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Fear Factory – Return of the Machine

Burton C. Bell—vocals
Raymond Herrera—drums and percussion
Christian Olde Wolbers—lead guitar
Byron Stroud—bass

Like a computer virus, Fear Factory infects the human system with its trademark cybermetal. Currently on their second U.S. tour this year, Fear Factory is on the road again for their first headlining stint in support of the most recent Archetype release on Liquid 8 Records. Drummer extraordinaire and video game entrepreneur, Raymond Herrara, was cool enough to give me a couple of minutes on a rare day off.

Kaffeine Buzz: It’s a sick lineup this time of Mastadon and Sworn Enemy. . .Have you had a chance to check them out at all?

Raymond Herrera: Yeah. . .yeah, it’s a good tour.

KB: Are there other people running your Herrara Productions (video games/soundtracks/sound effects) or that just a one man show?

RH: I pretty much run everything, I’m just kind of in charge of everything—I still take care of it when I’m on the road. I mean, I still get work done, and obviously, I have my cell phone. I’m still able to do focal things.

KB: That’s awesome. Being a long time gamer fan, this has got to be a dream come true to be able to be so involved.

RH: Oh yeah, I love it, man. It’s so killer. Really, really cool.

KB: When you’re doing music for the games or for a soundtrack, like Mischief Invasion, do you approach that with a different mind set than when you’re doing something for Fear Factory?

RH: With Fear Factory, we’ve kind of got our own niche and you don’t really go outside of that. You can go too far off of it, and then we’d throw our fans. Whereas what we do with my production company is something different every day. It’s not necessarily just music. It could be sound effect or voice over stuff. You can’t really get jaded from it.

KB: Have you ever considered trying to design a Fear Factory game or something based on the Fear Factory concepts?

RH: We spoke to Sony a few years back and it just never came about . . . budget issues and not the right timing for us. I think eventually, I’d really like to do that.

KB: Have you thought about doing interactive DVDs, compiling your videos, or. . .

RH: We’re actually talking about doing that. Maybe doing something for Christmas. We definitely want to do something special for Christmas.

KB: Any concepts yet for the next CD?

RH: Right now, Chris and I have only done about three songs for the next album. We’re just moving along slowly but surely. There’s no vocals or anything yet. Burton hasn’t even heard them yet. We’re still just working on stuff, slowly putting it together.

KB: With the new label, are they more receptive to putting things out more often?

RH: Yeah, we are as well. Back in the day, the way we used to work, it was almost impossible to work on tour. Now, we can definitely do it, and we’ve been doing it. It’s just more effective.

KB: That’s great that you are able to have an idea and put it down as opposed to having to wait and hoping you still have the idea when you get home or off tour.

RH: Exactly, and that’s what we used to do. That’s why the records came out every three years. We’re definitely trying to change that and put out a record every year.

KB: You definitely have one of the more distinctive drumming styles. Who made you want to play drums when you were growing up?

RH: Well, I listened to a lot of different types of music. I didn’t do any music in school at all. I almost took marching band, but I don’t know . . . I just wanted to play. I didn’t want to go and do other stuff that had nothing to do with actually playing. It was mainly metal music that got me into drums. Drummers like Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, etc.), Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel). It’s ‘cause of those drummers that I really wanted to start playing drums, and I wanted to be as good at the drums as they are.

In terms of influences, it was all kinds of music. I listened to everything, and I was easily influenced by a lot of stuff, but what made me actually want to play drums was metal. I just kind of started jamming with friends of mine who had guitars. I wanted to be a better songwriter than a musician. I’ve always been into wanting to write songs and create something out of nothing. That’s pretty much what I did, writing and playing, and I got better at both. I stumbled onto my own style; it’s all rhythm oriented. I kinda wanted to change metal drumming, ‘cause a lot of it was the same. There were a few drummers that were really, really good. They all kinda did the same thing, and I just wanted to mix it up a bit. Not write songs like a drummer would like in most bands. I definitely wanted to change stuff up a bit, and I think I did.

KB: So, are you guys taking a little break after this tour?

RH: We’re taking a little break after this; we’ll be home from August 23rd on. In September, I’m going to be producing a record, so I’m going to be busy for a whole month.

KB: Oh really, is that for another band or soundtrack?

RH: Yeah, another band, and the first week of October, we may be going out on a U.S. tour again. That would be the third U.S. tour [this year] (laughs), then maybe Europe. That should take us to the end of the year.

Fear Factory will infect the Ogden Theater with the mighty Mastadon, Sworn Enemy, and Walls of Jericho on Tuesday, August 17th. Doors at 7 pm. All ages.


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