by Jorge Patacas

Last February, Fear Factory’s guitarist Dino Cazares announced Milo Silvestro as the new vocalist, and a new era began for the band. Tony Campos (Static-X) on bass and Pete Webber (Havok) on drums complete the current lineup that has been touring non-stop this year. As part of the European leg of the world tour, they performed in Oslo, Norway, where we were able to conduct an interview with Cazares, the band’s only remaining original member, to talk about the new lineup, upcoming music, tours and more!


RISE!: – You’re currently touring with Butcher Babies, Ignea and Ghosts of Atlantis, did you know these guys from before?

Dino Cazares: Only Butcher Babies. I didn’t know Ignea or Ghosts of Atlantis. I know them now (laughs). But you know? Before we started the tour, our booking agency gave us suggestions on who to take out, who would be cool. I’ve never heard the bands before, but when they sent me the songs, videos and stuff like that, I thought it would make a good diverse package, you know what I mean? That’s why I thought that to take out all these bands would be good.

R!: – It’s great to see Fear Factory very active again after all the things the band went through, so I wanted to talk a bit about this new era. I know you’ve been doing a lot of auditions to find the right vocalist. What were you looking for? What was your criteria?

DC: A lot of things. Obviously one person who could sing, make sure they don’t have no criminal record…

R!: – That’s important (laughs)

DC: Yeah, it’s very important! (laughs). Especially when you want to get in into other countries. Also experience. One of the things about Milo is that he didn’t have a lot of experience live, but he’s very talented, plays a lot of different instruments. And so, that was very challenging at first because when I first auditioned him, he did the songs right off the bat. He did two auditions and didn’t have to look at his phone for lyrics. Nothing. Now, other people that I auditioned, I said “hey, learn these three songs”, so they learned them and were singing in front of me, but a lot of them were holding the lyrics up on the phone. A lot of them were like… I said “can you do this song?” and they said “I don’t know that one”. When Milo came, I asked the same and he said “Yes” every time.

R!: – He’s a real big fan.

DC: Yeah (laughs). He didn’t have look at the phone for lyrics. He knew the songs.

R!: – Have you also listened to his previous bands or did you make the decision right after seeing his videos playing Fear Factory covers on the internet?

DC: Yeah, but I’ve listened to other people’s bands too because a lot of people that auditioned were from other bands. So I listened to their music, their bands, etc., but Milo was featured on one of the Fear Factory’s fan sites doing “Fear Campaign” where he was playing the drums, guitars, bass, keyboards and vocals. That’s pretty impressive. But I also heard him do a medley of our first record “Soul of a New Machine”. He did about thirty seconds of each song and I was impressed. So I would send this to other people who work for me like my manager company and booking agent, and they were like “we’re not convinced yet”. But I thought this kid had something, I saw it early on, and he did more and more covers. I kept sending them to different people from the record company, and they were not sure. Nobody was sure. Even I wasn’t sure. I became sure when he came to audition face to face. That’s what where I knew that this kid knows all the songs, hits all the notes, he’s really good.

R!: – Were there any well-established vocalists who tried?

DC: Yes, but I thought a new fresh talent would be good. Give somebody else a chance. These other established guys were already in established bands or projects, and it would be easy for me to get somebody else, but I always felt that about the scheduling conflicts. I mean, if I got this one big singer who can go on tour this time, he might not be able to tour again because he’s busy with his other projects. So I really wanted someone who got all his time for Fear Factory.

R!: – And it seems Milo is the perfect match because not only is he a great vocalist, but he also likes to be on the road…

DC: Well, he didn’t know he liked to be on the road, now he likes it of course (laughs). But he’s still learning everyday. Me and Tony were just telling him a couple of weeks ago that when you’re done singing eighteen songs on stage, you have to rest your voice, don’t go talking. There’s a lot of people, so after the show you still have a lot of energy and you want to talk, but the next day your voice is gonna be sore, so we’re giving him an advice like “hey, calmado” (Editor’s note: calmed down in Spanish). Because he’s Italian and when Italians talk there are lots of O’s and they speak loud. So we told him “come on, you have to calm down”, so he’s still learning things.

R!: – Is it true that he actually joined in 2021?

DC: No.

R!: – That’s a rumor then.

DC: Yeah, everybody thought that because I announced that I was looking for singers and they thought that I already had one. A lot of people talk shit about that, they misunderstood. But no, I got him maybe six months before the tour. It was also a bit hard because of work visas. The Italians weren’t exactly giving people work visas right away, so that took a bit of time too.

R!: – You have also Pete Webber on drums now, how did you meet each other?

DC: In 2010, Fear Factory played two shows in Italy, and Havok was one of the bands that opened up for us, so I met him. Later on, when our drummer wasn’t available, one of my friends suggested to call him up since I already knew him. I noticed that he was doing Fear Factory songs on Twitch, so I saw he could play the songs. So I called him up, he came down and that was it. We rehearsed for two weeks. Spot on.

R!: – It’s impressive how you’re managing to tour extensively at this point of your career, how do you do?

DC: Just relax, you know what I mean? Maybe we take a walk around the city, not today, but when it’s not so cold we try to do it. We have some dinner somewhere, then we come back to the venue and get ready for the show. Then we play and when we’re done, we get some food and relax. We’re not doing anything too crazy, although last night we were in Gothenburg, Sweden and we all went to the bar with the guys in Avatar, Orbit Culture and of course Butcher Babies. So we were at the bar drinking and having a good time.

R!: – You’re playing “Archetype” as part of your set, and I wonder what you think of those albums you weren’t involved in. I know you like “Archetype” more than “Transgression” which makes sense to me…

DC: Yeah (laughs)

R!: – But would you have changed many things in “Archetype” if you had been involved?

