Well, weve fast forwarded through time, about 20 minutes actually, following the Spineshank interview. Time travel though doesnt change destination, and so as a result, were still stuck in the bowels of Rock City as Dino ambles out to greet me. It emerges, to my mind at least, that hes a man with a great deal of self-confidence. Maybe it borders on arrogance. And he also plays with his wallet chain a lot. So theres plenty of rattle and roll going on. And for some reason, unlike the System interview, I was totally relaxed. The face stayed a natural colour, and there was even a hint of confidence running through the body. Maybe I just wasnt bothered about it, as I like Fear Factory, but Im not the biggest fan in the world. So, time for round 2. Dont worry, my first statement wasnt going to be Im not keen on the album. Oh no, Im being diplomatic this time! Going to have a crack about bloody re-issues instead. So, the how to tread on peoples toes interview technique, part 2. Hey ho, lets go ....
Right, the questions that Ive got, some are music based, some are industry related, some are kinda topical. The first stuff is regarding the label and the re-issues that are going on.
Re-issues as far as like what? asks Dino.
Well like Obsolete has just been re-released with 5 extra tracks on it.
Yeah yeah. A lot of people have actually asked me about that. Why do they do that? Why do they do special edition digipacks? Thats what digipacks are for, thats what theyre known for. Special editions. A lot of people think oh youre just trying to make extra money and so on and so on. The reason why it took us so long to release it, is that we couldnt get the rights to the song Cars. We were going to release it the same day, but we couldnt get the rights for at least three months, and finally we got to put it all together and we put it out like four and a half months later. So thats the reason it took so long for that. And like, if you dont want to buy it, dont buy it. No-one has to. Of course people want to buy it cos theyre fans of the band and its 5 extra bonus tracks. But Ive always looked at it like this, if youre a fan of the band, like me Im a big U2 fan. Anything U2 put out, I buy. Whether its a digipack, the same album with a different cover, or theres one extra bonus track, or its a bootleg. Yknow, cos Im a fan of the band. And Ive never really questioned it. Everyone seems to be so concerned with money out here. And in some ways its cool, but in some ways it gets kind of annoying.
Well I think partly its like RoadRunner have re-released Sepulturas back catalogue so many times.
Well put it this way. We have the choice as to whether we want to do a digipack or not. And we said yes we want to do a digipack because its something special for the fans. Right. And ok so what songs do you want on there?. And we want all the b-sides. So ok, now weve got to get the rights to Where Evil Dwells, which is a cover song also, and the Gary Numan track. Everything else came through, and the Gary Numan track took three months to get the clearance for it. Theyre very protective of the song because it was his biggest hit. So it wasnt for the band to make anything extra out of it. That wasnt the sole reason.
Yeah, like I said, its just the Sepultura stuff has been re-released several times. I dont know what their reason behind that is. Yeah, but it then seems that its the label all the time.
Yeah but then you get bands like AC/DC or Iron Maiden where its getting remastered all the time. If you dont want to buy it, then dont buy it.
Ok, well, I have a problem with re-issues as the last issue indicated. People DO go out and buy it just because of the name of the band. I believe it is ripping people off, taking advantage of this fans mentality, especially when you combine it with the problem that CDs are grossly overpriced in this country anyway. People buying re-issues all the time at the current cost are not going to have the money to check out new bands. But like I say, Ive just got an attitude problem with it all maybe. And you dont need to own everything to be a fan. Lets return to Rock City again shall we?
Right, you may have touched in a way there on what I wanted to discuss next. As youre now in a band as opposed to being a fan... Im still a fan he interrupts. As a matter of fact Im a fan of my own stuff. If I see bootleggers out there selling shirts, Ive been out there before look Im in the band, I dont care, I sell bootleg shirts for a living. I dont care, I understand where the guy is coming from. Same with bootleg CDs. Ill go out and buy a Fear Factory bootleg CD. Ive got some from Australia, Ireland, Japan. All places. And I try to collect them and all Fear Factory stuff, Japan, Australia, Canada - all the releases. Europeans actually get more stuff than America. The singles over here, they dont release singles in America cos they dont do really well for us. They do well for us over here. So the English get a lot of stuff. They get the 5 extra bonus tracks, plus the limited edition screen saver. On the digipack in America, were not putting the screen saver on it.
Again, thats all well and good, but bootleg tends to suggest to me that official is too expensive. Hey, call me pig-headed but thats it. Happy with bootlegs of a show? Then allow everyone to record so that people dont have to go and buy it. Theres simplistic solutions to most things. Like allow a trade-in for the re-issues. Plus Ive tried to get away from the, in my opinion, misguided concept that to be a fan means you have to buy everything a band puts out. Or like it. Or agree with it. No, judge for yourself. Sorry, were getting away from things here. Maybe I should explain that these bits in italics are some thoughts that Ive added in as Im playing back the interview and transcribing it. Theyre not what was said, theyre reflections after the event. Take them for what they are.
Anyway, what I was trying to get at was this. Now that youre in the band, do you see things that are perhaps annoying as a fan, from a different perspective. Like for example, ticket prices are sometimes too high, same with merchandise prices. Thats the fan perspective. But for you now, its maybe a way to pay the rent. A different perspective.
