DINO CAZARES Explains Why FEAR FACTORY Didn't Take Part In Any Paid Meet-And-Greets During 'Rise Of The Machine' Tour
June 24, 2023
In a recent interview with the Joey Sturgis TonesYouTube channel, FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares was asked what his main source of income is nowadays. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm not the kind of guy who's a stay-at-home, online, YouTube shredder. No. I'm a touring musician. I'm an entertainer. I go out there and I play songs live. That's where most of my income comes from. And so that's what I like to do."
He continued: "There's nothing better than meeting somebody or just seeing somebody in the crowd that is singing all your lyrics or [who has] a smile on their face that they're up there getting to see a band that they like or a song they wanna hear. And then meeting them after and then you listen to that fan's story. That's amazing, because they wanna tell you how they got into the band, what their favorite song means to them, whether it's lyrically, whether it's riff-wise, whether it's tone-wise, or they bought your pick-up or they bought an amp 'cause of you or bought a speaker cabinet [because] of you. There's nothing better than that — than going out there and seeing that and experiencing that."
Cazares added: "There's a lot of [guitar players] who are at home… There's some guys who are just secluded and all they do is do the YouTube and that's it. And when it comes to being social, they have social anxiety, 'cause they're not used to dealing with actual humans. They're just used to dealing with people commenting, whether it's bad or good, on their YouTube channel. For me, I love going out there. I love talking to these people and experiencing them. I'm approachable; I'm an approachable guy. I like it when people come up and talk to me. Like on this tour that we've got coming up [with STATIC-X], or on tours in general, but this one particular tour we've got coming up, I decided to not do a meet-and-greet and not charge fans the extra money to come meet me. What I've done is I just said, 'Meet me at the merch table after our performance.' I'll be there at the merch table every night, signing autographs and taking photos for fans. That way they can just come out there and they can meet me and they don't have to pay the extra money. I'm not saying anything negative about meet-and-greets because it definitely does help the band to pay for gas or pay for whatever they've gotta pay for — it does help the band financially — but in this particular case, I decided to switch it up a little bit and just have them come meet me at the merch table. If you wanna help the band out, buy a t-shirt, buy a sticker, buy a patch. Put it on your nice jacket or whatever. But just come out and just meet me and I'll talk to you for a few minutes. Whatever it takes."
It was back in December 2022 that Dino first tweeted (see below) that FEAR FACTORY wouldn't be taking part in any paid meet-and-greets during the band's North American tour with STATIC-X, MUSHROOMHEAD and DOPE.
"V.I.P Packages" seem to be the only way for fans to meet the bands they admire these days. Some of these come at a really inflated price on top of the standard ticket costs and include anything from a signed item, a photo to watching soundchecks or a collectable lanyard.
Paid meet-and-greets are becoming staples of the touring circuit and are seen by some artists as a necessary evil to survive nowadays. Other musicians object to meet-and-greets on moral grounds, believing they favor richer fans over poorer ones. Similarly, many people view the fact that groups charge fans to meet them as completely exploitative, since artists are usually aware that young admirers are prepared to pay any amount of money to see their favorite band, sometimes at their parents' expense.
A few years ago, Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend defended the culture of "V.I.P Packages," telling Noisey: "A lot of the times, fans may think bands are taking the piss by simply doing a meet-and-greet, but if we don't do them, we simply can't do what we're doing. It's not like we do them then get a bonus at the end of the tour. On the other side of it, if you're in the band and you're hypersensitive to people's energy, like I believe I am, meet-and-greets fucking beat the shit out of you. Not because you don't want to meet people, but because in order to do it correctly, you really have to invest yourself and be present and ready to talk to people and sometimes accept hyperbolic praise or criticism, and you have to be emotionally resilient enough to not let either… I mean, it's about them. They're paying for a moment and your job is to be present and that's really challenging on tour."
Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti made headlines in 2016 when he said he was completely opposed to fans paying for meet-and-greets, explaining that "we should be paying [them]." "Some bands will charge for meet-and-greets or they'll charge for some special types of meet-and-greets," Meniketti said. "I don't like to do that. I think that's gouging the fans. I think that's a little too much of trying to get every last dollar out of everybody, dollaring people to death. I don't like that whatsoever. To me, your fanbase is golden. They're the people that are keeping us going. They're the people that love the music."
He continued: "Why do we want to charge them to meet us? That, to me, seems like the most bizarre thing you can do and too opportunist. That's not my thing. They pay for a ticket. Come see us live, that's what's going to keep us alive. Buy a t-shirt, something like that. But don't pay to see me. My God. I should be paying you guys. I'm happy to shake a hand, take a picture or listen to a story or something like that. In fact, more than happy. It makes us all feel good. It makes us feel connected to our fans."
Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted called the paid-meet-and-greet practice "bullshit" in a 2012 interview. He explained: "My guys had been talking to me about doing those things, and they talk about KISS making money for this meet-and-greet. People will pay it, but that's not the point. I don't want to take money like that. If they want to buy a t-shirt and have something to show for it, that's what we do. You can't download a t-shirt.
"There are certain things that make sense to me. I have never charged for my autograph up until [I launched my own] web site. That is my first time in my thirty-year career that I have charged for my autograph, and I have signed for hundreds of thousands of people.
"I don't feel comfortable with charging people to meet me; I don't feel comfortable with charging people to get me to sign something when they are standing with me. If they buy it off the Internet and want an 8x10 or an autograph CD, they have that momentum. That's fine, but I'm not going to charge people to meet me. I just don't feel that's right. I'll pay to meet one of my old sports heroes, or something like one of the cats from the 1970s Orioles. I'll pay a couple of bucks for something, but I'm not going to pay for Gene Simmons. It's ridiculous; that's not what it's about."
FEAR FACTORY's "Rise Of The Machine" North American tour with STATIC-X kicked off on February 25 in San Francisco, California and wrapped up April 15 in Los Angeles, California.
If anyone bought VIP tix for the upcoming “Rise Of The Machine”tour thinking they are for a FF meet n greet we never put any up for sale. I will be at the merch table every night for autograph/photos with the purchase of FF merch. It’s a much more affordable way to meet me
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