FEAR FACTORY drummer Raymond Herrera has vowed to carry on with the group without co-founder Dino Cazares, saying that the guitarist "limited [FEAR FACTORY] more than progressed it" by refusing to allow new, fresh ideas to be introduced into the band's sound over the course of the group's 12-year existence.
"One of the problems that we had with Dino was that [bassist] Christian [Olde Wolbers] would come up with a lot of good ideas… Some of the best stuff we've ever written was stuff that we wrote around him," Herrera told Metal Extreme in a lengthy interview published in the magazine's premiere issue. "So, a lot of people may have seen somebody who didn't really contribute much, because everybody kinda let that up to Dino, [vocalist] Burt [C. Bell], or myself even. He did contribute a lot, but a lot of the things… Having said that, there was a lot more stuff that we couldn't have done that could have been maybe a little more fresh or a little more new that we didn't do because Dino would shoot it down. Dino would shoot Christian down a lot."
According to Herrera, the other members of the group would often come up with new ideas that they wanted to incorporate into FEAR FACTORY's sound, only to have their suggestions dismissed or openly ridiculed, in the process causing a deep-seeded rift between Cazares and Bell that ultimately led to the band's breakup in March 2002.
"It wasn't so much that [Dino didn't want to progress or that he wanted to play the same kind of stuff], it was just like new ideas [weren't being accepted]," Herrera explained. "Sometimes you just want to try something new or something different, and it just wasn't possible with him around sometimes, because it wasn't his idea. It was one of those things that if it didn't come from him, it was no good. And Burt would come up with a lot of good ideas, great vocal ideas and new vocal things he wanted to do, and he would get shot down. I was in the room when I've seen it happen a few times, and I was just like thinking, 'Oh, my God, why does he have to be so fucking mean to him and rude.' When you're in a band like that, you have to respect everybody else that's in the band, you know. Maybe some people don't know how to write as well as others, but you still gotta respect their opinion, because in a sense you're an equal to them, you're in the same fucking band, you know?! I think he limited this band more than progressed it, 'cause one of the other things that kinda pissed me off is that when Dino did some interviews for the 'Digimortal' record, he was talking about how he did something new by playing clean guitar, this and that. It took Christian about a week to convince Dino to not use distortion. When Christian wanted to put turntable scratching on 'Edgecrusher', God, you should have seen the shit… I mean, I'm telling you, new ideas that this band had were not Dino's ideas. Everybody believes differently and I know Dino brainwashed a lot of people into thinking that it was because of him that the band was this or that… I know the truth. I've been in this band since Day One. Me and Dino started this band. I know what we did to progress, what we didn't do, and what we could have done… And we didn't do it. Having said that, I think the band is in a better position now."
The reformed and revamped FEAR FACTORY, now featuring Olde Wolbers on guitar, recorded a four-song demo late last year with a view towards continuing their relationship with Roadrunner Records. The demo, which contained the cuts "Slave Labor", "Corporate Cloning", "Archetype", and "Bite The Hand That Feeds", marked Wolbers' first attempt at handling the six-string duties on a FEAR FACTORY recording following a nine-year stint as the band's bass player.
"[Christian] was originally a guitar player, so when he came into the band, he was actually a guitar player, but he had a really good picking style, which is why we recruited him, basically," Raymond said. "But, um, I think that's gonna a concrete decision, because it's easier for us to try and find somebody to play bass than to try and play the guitar, and we know Christian can do it anyway. So we wrote four new songs already. Christian was doing guitar anyway and it came out perfect. We did a demo and it also had guitar and bass, and he obviously did both, so it worked out really well. So most likely we'll be looking for a bass player, and we've got a couple of guys in mind, but we'll see how it all kind of works out."
At the time of the interview, Roadrunner had still not made a decision as to whether they would exercise their contractual option to issue the group's next studio album (the band and the label have since parted ways). However, according to Raymond, "[Roadrunner] were kinda blown away by [the demos] . . . They heard them, they loved them, they want to continue, but they want to hear something a little more new, a little more fresh, because the stuff we did was very FEAR FACTORY. We wanted to prove to them like,' Hey, look! We can do this without him!' So they heard it and they couldn't believe that Dino didn't play on it. So we told them, alright, now that we proved to you that we can do what we've been doing for 12 years, now we can start doing some new shit if you guys are serious about wanting to do this, so now they are serious about it, they want to do this. Now we're going to start working on something new, something fresher, like FEAR FACTORY continuing now. So that's what we're doing now, and we should have something for them in the next few weeks."
Despite having lost one of the co-founding members and the band's primary songwriter, Raymond is confident that the band can carry on stronger and better than ever before.
"I just think we've got to take our original elements and do something really special with it," Raymond said of the band's next CD. "We don't just want to do another record with the same type of stuff. We definitely want to take this band to the next level, which is something that the band internally would get into a lot of arguments about. I think we can move forward and really do something different and something special."
Although Raymond and Dino have been in contact in the months since the group's initial split, the drummer does not see any possibility of a reconciliation in the future.
"I don't think so," Herrera said. "I kinda made up my mind. I consider myself a pretty easy-going guy. I have a lot of friends and I've had a lot of friends for a very long time, and he seems to push the envelope a lot of time and for no reason. I've let stuff go by a lot of times because I've had a really good relationship with the guy, you know, so I can put a few things aside, but it just got to the point where it just got ridiculous. I really don't need the guy, and he probably doesn't need me, so I guess it's alright, you know."
Read the whole interview here.