A lot of it has to do with what a bands guarantee is. If you get a guarantee of $20,000 for a show, ticket prices are going to be high. If you want lower ticket prices, you have to take lesser money. This is how it is. Some bands expect more, some bands are reasonable. I think its very reasonable that tickets are like only £12 here. I think that Rob Zombie are like £15. And hes having less people than we are. So it all depends on a band. Sure, Im very aware of it, and I always try to make wherever I can, ticket prices reasonable and our guarantee reasonable. I always try to do all ages shows. Unfortunately tonight isnt.
Ticket prices I can sometimes understand, maybe production costs, but then again, I saw Bruce Dickinson here the other week, and tickets there were only £7.
Ok, turning to the album. To me its a good Fear Factory album, but I was probably expecting something a bit more. Possibly with the press that had gone beforehand, and in the wake of the remix album, I was expecting something really radical. I feel like Resurrection maybe did that. I think its the best song on the album, and its a bit of a departure.
I understand what youre saying. Fear Factorys always been a band about taking chances. Back on Soul of a New Machine we were definitely very death metal inspired. And Burt singing melodic on a death metal album just was, it was taking a chance. Cos you had Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolthrower, all those bands doing really well. And then you had the melodic part of FF that people didnt expect. But it stood out. And then when Fear Is the Mindkiller came out, that was extremely radical at that point. Yknow, death metal, industrial, techno and remixes. And definitely it inspired a lot of people. And Demanufacture came out that was very mechanical. Really good, solid metal record. He checks himself. No, a great metal record. Like I said, he has confidence. Then we did Remanufacture, and that kinda pissed off a lot of people. Theres a lot of people who got into Demanufacture and perhaps didnt know about our past. Didnt know about Fear Is The Mindkiller, or Soul. Maybe heard about them, but didnt really KNOW about it. Didnt really know what Fear Factorys progress was. And so we put out Remanufacture and it upset a lot of people, because at the time Prodigy, Chemical Brothers sort of thing was really big. And people thought we were going to become the next Prodigy. So in a way, we did do the radical thing and stick to what were good at. Stick to what we were. Stick to what we are. And not go the typical route that everyone thought we were going to go. In other words, dont do a Remanufacture, because a lot of people thought we were going to go that way. So, its more organic album, less mechanical. In a way less electronic. But its kind of a really ironic thing, because we used more electronics on this record than we ever have done before. We recorded everything organically, but it was all done digitally. And it is weird. Like if you record live drums on tape, put it on the computer and move it around digitally. So it was probably the most electronically used record that weve done, but its the most organic sounding record. We wanted to give this record more of a human feel.
And so do you feel that you achieved that?
Yes. Definitely. I mean a song like Resurrection. Its not really a mechanical masterpiece, cos we had real cellos and violinists instead of using keyboards. We wanted it to be a challenge for us, and it worked. And like I said, that was our way of bringing a more organic sound to our music. Someone even told me, thats the greatest, heaviest, melodic gayest riff Ive ever heard.
Lynn from Snot being killed. Ive just asked Spineshank, do you think thats going to have any effect on the scene.
LAs a very big city. Maybe it will affect some people, maybe it wont. Its kind of hard to tell being such a big city. It happens all the time. Itll affect you for a week and then youre back on the clock again. Its society. The people who arent affected will carry on living again and forget it. Thats how it is. Its definitely affected me, though it hasnt really hit me yet, because Im not home. And so to me at the moment its almost just like a story yknow. Its a really sad way to die. I lost my brother in a car accident and yknow, its a really sad thing. Especially that the guy was young, he had gone through drug abuse, shooting up heroin, stuff like that. And hed conquered that. And then die in a simple fucking car wreck. Thats the sad thing about it. And it seemed like his band had such a bright future. And now he doesnt have the opportunity to see all that. Its heartbreaking. But like I said, I think when I get home it will really hit me.
Ok, moving away from that. Any opinions on whats going on in the Gulf at the moment?
No is the simple answer. I really dont cos I dont know much of whats going on. Thats why.
Do you think its just a cover for whats going on with Clinton? Well yknow, I wouldnt put it past them. I dont even understand why Clintons getting impeached. Sure the guy got a blowjob. Ok, he said he didnt get one, and then they find out that he did. Who cares? All these lawyers and whatever. Its just wasting tax payers dollars. I really dont give a fuck about Monica Lewinsky. Shes just a fucking bitch who gave the president a blow job. And you know what, a lot of girls probably if they had the chance to blow the president of the United States, they probably would. Im not trying to degrade women or anything like that, but Ive actually seen a poll where they asked women if you had the chance to blow the president, would you do it? And like 65% of them says yes. And 30 something said no.
Id hate to think what a poll would come up with if they asked about Tony Blair over here.
I mean can you imagine if they asked all these men if you could fuck Pamela Anderson, would you do it? How many guys would say yes?
One or two maybe. Yeah right, give me a break. Methinks UK humour avoided Dino there. But lets face it, she looked better before all the plastic surgery right?
