"Max Cavalera pretty much helped Fear Factory get signed to Roadrunner Records way back in 1991. He's been a big part of my career, especially in the early days. He's been a good friend."
Dino Cazares is the guitar player and co-founder of one of the most influential metal bands in Fear Factory.
In his spare time, however, he plays with Max and Zyon Cavalera in Soulfly. Starting tomorrow, fans can see Soulfly in Australia: they're playing Good Things Festival from Friday until Sunday but managed to fit two sideshows at Melbourne's Croxton Bandroom and Sydney's Manning Bar around their performances.
Speaking to Cazares, I wonder: where does he find the time? He records and produces music with Fear Factory and tours the globe. "I am very much looking forward to showing everybody what's coming next for Fear Factory," he says from his home.
"We've been doing pre-production for a new record; I've been demoing all our new songs. We're going to be really busy next year; the first few months of next year are pretty much all booked!" That's exciting news for fans of the industrial metal band - they keep receiving tour offers that they'd be fools to knock back.
"It's all about scheduling. It's all about getting it all worked out, you know? But I am also not the kind of guy who likes to rush things because sometimes you don't like the song when you rush things. I like to let songs ferment and listen to them over and over again," he laughs. Last month, Fear Factory released their second-ever remix album, Recoded, 25 years after 1997's influential Remanufacture.
Recoded is primarily based on the band's tenth album, 2021's Aggression Continuum, their first record in over five years. Aggression Continuum marked the final Fear Factory album to feature original vocalist Burton C. Bell, who recorded most of his vocals in 2017 and left the band almost a year before the record's release.
Cazares was able to work on another remix album through downtime, he notes. With COVID-19 keeping artists from touring and recording remotely as the only option, he decided to change things up. "I reached out to [producer] Rhys Fulber (Delerium, Front Line Assembly), who's been working with the band for many years," he starts. The guitar pioneer didn't take long to reach out to other DJs to put their flavours on the songs.
"Working with different artists and the way they see your song and the way they basically reconstruct the regular version of the song is so cool. It's really creative and innovative. I really enjoyed the experience because I like to hear the different places they can take my song," Cazares says. The Monolith remix of Hatred Will Prevail sounds completely different to the album version, while the Disruptor remix of Disobey is most like its original iteration.
Back in 1993, Fear Factory released their first remix EP, Fear Is The Mind Killer, a pivotal release in the band's catalogue which would signal places the group would go in the future.
"I always envisioned remixed versions of our songs, but back then, we didn't have the technology we have now," Cazares explains. "Fear Is The Mind Killer was in between [debut album] Soul Of A New Machine and [second album] Demanufacture. Fear Is The Mind Killer was definitely a key point in the band's sound moving forward."
In 2019, Cazares swapped his guitar endorsement from Ibanez to the Perth-based, Australian-owned Ormsby after 22 years with the former brand. "Every year, I would go to the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show. I always walk around and check out other guitars and other companies," he says. For about four years, Ormsby always struck his eye.
"Ormsby had these interesting guitars. Every year, I was attracted to that booth. One day, I decided to pick up the guitar there, and I was like, Wow, this sounds amazing," and he's been with them ever since. "Perry [Ormsby, Director of the company] knows what he's doing over there!"
For guitar enthusiasts and Fear Factory fans, good news: Cazares will be visiting the new Ormsby store, which features a showroom, in Canning Vale, Western Australia, from 7 to 12 December, putting on 2-hour guitar clinics. Find more information here.
Tomorrow night, though, he will perform at the Croxton Bandroom in Melbourne, playing the guitar for Soulfly. "Max [Cavalera] and I have been friends for 31 years. Any time he calls me to ask if I can jam with him, I'm there," he says. "Max pretty much helped Fear Factory get signed to Roadrunner Records way back in 1991. He's been a big part of my career, especially in the early days. He's been a good friend."
Even in his free time, Cazares is focused on music. He's an avid Twitter and Instagram user, directly interacting with fans. "I think that [social media] is great. Obviously, there are some positives and negatives with it. Some people believe everything they read on there; there's a lot of misinformation and a lot of fighting. It's a big outlet for negativity, but there are positives, too," he explains. "You can talk to people all around the world, which I really enjoy. Especially when you're in a band, and you get to talk to your fans all the way across the globe."
Dino Cazares has flown across the globe for a run of shows with Soulfly, including Good Things Festival. More info here.
Thursday 1 December – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne
Friday 2 December - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne (LIC AA 15+)
Saturday 3 December- Centennial Park, Sydney (18+)
Sunday 4 December – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (LIC AA 15+)
Tuesday 6 December – Manning Bar, Sydney