Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with DIVINE HERESY guitarist Dino Cazares (also of ASESINO, ex-FEAR FACTORY). Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: Once you began assembling DIVINE HERESY, did you find it difficult locating musicians you felt were genuinely "up to the challenge?"
Dino: "Bass player-wise, yes. That was a little bit difficult. A little bit on the vocal side, too, ya know? We did a lot of vocal auditions and it was either they could sing melodically or they could sing really brutal. As far as combining the two, there was no one that I really liked that could handle doing both. So it was difficult in that way. Once I found (vocalist) Tommy (Vext), I knew he was it. Tommy is a pretty pissed off aggressive singer, ya know? I wasn't looking for a death metal singer, which I think kinda got some people confused because Tim Yeung is also in the band. I think a lot of people thought it was gonna be a death metal band. We're not a death metal band. We have an element of death metal to us as far as speed and aggression…but as far as the vocals, we just wanted someone that was really aggressive, but you could understand what he was sayin'. Not that I'm against that. I love death metal and I've got death metal bands myself. We just wanted it to be an aggressive metal band, ya know? We wanted a singer who could sing melodically but also be brutal and heavy…all that shit. That's what we wanted. That's what we were lookin' for. I wanted someone who could play bass, but with a guitar player mentality. And that's what we found with (former NILE bassist) Joe Payne."
Blasting-Zone.com: In hindsight, was the decision to not sign with the American division of Roadrunner Records important to the group's artistic and creative growth?
Dino: "Yeah, because the American branch of Roadrunner wanted me to do a little more of a sell-out type of thing, ya know? After I was out of FEAR FACTORY, Roadrunner kept me on for about seven or eight months. They kept me signed because they wanted me to put together a band that was commercial. I actually put together a band, and we actually went in and recorded a song, but I said, 'Fuck this.' I stopped and got away. I said, 'I don't wanna be a part of this company…this is not what I wanna do.' When the 'Roadrunner All-Stars' came along, I ended up using those songs on the album. It's just not what I wanted to do, so when I put together DIVINE HERESY, I didn't even want to sign with Roadrunner in the States at all at that point. I just didn't wanna play that game anymore. If they would have accepted the band for being as brutal as it is, then I would have said 'Yeah,' ya know? But they wanted me to do something lighter, so I just decided to stay with Century Media so we could keep complete creative control. Ever since NICKELBACK came along and sold ten millions records, they've definitely changed their mindset a little bit. But they definitely go back and forth. For a couple of years, they'll do commercial stuff and then they'll realize a lot of the commercial stuff they sign doesn't do real well, so they'll say, 'Okay, we're gonna go back to being metal' and try to sign some metal bands. When that doesn't work, they try to go back to being commercial, so they kinda go back and forth."
Blasting-Zone.com: How satisfied are you with "Bleed the Fifth" selling 2,700 copies in its first week of release?
Dino: "Of course you always want more, ya know? But, I mean, c'mon, we've only had the name for the past three months and have only had a MySpace page for the last few months. A lot of people don't know who we are yet as a band. I think it's gonna be one of those things where it's gonna be a little bit of a slow process. I think overall it's gonna be successful, but we need to get out on the road, start showin' our faces and let everyone see us and see how much we fuckin' tear it up. There's a lot of bands that do really well with MySpace and that's great because nowadays record companies don't really help to promote band, so you really have to do it yourself. There's a little handful of bands that have discovered that and are using it as a great tool to market their band. There's a few bands that have been pushing themselves through there the last couple of years and have been really successful, ya know? I wish I would have had the name DIVINE HERESY a lot longer, because I would have had more time to push the band. I could have got the name out there a lot more, ya know? But for the short amount of time that we've had the name, I think we've done pretty good."
Blasting-Zone.com: What was the main motivation behind including solos on some of the "Bleed the Fifth" material? Did you add them as a reminder of your technical prowess?
Dino: "I put them on there because it called for it. I didn't put them on there just to put them on there. I put them on there because it sounded like it needed something there. With every project that I do, I try to do something different and I think about the project differently. There's solos on the ASESINO record too. I know ASESINO isn't as exposed as DIVINE HERESY is, but the people that have heard it know that I can do solos. A lot of people are like, 'Whoa, he's doing solos now?' Those are the people that don't know. I guess a lot of the stuff that I've been doin' is underground shit, so people that don't know bands like ASESINO and BRUJERIA won't know that I've been doing solos for a long time. When I was doing stuff with FEAR FACTORY, it was a completely different band that didn't really call for solos. This something different, ya know?”
Blasting-Zone.com: Do you feel as if your playing on "Bleed the Fifth" will ultimately help you put your work with FEAR FACTORY permanently in the past?
Dino: "Definitely. I think so. I think once people get past the whole FEAR FACTORY comparison…they'll realize that this is a good metal album that will definitely get that FEAR FACTORY taste out of your mouth. Not that it's a bad thing. I just think DIVINE HERESY is a great band and I think we're gonna grow into an even greater band. I think the comparisons are gonna get smaller, smaller and smaller, ya know? Every time a new band comes out, people always have to compare it to other stuff, ya know? I think once people see us live and hear the record and realize that we're a different band, they'll appreciate it even more."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.