Interview by Ben Hosking
Fear Factory are heading to Australia in 2015 to play at SOUNDWAVE festival. Our Ben Hosking spoke with Fear Factory co-founder and guitarist Dino Cazares.
Hey, how you doing?
This is Ben Hosking from Life Music Media, hope you’re doing well?
I’m doing great. I’m just here in my home in California and just relaxing and doing interviews with the Australian Media
You’re coming out for Soundwave 2015 next year?
Yeah yeah, we are extremely excited about that. We can’t wait to get there… this will be the first time for Fear Factory to play Soundwave festival. But we are definitely not new school to Australia, we’ve been to Australia quite a few times since 1993. We’ve done the Big Day Out festival four times and we’re very excited to play the Soundwave festival because we’ll be amongst other bands in our genre. It’s definitely the most prestigious Metal festival… so I’m excited.
Will you be doing any side shows while you’re here?
We haven’t got the word on that yet but I’m hoping that we are.
With such a long period of the bands existence, you have an extensive catalog to draw from. Is it hard these days coming up with a set list?
Yeah, it does get difficult you know (laughs), but we always try to pick the best songs, you know, the best of Fear Factory. We also like to see what songs are very popular for our Australian fans. We ask a lot of questions to a lot of people and we just kinda go from there. We’ll also play some different songs that we haven’t played in Australia for awhile. We take in all these different ways to come up with our set list.
Have you found the material from The Industrialist has changed at all since recording it? Obviously you have the programmed drums in there and you’re playing with a live drummer, has he kinda put his own flavour to it?
He has added his own flavour to it. When we started the writing process we definitely wanna stick true to what Fear Factory is but we did give a little bit of free reign to add some of his own elements which were done great. The live drums definitely add a different element to the music and obviously gives it that more human feel. I think it adds a whole new texture to the sound.
So how far are you into the new record?
We are complete with drums, most of the guitars and most of the bass. What’s left is vocals.
Have any lyrical themes formed yet, is there a concept to it?
Of course, of course! But I can’t reveal that information yet. It is too soon, plus we are on Nuclear Blast Entertainment records and they’d be a little bit upset with us if we started releasing that information too soon.
Fair enough… I guess something you can talk about is your Ibanez signature model. You’ve been a highly visible user of Ibanez for decades now. How come it’s taken so long for them to get around to giving you your own model?
Good question. I’ve been with Ibanez for seventeen years. When I first came into Ibanez I fell in love with the seven string guitar and that’s what I’ve used ever since the manufacture date, which is 1995, pretty much. And I’ve always pushed for a signature guitar and every` year I would seem to get turned down. But then they decided to create one and I’m just happy that they did and the guitar is doing well so hopefully they will continue with a second signature guitar.
It is cool to see an Ibanez RGD in a colour other than black…
Correct. That was the reason why I picked a different colour guitar because they have so many black guitars. It’s a typical colour for guitars for every company and black is a standard colour that most people like to buy but I wanted it to be a different colour. I’ve always liked the matte sat finish and that’s pretty much what this is… it’s a maroon sat finish.
Are there any other specs to it. Obviously it’s only got a single Humbucker and volume control, are there any other specs that you’ve customized?
The actual pickup is my old pickup. It’s made through Seymour Duncan and it’s called the “Retribution”, and it’s an active pickup. It’s a killer pickup, it’s got really good clarity to it, good bit and crunch that you need so if you’re a Heavy Rock or Metal player this is perfect for you.
One of the other features on the guitar which I really love is the Neck. The neck is super thin, it’s of three piece construction. It’s got a huge Bubbinga stripe wood in the middle and it’s got maple on the outside and also a titanium truss rod just to add to the strength of the neck. You know when you’re a touring musician, your guitar has to endure those extreme conditions of plane flights and in the back of a trailer or back of a bus or just the extremes of travelling, the neck needs to stay very sturdy and the titanium truss rod definitely adds to that.
It also has the feature of the Lo Pro Edge tremolo which is pretty much a Steve Via tremolo, which is pretty much what he has on all his signature guitars. That was the first tremolo that I played off on Ibanez and I just fell in love with it.
Do you play with that still floating or have you got it locked?
Some I have floating, some I have locked.
Coming back to the new album, when do you expect it to hit the shelves?
We’re shooting for April, but it might get pushed back, we don’t know yet. Depends on when we finish the album, do you know what I mean? Because we have to have setup time for the album… at least two-three months. So three months, we might just make the April deadline.
Do you think, as a recording musician, that the album format is going to continue for much longer given the way people digest their music these days?
Definitely not. CDs to me are obsolete, if they’re not fully obsolete then they’re going to be anytime now. So you’re just gonna have to adapt you know. We don’t really make any money off CDs any more… we never really did. We were always a band that relied more on touring. So CD’s are pretty much non existent now a days, you can’t even find a record store that buys them.
Do you think that Fear Factory will continue to record full length albums in the future?
Yeah because we’re not a singles type of band, you know we’re not like one of those pop acts that can just release a single and run with that… we’re not that knid of band. We’re a band that Metal fans want to hear a full length album from… they wanna hear 10+ songs on a record and that’s what they want to hear or download.
Yeah and obviously you guys like to stretch your legs out a bit in terms of concept and theme?
Well we’ve always touched upon the concept of how technology is changing the way we live. Where certain jobs have become obsolete as technology has taken over. Magazines hardly exist anymore… everything is on the internet. People don’t even look at each other anymore. All they ever look at is their cell phones… people bumping into each other because they’re too busy looking at their cell phone they can’t see where they’re walking.
On a more personal level, can we expect any new side project material from you in 2015?
Definitely. I mean I have two other bands. One is called Divine Heresy and the other one is called Asesino. Asesino is a band that sings in Spanish. Divine Heresy we have released two records out on Century Media records. One is called Bringer of Plagues and the other is called Bleed the Fifth and definitely going to be working on those projects next year and hopefully have a record out also next year.
That would be great. I was lucky enough to see Divine Heresy on the first tour over here. It was an amazing experience and it would be great to see you guys back.
Yeah, it may take a little time but at the moment my main focus is Fear Factory putting this record out, getting out there and touring the world as we usually do and we’re extremely excited to get out there and we’re truly excited to hopefully release this record sooner than later.
I think you’ll find there’s a lot of fans that are very excited to see you back here in Australia. Is there a chance we’ll see you twice?
Oh, for sure!
Great. Well we look forward to seeing you at SOUNDWAVE 2015 and thank you for your time.
Oh I appreciate it man, thank you.
Interview by Ben Hosking – Hosking Industries – for LifeMusicMedia.com
SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL – www.soundwavefestival.com
CLICK HERE for our photos of Fear Factory live @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane – 26 September 2012