Burton C. Bell—vocals
Raymond Herrera—drums and percussion
Christian Olde Wolbers—lead guitar
Over the past two years Fear Factory has been a turbulent factory of circumstances– from the band breaking up and parting ways from founding member Dino Cazares, reforming again, leaving their longtime label home at Roadrunner Records, and moving onto new digs at Liquid 8 Records. Their search for a guitarist turned into a search for a bassist when their current bass player, Christian Olde Wolbers, was convinced to take over guitar duties to keep the Fear Factory sound intact. Old friend and Strapping Young Lad bass player, Byron Stroud, was invited into the fold. And now it’s on. . .
The band has just released their strongest disc to date, Archetype, and are currently tearing it up on the road as part of the Jagermeister Music Tour with Slipknot. Getting a hold of the band proved quite tricky. After numerous phone calls to and from my editor, label reps, and the band’s tour manager, time changes and rescheduled interview times (which meant calling in to work—cough, cough), I finally caught up with Christian Olde Wolbers mere moments before their in-store appearance in Milwaukee.
Kaffeine Buzz: So how’s the tour been going? Is it great to be back?
Christian Olde Wolbers: Yeah, this tour’s been good; the shows have been sold out. It’s just been a lot of craziness and a lot of people that can’t get in ‘cause there’s no more tickets and shit like that, you know. I guess that makes it even much better.
KB: Is it a more relaxed touring situation now with the line change or pretty much the same old thing?
COW: No, it’s not the same old thing, it’s definitely a change, you know what I mean? But a good change. It’s actually fun to be on tour now.
KB: Yeah, that’s awesome. Plus, your first shows back in Australia you were playing huge festivals (The Big Day Out Festivals) as a surprise guest. That had to be so exciting.
CW: Yup, I know. That was an awesome tour, man.
KB: Byron Stroud (bass from Strapping Young Lad), on paper, seems to be an absolute perfect fit for you guys. Is he just fitting right in?
CW: Yeah, he’s been a friend of the band for a long time. We met him in ’98 when we did Obsolete, and he was kind of like our first pick and it worked out great.
KB: Oh, wow, nice. I love the new album (Archetype). I think it’s my favorite, actually. It seems to have a more emotional feel to it.
KB: I’m more drawn into the songs. I have more of a connection to them.
CW: Yeah, it’s very real. It’s just basically the last two years of Fear Factory’s existence, on an album, and the things we went through . . . the way Burt (lead singer) felt and we all felt about things like the record industry, and people talking shit in Internet forums. . . things that have been happening around us the last two years.
KB: While it has that personal feel, it also sounds like a celebration, like you guys just exploring new freedoms.
KB: So after this tour, you’re going to Europe, right?
CW: Yeah, right after this we’re supposed to go to Europe and do a bunch of festivals. And hopefully come back right after that and do some more U.S. stuff, either another a support slot or some festivals. We’ll see what happens . . . whatever looks like a good tour. Otherwise, we’ll set up some headlining stuff with killer support bands.
KB: Any bands right now that you’d really like to tour with?
CW: Shit, I’d like to do a lot of it.
KB: So what are you guys listening to on the bus?
CW: I don’t know—what do we listen to? Um, it’s not like all we listen to our next favorite bands.
KB: Right. . .that’s true.
CW: We all have different styles of music that we listen to and you know . . . like after the show, if there’s a little bit of a hangout on the bus and we’re kicking it, we’re not going to play a bunch of metal shit. Something more like hip-hop, something where the girls can kick it. Don’t scare them away with some scary ass band or something.
KB: So how do you liking playing guitar now? I mean I know you played guitar before, but taking the spotlight a little bit?
CW: It feels really good. It’s a change, but it feels pretty natural.
KB: Are you guys going back to Australia?
CW: Well, not right now, but later on. We might do some more shows with Slipknot even after the tour, maybe in Australia. I want to see Japan again, go to Asia. . .places in South America we haven’t been in a long time or not all. We haven’t been to Mexico since probably ’93 or something (talking to someone in background about Mexico City). We played Tijuana on the Sepultura tour. . .some places we got to go back to.
KB: Sure, everyone wants to see Fear Factory, especially now that you’re back in full force. Any plans of doing a remix CD of Archetype.
CW: Yeah, we definitely plan to do that.
KB: Oh sweet, ‘cause I’m not going to lie to you man, Remanufacture (remix of their Manufacture CD) is seriously one of my favorite albums. I thought it was such a kick in the ass. I love it. It’s such a natural fit for you guys.
CW: Yeah, definitely, since we haven’t done one for Obsolete, I think it could be perfect. There’s some really heavy shit on the record that would be perfect for remixes.
KB: Well, my favorite moments (on Archetype) are like the last two songs “Ascension” and “School.” I think it’s awesome.
KB: I was tripping out on “Ascension” and “School” kicks in. It’s like Fear Factory does punk . . . and the “no recess” chant.
CW: It’s a very punk song.
KB: The lines are so great . . . it works awesome. I think this whole album has a great flow. Like the first two songs, “Slave Labor” and “Cyberwaste,” work so well. “Archetype” is probably my favorite song; are you guys doing that one live?
CW: Yeah, we’re definitely doing that live. It’s going to be our next single.
KB: Are you guys focusing mostly on the new album live or is it just a mix and match?
CW: We’re doing “Slave Labor,” “Cyberwaste,” and “Archetype” right now, so that’s three new songs, and it’s only a 45 minute set. We have to play new shit. . .
KB: Oh yeah, totally, you got to get ‘em hungry.
Fear Factory plays on the Jagermeister Music Tour with Slipknot, Chimaira, and Death by Stereo at the Fillmore on Tuesday, May 4th. The doors open at 6:00 p.m., and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. This is a 16 and up show. For ticket information, visit www.fillmoreauditorium.com.
SLIPKNOT will be doing a VERY RARE in-store appearance at Independent Records. 937 E. Colfax Ave.(next to the Ogden Theater) in Denver on Tuesday May 4th from 4 to 6pm. Pre-Purchase the new album, Subliminal Verses Volume 3 for just $13.98 and get a wristband to guarantee your place in line to meet the group. There are only 200 wristbands that will be given out. The pre-sale started Tuesday April 20th. There is limited capacity at Independent Records and the band has limited time, so if you do not get a wristband it is very possible that you will not get to meet the group. Call 303-863-8668 for details.