Fear Factory Guitarist Dino Cazares Talks New Album, Tour Plans + More
Fear Factory have always been a force to be reckoned with in the world of industrial rock. Like most long-lasting bands, they have faced several obstacles throughout their tenure in the rock world. One obstacle that threatened to be the demise of the band was when it was announced that they would be returning from their break-up in 2002 without founding member and guitarist Dino Cazares. Overcoming that obstacle, though, it didn’t take long for Cazares to return to the lineup with lead singer Burton Bell and release 2010’s ‘Mechanize.’
Now, Fear Factory is celebrating their latest triumph and eighth studio album, ‘The Industrialist,’ released on June 5, 2012. Fortunately for Fear Factory and industrial rock fans across the world, Loudwire caught up with Cazares to talk about the new album, how he and Bell are doing and what fans can expect from the band’s summer tour.
Congratulations on ‘The Industrialist.’ It’s been out for nearly two months now. How has everything been going?
The reception has been great. Worldwide, it’s been really well accepted. In America, we hit the Billboard charts which has been great. Across Europe, too, and in Canada, we’re like No. 1 on iTunes. The response has been killer.
It’s nothing new for Fear Factory to deal with the idea of man vs. machine. What part of this story does ‘The Industrialist’ focus on?
It focuses on the near future where we have created robots, called automatons, to assist humans with everyday life. There was a glitch in the system and we wanted to eradicate all automatons, but they became sentient and smarter and wanted to co-exist with humans. The Industrialist in the story is fighting for more life. That’s the war that’s going on with this record.
It’s an interesting concept, man vs. machine, especially considering the new approach you took with the drums on ‘The Industrialist.’
We didn’t do anything too much different. This is the first record where we decided to use a drum program for the whole record, but on ‘Mechanize,’ we did a lot of drum programming. We also had a lot of drum programming on ‘Demanufacture’ and our early demos. It’s really nothing new for us. It’s probably new to the fans since we’ve never done a full record like that before. Me and Burton [Bell, singer] wanted to take full control of the record ourselves, and that’s pretty much what we did. One of my buddies, John Sankey from the band Devolved, helped me with the writing process of the drum programming. We’re very proud of what we did and what we accomplished. We had Gene Hoglan on ‘Mechanize,’ but some of the songs on that record were drum programs since Gene is a really busy guy. He jumps from project to project a lot. We weren’t able to secure him for this album, so that’s why we ended up using the drum program. We’re really happy.
You didn’t seem to miss a beat with the drum program, no pun intended.
At the end of the day, when we recorded live drums in the past, we’ve always used the computer to line up all the drums to make it tighter. We’d move every snare hit, every kick hit, every tom hit to make it more precise. We’d change the actual drum tone to make it more manufactured. At the end of the day, was it really still a human playing? Why even spend the money or take the time to teach someone to do it when we can just do it ourselves? So that’s what we did.
Besides the new album, you’re hitting the road for a string of new tour dates. What can fans expect from the latest Fear Factory live shows?
We have a couple new guys. Matt DeVries from Chimaira is our new bassist. Mike Heller from the band Malignancy is our new drummer. They’ll add a lot of new energy. Fear Factory has gotten really aggressive with some of our past records and that makes for a really f—ing energetic show and I love it.
What’s the chemistry like between you and the new guys?
It’s great. We’ve known Matt since 2001, so we’ve known him for a long time. He’s a good friend of ours so it works out great. Mike is the newest guy as far as relationships go, but so far it’s been great!
It was just a few years ago that you announced you’d be returning to Fear Factory. What was it like coming back to the band that you helped create?
It felt really good. Me and Burton hadn’t worked together in a long time. It felt really good once we got past all the drama because, you know, my old writing partner was back. What we started and what we created back in 1990, we were able to bring that back again. This time, we’ve grown up. We’re much more mature. We were able to focus on bringing back the original ideas of Fear Factory and what it was about. He felt that when I was out of the band, a lot of those elements had been lost. The industrial elements, obviously the guitars, were lost. When we did ‘Mechanize’ and ‘The Industrialist,’ those were the elements we wanted to bring back. And if you listen, you can tell that my guitar work is f—ing pretty f—ing in business.
How’s everything between you and Burton?
Everything has been going great. Obviously when we were talking on the phone four years ago, a lot of stuff had to just be water under the bridge. We had to bury the hatchet and get beyond the drama. Once we did that, it was smooth sailing. We’re business partners, we’ve known each other for over two decades. Obviously there will always be fighting or arguments, that’s just how it is. Besides that, though, we’re very mature, we’re very professional. We’re grown ups, you know? We’ve put out two records in four years, I think that’s pretty f—ing good.
For all the Dino Cazares fans out there, what’s the status of your other project, Divine Heresy?
Divine Heresy is pretty much on the back burner. I’ve been pretty much concentrating only on Fear Factory, but I do have like three of four songs written for Divine Heresy. It’s not done, Divine Heresy is a band that I started, so whoever is still left will be with me, you know?
Do you think there will be an album in 2012?
No. I would say 2013.
So you’ve got the new Fear Factory album, the new tour dates. What’s on the horizon for you and the band?
F—ing touring, the world tour basically. We started this world tour about two and a half months ago and we’re just going to keep on touring. It takes us to a lot of places we haven’t been before and places we’ve been to millions of times. Me and Burton are very excited. We get to go to Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Paraguay. We get to go to Brazil and all across Europe. We’ll be touring with Devin Townsend, we’ve got another tour with Shadows Fall, we have a bunch of shows with Soulfly. I’m just really excited, man. It’s going to be killer.
Fear Factory’s ‘The World Industrial Tour 2012′ Dates:
8/1 – Fresno, Calif.
8/2 – San Diego, Calif.
8/3 – Tempe, Ariz.
8/5 – Las Vegas, Nev.
8/7 – Albuquerque, N.M.
8/9 – Cave In Rock, Ill.
8/10 – Ft. Wayne, Ind.
8/11 – Twin Lakes, Wis.
8/12 – Chesterfield, Mich.
8/14 – Pittsburgh, Pa.
8/15 – Sayreville, N.J.
8/16 – Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
8/17 – Reading, Pa.
8/18 – San Juan, Puerto Rico
8/19 – Amityville, N.Y.