The music industry has always been a fickle beast; it chews bands up and spits them out, as quickly as it raises them on the pedestal, leaving them a weeping mass of music that the masses want no more. There are some bands though, that no matter how hard the beast tries, it just can't keep down, Fear Factory is one of those bands.
With 22 years and 8 albums under their belt, Fear Factory have been kicking the beast and giving it to the man throughout their entire careers, spurning not just a legion of fans, but going on to inspire and play in generations of metal bands.
Now on to their 8th album, The Industrialist, guitarist Dino Cazares took the time to chat to Charly Lindsay from the AU review, about the whole rocking journey and what it has been like to see the shifts and changes of the industry over the last 22 years and live to tell the tale.
While the band were all writing and performing music prior to the release of their first album Soul of a New Machine in 1992, Cazares views the creation of that album as the true birth of Fear Factory, saying; " The first album Soul of a New Machine was basically the birth of Fear Factory, it was the birth of what Fear Factory actually means, which was using that manufactured or caused fear, which can be coming from anywhere it can be, church, religion school, technology, industrialism, a lot of things cause fear, politicians, government you name it. So that was the birth of that concept, the birth of Fear Factory. We've been fans of Sci-Fi since we were kids, from science fiction movies through to comic books, magazines and novels and stuff like that and we started to experiment with the full concept in 1997/98 when we released Obsolete, which was probably our first conceptual record. All of our records have had some kind of similar concept though; they've all had something that links them together. We've done a lot of stuff to do with religion all through our records too.
The Fear Factory story can often read like a movie, and not one of those sappy Hollywood ones either, there's been breakups, court cases and some pretty dodgy behavior from labels who have released albums without the entire bands permission. But Cazares is positive they have the right lineup now, and doesn't see record labels as something that have any impact on the band anymore, saying; "The power of labels is all but diminished; people can make music from their bedrooms and then can promote their own stuff online. Social media is taking over and it's helped, but it's also destroyed certain things. It's helped us to do promotion ourselves, but it's also destroyed an era, an era where most people were buying CDs and that just doesn't really exist anymore, it's all about downloading".
The internet in itself always opens up a lot of discussions, so Cazares & I dive head long in to one on genre overload, and the need to Google what a type of music even is these days, like aggrotech, crunkcore and the amazingly weird world of metal subgenres. "Everybody always likes to label it something, it's a way for people to identify their music or sound, but for me, it's always just been metal, rock, industrial and alternative, that's it. Every fucking title in between that, whatever, fucking whatever, now it's at the point where everything is just a mish mash and you don't know what to call it, but people want to call it something and it sucks because when that genre dies, then those bands die or disappear. Look at hair metal, when grunge came along it destroyed hair metal. I never got in to grunge that much, it was too depressing, don't get me wrong though, so is a lot of metal if you read the lyrics it's about the apocalypse and the end of the world and violence but hey man, when I was when a kid I loved that shit, I was like hell yeah, let's go blow something up, I don't want to hear somebody killed my flower in my fucking garden, I don't want to hear someone sing about any of that shit" said Cazares.
A subject Cazares touched on a lot through the whole conversation was originality or uniqueness and the importance of it in both music and life, it is something the band have always strived for as people and musicians, and it something they hope their fans take from them too, with Cazares saying; "It's Very honorable, especially when someone acknowledges that they were inspired by you. I hope they can get something from it and learn and create something unique and different".
And unique and different is something Fear Factory have always been and will always be, and as usual they are completely unapologetic about it, with Cazares even cracking a joke about the journalist that bagged Fear Factory's use of drum machines on their latest album, laughing about his use of technology for work on a daily basis and continual use of Twitter and Facebook. Cazares is confident in both the sound and the lineup Fear Factory used on The Industrialist and finds comments on drum machines, which is something they have used before simply "ridiculous".
The band are all really excited about playing Australia again and their only regret is that no one has asked them to play Soundwave, which I (along with a million or so others) regret too.
Tickets for the Fear Factory Australian tour are available now.