After nine years off Fear Factory, the original guitar player and main songwriter of the band Dino Cazares returned to produce alongside Burton C. Bell the new FF monster called ”Mechanize”. What follows is Dino’s vision about the album, some details about it, his opinion about new groups, his emotional statement about his long gone close friend Dimebag Darrell and a promise to do anything he can to see FF live in Greece. Observe!
Hello Dino, where do we find you at the moment?
I am in Los Angeles and I am getting ready for our Australian tour.
Fear Factory is finally back and everybody here in Greece are very happy about it. I am sure you have discussed what I’m going to ask several times, but what was that stopped the band back then and how did you take the decision to reunite?
I really don’t know what happened, all I know was I was not in the band again and later on, they approached me to rejoin the group.
How do you feel working with Fear Factory after so many years?
Oh, I feel great. I feel really great I can work with Burton again, and also Gene and Byron. There’s definitely a chemistry there and you definitely feel the magic that came out of the record.
So, let’s talk about the new album called ”Mechanize”. Does the title have a special meaning or symbolize anything?
I think it symbolizes a great sound of Fear Factory, it takes what we did to the next level, it takes records like ”Soul Of A New Machine”, ”Demanufacture”, ”Obsolete” and ”Digimortal”, the records I was on, to the really next level, and creates a whole new chapter of Fear Factory that I’m really proud of. The record’s coming out in February.
What were the composing and the recording process of the record like? Did you have any problems during the creation of the record?
None (laughs)! Not at all. This was one of the easiest recordings I have ever done, the writing process was very exciting since I was very excited to record with Burton again. Also Gene and Byron are very talented musicians, very professionals and the writing was smooth, no tension, and also having Rhys Fulber who is kinda fifth member of the band, made the recording very easy. You know, working with him was great, he did a great job in producing the industrial elements of the band, with all these new soundscapes and generally the recordings were great and we had a great time.
So, are you satisfied with the production and the record generally?
100 % satisfied. You are correct. I mean, we put a lot of time and effort into this record to become what it is, and we are very proud of it.
What is the musical direction of ”Mechanize”? How would you describe it to a fan that hasn’t heard it yet?
Very powerful, very aggressive, very exciting, fresh, it has a lot of industrial in it, it’s got all of the new elements that you want, it’s a very well ran record. Later on the record it slows down a little bit and you get into the real big songs like ”Final Exit” or ”Designing The Enemy” and finally you have all the elements that you need to like the record.
Is it similar to the previous releases of Fear Factory? Can you compare it to any of the previous albums?
I would say yes and no. No there isn’t a comparison because musically it’s still Fear Factory but it goes to different places. But you can compare the energy and the excitement of albums like ”Demanufacture”, you can compare the maturity and the songwriting of albums like ”Obsolete”. But soundwise it is still Fear Factory, we have taken it to a new level and this is where we are up today right now.
Gene Hoglan is an amazing drummer that joined Fear Factory. How did this come out? Did he bring new elements to the band with his playing?
When Raymond refused to play drums, Burton gave Gene a call and asked him if he wanted to be a part of this, and Gene said yes. He is a legendary drummer, he’s done a lot of big and great things and to have him as a part of this is the best move Burton could do. I believe that he did bring new elements to the band, he’s a different player, the first different and in songs like ”Fear Campaign” there are a lot of good toms and that is something Fear Factory never had before. So it is great to have a drummer that can play so good with his hands and we are very happy to have him in the band.
I would like us to talk about the lyrical part of the album. Is there a concept on the album?
The whole conceptual thing about the record himself is we wanted to take the meaning of Fear Factory further. What is Fear Factory? Fear Factory is something that causes fear. For instance, the church, politics, religion, terrorism, all the stuff that causes fear. Where is the future of this world going and what is our future? For instance songs like ”Christplotation” we use them to state how religion is using fear tactics to make you believe in God or Jesus Christ. On ”Fear Campaign” we talk about the political leaders who try to cause you fear with the media, in order to vote them. So, that’s the overall concept of the album. Which are the things in life that cause us fear and where we are lead to.
You have already played some shows, what where the reaction of the fans so far?
It was amazing. I mean, I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure how people would react that I am back in the band, I wasn’t sure about how they will react on the record. But I was confident when I got on stage and saw Burton on my right side singing, and the overall positive response we are getting for the shows and for the album fills us with confidence and makes us believe that what we’re doing is right.
On the other hand you recently made a new video for the album, tell us a little things about it.
