OD – The new album ‘Genexus’ is out on August 7th, can you talk about the way that you approached the recording / writing of this album as you have stated that you ‘wanted to create a new hybrid’ for the Fear Factory sound. What do you mean by this?
DINO -Well it kinda goes with the concept of what we’re talking about, and it kinda goes with the music that we’ve created here, because when I say “hybrid”, I mean more atomically driven. Rhys’ (Fulber) side is more of an electronically digital side, and then you’ve got Andy Sneap who is more known for his organic metal tones, so we thought a hybrid of the 2 would make a great combination, and it did. It obviously sounds amazing. It’s like the singularity process has happened on this record.
OD – I understand that the title of the album came from a theory that we are entering into the next stage of human evolution with the rapid advancements of modern technology. Burton also talked about ‘The Singularity’ theory by Stephen Hawking & Ray Kurzwell, what are your thoughts about his predictions that in 2045 we will be overrun by machines. It’s kind of like the early stages of Terminator!
DINO – Yeah, I guess you could say that! But just so you know, song stuff that we sing about is a collection of both of our thoughts: documented towards the lyrics of the record. Obviously it’s something that we’ve both been into since day one, since the inception of Fear Factory. We were born solely of a machine; we became of the technology that we were talking about. And obviously where we are now, the Singularity process has already happened, and we are basically man and machine “as one”; what it needs to do to survive in today’s society, and it thrives for more life as we do as humans.
Actually there are moments of the record when this “hybrid” actually is human because what has been implanted in its mind thinks that it is – that its memories are real. And in some cases, it is creating its own memories. Memories were implanted in its mind for that. Because it is more sentient, it learns more and more and more, and it creates its own memories, so it actually thinks that it is human. You know – fully human. But it’s not. And when it discovers that it’s not, it thinks its fighting for more life. That’s where a song like “Expiration Date” comes in at the end of the record. It realizes that it’s just like everybody else; that it’s gonna die. We all wanna try and live longer, and most of us don’t wanna die, and we are just trying to live longer; go to the gym, eat better food, like – we live a longer life. That’s pretty much what it’s trying to do.
But over the whole process of the record, you realize that this Genexus model, as we call it, is also used for different purposes. There’s military purposes, autonomous combat, where it is actually used for military purposes. So there are benefits to the Singularity process; there are benefits to training automatons to go out there and fight wars for us. Or automatons that are made strictly for medical purposes. Like, there are benefits. To me, the 3 things that are gonna be used in this Singularity process is 1: military purposes, like war: 2 is for medical purposes, and the third is for sex. I mean, if you look at God, he made a very attractive Eve, who was able to sexually manipulate her way out of captivity. I hope that this all happens before my last days, because as I said, this is something that we’ve been really into since we were kids, but when we started the band, we were like “man – what if we made a band about this? What if we made a band about futuristic concepts?”. Because we were into “Blade Runner”…we were into “Dune”… we were into “Terminator”.
We were really into those movies, more in a way that me and Burton made a connection in our early friendship, even before we had started Fear Factory, me and Burton had other bands in which we were doing similar things in other bands, and when we first started, some of those other songs were transferred into Fear Factory on our first album. Songs like ”Big God” ans “Soulworm”, I can’t remember the other ones. They were songs that we wrote in our early bands. So we were already going in that direction even before we started Fear Factory. When we came up with the name “Fear Factory”, we were thinking “what is this going to mean? What is this gonna convey? What is it we wanna say in our message?” It would be if I called my band some fuckin’ black metal band name, like fuckin’ “NecroDeath”, because we were a black metal band. We were like “well what are we gonna sing about? Oh well we’re a black metal band. Let’s sing about Satan!” We had a blueprint of where we wanted to go and ok, you can sing about Satan and it’s very common in metal. You can sing about Satan all you want. We were about socially evolving – humanity and technology are evolving together. In some ways, technology is evolving faster than we are because our brains can’t learn that fast. So obviously it’s the involvement and the e-volvement of both together and we thought that it was a more worldly subject, other than just talking about Satan.
OD – How long were you guys writing for this album and was it purely yourself and Burton or were Tony & Mike involved in that process also?
