ARKAEA/FEAR FACTORY members Christian Olde Wolbers (guitar) and Raymond Herrera (drums) were the featured guests on the June 14, 2009 edition of the nationally syndicated radio program "Speed Freaks".
When asked if FEAR FACTORY was "done," Raymond replied, "We're [Christian and I] actually still in FEAR FACTORY. There's a big legal battle going on right now. Essentially, what's happened is Dino [Cazares, former FEAR FACTORY guitarist] and Burt [C. Bell, FEAR FACTORY singer] have become friends again and they decided to start a new band, and furthermore, they decided to call it FEAR FACTORY. They never communicated with us about it, and they're acting like there was never any contract, but there's four members that are Fear Factory Incorporated — which is the four of us — so it's almost like them two against us two, so it's kind of a stalemate. Moving forward, I don't know what's gonna happen with the trademark, so to speak. It's kind of a weird situation, but it's not a situation that we created that was weird."
On the subject of how ARKAEA came together, Raymond said, "What ultimately ended up happening was Christian and I had written, like, eight songs for the next FEAR FACTORY record, which is essentially what the ARKAEA record ended up being, and there was kind of a personal disagreement there with Burt not wanting to continue. And we're like, 'Well, we're sitting on all these songs. What are we gonna do with them?' kind of a thing, and Christian was like, 'Well, why don't we do something else with it?' So Christian was... It was actually kind of his brainchild to put this whole thing together. He was like, 'Hey, let's get Jon [Howard, vocals; THREAT SIGNAL] in here, let's do this and let's do that. We'll do a different band.' And I was like, 'OK, cool. Let's do that.'"
Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera's appearance on "Speed Freaks" is available for streaming at this location.
ARKAEA will release its debut album, "Years In The Darkness", in Europe through Century Media Records on the following dates:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Italy: Friday, July 17
Spain, Portugal: Tuesday, July 21
Sweden, Finland, Hungary: Wednesday, July 22
U.K., France, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Rest Of Europe: Monday, July 20
"Years In The Darkness" is scheduled for release in the U.S. on July 14 via E1 Music (formerly KOCH Records). The CD was produced by Christian Olde Wolbers and ARKAEA and mixed by legendary producer Terry Date, best known for his work with the DEFTONES, SLIPKNOT, WHITE ZOMBIE, SOUNDGARDEN and PANTERA. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound by Ted Jensen, who mastered FEAR FACTORY's gold-certified 1998 release "Obsolete".
Howard describes ARKAEA's familiar-yet-innovative sound: "Chris and Ray have been writing together for many years, so the music does have a lot of FEAR FACTORY elements. However, we've been open to trying different things. It basically fuses what I have been doing vocally in THREAT SIGNAL with driving FEAR FACTORY rhythms, along with some of our own experimentation. The idea behind the project is to be heavy, but maintain melody at the same time. We have crazy riffs, but some grooving choruses as well. It's a great mix."
Howard has been a part of the FEAR FACTORY family ever since Wolbers served as producer for THREAT SIGNAL's debut, "Under Reprisal". Given that connection, the chemistry was there the instant the band started jamming. Howard has managed to push himself as a singer with the help of the veteran musicians. "I always try to do new things and experiment with my voice, and this project has been challenging," said Howard. "It always takes a little time to get comfortable working with new people and a new style of music, but I got over that really fast with Christian and Raymond, and I feel very comfortable where we're going right now."
"Years In The Darkness" track listing:
02. Beneath the Shades of Grey
03. Years in the Darkness
04. Gone Tomorrow
06. Black Ocean
07. Break the Silence
08. Lucid Dreams
09. My Redemption
10. War Within
11. The World As One
12. Rise Today
13. Away From the Sun
The new version of FEAR FACTORY — which features the band's original members Dino Cazares (guitar) and Burton C. Bell (vocals) alongside bassist Byron Stroud (who played on the last two FEAR FACTORY albums in addition to touring and recording with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and ZIMMERS HOLE) and legendary drummer Gene Hoglan (DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DEATH, TESTAMENT) — is scheduled to play a number of shows this summer as well as record a studio album.
Regarding why Christian and Raymond aren't involved with the new FEAR FACTORY lineup, Bell told U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, "It's like a business and I'm just reorganizing. After time, you realize what's important and what's not important, and after talking to Dino again, it just felt good and it felt right."
When asked if he knew straight away that he wouldn't include Christian and Raymond in the new FEAR FACTORY lineup, Burton said, "It's part of the organization. We learned some things and we have a really good rapport with Byron, and Gene is an amazing drummer. Dino and I, as the founders of FEAR FACTORY, we thought, 'Hey, let's try this, a different flavor.' Because wherever me and Dino go, it'll still be FEAR FACTORY, I believe."
Dino added, "I've had many projects in the past and I've played with some of the best drummers in this form of music, from Roy Mayorga to Nick Barker, Tim Yeung, Joey Jordison, and now I'm playing with the king of this genre. How could I pass that up? How could anyone pass up a chance to play with Gene Hoglan?"
"Speed Freaks" photo lineup (left to right): Statt Mann, Chris "Throttle" Jacobs, Raymond Herrera, Crash Gladys, Christian Olde Wolbers and Kenny Sargent