Yes, we did a videoclip for the song ”Fear Campaign”. The video will be out on February 6 and the album will be out on February 9. So you get to see it worldwide online, on MTV or wherever a video station is on February 6. We shot it with director Ian McFarland, he has worked with a lot of bands, one of his most popular videos is the one he did for Meshuggah for a song called ”Bleed”. So we brought down the word fear and the images that cause us fear, there’s gonna be a bit of a live performance and maybe Burt’s gonna be acting on the video, you’ll see a lot of things flashing and a lot of images that cause us fear in today’s world.
Why especially this song? Is it considered to be the hit of the album?
Whoa, good question… we love all the songs,I wish we could make a video for every song. But ”Fear Campaign” I think best resembles where the band is right now. It has the industrial element, it has the fast, aggressive element, it has a great melodic chorus. I think it has a very strong meaning, so I think it is the best song to represent the album.
Getting out of Fear Factory, the last years you have been more than active with bands like Divine Heresy and Asesino. Tell us a few things about them.
Divine Heresy is going really strong right now, Asesino is on hold since we are all a little busy. Divine Heresy is doing some shows in Australia on April and I think we might do a US tour, hopefully we are going to come to Europe, but obviously Fear Factory takes a lot of my time right now. When there is space in between Fear Factory tours, I will make a Divine Heresy tour.
I would like to inform you that our site is working on a big tribute for the 00’s decade that has already left us behind, and ”Digimortal” was voted as one of the 50 best albums of the decade. Which are your memories from back then?
Oh, that was a very, very tough time for all of us. We are very proud of this record, but there was a lot of elements that kinda destructed the band. The record label was one of the destructions, other people who tried to harm the band, I wish those people never were a part of it, but overall despite all the destructions that occurred, it’s still a good record with good songs on it like ”Acres Of Skin”, ”Linchpin”, ”Damaged”, ”Byte Block”, ”What Will Become”… There’s still some good stuff on the record. But obviously at the end of the day things didn’t work out between me and the band, but I’m back in the band now after so many years and I am very proud that ”Mechanize” is what it is.
I would like to ask you since we are talking about that album, how much productive were the 00’s in your opinion as far as metal is concerned. Do you notice any highlights?
Honestly, I am not really into new bands or anything new that blew me away this last year. A lot of my influences and a lot of the things that I enjoy come back from the ’80s or the early ’90s. What I’ve noticed in metal music is a recycle of what was old to become new again. Like the resurgence of thrash music. I haven’t heard a good thrash band this year, a lot of people tell me there are a couple of good bands but I haven’t heard a new Exodus, or a new early Anthrax. So, I guess if you want to thrash, you have to do it right. That was one of my favorite music styles when I was growing up, thrash metal, early speed metal and early death metal. These were the styles I used to love and I still love, I am into more classic stuff until now.
Dimebag Darrell’s death is definitely one of the worst things that happened for metal in ’00s decade. Would you like to tell us a few things about him, since we know you were very good friends? Which are your memories?
Well, one of the cool things about Dimebag is that he is a legend. When he was alive he was a living legend, and now that he’s gone, he’s still a legend. He left a legacy of music that it’s gonna inspire for years and years to come.You know, like Jimi Hendrix, to be honest he is basically our version of Jimi Hendrix. You know, a guy who really took things to a new level, inspired a lot of people and will keep inspiring a lot of people. I’m very proud that I was lucky to know the guy, to have some drinks with him, hang out with him, tour with him, have a great time. He was just a guy that touched all of us. The cool thing is it was not only about his guitar playing, it was also about his personality. He is a loveable personality, anyone could love him.
Moving back to the band and changing the mood, what are the future plans for the band? Are you going to book a tour? If you come to Europe can we hope for a Greece show?
Well we got back from South America, and now we’re going to Australia. After Australia we are coming to Europe and I really hope Greece is on the list. Then we come back to the US, we’ll tour the States for a while and then back to Europe and back to Australia again.
So you’re really busy I guess. Are you happy to be back on stage with Fear Factory?
I am very busy, I am very happy but I actually never left the stage. We have a great band, we are very tight. Everything goes fine thankfully.
Is there anything else you would like to add or tell us? The last words are yours to all the Greek fans. All the best to you in personal and for the band.
I’m gonna talk to our manager and tell him to book a concert in Greece. I promise to do the hardest I can. The album is out on February 9 and I hope to see you on tour.
Thank you very much, have a nice day.
Thank you too, bye bye.
Interview by: Karagiannidis Panagiotis.