DINO – Well the process of the writing had different stages, like certain parts had to go in at certain times – not everything goes in at once. So we first start with the conversation of “what are we gonna sing about? How are we gonna convey it/what’s the message, and what do we wanna do?” So, it starts off with song titles. “What’s gonna be the name of the album?” We came up with song titles before we even wrote the music. Not all of them, but a good portion of them. We had a collection of writings, as in, words scribbled on paper. Whereas, I had a collection of riffs and song titles. I like coming up with words that people don’t normally hear a lot… like “Soul Hacker”. Things you don’t really hear a lot. You get it, and it’s simple, but it’s not something that you’d really hear. Like songs like ‘Portal Neck’, or ‘Mechanical Prototype’. A play on words, basically. ‘Genexus’, something you don’t normally hear. “Oh I heard something like that before – Genesis, or Nexus hair products”. There’s always something.
Like when you put the words together and you create a meaning out of the words, out of the hybrid of the 2 words, that creates something new. That’s something that we like to do. So the process starts there. The next process is “I need to write music that goes with that title, but we may not have lyrics for it yet. I kinda understand where we’re gonna go with this concept structurally; it’s going to develop as we go along.
The next process is writing music that goes with that. With the picture that you see in your head. Then Boom – I’m writing guitar riffs, and I’m writing with a drum program on my computer. And then Burt hears these demos and sings on top of it and we rearrange things. We get things in basic order of guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. A basic layout. Then, this is when Rhys Fulber comes in, and adds all of the electronic elements, sometimes he’ll rearrange all of the music and vocals to fit something that he wants to throw in, or Burt will throw more vocals on top, rearrange things. You know, it’s a whole level of rearranging the songs, because me and Burt have the basic structure of the songs down, and things start to connect when Rhys comes in, and once we get another basic idea down, we’re like “OK let’s bring in our drummer”, Mike Heller. He comes in, he learns the song, he plays it, he’s like “This works, this is not gonna work; these drums don’t even sound like drums – get them outta here, we’re gonna fix this up”. Unfortunately, Tony didn’t join the band in time, so I ended up doing the studio bass duties. And Boom! – once we got it all down, we’re like “Wow this is gonna be great!” Then, we get Andy’s mixing in on it. It’s more organic, because he has a visual process between us and Rhys. Andy has more of an organic approach using his organic metal tones. So we made a hybrid of that.
OD – Now that your signed to Nuclear Blast and back with Monte Connor it’s like you have come full circle. Was it a bit of a shock to you when you found out that Roadrunner cleared house including Monte?
DINO – Well yeah these things happen. There was a guy called Cees Wessels – he was selling off pieces of his company for a long time. I think it was a harder thing for Monte than with anybody else. Like, Monte always landed on his feet. Another big company, Nuclear Blast, signed him up, which is awesome. Once Monte he found out we were available; you know obviously he’s close to the band and it was a no brainer, as he was the right choice for us. Because a label like Nuclear Blast has like a full media assault which is awesome we’ve never had this much attention in a long time.
Nothing against other labels, but Nuclear Blast has a great team and they’re all on the same page. They all love the band, they love the music, they’re fans of all the artists that they work for, and it mass convenes, which it goes a long way. They’re behind the music, they’re behind the band, they love the band. They’ll go the extra mile for you. The passion and the love for the music is why we are all here. It’s why people at Nuclear Blast are still working at Nuclear Blast. It’s the same reason that Fear Factory exists – it’s that love and passion. Even though it could be a labor of love.
OD – When you look back on the legacy of Fear Factory would there have been anything that you would have changed or are your happy with the way things have played out?
DINO – Musically, there’s very little that I would have changed. I always thought that there should be certain songs that should be on the record. Obviously there’s some stuff that is beyond your control and I’m at peace with all of it. I’ve heard the most smallest mistakes on records that I wish I could change, things that people would not pick up on, but I still hear it. Just little things like that really. Everything happens for a reason. I’m lucky that I’m still here. I’m lucky that we still have a fanbase that will support the band.
OD – The band is now in it’s 25th year and celebrating the 20th anniversary release of the iconic ‘Demanufacture’ album, which you plan to play in full when you head out on tour later this year. How have you found rehearsing those songs with Tony (Campos, Bass) and Mike (Heller, Drums), do those guys bring a new energy to the way they are played live?
