I was all set to interview Dino Cazares, guitarist and founding member of FEAR FACTORY at the appointed time when a truck showed up as if from nowhere at the day gig. My co-workers scattered like the proverbial roaches when the lights are turned on, so it was up to me to handle business in a timely fashion before sneaking away to the storage room I use to conduct interviews on company time. Lucky for me Dino was still ready and willing to discuss the just-started FEAR FACTORY tour celebrating 20 years since their landmark Demanufacture album came out, as well as some other cool stuff. Have a look:
Amps: I’m so excited for this tour, Dino. I will be there at Reverb on April 8! You’re gonna love that place. The room is nice and big, and the staff there is super-nice. There’s also a really cool pizza joint near there whose name escapes me.
Dino: Cool, man. Please let me know about that pizza place. We’re always looking for good places to eat on the road. All we want is good crowds at the show, and good food nearby (laughs)!
Amps: So how did this wonderful idea to do Demanufacture in its entirety and go back on tour come about?
Dino: Obviously, for FEAR FACTORY it was a very groundbreaking album for us. It was the album that put us on the map. It was the album where a lot of people first discovered us. We became a worldwide band at that time when that record came out, it was our breakthrough album, you know? It was like, in some ways, our first album. Because a lot of people really didn’t hear Soul of a New Machine. Demanufacture was the start of something special and it put us on the metal map. So, the record came out 20 years ago on June 13, 1995. We decided to celebrate the album and give some of those songs that we never play live some attention, and it’s been successful everywhere. We did it in Australia first and then we went to Europe. People loved it, everybody came out. A lot of the older fans got to relive their high school days (laughs), you know? A lot of people here in the U.S. have been asking for it so we’re bringing it here.
Amps: This may be a controversial opinion, but right behind Demanufacture I think Digimortal is the next best record from you guys.
Dino: Digimortal was a great album. There were some people who liked it and some people who didn’t. But I still think it’s a great album and we’re very proud of that record. But, coming up after this one is Obsolete, released in 1998. Maybe somewhere down the line we do something for that one when it’s 20 years. Obsolete was a much bigger record than Demanufacture, so who knows? The cool thing on this tour is that some of the shows are already sold out, I know New York is. That’s good for us.
Amps: Who does what as far as writing in the band? Do you and Burton (C. Bell, vocals) send each other demos or get together and hash songs out?
Dino: I definitely write the music and I send it to Burton. Then he gives me his opinions and I will change things around. He might have a riff idea that he’ll hum or a beat idea. But for the most part 99% of the music is me. Sometimes we adjust the music to fit his vocal melodies. He contributes to the music as well, as far as ideas and structures. But when it comes to lyrics and those vocal melodies, that’s all him. Sometimes I might say, “How about this line in here?” or something like that. We work hand-in-hand and we contribute to each other’s work. Sometimes it’s good to have outside ears when you work on stuff.
Also we have a producer, Rhys Fulber who helped us immensely on this new record Genexus when it came to arrangements and vocal lines. It’s definitely a team. But the idea for the music starts in my bedroom, with my computer and my guitar.
And then Burton’s at home writing down ideas as far as concepts to sing about and lyrics. He’s got a notebook with like, a hundred fuckin’ pages and he’s flipping back and forth trying to find words and put shit together. That’s how we work, and it works out great.
Amps: Genexus is really a great fucking album…good job, man!
Dino: Thanks. We really took our time on this record. We wanted to give every song an equal amount of focus and attention. We had enough time where we could change parts around or change what we felt was needed. Sometimes you have a song and Burton might come up with vocals, and you have to listen to it a few times until you find something that bothers you. Then you take that thing that bothers you and get rid of it. So we gave it enough attention to where we could actually listen and do those kinds of things. We thought the album came out great and I believe it’s in line with Demanufacture and Obsolete, and we’re very happy with it.
Amps: Will we hear any songs from it on this run, or no?
Dino: Of course! We’re doing Demanufacture in its entirety then after that we’re gonna leave the stage for a minute or two, then after that we’ll do a handful of songs, like five or more. Classics like “Shock”, “Edgecrusher”, some new stuff like “Soul Hacker” and “Dielectric.”
Amps: What’s in your CD player right now?
Dino: You know what? It’s a combination of a couple things. Right now it’s the new BORN OF OSIRIS (Soul Sphere) and I’ve been listening to a lot of PRODIGY lately. But the funny thing is, and I drive my wife crazy with this, is every morning I wake up with the weirdest song in my head. It could be anything from ABBA to Stevie Wonder to whatever it is. If I wake up and this song’s in my head I’m like, “Damn!” So I have to go and play the song just to get it out of there.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the FEAR FACTORY fans around the world?
Dino: I want to say that we appreciate everything that you’ve done for us. That doesn’t go unnoticed, and we are gonna continue to keep putting out great records. Hopefully you will keep coming to our shows. And thank you for supporting the band for the past 25 years.
And there you go. Dino Cazares is without a doubt one of the nicest guys I’ve talked to in all of metal. His enthusiasm and his gratitude towards the fans shines through and I cannot wait to rock the fuck out with FEAR FACTORY on April 8 at Reverb. You can get tickets to that show, as well as the other dates HERE. And if you’re reading this right now and you haven’t purchased Genexus yet I suggest you go and handle that.