I really dont give a fuck. What it is, is it makes America look like a joke.
Thats what I was going to ask. Do you think the rest of the world just sees America as a joke. Yeah of course. Totally. Do you think America realises that? No. Why? Because a lot of Americans dont know what the fuck Europeans think. They dont know the politics over here. They dont know about over here. A lot of Americans dont really care about what goes on in Europe. Theyre only concerned about where theyre at. Ive been lucky enough to come over to Europe for the last 5 years. And everytime I come over, I learn more and more. And its made me open my eyes definitely. Not to be so ignorant that I just see my own problems.
Yeah, I mean Im closedminded I guess in that Ive never been to the States. Yeah, you call us septic tank Yanks. I know that. You know, like a shit tank. And we call you guys limeys. Yeah I know. Ive never been there so I only have my opinions based on what I see or read. But Im never sure what to really expect from the music viewpoint. The way it comes over is like this so wonderful place. Bands play huge arenas to 25,000 and all that kind of stuff. Yet when you talk to bands, you get a totally different impression. That the places theyre playing are more comparable in size to the UK venues.
Theres a couple of clubs in LA, like the Roxy and the Whisky, that are 700 seaters. The Whisky is actually 540 people. And thats it? See, those venues it feels to me get transformed into these mystical venues that must be wonderful. And the reality then is that theyre like Bradford Rios, or a smaller Rock City. If we do the Whisky then we do 4 nights sold out. And its kind of cool to do those small clubs. We also do places like the Palace, which are 1000 seaters or more. You cant really believe the press. Theyre always going to hype it and build it up to more than it is. Like Marilyn Manson shat in someones mouth last week, and its headline news. Like oh fuck, why did he do that? And its not true yknow. Some bands are successful because of their false hype. Marilyn Manson. Korn. Bands like that. Yknow Ill give credit where credit is due. The first Korn record is a great record. But now its all trend and all hype. Adidas, Puma, its all a trend amongst kids. And they really know how to attract the kids. Do you read Metal Hammer? Yeah. And what was their success story in there? Image. Same thing with Marilyn Manson. Its image. Some images people like, some images people dont. Fear Factory was never so much an image band as a music band. I like to think that we become successful because we put out good records, and not blatantly follow some trend. Ive always felt that Fear Factory are the sort of band that have stood on their own. But at the same time be able to play with bands like Deftones and Korn. Be a part of the so called scene. Yknow what I mean. Yeah, but some god damn git is hitting things again. Almost like theres a drum soundcheck going on. I hate drum soundchecks. Always a good way to ruin a fucking interview. Bastards. Anyway, I digress.
Right, well Ive just done an interview with Spineshank, and said that I wasnt that keen on the album. Anyway, I asked what was the question that I should ask you, and what Tommy came up with was: Do you think that Spineshank sound like Fear Factory?
No is the somewhat predictable response. Like he was going to go yes. Anyway, he has more to say on the matter. I personally dont think they sound like Fear Factory, but I think theyve been influenced by Fear Factory. I think a lot of bands were influenced by Fear Factory, because I think weve shown that you shouldnt be afraid to take that different step. And one thing I can say about Burt that he developed the trend of singing melodic then heavy, or vica versa. And he was doing it before that, and before the Deftones were screaming, then singing melodic. Same thing with Korn. I can say that Burt was one of the first guys doing that.
I dont think Spineshank really come out of the school of Fear Factory, I think they come out of the school of the Deftones.
I think thats why Im struggling with the album at the moment, because it feels like the whole scene is ready to implode.
Well yknow, when your first album comes out, youre always going to be compared to something. Then you learn from that. I mean our first record was being compared to Napalm Death, Carcass. Godflesh was actually one of the better bands that we got compared to. At the time youre kinda pissed off by it. But when you look back you think yeah, it was definitely inspired by it, and were not afraid to admit that. But you could see the potential for us to go somewhere else. And we did with Fear Is The Mindkiller. And we did with Demanufacture. And we are with Obsolete. Weve created our own standard for ourselves. And now its Fear Factory. I mean is a song like Resurrection really a metal song? For instance, Ill give you an example. I turned on my TV at about 2 in the morning while I was in London. And I saw on Sky 1 some rock programme where they talked about the 10 top rock songs in the UK. And they showed the video of each of the 10 songs. And were talking Marilyn Manson. The Manic Street Preachers. Placebo. Aerosmith. Metallica. And some others. And Fear Factory was at No 7 in amongst all those. And Im like oh my God. It freaked me out. And at the same time it stood out, but it also fit. It was different, but you could see that it fit there.
And with things fitting in, its time to draw things to an end, as although no-one has come along yet, weve gone over the usual 20 minutes and its probably time to let the man get back to preparing for the gig. And also, when I check, there was only about 30 seconds of tape left. Perfect timing.Well, I hope it was good for you he grins as he ambles off to check the washing. No really, thats what happened. They have to get their washing done somewhere, and at the moment, Fear Factory are doing their dirty washing in Rock City. Ill leave you to decide whether thats an appropriate combination or not!