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Interview: Fear Factory

Fear Factory
Questions answered by:
Christian Olde Wolbers (Bass)
Interviewed by Brian Webb

Related Links:
Official Website

PRP: It seems that "Digimortal" is a combination of old FF with the newer sounds? "Demanufacture" combined with "Obsolete" if you like. What are your thoughts on "Digimortal" and the evolution of Fear Factory up to this point?
Christian: I think the new record is definitely the most mature. We went back and looked at the other records and took the best parts of Fear Factory in the past. Songs like "Scapegoat", "Replica" and "Edgecrusher". Those are definitely songs that stood out and especially when played live. We looked back and one thing we noticed is that they were very simplified. So what we tried to do on this record is be more direct. You can tell that we've grown a little bit. The melodic parts are more melodic, the crunchy parts are still heavy, the dynamics of the album, we play clean guitar and bass and that's really coming forth.

PRP: It's been said that the band ran into some stumbling blocks while working on this album....
Christian:  No, not really. It wasn't too bad.
PRP: Well you took more time than usual to make it, how was the writing process for the record?
Christian: Well every record gets harder and harder to make sure you're not repeating yourself and trying something a little new. It took us a while to get the songs tight and perfect together. The thing that was a stumbling block maybe was the fact we were trying to find different formulas. 

PRP: With "Obsolete" having recently gone gold in the states, has there any added pressure or expectations placed upon the new record?
Christian: No not really. I always pressure myself anyhow. That record went gold after two and a half years of hard work and touring. Not because of the radio.

PRP: Many are expecting this effort to be the album that breaks the band through to the mainstream, do you have any expectations or cares in this regard?
Christian: Well I'd love to be touring bigger venues and be a larger band and go on to do more and better things, but we don't really write for radio or MTV, we aren't a commercial band and we aren't sitting around hoping for that success but if that happens that's just a plus. We will always be heavy and still with the underground vibe.

PRP: Do you fear a negative reactions from the fans who might consider this as you guys stepping into a sort of rapcore direction?
Christian: I'll tell you something. Rap rock, all that shit, they don't really have real M.C's. Not Limp Bizkit, not Papa Roach, not Korn. To me, real rap rock is Run DMC and Beastie Boys, they are real M.C's. This whole generation of rap metal that they call it doesn't exist to me. B-Real is a real hip-hop icon. If it weren't for him their probably wouldn't be no Limp Bizkit or Korn because all these bands got inspired by him 10 years ago, just like myself. Considering Fear Factory is a real metal band and we joined with B-Real because he is pretty much family to the band now, we made it real rap metal and I'm proud with it, but that's only one song. Its not like the whole record and that's what we are now. We still put it in a very industrial vibe and which rap metal songs have you heard with double bass that go 200 miles per hour?

PRP: Having played a few new songs on the recent Sno-Core tour, how was the reaction?
Christian: We had a very good reaction. It was just a teaser to warm up the crowd and people are starting to realize we have a new record coming out and that's the thing. We will do the same in Europe with a few teaser songs, 4 or 5 songs from the new record. It gets people a little more excited because in the past we would just show up and play the whole record. Now it's like a trailer.

PRP: Having a career that has spanned 10 years, what have been some of the highs and lows of that period?
Christian: One of the highs was that golden record last month. The lows, there were some poor management decisions that kind of hurt us. We had bad management, we never really got tours. They didn't do a lot for us, they were more feeding off a band like Fear Factory to get them other work because of our name and what we've done. Right now though we have a great management and they do a lot of huge acts and I cant believe they were willing to take an act like Fear Factory because they have acts to sell of about 5 to 15 million records in the states and they're willing to work with Fear Factory and take us to a different world and how it really should be done. Its definitely a lot smoother.

PRP: You must have a lot of video footage for a potential home video. Any chance of one appearing?
Christian: We have a bunch of stuff and we are doing a home DVD hopefully beginning of next year.

PRP: What can we expect from the upcoming "Linchpin" video?
Christian: It's a very simplistic video, not really a story. Its us performing live and all this digital imagery and machinery and industrial looking footage just moving onto the screen and it kind of just passes us by as we play in the background.