DC: No, because it sounds like me playing (laughs). A lot of people still give me shit about that because they’ve noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of re-releases and they’re asking me to re-release both “Archetype” and “Transgression”. But I don’t own those records, that’s the only reason, I can’t do anything. It’s out of my hands. I don’t have any rights to those records. But I can play songs, that’s not a problem. A long time ago I’ll be like “no, I’m not going to play those songs” because I didn’t write them, but later on, when Burton (C. Bell, ex vocalist) was still in the band, we agreed on adding “Archetype” and I started noticing that the crowd reaction was very positive. So in the beginning of this tour somebody said that we should play “Slave Labor”, so we finally added it and seems to work well live. And Milo tells the story “Mr. Cazares didn’t wanna fucking play this song. He said ‘fuck these songs’, but he’s gonna do it for you tonight”, and then we play it.

R!: – I’m originally from Uruguay and you played down there for the first time ever this year, how was your experience there and in South America in general? Would you say it’s the best or the wildest audience in the world as other bands say?

DC: Because you’re loud as fuck. Very loud. Same thing in Spain and Portugal. The Latino community is just very passionate about the music. You know? I don’t want to say that it’s better than in any other countries, but there are some countries that are more mellower and some countries that are more intense. Latin America is definitely more intense.

R!: – Next year you’re going to tour with Machine Head in US, Canada and Australia…

DC: And New Zealand!

R!: – Yeah, and New Zealand too. You have been friends with those guys for many years…

DC: Oh yeah, for thirty years. Robb (Flynn, Machine Head’s vocalist/guitarist) has been a good friend of mine for a long time.

R!: – You recently had a jam together with Machine Head on a live stream that was amazing! You even became Captain Dino by the end… (laughs) (Editor’s note: at some point during the stream, Flynn put a Captain’s cap on Dino).

DC: (laughs out loud) That was very funny.

R!: – So I guess you’re looking forward to this tour…

DC: Hell yeah.

R!: – Any chance that you guys jam together on stage?

DC: I hope! Hope we can do it, yeah.

R!: – Would be great if you guys bring the tour to Europe too…

DC: Don’t say never. Next summer we will be doing a bunch of festivals in Europe, so it’s Machine Head. We’re almost on the same festivals. We will have a new record out when we tour again in 2025…

R!: – I don’t know how much you can reveal about that, but do you think the new record would be released already next year?

DC: A new single for sure, or singles, but album won’t be until 2025 because we have to stop in July. Once we stop, we will be able to finish the record and that’s the main thing. It’s gonna take a little while because right now we’re booked up for all these shows and festivals both in America and Europe.

R!: – What’s the weirdest venue you played in?

DC: I wouldn’t say weird, well, kind of weird, but also fun. We played a venue, I don’t remember what city it was, but it was in the States. It was a venue and a strip club. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it was kinda weird to play pretty much in a strip club (laughs). There was a hallway that separated the two.

R!: – Ok, so you didn’t share the dressing room… (laughs)

DC: No, but that would have been nice!

R!: – I remember you saying that Max Cavalera was the one that told Monte Conner (Roadrunner Records) to listen to the new Fear Factory demo after Roadrunner first turned you down, and then they ended up signing you. You jammed with Max many times…

DC: Yeah, and I did a Soulfly tour and also played with Cavalera.

R!: – Yes. Any stories with Max that you can share?

DC: Well, I really like jamming with Max a lot because… see, Fear Factory is controlled by the computer. Everything is on the computer. All the click tracks, the tempo changes, the pedal changes, the brain of the show is the computer. With Max is nothing like that. He’s just free, you know what I mean? (laughs). Anything goes with Max. So there are times he says “ok, we’re gonna do this song”, he says the name of the song and it’s like “fuck, I don’t even know that one”, so we follow him. It’s like a different jam every night. It’s very fun because it keeps you on your toes. I had to learn thirty songs with Soulfly and Sepultura. That’s a lot of songs.

R!: – Have you seen that the current Sepultura lineup announced they’re splitting up?

DC: Are they retiring?

R!: – Yeah, they’re going to do a farewell tour.

DC: Good. Well, let’s see if that really lasts because a lot of bands… I wonder what they’re going to do after.

R!: – I really don’t know…

DC: I don’t know either. I haven’t spoken to Andreas (Kisser, Sepultura’s guitarist) about it.

R!: – Coming back to Fear Factory, this year you released a remixed and remastered version of “The Industrialist” under the name of “Re-Industrialized”, why do you think it was the right moment to do this?

DC: I wanted to do it in the first place because people didn’t like the drum programming on the record, so we went back to do the live drums. It sounds amazing, better than the other one, at least to me it was better. I just thought it was a good time to do it because we are back and we have all these tours and we do “Recharger” live.

R!: – I know you’re super busy with Fear Factory right now, but wanted to ask you, what’s the status of other projects like Divine Heresy and Asesino?

DC: (laughs) We’re just fucking busy. Tony’s got Static-X as well, he’s going to be on tour with them.

R!: – Ok Dino, thanks a lot for the interview. Anything else you’d like to add?

DC: I just wanna say thank you for the time and thanks to all the fans for all the support all these years. It feels good to be back and feels good to be firing on all cylinders with our drummer Pete, the legendary Tony and the new kid Milo Silvestro. It sounds great, you will hear it tonight.



Soul of a New Machine – 1992
Fear Is the Mindkiller EP – 1993
Demanufacture – 1995
Remanufacture EP – 1997
Obsolete – 1998
Digimortal – 2001
Concrete – 2002
Hatefiles – 2003 (Compilation)
Archetype – 2004
Transgression – 2005
Mechanize – 2010
The Industrialist – 2012
Genexus – 2015
Agression Continuum – 2021
Recoded – 2022
Re-Industrialized – 2023

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