announced "This is the last Coal Chamber show ever!" and stormed offstage. The band attempted to continue the show with Rascón singing vocals but soon stopped the show altogether. Cox demolished his drumkit before storming offstage. The band managed to patch things up long enough for an appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly and a summer tour with American Head Charge, Lollipop Lust Kill and Medication. These were the last shows the band played.
In October 2002, Cox was fired after several personal disputes with both Fafara and Rascón. The official release on the Coal Chamber website stated that the band was looking for a new drummer, although all band activities had come to a halt.
In late summer 2003, a compilation album titled Giving the Devil His Due was released which included several demo tracks submitted by the band prior to their signing with Roadrunner Records in 1997, along with several alternative studio recordings and remixes of various tracks from their previous albums. Coal Chamber officially called it a day in 2003, shortly after lead vocalist Fafara continued with his new band DevilDriver (formerly known as Deathride).
After the break-up (2003–2010)
In August 2004, Roadrunner Records released The Best Of Coal Chamber. In June 2005, Fafara stated that Coal Chamber's break was permanent and it would not be reforming. He has also described a reformation as "like repeating the 4th grade again".
Fafara continued as vocalist of the metal band DevilDriver, recording five albums: DevilDriver, The Fury of Our Maker's Hand, The Last Kind Words, Pray for Villains and Beast. He is the only member of Coal Chamber to release an album after the disbandment. Bass guitarist Nadja Puelen created the T-shirt company CruelTees, sold online and through stores such as Hot Topic. After taking two years off to recover from a car accident, drummer Mikey "Bug" Cox joined forces with his long time friend and the producer of Coal Chamber's first album, and Orgy member Jay Gordon to form Machine Gun Orchestra. Guitarist Meegs Rascón formed the rock band Glass Piñata, previously known as “Piñata”. The group released a few demos on their website, and faced several line-up changes before eventually disbanding. Following Glass Piñata, Rascón joined the Orange County rock/electro band NEO GEO in mid-2009, although he later left the band in 2010.
Fafara and Rascón settled their differences on October 24, 2008, with Rascón joining DevilDriver on stage at the Glasshouse in Pomona, California, to play "Loco". Fafara said that they had settled their disputes.
In September 2010, Rascón and Cox joined together in a post-punk band called "We Are the Riot".
Reformation and new material (2011–present)
Asked in October 2012 about the current status of Coal Chamber, Fafara stated that they are "taking it slow", partly due to his commitments with DevilDriver. He also stated that the band has begun writing new material.
On the 3rd of December it was announced that they would be performing at Download 2013.
- B. Dez Fafara - vocals (1993–2003, 2011–present)
- Miguel Rascón - guitar (1993–2003, 2011–present)
- Chela Rhea Harper - bass guitar (2011–present)
- Mike Cox - drums (1994–2003, 2011–present)
- Rayna Foss - bass guitar (1994–2002)
- Nadja Peulen - bass guitar (2002–2003; also touring bassist during: 1999-2001)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|2003||Giving the Devil His Due
|2004||The Best of Coal Chamber
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1998||"Sway (The Roof Is on Fire)"||—||—|
|1999||"Not Living"||—||—||Chamber Music|
|"Shock the Monkey"
(featuring Ozzy Osbourne)
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
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