What is a cutting edge prime example of a '97 metal band? Well ladies and gentleman, boys and girls and those yet to be conceived: meet Fear Factory members guitarist Dino Cazares, vocalist Burton C. Bell and sampler producer Rhys Fuller.
RCN: What does Fear Factory mean? Fear created or destroyed?
Dino: Basically a metaphor, the police could be a Fear Factory, the Catholic church could be a Fear Factory, sometimes public education could be a Fear Factory.
RCN: What is your Fear Factory?
Burton: LA could be a Fear Factory?
RCN: What bands did you come from?
Burton: Fear Factory
RCN: That was your first band?
Burton: Pretty much.
Dino: Actually me and Burton had a band called Alceration for a while.
Burton: We played one show.
Dino: Yeah, we played one show at The Roxy
Burton: I was in some local band we were together for like eight months, basically we played a few shows nothing spectacular.
Dino: I was in a local band in LA but I'd rather not mention their names.
Dino: We were kinda led by different influences.
Burton: You know how I met him, well we lived together.
Dino: Well I moved into his place.
RCN: Was it like a place that had eight rooms?
Dino: Yeah, I actually meet Raymond before I met Burton. I met Raymond out towards Adison Park. I was playing in a band out there and one day Raymond came to our rehearsal and our drummer was late so he got on the drums and started playing and I'm like wow I'm quitting this band. And I'm going to join Raymond's band so I joined his band, then we realized that me and Raymond clicked and we started kicking everybody our one by one and we just kind of filed everyone out and got better musicians, then I met Burton, I moved into his house and I actually heard him singing in his room or taking a shower or something like that, and I asked him can you growl or can you sing heavy and he said yeah so I said your in so that's when Fear Factory really started.
RCN: And then when did Cristian come in?
Dino: Cristian came out 2 1/2 years ago.
Burton: We needed a bass player for the Sepultura tour and we never really had a permanent bass player until Cristian.
RCN: What do you mean, things would happen or they would quit?
Dino: Normal problems, one of them got married, one of them had a drug problem and then the last guy he just had a problem.
Burton: Yeah, he was a problem. It wasn't until Cristian joined that we actually played on the Demanufacture album. He was the first bass player to actually play on the record.
Dino: And we met him at a bar.
Burton: Through Biohazard.
Dino: He was from Belguim and he was here on vacation, and Bobby from Biohazard saw him at a Rock and Ralphs.
Burton: Hey boy what's up bro.
Dino: So Cristian goes to Smalls and the Everett from Biohazard goes hey here's your new bass player here. Cristian meet Burt. Burt meet Cristian and they talked and we were auditioning bass players, glam bass players, rock bass players you name it that wanted to join Fear Factory.
Burton: It was going terrible.
Dino: And we were like okay we know this guy, blah blah blah. Every guy who was trying out secretly was like, don't tell my band but I'm going to try out. And a lot of bands hated us because their bass player tried out for our band and word got out. And they're all what the fuck? Fear Factory's trying to steal our bass player. You know things like that.
RCN: What's your influence vocal wise?
Burton: Bono, Bowie, Andrew Aldrige, Carl McCay, Iggy, Nick Cave, Elvis. All sorts of people, I like the vocals, I like males a lot for some reason. More wide range vocals. Some vocalist have a lot of passion like Bono, he used to have a lot of passion in music.
RCN: Any operatic stuff, did you have training?
Burton: No, I never had any training.
RCN: Lyrical influences? Any poetic stuff?
Burton: I just read all sorts of things. I read a lot of science fiction sometimes. And then I go and read poetry like Edgar Allen Poe, or E.B. White.
Dino: I noticed that a lot of the sci-fi stuff that we've read or saw in movies. It's not science fiction anymore, it's all becoming real now.
RCN: Any regrets in your career?
Burton: No not nothing I can think of right now.
Dino: We were a band that was really into recording instead of playing live. We've only played like a handful of gigs around LA.
Burton: Since we've been together, we been together for like 7 years and we've only played no more than 25 shows in LA.
RCN: I thought you guys had a pretty good following through LA.
Dino: We did through demos.
Burton: We recorded our first demo 3 months after we were together. Road Runner hated it.
Dino: Yeah, Road Runner didn't like it all which I expect because it was produced really bad. I was really Gothic.
Burton: And that was 1990?
RCN: Has the success changed any of the attitudes?
Burton: We're a little bit more jaded about things. I get excited when we go to the new places. I guess I'd have to sit back and think about how I've changed in the past 7 years.
Dino: But when your on tour in all those beautiful exotic places where people really want to go, then your like I just want to be home.
Burton: Because you've been on the road for a year straight?
RCN: What's the best place you guys have played?
