FEAR FACTORY have been bringing their own version of fearsome heavy metal to the world for over 25 years. Largely considered a pioneering force in the industrial metal scene the band has a legacy that is hard to ignore. As they embark upon, yet another, Australian tour IPHYB caught up with guitarist and founding member, Dino Cazares to talk about technology and the recent controversy surround comments he made about Donald Trump.
First up, let’s address that whole mess where in a recent interview with Sticks For Stones you joked that if Trump was elected you’d move to Australia. A whole bunch of people took it the wrong way and went crazy on the internet. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, 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’ 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 ahh, it was pretty gut-wrenching to read those racist comments about me, you know what I mean? About Hispanics who live in America. 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 website 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.
And that’s it. The media loves to create an ‘us Vs them’ situation. They want everyone to get angry and riled up.
Yeah, and that’s pretty much how Donald Trump runs his campaign. It’s a fear campaign. That’s how he runs his campaign to promote those kinds of things. It’s obviously getting him a lot of attention, which is why he is becoming somewhat popular and winning the electoral race. It’s just scary – even just talking to you I’m just shocked at the comments I’ll read.
Yeah man, I went through and read some of the comments, there’s about a thousand of them, more than a thousand, and it seems that people have just let their true colours show. It’s all very angry and cruel-spirited, to say the least.
And I actually looked up some of the people who were saying this stuff. Some were gang members and some were just Americans, living in Middle-America. I was shocked, I was just like “wow” I didn’t know what to say.
Well it happens, it’s the day and age we live in. The internet and social media has given everyone a voice and a certain portion just want to use it to say hateful things.
Well yeah, there you go. It almost seems like, me being Hispanic means I need to, almost, keep my mouth shut. Because who knows what might happen to me if these sorts of people find out that I’m Hispanic. I’m not saying that I’m gonna die a martyr or something as stupid like that. I’m just saying that people are actually taking this pretty seriously and who knows. Some crazy person out there could attempt to do something crazy to me. Look, it’s happened to other artists before, look at Dimebag Darryl. He got shot because of something that was exaggerated in the media from what Phil Anselmo said. So who knows what could happen out there? There are artists out there who take this very seriously. Look at Robb Flynn, he made a video about the comments that Phil Anselmo said – he put himself out there, and that’s very dangerous. It’s dangerous out here, how people in America will take anything that anyone says and who knows what could happen. Somebody could get beat up, somebody could get shot, somebody could get killed. I mean it scares me to be even talking about this to you right now.
Yeah, and I hadn’t realised that it was as serious as you’re making me realise that it is. And I’m thankful that you are still talking about it.
I’ve heard other artists talk about how they are not for Donald Trump. I’ve heard Corey Taylor mention it, I’ve heard Dave Mustaine 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.
A lot of people, as you’ve said, don’t realise that you’re born and raised, an American. So clearly they’re not really interested in the facts.
No, definitely not. They 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?
Of course man.
And for the most part, you know when a new young band comes out and they put a record out and they get bashed in the media, but they’re just bashing the music. They aren’t bashing them personally. And people do take it personal and while I always tell people ‘oh don’t read it, it’s just people giving their opinions about the music, don’t worry about it, just go out there and do your business and you’ll be fine’ and I tell people you need to have a thick skin to be able to handle the kind of criticism that you’re gonna get. But when it gets racial, and people are basically threatening you, then it gets a little different. It gets a little more personal. They’re not necessarily attacking your music or your record, they’re attacking you personally. So even though my parents are Mexican-Mexican, I was born in America, I’m an American citizen, but obviously they don’t care.
Of course, but I don’t think logic plays a huge part in what’s going on there.
Sure, but I don’t think logic would play a part if somebody wanted to harm you – physically harm you. You understand what I’m saying?
This could provoke something even more dangerous to happen, who knows?
Yeah, and let us hope that nothing like that happens.
Yeah, I’m not asking for it, so yeah let us hope that nothing like that happens. But who knows?
Given Fear Factory’s history in talking about technology, and social media’s role in all of this. You guys have also fought against censorship in the past – given that the internet gives all of these people a voice, do you think it needs to be curbed or is it a double-edged sword, in that you need to take the good with the bad?
Well yeah, it’s a double-edged sword you gotta take the good with the bad. Any kind of technology be it cloning technology or robotic technology or just the typical stuff of leaving a fucking comment on a website. Everybody has a voice, everybody has a right to their opinion – freedom of speech obviously – you have to take the good with the bad, that’s just how it is. Some people are victims of it and some people are not. There are bullies everywhere, attacking you for whatever reason – let’s just hope it doesn’t escalate to anything else. But technology is there, it’s still a big part of our life and I’m still 1000% for it. The evolution of technology -where it’s going, the robotic evolution, the singularity process of man and machine becoming one – I’m for it, but it’s also something that could be very dangerous. And that’s just technology in general. It depends on getting into the wrong hands. Military and medical are the number one people that will be using it to their advantage. Military will be obviously using it for fighting wars instead of having casualties or people dying. And medical, obviously, to keep people alive. Stem cell research, nanotechnology, finding a cure for cancer and other diseases through nanotechnology. Creating a computer the size of a cell that can detect or fight against cancer, and destroy it. Those are the positive things that you want to see. Whereas the negative parts will be the military, haha, coming out with terminators that can fucking destroy the world, who knows. Who knows how far this could go? Cloning technology, we’re able to clone one another – if law will allow it to – we have the technology to clone one another. You could create an army from that. The singularity process between man and machine becoming one, it could be a super-powered, intelligent machine-person. Did you ever see that movie, Lucy?
The Scarlett Johansson film?
Yeah. The singularity process could be someone that powerful, but also programmable. The program could be whatever you want it to be, but it could look like a human and acts like a human and pretty much is half-human. We may not see it in our lifetime, but it is heading that direction, Stephen Hawking and a few other scientists are trying to ban the use of this technology of the singularity process of man and machine becoming one. So, let’s see what happens there. There’s always gonna be some country or some billionaire who are gonna be investing in this process because in some ways they want to see what they can do with it because it means power.
We’re running out of time, so just quickly you’re coming to Australia, what do you want to say to the fans?
I can’t wait to go there, we love the culture, we love Australia, we love the people – the fans are amazing and we can’t wait to come there and rock out.
Looking forward to it!
Catch Fear Factory at these shows!
THURSDAY 2 JUNE – BRISBANE, THE TIVOLI – 18+
FRIDAY 3 JUNE – SYDNEY, UNSW ROUNDHOUSE – 18+
SATURDAY 4 JUNE – MELBOURNE, PRINCE OF WALES – 18+
TUESDAY 7 JUNE – ADELAIDE, HQ – 18+
WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE – PERTH, METROPOLIS FREMANTLE – 18+