How Metallica Shaped Fear Factory
Fear Factory's sound owes much to Metallica - one single riff in particular.
Metal fans widely hail Demanufacture as the industrial metal masterpiece that normalized screamed verses with singing choruses, with a mechanized precision to the kick drum and riffs. Fear Factory drew upon death metal, industrial and groups like Godflesh as they forged their sound in the early 90s. But as guitarist and sole remaining original member Dino Cazares explains, Metallica was singularly influential to his signature style of playing, and the stop/start double-bass drum-driven rhythms that define Fear Factory.
"I can tell you everybody combined that influenced me," Cazares explained in a new episode of Speak N' Destroy, the first podcast featuring interviews about Metallica. He cited Angus Young of AC/DC, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and James Hetfield. "When I first heard Metallica [and Hetfield's] right hand, I was like, 'This is what I want to do,'" he stated.
"You get a piece of something from everybody, but when it comes to down-picking [and] those kinds of rhythms, James Hetfield was the man. The way he palm-mutes, the way he picks, you feel the power. And the way he had his amps set up, his guitars, his pickup, all that created this certain crunch, this certain tone that I fell in love with instantly," said Cazares.
He enthusiastically narrowed Metallica's biggest influence on him to a specific moment in "One," the breakthrough single found on 1988's ...And Justice for All. "There was one riff that helped me develop my style for Fear Factory. [Hums riff] 'Landmine! Has taken my sight!...' It's the one part where the kick drums and the guitar are doing the same thing. I always told myself, 'Why can't Metallica do more of that? That's so badass!'" says the musician.
"I wanted a band that sounded like that," he continued. "There were bands doing stuff here and there, but I was like, 'You know what? I need to start my own band.'
"So that's what I did."
Cazares also talked about the 1990 formation of Fear Factory with drummer Raymond Herrera and singer Burton C. Bell; his upbringing; working in a Hollywood sandwich shop frequented by future Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine; meeting Faith No More and Metallica back in the day; battling with the producer of Demanufacture; the making of 1998's Obsolete; touring with Metallica in 2010; the search for a new singer, following Bell's departure; and the forthcoming tenth Fear Factory album, Aggression Continuum.
The Speak N’ Destroy podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and elsewhere. Previous guests include M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, David Ellefson of Megadeth, Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge, and Gary Holt of Exodus and Slayer, with Metallica as the conversational anchor throughout every episode.