INTERVIEW: Fear Factory’s Dino Cazares


Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares is a pioneer of modern metal guitar technique. His ultra-tight picking, monstrously heavy tone and pioneering use of Ibanez seven and eight string guitars helped to solidify the combination of mechanical precision and brutal riffing that spurred an industrial metal revolution and eventually fed into the development of the djent sound. And Dino’s riffage is in fine form on the band’s new album, The Industrialist [Riot]. The collection is perhaps the most pure representation of the Fear Factory philosophy yet, with Dino handling guitar, bass, and drum programming, and vocalist Burton C. Bell dishing up the kind of anthemic melodies and brutal textures that made albums such as Demanufacture and Obsolete such classics.

“We’ve been getting that a lot,” Cazares says of the Demanufacture/Obsolete comparison. “I think part of that is just because it’s me and Burt! I think it’s the purest you’re going to get of Fear Factory.” The Industrialist marks a departure for Fear Factory in its use of programmed drums in place of a live player such as Raymond Herrera or Gene Hoglan. But the move is not entirely out of character for the band. “When me and Burton started the band in 1990 we were using a drum machine to record our demos” Cazares explains. “Over the years we’ve never been a band that has shied away from technology. We’ve never been a band who hid what we did in the studio. Over the years we’ve used drum machines on certain songs and certain albums, and even though we’ve had live drummers we have edited the drums to be like a machine, and we’ve changed the sounds to machine sounds. So either way it would not have made a difference if we used live drums or not. It would have been the same outcome. Some people are kind of shocked by it, like they didn’t realise that’s part of our schtick. That’s who we are. It’s what we do! Again, even if we had a live drummer it would come out to be the same outcome. And one of the benefits of using a drum program on your Mac laptop is it’s much more cost-effective. And with the way the music industry is going these days, it’s getting really hard to make a solid income because record companies are going down, and the amount of money you would spend in an actual recording studio to record the album, nowadays it’s still pretty expensive. So using a drum program is definitely a much more cost-effective way than hiring somebody to do it.” But Dino remains coy on the exact drum program used on the album. “Oh, I don’t want to promote any kind of drum program that doesn’t give it to us free,” he laughs.

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REVIEW: ESP Gus G EC Eclipse

Man, I’m jealous of Gus G. Not only are Firewind awesome, but the dude has also been immortalised in the Eternal Descent graphic novel series. Oh and he replaced Zakk Wylde as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist. He appears on Ozzy’s latest album, Scream, which is easily the Prince Of Darkness’s best since No More Tears – and his high-tech shreddering combines the great 80s Euro metal tradition and a more modern sensibility. Gus has several ESP and LTD signature models to his name, including an aggressive Explorer/V hybrid that looks positively evil. The Gus G EC, by contrast, is a slightly – only slightly, mind you – more traditional axe.

This Japanese-made guitar (also available in an LTD model as the GUS-600EC with some slightly different specs[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””] – You can buy that model here at Musician’s Friend[/geo-out]) is built with set-thru construction, which means the neck is glued in but then shaped to feel like a neck-thru for extra playing comfort. The body is mahogany with a hard rock maple top and white/black ply binding. The neck is three-piece maple (although you can’t see it since it’s finished in black gloss), with a rosewood fretboard and white binding. The carbon nut is 42mm standard, and the back of the neck is a thin U contour that seems to fit right into the webbing between thumb and index finger very comfortably. There are 22 extra jumbo frets, and the fretboard inlays are Firewind flames, which are well applied with only a minimum of epoxy filler around the tricky angles. The decal, which is applied only to the top is a cut a little roughly around the edges, but you wouldn’t notice from even a couple of feet away.

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