DINO – Definitely. That record touches our hearts so much. Everyone in the band, Mike, Tony, grew up with those records. I mean – so did we! We grew up with that record. But some of those songs, we never played live before! We never played ‘A Therapy for Pain’ live before. We hardly ever played Flashpoint live… maybe a handful of times. Of course, when I play those songs, and I see people, how they react, it brings back memories of how we got here. Like, the long road that took us to get here.
OD – Kevin Lymna (Rockstar Energy Mayhem Music Fest) recently claimed that metal was becoming old and grey, with no worthy future headlining acts in the ranks to take over from the classic bands like Sabbath, Maiden, Metallica etc. Do you think he’s talking out of his ass or has he got a point?
DINO – I think he has a point. I mean, who else is as big as Maiden? In the last 20 years, in that genre, who else is that big? The closest might be Slipknot or Rammstein. It’s not because those guys have got what artists like Judas Priest, Maiden, and all those guys have, but maybe those guys have gotten old and bald, but those guys are still doing it. Those guys are still playing massive arenas. But as far as new-and up-and-coming bands not being as big as those old bands, I think he used the wrong metaphor. If you say there’s not enough younger bands becoming as big as these big metal icons, he’s right. There’s not a lot of them. But that also has to do a lot with our generation – where music has been cheapened by everyone getting it for free.
OD – When Fear Factory hit the road for this up and coming European tour, will you be dipping into any material from any of the other albums or just concentrating on ‘Demanufacture’ and ‘Genexus’ and if so can you disclose any songs?
DINO – Yeah we will do the record in its entirety, and we’ll do the best of Fear Factory. We’ll do the best from the first album to the new album. A lot of the hits that we would play like “EdgeCrusher”, ‘Lynchpin’, ‘Recharger’, ‘SoulHacker’ from the new album… “Powershifter”. It’ll be great.
OD – Back in the day, you were known as the party animal and enjoyed the benefits of the backstage antics we can only read about, would you say that this is still the case, or have you calmed down over the years?
DINO – Well I’m married now so my wife has to deal with my past, everything that I can’t do on tour, my wife deals with it. Hahahaha!!!
OD – From looking back on the madness of the bands touring history, is there any particular show or incident that sticks out as being just insane when you think of it now?
DINO – Well we had a riot in Sydney, during the ‘Demanufacture’ tour back in 1996. We had to cancel the tour because Burt lost his voice for a couple of weeks and there was just nothing we could do about it. So we cancel the tour and the promoter didn’t tell anybody until the morning of the show, but it was too late – people showed up and there was a riot. We made national news! After the riot, after we made national news, 2 weeks later, our record was gold! ‘Demanufactue’ was gold in Australia, which was mind-blowing for us. It was publicity that you couldn’t pay for.
OD – Finally, I just wanted to ask you in light of tonnes of band members releasing books about their life on the road, will we be seeing a Dino Cazares book anytime soon, as I’m sure you have plenty of tales from the back of the bus?
DINO – Well I think what you would have to do is get a porno, watch it, and then say “Ok I know Dino’s autobiography!” It would be hilariously funny, of things that happened to me. Like, the minute we left home, I was a shy kid growing up…. I was really shy. Polite and shy, so when I started writing music and people liked it, I came out of my shell. The first girls that said hi to me on the road, I’m like “I’m actually getting attention from women!!” I completely took 100% advantage of that and that’s my story. As far as bragging about it, I dunno if it would be an interesting read. You’re not the first person who has asked me about that. People have asked me to write something down every day and we’ll make a book out of it. I just haven’t done it. I think I’d really feel bad for my family members if they ever read it. I’ll think about it. You just never know, life is stranger than fiction!
OD – Finally, do you have any words for your Irish fans who will be at the show in December?
DINO – I can’t wait to be there in Ireland, it’s been a few years. Don’t forget about the new record out on August 7th. ‘Demanufacture’ WILL be played and I hope you guys can come out; tell people to come out and support, and support your favourite artists. Go out there and buy the t-shirts, buy the cd, because if you don’t, then we can’t do what we do. Support live music!!
Genexus is set for release on August 7th via Nuclear Blast. Get your pre-order copy here.
Fear Factory will be performing in Dublin’s Academy on December 10th. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from Sound Cellar and Ticketmaster. For more information on ticket availability, please check out DME Promotions or hit the graphic below.
For more information on Fear Factory, hit the links below.
Words – Oran O’Beirne © Overdrive 2015
Transcription – Shaun Martin
Photography – Stock images / Nuclear Blast