Fafara is of Portuguese and Sicilian descent. His father, Tiger Fafara, and his late uncle, Stanley Fafara, were child actors on the Leave It to Beaver television sitcom.
Fafara's wife is named Anahstasia, and she appears on the cover of the second Coal Chamber album Chamber Music. Fafara has three sons: Tyler, Simon and Kaleb. "Tyler's Song", from the album Chamber Music, was written for Tyler. Simon, age nine at the time, added backing growls on DevilDriver's third album, The Last Kind Words (2007), on the song "Tirades Of Truth", during the last two lines of the chorus.
He has suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder his whole life.
Fafara released a total of 4 albums with Coal Chamber. Three of the albums, Coal Chamber (1997), which went gold, Chamber Music (1999), and Dark Days (2002), consisted of new material. An album of remixes, rarities, and b-sides, titled Giving the Devil His Due (2003) and a "Best Of" (2004) were also released. Coal Chamber disbanded in 2003, shortly after Fafara formed his current band DevilDriver.
On September 26, 2011, it was announced that Coal Chamber would reunite for Australia's Soundwave Festival, which took place in early 2012. As of October 2012, according to Fafara, new material from Coal Chamber is in the works.
Coal Chamber participated in a tour with Sevendust and Stolen Babies in early Spring of 2013.
According to Fafara, the 4th album was completed in December 2014 before its release in 2015. Coal Chamber now consists of the three founding members Dez Fafara, Miguel Rascon and Mikey Cox, with bassist Nadja Peulan rejoining the band in 2013, having originally played with Coal Chamber in 1999 and 2002. The band collaborated with Ministry's Al Jourgensen for their 4th studio album, titled 'Rivals'.
Currently, Fafara, as part of DevilDriver, has released seven studio albums, DevilDriver (2003), The Fury of Our Maker's Hand (2005), The Last Kind Words (2007), Pray for Villains (2009), Beast (2011), Winter Kills (2013), and Trust No One (2016). DevilDriver was also nominated for a Golden Gods Award in 2008 for the best break-through metal band.
Fafara has appeared on more than twelve soundtrack records, including Scream 3: The Album, which also went gold. He also collaborated with Ozzy Osbourne for a remake of "Shock the Monkey", a song originally by Peter Gabriel, that was released on the Coal Chamber album Chamber Music. This song propelled this record to debut 22 on the Billboard charts upon release.
Fafara recorded and provided vocals for the song "Baptized in the Redemption" on Roadrunner Records' 25th year anniversary compilation album Roadrunner United, alongside Dino Cazares (Fear Factory), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Paul Gray (Slipknot) and Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, ex-Soulfly). Dez worked with Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe) on a song called "Where Is God Tonight?" Fafara has also worked with Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual) on an early side project Viking Crown.
In November 2011, it was announced that Fafara would appear on a track in Soulfly's 8th studio album. The album is titled Enslaved and was released on March 13; the song Fafara appears in is called "Redemption of Man by God." In 2012, he performed on the song "Bastards!" by Canadian hardcore band Cancer Bats on their album Dead Set on Living.
Fafara got his first tattoo at the age of 16. He has a large assortment of tattoos, including a tribal tattoo on his chin, an assortment of Mayan/Aztec tattoos on his chest and left arm, the DevilDriver logo on his upper arm, and the Coal Chamber logo on his forearm. He also has a tattoo reading DEZ on his knuckles.