Burton C. Bell - Vocals, Hardware
Dino Cazares - Guitars, Hardware
Raymond Herrera - Drums, Percussion
Christian Olde Wolbers - Bass
As we hurl toward the millennium, mankind has slowly taught itself how to work with technology and exploit it to the fullest to serve a multitude of purposes. But looking into the big picture, is this truly a good thing for the human race? Remanufacture (Cloning Technology), Fear Factory's second remix album, not only uses electronic accouterments to explore this pressing question, but it does so by tapping into the talents of an elite global amalgam of electronic producers - Rhys Fulber, DJ Dano, Kingsize, Junkie XL - and using their skills in the band's never-ending search for answers.
Always one step ahead of the pack and constantly yearning to evolve and grow, Fear Factory's first foray into remixing took place back in 1993 with Fear Is The Mindkiller. On this pummeling effort, Front Line Assembly's Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb did the honors behind the boards. They managed to preserve the essence of the songs on Soul Of A New Machine (their debut album) and transcended the brilliance of them, taking it all into an unsuspecting realm. Now, as the walls between rock and techno are being chipped away by mixmasters from all parts of the planet on a daily basis, Remanufacture (Cloning Technology) not only utilizes electronic concepts to propel Fear Factory's songs, but it provides the world with plenty of important food for thought.
"There's a difference between remixes and Remanufacture," professes guitarist Dino Cazeres. "With Fear Factory, it's always been a natural process. For us, remixing has always been a logical process - the next step forward - because some of the songs were geared to be remixed and it was completely perfect to have someone else take a stab at it. I've heard a lot of bands do remixes, but with us it evolves into a new album, instead of just a way of selling a single or something. Remixes help us see where our music can go and where we can take our ideas. These remixes are a tool for our next record and will continue to influence and inspire us as a band."
With Fear Factory's razor-sharp power chords working in harmony with maxed out samplers and pumped up drum machines pulsing as loudly as ever, this latest excursion into reinterpreting their material finds the outfit in a much more comfortable position in contrast to their prior experience with remixes. "Remanufacture (Cloning Technology) differs from Fear Is The Mindkiller because we had more of a hand in the process," says vocalist/lyricist Burton C. Bell. "The first time we ventured into this field it was all really new to us and we basically gave the tracks to Rhys and Bill, who took full control over the project while using our ideas. This time, we were there and gave input into it and used other DJs and there's many more ideas coming into the picture. We wanted a taste of jungle, gabba, ambient - for us, diversity has always been the key."
Given the frenetic sonic one-two punch Fear Factory have built a worldwide reputation on, they see their main strength to adapt and maintain an open collective mind as perhaps their greatest strength. "Metal music can always be put with other styles and our music is so hi-tech that it can fit easily in other categories," says Dino. "A lot of it has to do with us having no barriers, no boundaries and an open mind. Those are the exact words we live by."
With the metal/industrial/hip-hop of "National Panel Beating" (Body Hammer) juxtaposed next to the metal gabba jungle of "Demanufacture" (Remanufacture), their eclecticism shines straight through to "Genetic Blueprint" (New Breed), which is remixed by Holland's mysterious Junkie XL. Penned months before recent scientific revelations about animal cloning made the evening news, Fear Factory's music was once again ahead of its time.
"We know that cloning is possible from studying science. To me cloning (the fact that we can reproduce biological forms such as animals and maybe eventually people) is taking humanity away from humans," stresses Burton. "A clone might be human, but it was made through technology. Technology is combining with humanity to deplete humanity and technology is fighting technology - that's where the paradox comes in."
The album is rounded out by "T-1000" (H-K), the mix courtesy of gabba maniac DJ Dano. Along with "21st Century Jesus" (Pisschrist) which finds them dabbling with slower paced ambient music and soundly proving the outfit's variety. All in all, with Fear Factory's deep distrust for people who control technology in an unchecked manner and a burning desire to explore the musical styles most of their peers wouldn't dare set foot in, building songs and then ripping them down again is the way in which their music will continue to mature and blossom.
"Our sound is a combination of so many styles, but it works," says Burton of the deconstructionism which they favor. "The music from Demanufacture was elaborated on by different minds, so that took our music many steps further than the original. We never want to do what's expected and we like to keep people guessing."
Just like they've said time and time again, Fear Factory - no barriers, no boundaries.