"I thought, 'who wants to shoot me?'": Dino Cazares on enemies, Fear Factory's new singer and getting the seal of approval from Metallica

Dino Cazares Fear Factory
(Image credit: Press/Nuclear Blast)

As the founding guitarist in Fear Factory, Dino Cazares has been one of the chief creative forces that helped establish the band as industrial metal titans in the 90s and early 2000s. 

While years on in-fighting and the departure of vocalist Burton C. Bell in 2020 suggested the band's days might be numbered, Cazares has since recruited a new vocalist, announced international tours and promised new music is on the way. Hammer sat down with Dino to talk the future of Fear Factory, the past and what the hell has been going on lately. 

Metal Hammer line break

Burton C. Bell left Fear Factory in 2020, and this year you announced a new singer, Milo Silvestro. What’s the mood in the camp right now? 

“It’s a very good time to be in the band. We’ve done more than 50 shows with him and every day I pinch myself, look over at him and go, ‘Wow, this kid can really sing!’ People are loving him.” 

Before you found Milo, you said you were open to both male and female singers. Did any women get close to getting the job? 

“Yes, a couple of women got really close. But, at the end of the day, I needed that one person who could really take Fear Factory to that next level, and I felt that Milo was that person. I could have gotten some well-known singer, but that singer would have already had their own voice that people know. I wanted to try something new, something fresh.” 

Speaking of auditions, you were once offered the chance to audition for Limp Bizkit and replace Wes Borland. Why did you turn it down? 

“Because it was in 2001, and I felt that that style of nu metal had already hit its peak. Limp Bizkit’s [sound] was already oversaturated and on its way down. I said, ‘If I actually got that gig, it would have been career suicide.’ Fear Factory, we were pretty much at our peak. And it’s funny because, two years later, I was out of Fear Factory [he returned in 2009].” 

You hung out with Faith No More a lot while recording 1995’s Demanufacture. Any fun stories with those guys? 

“I first met Jim Martin, their original guitar player, in 1988. I met James Hetfield at the same time, too – they used to come to my apartment to get hammered and sing Misfits at the top of their lungs. When we were making Demanufacture, Billy [Gould, Faith No More’s bassist] would come over to our parties.” 

Weren’t Bon Jovi recording next door to you? 

“Bon Jovi had the other room and Faith No More had the barn outside. One time, our keyboard player, Rhys Fulber, is on a payphone, and a guy walks past who he thinks is a runner. He says, ‘Hey, can you go to the deli and pick me up a ham and turkey? Hold the mustard, extra mayo.’ Someone walks over to Rhys and goes, ‘That’s Jon Bon Jovi! What the fuck are you doing?!’ Ha ha!”

You once tweeted in defence of Kourtney Kardashian wearing a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt and said, ‘I wish she was wearing one of my band’s tees.’ Does Fear Factory have any famous fans? 

“I’ve never seen somebody like Travis Barker or any of the Kardashians wear our stuff, but famous people like Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield, basically all the guys in Metallica, have said, ‘We love what you’ve been doing and we love your records.’ They took us on tour with them in 2010. I can’t say we influenced them, because it was vice versa: they were a huge influence on us!” 

You also tweeted a photo of your car’s windscreen with a bullet lodged in it. What happened?!

“There was a park about a quarter of a mile from my house. Apparently there were some homeless people in the park and one of them had a gun. They shot in the air and it happened to come down on my car. Where my car was parked, there was a neighbour with a couple of kids who played in that area. I thought, ‘Man, it’s good the kids weren’t back here!’ My second thought was, ‘Who the fuck wants to shoot me?!’ Ha ha! The investigators asked if I had any enemies and I gave them some names… three.” 

Do you have more or less enemies nowadays? 

“Less. I made up with one of them – unless he’s just pretending to be my friend so he can get close enough to shoot me. Ha ha!” 

Are there any plans for a new Fear Factory album? 

“Oh, 100%! In the middle of July, we will be going in [to the studio] to do the new record. There will be a new song out before we hit the UK later this year.”

Fear Factory tour the UK in October. For the full list of dates, visit the band's official website

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.