Fear Factory’s reunion is behind them. Now, the real work begins, with just two original band members doing it.
The band, currently consisting of guitarist Dino Cazares, vocalist Burton C. Bell, bassist Matt DeVries, and drummer Mike Heller, was not a complete unit during the recording of new album, The Industrialist. Cazares and Bell, along with longtime partner Rhys Fulber, had recorded the album nearly all on their own in the wake of losing former members Gene Hoglan (drums) and Byron Stroud (bass).
Being the first concept album for the band in over a decade, The Industrialist could well have benefited from the sole focus of the two primary members. Storyline aside, the album also retains the focus of the sound of Fear Factory that fans came to know and love before the upheaval.
During a stop in Colorado, Dino Cazares talked to yours truly on behalf of Blogcritics via telephone to discuss the band’s future with The Industrialist, set for release on June 5.
It’s been about three years now since you and Burton reconciled and brought back Fear Factory proper. That story as well as the issues with past members have already been discussed, but with looking at recording The Industrialist, how has the relationship been with Burton? Is there still a bit of feeling out or is it back as it was before like nothing had happened?
Well, it’s not like nothing ever happened, no. You just have to grow and learn and move on and get over it, and that’s pretty much what we did. But, of course, history is history and it was very well publicized. And there are people like yourself that won’t let us forget that. [Laughs] But, everything’s extremely positive and our working relationship is really amazing and you can tell that by the record.
Yeah, I had that down the list a little here because—I’ll just say it, this record sounds flat out dominant. It sounds like the days of yore from the band, but there’s definitely a modern and updated feel. Was that a conscious choice to try and bridge that gap of time, one of the goals you wanted to achieve with the record?
Well, when I was out of fear Factory I was in a band called Divine Heresy and that was much more of a technical kind of band. I was also in Asesino, which was another different style of metal. I’m definitely one of those guys that keeps in tune with what’s going on today, but I don’t let that influence any Fear Factory record. What’s coming out is pure FF. If it’s modern, well I’ve always felt like the ideas and quality of the albums were definitely ahead of its time, like Demanufacture. There’s still no other record like it and that’s what makes it classic, and that’s what makes it great and stand out. And we put those same ideas and thoughts into our records today; we want to make them the same high-quality as possible. Obviously, the technology gets better and better so we’re able to make high quality sounding albums.
So keeping that quality in mind, what was that creative process like for this album? And what was the difference like in putting this record together as opposed to the last one, Mechanize, right after you had reunited?
There was a big difference because when we were doing the last record, we had a full band putting things together, whereas this time, it was just Burton and myself. As far as bouncing ideas, I had a lot of stuff written before I got with Burton. But once we came up with the title The Industrialist, everything started to click. We had a theme, we had a concept built around the title, and from there we knew more what direction we wanted to go with with this album as far as musically. The last record, Mechanized, we had Gene Hoglan with us, who wrote some songs with me, so there’s a little difference of outside influence, whereas this record was dark—the purest Fear Factory you’re going to get.
Excellent. Were there any other goals you had in mind for this album, outside of the sound? Was there anything you wanted to say with it as a platform, or was it just a matter of letting it speak for itself once everything fell into place?
Once we had the name, Burton was able to come up with a great concept for it. He basically wrote a book around it—a whole story—and that will be available in a booklet that will be coming out with the special digipak version and stuff like that. It’s a 20-page booklet of the full concept. One of the things we wanted to do musically with it is make it more of a hybrid of industrial metal, like the early days with Demanufacture and stuff like that. We set out to add a lot more keyboards because we felt that was one aspect lacking in some of our previous records, so we wanted to bring that more to the forefront and do a lot more with it. Our partner, Rhys Fulber—pretty much our silent third member—we sat with him and worked a lot on the sample ideas we wanted to put in there. We just wanted to make that more dominant than it had been before.
Very good. So, The Industrialist comes out June 5 and—
Yeah, and so far the record hasn’t leaked, believe it or not. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Hopefully it stays that way. How long do you plan on being out on the road?
We started about a month ago already, but we will be on tour worldwide, solid, all the way through December 18.
Oh, wow. So that’s the rest of 2012 booked for you guys right there.
Yes. Fear Factory has built up a worldwide fanbase and we like to travel to all those different countries and play for all those people. That and that’s how a metal band like us pretty much has to make money. Obviously, CD sales have gone [down]. So, in order for us, or any band, to make money is to stay on the road.
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