FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares says that he was surprised by the number of racist comments that were directed at him after he took a stand against controversial Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Cazares made his anti-Trump remarks during an interview with Australia's Sticks For Stones. Speaking about the 2016 U.S. presidential race, he said in part: "We have a kook running for president; we have Donald Trump. If Donald Trump actually gets elected, I'm moving to Australia. If he is elected president, we're gonna have a lot of issues in America… [Trump] doesn't like Muslims, he doesn't like Mexicans, and he doesn't like the foreigners. Blah blah blah blah… It's just gonna cause a war. It's gonna cause a lot of tension between Americans and other parts of the [world]. It's gonna make it worse."
Dino's comments unsurprisingly provoked an extreme reaction from BLABBERMOUTH.NET readers, at least some of whom appear to have wholeheartedly embraced Trump's vow to "make America great again" by creating more jobs and "putting American workers first."
Now Dino has clarified his original remarks, saying that he was "joking" when he said he would move to Australia and blaming the "media" for making his comments sound more controversial than they really were.
Speaking to I Probably Hate Your Band, Dino said: "I was extremely surprised at how many racist comments I was reading because I'm of Mexican descent. You know, I'm an American, I was born in the United States, I pay taxes just like everybody else, and a lot of people were saying, 'Leave. Donald Trump is gonna build a wall so your people won't come into America.' A lot of people were saying, 'Get the fuck out of here, beaner.' 'Beaner' is a bad word, a racial word to use against Hispanics. I was reading a lot of that stuff, and I was, like, 'Wow!'"
He continued: "A lot of this racial tension has come about because of my Mexican descent. I was just really surprised — like, wow, people actually took this joking thing I said so seriously. And it seemed like all the Donald Trump supporters came out, so it was pretty gut-wrenching to read those racist comments about me, you know what I mean? About Hispanics who live in America."
Dino went on to say: "Racism really seems to be coming out of the woodwork now, and you have people like Donald Trump who are provoking that. I'm not saying that he is saying it straight up, but he is, pretty much, provoking it. So it's definitely getting these people out of the woodwork — and it's definitely evident by reading those comments. But at the same time, you kind of have to blame the media for wording it the way they word. It provokes people to be like that, the way the media translates it, the way they put it. I'm a victim of clickbait; they call it clickbait. Clickbait means how many people they can get to click on their web site over controversial statements, or the way they make it sound more controversial than what it is — just so they can make money off advertising off their site."
According to Dino, he "looked up" some of the people who were making racist comments against him and "some were gang members" while others were "just Americans, living in Middle America." He said: "I was shocked, I was just, like, 'Wow!' I didn't know what to say."
Part of the reason there was such a strong reaction to his comments, Dino claims, is the fact that he is of Mexican heritage. "It almost seems like, me being Hispanic means I need to, almost, keep my mouth shut," he said. "Because who knows what might happen to me if these sorts of people find out that I'm Hispanic."
He went on to say: "I've heard other artists talk about how they are not for Donald Trump. I've heard Corey Taylor [SLIPKNOT] mention it, I've heard Dave Mustaine [MEGADETH] mention the political races going on, and I've never heard anything like that on any of the stuff that they wrote. People were obviously for Donald Trump and were against Bernie Sanders, and blah blah blah, but me because I'm Hispanic, it got very racial, you know? And I didn't notice that with Dave Mustaine's comments or Corey Taylor's comments.
"[The people making hateful comments] were really talking about my race, you know. 'Get the fuck out of here, you fucking beaner.' 'Trump's gonna build a wall to keep your people out.' Stuff like that was just, 'Wow!' I've never… Well, I'm not gonna say never, but I've never experienced that in metal. You know… A racial thing. I'm not trying to make it racial, but how could you ignore the comments that were left about you?"
"Even though my parents are Mexican-Mexican, I was born in America, I'm an American citizen, but obviously they don't care."
You can read the entire interview at I Probably Hate Your Band.
FEAR FACTORY will embark on a U.S. headlining tour later this month. Support on the trek, which will see the band perform its classic second album "Demanufacture" in its entirety, will come from Swedish metallers SOILWORK. A list of all the tour dates can be found at FearFactory.com
FEAR FACTORY's latest album, "Genexus", was released on August 7, 2015 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.