FEAR FACTORY's latest CD, "Archetype", was mastered on Tuesday (January 6) at Masterdisk in New York City with Howie Weinberg. An April 20 release through Liquid 8 Records (parent company of D3 Entertainment) is expected.
"Archetype" was recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles with engineer Ken Marshall (SKINNY PUPPY) and was mixed in Vancouver with Greg Reely (MACHINE HEAD, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DEVILDRIVER).
"When you look up the definition of the word 'archetype,' it's the actual model from which everything else is copied," vocalist Burton C. Bell stated in the band's new official biography. "FEAR FACTORY is that in my opinion, and 'Archetype' is a defining moment for us. Listen to this record, and you'll know exactly where all these other bands came from."
Regarding the band's brief split in early 2002 before reforming with a new lineup minus founding guitarist Dino Cazares, Bell said, "Say your car is making an annoying sound you know it will eventually break down, and you've got to fix it. This machine was experiencing the same type of malfunction. One part was not working properly with the rest of the machine. Because of that, the machine ran down and needed repair. I left the band so that change would happen and because of my actions, it happened for the better. We look at our time apart as FEAR FACTORY closing down temporarily for renovations. The release of 'Archetype' is the announcement of our grand re-opening."
With the departure of Dino Cazares and the crucial position of lead guitarist now vacant, a logical replacement was immediately found within the band in bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. "Christian has been a member of FEAR FACTORY for a long time," said Burton. "He initially was a guitarist, but switched to bass. He's a very important part of the machine that knows the inner workings and philosophy of the band. Realizing that Christian understands what needed to happen, Raymond and I knew that he should play guitar." Enter new bassist Byron Stroud, formerly of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. "We've been friends with Byron for years and have toured with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD," Burton explains. "Byron comes from an intense band with very complex parts to its songs, and we needed someone who understands that type of playing. We all like Byron, so we asked him to audition and it worked out."
With the new machine ready to shift into high gear, FEAR FACTORY found a home at Minnesota-based Liquid 8 Records, which boasts an artist roster encompassing diverse musical genres. "People at Liquid 8 are very supportive and hyped on the idea of working with a band like FEAR FACTORY," said Burton. "That's important, because we need people to believe in our music and when you love something it's easier to work. We're all very comfortable with Liquid 8 and everyone is happy."
The follow-up to 2001's critically panned "Digimortal", "Archetype" maintains the signature sound of classic FEAR FACTORY without re-treading the past. "It's new in the fact that it's fresh, but when you hear the record, you'll recognize it as a FEAR FACTORY record — in both attitude and music style," Burton offered. "All the key elements are still in place. From the very beginning, the essence of FEAR FACTORY was always Raymond's drumming. We know that if you just follow Raymond, that's a FEAR FACTORY riff. With me still being inspired to do both heavy and melodic vocal parts, that's very much the sound of FEAR FACTORY. We still choose to write songs outside the realm of what gets played on the radio, but it's not just about being heavy it's about writing real songs. Our fans want to hear new material that sounds like FEAR FACTORY and we've written great songs with a brutal, passionate sound. We're saying to our fans, 'Here, check these out!'
Discussing the songs from which "Archetype" is built, Burton offered that FEAR FACTORY has always been a story. "I've written our lyrics all these years, so technically FEAR FACTORY's music is the story of my life. Our songs reveal how events and people have affected me and how I observe different aspects of the world. This record is no different. 'Archetype' is very contemporary in how it reflects what's been happening to the band in the past two years and what's gone on in the world itself."
"'Slave Labor', the lead track, is just brutal and the lyrics reflect how I see much of the 'music business' in general. One of my favorite songs, 'Cyber Waste', is a very hardcore, heavy song about people in online chat rooms who just talk shit when they really don't know anything. 'Corporate Cloning' is about all these companies trying to create something that's just not real and 'Human Shield' is taken straight from the headlines. When we invaded Iraq, people were going over there as human shields trying to stop this war. But there are human shields on this side, too. Then the title song, 'Archetype', defines what FEAR FACTORY is, completely. It has classic FEAR FACTORY parts, and the heavy /melodic vocals, but without being forced or contrived. Modern life is what this whole album is about. The music, the delivery, the forethought and lyrics that say something important it's all there."
With "Archetype" set for release in the spring of 2004, Burton, Christian, Raymond and Byron are excited about the future and the rebirth of FEAR FACTORY. "We're confirmed for a small tour in Australia in February," said Burton. "Then when the record comes out, we'll schedule something for the States. Years ago, FEAR FACTORY presented a style that was fresh. People went, 'Whoa, that's interesting. I guess you really can do that there are no boundaries. You can take it anywhere.' I get excited talking about it. I can't wait to see what's next for the band."