Coal Chamber

Coal Chamber
Coal Chamber
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Alternative Metal
Industrial Metal
Nu Metal
Gothic Metal
Years active 1993–2003, 2011–present
Labels Roadrunner
Associated acts DevilDriver, Glass Piñata, Butterfly Knife, Machine Gun Orchestra, She's in Pain, NEO GEO, We Are the Riot
B. Dez Fafara
Meegs Rascón
Mikey "Bug" Cox
Chela Rhea Harper
Past members
Nadja Peulen
Rayna Foss
John Thor

Coal Chamber is an American alternative metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1993.[1] 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 John Thor was eventually replaced by Mike Cox (who beat out his older brother for the spot). After bassist Rayna Foss joined, the Coal Chamber lineup was complete.

In 1997 their debut self-titled album Coal Chamber was released. They toured very heavily supporting this album. The album spawned one single and video, "Loco". The video was also added as an extra after the ending credits of Dee Snider's film, Strangeland. The band also did 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 metal act Sevendust, bassist Rayna Foss married Sevendust's drummer Morgan Rose and became pregnant, necessitating another bass 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 the spring of 2002. Their only single and video was for the track 'Fiend'.[2]



Formation and early years (1992-1995)

Originally called Seal Chamber, the band gained a large following early in their career, arguably because they were the first "darker" themed nu metal band, having 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 Coal Chamber to an offer to sign with Roadrunner Records.

Fafara dropped out of the band quite suddenly due to disagreements with his wife about the band. In the spring of 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. The self-titled debut was released on February 11, 1997. They got Nathan "Karma" Cox to direct their first video, Loco.

In 1997, Coal Chamber toured Europe with Machine Head, Napalm Death and Skinlab, including a show at the legendary 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 engendered in 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. Coal Chamber later parted ways with Sharon 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. Bassist 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 had a falling 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 Dez and Meegs during a show in Lubbock, Texas. They had been fighting verbally before the show and continued to fight on-stage with Meegs hitting Dez in the head with the headstock of his guitar. Dez announced "This is the last Coal Chamber show ever!" and stormed offstage. The band attempted to continue the show with Meegs singing vocals but soon stopped the show altogether. Mikey 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 would be the last shows the band would ever play.

In October 2002, Mikey "Bug" Cox was fired after several personal disputes with both Fafara and guitarist Meegs 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 standstill.

Late summer 2003 saw the release of a compilation album titled Giving the Devil His Due which included several demo tracks submitted by the band prior to their signing with Roadrunner Records in 1997 along with several alternate studio recordings and remixes of various tracks from their previous releases. Coal Chamber officially called it a day in 2003 shortly after lead vocalist Dez 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, Dez Fafara stated that Coal Chamber's hiatus was permanent and would not be reforming at any time in the future. He has also described a reformation as "like repeating the 4th grade again."

Fafara continued as vocalist of 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. Bassist 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 long time friend, producer of Coal Chamber's self titled début, and Orgy member Jay Gordon to form Machine Gun Orchestra. Guitarist Meegs Rascón went on to form 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, Meegs joined Orange County rock/electro band NEO GEO mid-2009, although he later left the band in 2010.

Dez and Meegs settled their differences on October 24, 2008, with Meegs joining DevilDriver on stage at the Glasshouse in Pomona, California to play "Loco." Dez said that they had settled their disputes.

In September 2009, it was announced that Peulen and Cox had joined forces to form a currently unnamed band.[3] They were seeking a vocalist and guitarist to complete the lineup.

In September 2010, Rascón and Cox joined together in a post-punk band called "We Are the Riot".[4]

Reformation (2011–present)

In September 2011, it was announced that Fafara, Cox and Rascón would reform the band with bassist Chela Rhea Harper, to play the Soundwave shows in Australia.[5]


Former members

  • Nadja Peulen - bass (1999–2001, 2002–2003)
  • Rayna Foss - bass (1994–1999, 2001–2002)
  • John Thor - drums (1993–1994)


Coal Chamber discography
Studio albums 3
Compilation albums 2
Singles 4

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
1997 Coal Chamber 76 US: Gold[14]
1999 Chamber Music
  • Released: September 7, 1999
  • Label: Roadrunner
22 29 49 70 70 18 22 21
2002 Dark Days
  • Released: May 7, 2002
  • Label: Roadrunner
34 69 61 43
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Compilation albums

Year Album details
2003 Giving the Devil His Due
  • Released: August 19, 2003
  • Label: Roadrunner
2004 The Best of Coal Chamber
  • Released: August 9, 2004
  • Label: Roadrunner


Year Song Peak chart positions Album
US Main.
1997 "Loco" 81 Coal Chamber
1999 "Not Living" Chamber Music
"Shock the Monkey" 26 90
2002 "Fiend" Dark Days
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Coal Chamber Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved February 26, 2008. 
  3. ^ " - Former Coal Chamber members rejoin forced in new project". Sep 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  4. ^ " - Former COAL CHAMBER Members Rejoin Forces In WE ARE THE RIOT". Sep 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  5. ^ "". Sep 26, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Coal Chamber Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. 
  7. ^ "Discography Coal Chamber". 
  8. ^ "Discography Coal Chamber". 
  9. ^ "Discographie Coal Chamber" (in French). 
  10. ^ "Coal Chamber > Longplay-Chartverfolgung" (in German). 
  11. ^ "Discografie Coal Chamber" (in Dutch). 
  12. ^ "Discography Coal Chamber". 
  13. ^ a b "Chart Log UK: Chris C. - CZR". Zobbel. 
  14. ^ "RIAA Search". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  15. ^ "Coal Chamber". Allmusic. 

External links

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