PRP: Rumors of your summer touring plans as of late are Tattoo The Earth or the Pantera/Slayer tour, have you guys set anything yet?
Christian: Its all in the works. All those booking agents are working that out, I heard those rumors as well. I'm just waiting for the call. They know we have a record out.

PRP: B-Real of Cypress Hill fame guests on the track "Back The Fuck Up", is this a partnership that spawned from the Kush side project and could you inform us of the status of Kush at this point?
Christian: It's more born from me and Dino working on the Cypress Hill album. After that Muggs would call me up and ask me to do little things for a rock band he wanted to produce so he'd get me in to help produce the songs. Me and B-Real had been talking about a side project and me and Stef (Deftones) had been talking about it forever too, and within a couple of days we all put it together and a week after that we'd already written 9 songs and now we have 17 recorded and we hope to put it out next year sometime.

PRP: So Kush came about from being friends?
Christian: Me and Stef met in Houston in 95 and we became very good friends and always talked of playing together. I overheard B-Real saying he's doing a solo thing and when I was wondering what he goes "well I'm thinking about doing a solo thing" so I said what about being in a new band I'm working on? and he was like "Fuck yeah!" Raymond, that was just easy he was like "let me know when and I'll be there". He's just easy to work with and that's why I got him in on the band. It's a mixture of all our bands in one which is pretty amazing.
PRP: Is "Back The Fuck Up" any kind of indication as to what Kush may sound like?
Christian: No, not at all. Kush is very unpolished and raw, very more organic and groovy sounding. More like how "Roots" was sounding. Raymond is playing natural drums with no triggers and electronics that Fear Factory are using. A lot of people don't realize its Raymond playing, he sounds very different and with B-Real spitting and doing things he hasn't done before and people are like "THAT'S B-REAL? - FUCK THAT'S GREAT!", "Back The Fuck Up", that loop at the beginning of the song was something I was producing in the past for all the hip-hop stuff I was working on. Dino had this riff and I knew it was fitting this beat and we started building it from there and at the end of the sessions it was the only song that Burton had no lyrics for or had worked on yet. B-Real was sitting right there and they both hit the pen and paper and got inspired by each other and really collaborated together. Its probably my favorite song on the record.

PRP: Rumors have suggested that the band will be involved in the upcoming Faith No More tribute, is there any truth to this and if so what track are you guys eyeing?
Christian: I would love to. We heard something about it but I don't know what happened. FNM are a great band.

PRP: How do you feel about the music scene of late? - Since you released "Obsolete" the musical climate had changed considerably.
Christian: Yeah its changed a lot huh...I think its very poor lately. I put the radio on in the car and they had bands like  Mudvayne and all these other bands and they all sound all the same. There's a couple of good bands. I really liked Refused but they broke up already. There's not too much nu-metal I can get inspired by.
PRP: You're soon to be playing shows with Papa Roach and the drummer often wears a Fear Factory t-shirt....
Christian: Musically I'm not into it but I respect them for pushing us like that and not being afraid to take a band like us on tour. A lot of bands would probably be scared as we get the crowd going but they weren't scared at all, they were like "We don't care, blow us off stage, that's good. It makes us play harder." Dino's brother works for the the Papa Roach drummer and that's why he's always wearing the shirts and stuff. I have a lot of respect for them.

PRP: What kind of contemporary music are you listening to right now?
Christian: I'm more into the production side of things, lately when I listen to music I always listen to the production as that's where my heart has been at for the last two years. I'm trying to become more of a producer. I did a couple of producing jobs, I did one with B-Real for this movie for Roadrunner. Its a movie that's coming out called "Bully" by the same guy that did "Kids" and "Gummo" - ?? Clark (Larry Clark). One kid bully's the other one and in the end they decide to kill him. It's a true story, it happened a few years ago and the kid is on death-row right now for the electric chair. The soundtrack has like Dre, Eminem, Ghost Face Killa and a few roadrunner bands on it. This new project I've started with B-Real as well, its called Audio Hustlers which is a new production company and I did the song for that for the movie

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