FEAR FACTORY Drummer: 'CHRISTIAN Is A Better Guitarist Than DINO Ever Was'

Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with FEAR FACTORY drummer Raymond Herrera. Several excerpts follow:

Blasting-Zone.com: Overall, how would you describe your experiences with Giganatour?

Raymond: "It was killer, man. It was actually a really fun tour. We didn't really know what to expect with DREAM THEATER being in the mix…brining in a different crowd…they were one of the main acts along with MEGADETH. The tour went really, really well. It was dominantly heavy bands so I guess we kinda fit right in."

Blasting-Zone.com: Being that the audience was so diverse, were you worried that some of the fans would react negatively towards you?

Raymond: "Well, we looked at it as a good thing, too. We were getting ready to put out a new record and obviously we had listeners that would have not normally come to a FEAR FACTORY show come to the show."

Blasting-Zone.com: Have you ever been concerned that the band's penchant for experimentation would alienate a certain portion of your core audience?

Raymond: "I don't think so because, like on 'Transgression', there's enough content to please even the most hardcore fan. I think it's cool that we can kinda change it up and still be FEAR FACTORY. If you listen to the record, you can tell it's FEAR FACTORY. It's a little different, but a lot of the elements are still there. Obviously, you're sometimes going to get negative results from that. This what I found kinda funny. We did 'Archetype' as a return to form record and people we're like 'Oh, it's just another FEAR FACTORY record.' and we were like 'Well, that was kinda the whole point.' SLAYER could put out another 'Reign In Blood' and people would critique it in a bad way (laughs). People would be like 'Oh, this just sounds like 'Reign In Blood'…' when that would probably be the whole point. You can never win with everybody. There's just no way. If you try, you're just gonna kill yourself doin' it. I think the fact that we can do things a little differently is a good thing, ya know? We've got the talent in the band to do something other than just the one style of music. To not take advantage of that would just be ridiculous."

Blasting-Zone.com: When I spoke to Burton [C. Bell, FEAR FACTORY vocalist] earlier this year, he mentioned that there was an initiation period Christian [Olde Wolbers, bassist-turned-guitarist] needed to go through. How do you feel he has done thus far?

Raymond: "He's doin' a great job (laughs). There was never really an initiation. I knew he could do it. I knew he was capable on guitar. For me, there was no question. When Christian and I started talking about finding a guitar player, I was like 'I don't want a different guitar player in this band. I want you.' I didn't want somebody new in here because I already knew he was a great guitar player. It made so much more sense to have him mover over to guitar, ya know?"

Blasting-Zone.com: Were there ever any realistic outside candidates?

Raymond: "Well, most of the guys I know are already in bands and it's not like they were going to leave their bands to join this one. If we would have looked hard enough, I'm sure we could have found somebody. Just because you can doesn't make it a good idea, ya know? I already knew Christian was way more than capable of doing the job. He's way faster and way tighter. He's a better guitarist than Dino [Cazares, ex-FEAR FACTORY guitarist] ever was. And I can actually say that because if anyone knows how good Dino is, it's me. I've seen Christian do things that Dino never really expanded on doing. He can play open, he can play really epic. He's just way more multi-faceted than Dino was. That's not anything bad against Dino. Dino was really, really good at what he did. It's just that Christian is able to do that and other things as well. I just think it's interesting. It's really cool. Who knows? Maybe if Christian had written more on the guitar back in the day with Dino, things maybe would have changed. We never really thought about doing that back then because nothing was broken."

Blasting-Zone.com: I can clearly remember being very surprised when I first heard that Dino had left the band.

Raymond: "The funny thing is that Dino went around saying that he was the band and he wrote everything. I know how much he actually wrote because I was there with him (laughs). When Christian came in and started playing guitar, I knew there wasn't going to be a problem. In some ways it's actually easier working with Christian than it was working with Dino. Obviously, it's not like we have a problem writing music, that's for sure."

Blasting-Zone.com: I'm sure I wasn't the only one questioning if FEAR FACTORY could record and album without Dino

Raymond: "Exactly. And we did (laughs). That was the thing. Dino can say anything he wants, but the truth is in the record. 'Archetype' proved that we didn't need him. At the end of the day, it is what it is. Quite honestly, I just wish everybody would have been cool. That way, everything would have worked out and we never would have had to break up. But instead, because of personal differences, shit had to happen and we had to adjust to it…and we did."

Blasting-Zone.com: So it wasn't a gradual difference in musical opinions that forced everything apart?

Raymond: "No, it was entirely personal. That was the thing that bothered me the most. The fact that is had nothing to do with the music it all had to do with personal stuff. It's funny. I've actually read a couple of interviews with him where he's said that we didn't see eye to eye musically. It's like 'What the fuck are you talking about? How is 'Archetype' not eye to eye musically?' I thought it was funny because I know the inner workings of everything. To me, it's so laughable because it's not the truth (laughs)."

Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.

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