DINO CAZARES: How Not Belonging To One Particular Metal Subgenre Hurt FEAR FACTORY

August 27, 2023

In a new interview with Heavy New York, guitarist Dino Cazares of California metal veterans FEAR FACTORY — who have been categorized by different people as industrial metal, nu metal, groove metal and even cyber metal — spoke about how the band's unique sometimes worked against them as they battled to find their spot in the "nu metal"-driven scene of the mid-1990s. "It could be a good thing and a bad thing," Dino reflected (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "The good thing is that we could branch out and play with a bunch of different bands. That was good. But the bad thing is that we never belonged to one genre… If we were a part of the nu metal genre, maybe we would've been as big as some of those nu metal bands. It almost seemed like sometimes we were too heavy for the nu metal fans and then maybe not nu metal enough, but maybe we were too nu metal for the heavier fans. So, I don't know. We kind of sat in between — we were like a snake in between all those bands and all those different genres. So we were kind of like right there, even though what we created later on — not even just later on — but what we created over the years was something that would inspire all those different bands. Mainly in the syncopated kick-and-guitar music and then obviously the vocals inspiring all those different types of genres. Maybe some of those genres don't even know where it came from, because they might have been listening to KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, even though KILLSWITCH ENGAGE was kind of more — the formula of the vocals was very much inspired by FEAR FACTORY. Because sometimes a new generation of fans emerge and a new style of music emerges and people don't really know the history of where it all started. But if you go back, some of that stuff stems from FEAR FACTORY and going into bands later on, like KILLSWITCH and ALL THAT REMAINS and so on and so on; there's a million bands like that. So it was kind of like PANTERA with the groove and then FEAR FACTORY with the vocals."

Cazares added: "We kind of had our foot in the door in all these different genres, and in some ways I almost felt like it hurt us 'cause we weren't just one thing. 'Cause right now there's like a resurgence of death metal, a resurgence of nu metal, but there's no resurgence of [the kind of] metal we do. So it's kind of weird that we're not part of the resurgence of death metal or nu metal because we weren't just those type of things… I'm just saying that we were a part of all of it in a way — like I said, we had our foot in door in all those different genres, but we didn't particularly fit into one genre. And that to me could have been part of the reason why we're not part of a resurgence of certain genres."

Earlier this month, Dino told ADK Metal News, Reviews, Reactions & Interviews that FEAR FACTORY will tour the U.S. and Europe this fall and then embark on a "killer package" U.S. two-month tour in late January. "And then we've got some festivals — April, May, June and probably August [of 2024]," he said. "Then, in the summer, I need to take the summer off to finish the new record, get it out and then get back on the road probably by October, November next year again."

He continued: "It's a lot of planning. We're getting asked to do a lot of things and right now I've been saying yes, just to try to get the band back out there, try to get the band to rebuild our large live credibility. We want the fans to come back. And then you hit 'em with a new song and then you hit 'em with a new album. And you just get back out there and do it again."

An early instrumental version of a new FEAR FACTORY song called "Roboticist" was made available in March to promote Toneforge Disruptor, a virtual guitar rig plugin and standalone app.

Cazares told BLABBERMOUTH.NET about "Roboticist", which was mixed by longtime FEAR FACTORY collaborator Damien Rainaud: "Initially it was just going to be a instrumental for the plugin, but it came out so good that I decided to make it a song for the new album. Maybe the album will be called the 'Roboticist'. It fits so well with our concept."

FEAR FACTORY's next LP will be the band's first with singer Milo Silvestro, whose addition to FEAR FACTORY was officially announced in late February.

The Italian-born Silvestro joined FEAR FACTORY as the replacement for the band's original singer Burton C. Bell.

FEAR FACTORY played its first headlining concert with Silvestro and touring drummer Pete Webber on May 5 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

FEAR FACTORY's recently completed "Rise Of The Machine" U.S. tour as the support act for STATIC-X marked the Cazares-led outfit's first run of shows with Silvestro and Webber.

Webber has been filling in for FEAR FACTORY's longtime drummer Mike Heller who is unable to play with the band due to "scheduling conflicts."

FEAR FACTORY will play a one-off show on September 17 at the Metal Injection Festival where the band will perform a very special "Demanufacture" and "Obsolete" set. FEAR FACTORY will then launch a five-date headlining "DisrupTour" with special guests LIONS AT THE GATE, which will kick off on October 7. This will be followed by the band heading out on the "October Dawn 2023" tour with headliners LACUNA COIL and openers LIONS AT THE GATE. The 10-date trek will begin on October 13 in Atlanta and make stops in Louisville, Oklahoma City, and Houston before concluding in St. Petersburg on October 29.

FEAR FACTORY will embark on a European tour this fall. The 44-date trek will mark the band's first European shows since 2016. Joining them on this run are BUTCHER BABIES from the USA and IGNEA from Ukraine.

FEAR FACTORY's latest album, "Aggression Continuum", was released in June 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP, which was recorded primarily in 2017, features Cazares and Bell alongside Heller.

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