Burton: There was a place in Norway that was amazing.
Dino: Yeah, for me it's all the Latin countries like Portugal and Spain.
RCN: You're just more into it?
Dino: Well the kids seem to be very passionate and anything goes.
Burton: When you're in England its got to be like a proper show, there's got to be barriers, security guards. Where like in Spain it's like fuck it. The security guards wouldn't push them off but to help them.
RCN: Guitar wise, what tuning do you use?
Dino: We've always been in B, but a lot of the stuff is in D and C sharp. I don't even know the notes on the guitar.
RCN: How far did you get?
Dino: I never really had to do like scales cause when I first moved to Hollywood everybody GIT'd out. But no one knew any riffs.
RCN: How did you get the riff ideas?
Dino: Mainly from sitting in front of the stereo learning all the records. When I first stated playing guitar one of the first records I ever learned was Masters Of Reality from Black Sabbath, and I just went from there.
RCN: Do you believe in God?
Burton: Well, my personal feelings are I feel that believing in a higher power is all due to the spiritual thing, and what organized religion does to this higher power making it seem like the ultimate being in the universe is very highly unlikely to me. I was forced to be Catholic, it sure isn't why I decided not to go anymore, I just decided not to go. I can't deal with it, the sermons and preaching, it wasn't for me. I feel that people who need to follow go to church a lot. It's like their only search for hope and I'm a little bit more hopeful than that. I feel what organized religion does to it bastardizes the whole concept and makes you fear God to love him. If you don't love this guy you're damned to eternal hellfire. That's a Fear Factory by the way.
RCN: But you guys haven't like went through it and go okay I'm going to read it myself and figure it out?
Burton: Well, when I was a kid they made me study it. I studied the whole bible. You can interpret the bible any way you want. But a belief in one true God is that throughout history I mean what makes the Catholic God right and the Buddist God wrong when their's was around a few thousand years before the Catholic God. Why is that suddenly not the right one?
RCN: What local bands do you guys like?
Dino: 57 Crown, System of a Down, Coal Chamber, Snot.
RCN: Major label bands?
Dino: Chemical Bros., U2.
RCN: What do you think metal should be doing?
Dino: I see metal being a form of music with no barriers.
Burton: I mean you got Machine Head doing a rap song.
Dino: But even Run D.M.C. was putting metal into their music way back when.
RCN: Rage I think jumped on it and made it popular.
Dino: Prodigy has a lot of funk guitars and electronic dance beats and stuff like that. I see a lot of that happening now a days.
RCN: You think it's taken the feel away?
Burton: No, not at all.
Dino: Now you've got drum machines that sound like a human, yeah if you get those stiff drum machines. Well, that's different. I find it easier for a band like Fear Factory to write the songs as humans put it in the computer then you can move it around and restructure it.
RCN: So what's this going to do for the next record?
Dino: Well, the song I really like is a song called "National"- that's probably the newest and most original song. We took it from Body which is an original track, but Burton went into the studio and actually resang the vocals. We did the whole verses and the only thing that's the same is the chorus. And it's a whole kind of different track, electronic hip hop metal track. No matter what kind of music we bring into our music, it's still going to be metal.
RCN: Of the four remix DJ's you had, why did you pick these four?
Dino: Well Rhys did Fears Of Icon in 1992, he mixed and did a lot of the keyboard parts in Demanufacture, originally this record was going to be an EP of 6 tracks, but then we decided, actually a lot of people started calling us up saying they wanted to do remixes of blah, blah, blah. So we thought wow why don't we just get all these different guys and see what else we can bring into our music. So we got DJ Dano from Holland, Junkie XL from Holland and Kingsize from New York and all these guys are good in their territory.
RCN: Is Rhys going to tour with you?
Dino: He's doing one show with us in Spain. Rhys does other projects so he's a very busy man.
RCN: So you still play live?
Dino: No, we still want the live sound.
Rhys: They get a lot to just tour with them. To play the keyboards, this is the only show I've ever played with them.
RCN: Cloning theory means?
Burton: Well, it goes with the concept from the last record about someone fighting for individuality. Kind of like a world in Orwell's 1984. The next record is definitely going to be a concept record for sure.
Dino: We actually came up with the title after the earthquake in 1994, because everything was falling apart. Literally right after that happened and then the concept just fell into place.
RCN: Do you have a concept for the new record?
Burton: We're working on one. We want to take the cloning technology a step further.
Dino: We kind of want to talk about what happens after that.
RCN: The people that are cloned?
Dino: Yeah, the people that are cloned.
Burton: And the clones.
RCN: Any last words?
Dino: Join a band.
Burton: Be original.
Dino: As far as getting signed and all, be careful.
Burton: Just because it's a major label doesn't mean it will be good for you.