Over the course of their career, the Los Angeles metal band Fear Factory has had several different genre labels associated with them. While some may think of Fear Factory as a nu-metal band, others may think of them first as an industrial act; others may bring up the band’s early death metal sound, or how their music prominently features elements of groove metal.
During a recent interview with Heavy New York, Dino Cazares talked about how the band’s variety of metal styles has impacted their career, specifically reflecting back on the band during the ’90s metal scene. Among the comments he expresses, the Fear Factory guitarist says “It almost seemed like sometimes we were too heavy for the nu metal fans,” and then goes on to add, “but maybe we were too nu metal for the heavier fans.”
Regarding the ’90s metal scene and Fear Factory’s blend of styles at that time, Cazares shares (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“It could be a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that we could branch out and play with a bunch of different bands. That was good. But the bad thing is that we never belonged to one genre… If we were a part of the nu metal genre, maybe we would’ve been as big as some of those nu metal bands. It almost seemed like sometimes we were too heavy for the nu metal fans and then maybe not nu metal enough, but maybe we were too nu metal for the heavier fans. So, I don’t know. We kind of sat in between — we were like a snake in between all those bands and all those different genres.
“So we were kind of like right there, even though what we created later on — not even just later on — but what we created over the years was something that would inspire all those different bands. Mainly in the syncopated kick-and-guitar music and then obviously the vocals inspiring all those different types of genres. Maybe some of those genres don’t even know where it came from, because they might have been listening to Killswitch Engage, even though Killswitch Engage was kind of more — the formula of the vocals was very much inspired by Fear Factory. Because sometimes a new generation of fans emerge and a new style of music emerges and people don’t really know the history of where it all started. But if you go back, some of that stuff stems from Fear Factory and going into bands later on, like Killswitch and All That Remains and so on and so on; there’s a million bands like that. So it was kind of like Pantera with the groove and then Fear Factory with the vocals.”
Cazares then goes on to add:
“We kind of had our foot in the door in all these different genres, and in some ways I almost felt like it hurt us ’cause we weren’t just one thing. ‘Cause right now there’s like a resurgence of death metal, a resurgence of nu metal, but there’s no resurgence of [the kind of] metal we do. So it’s kind of weird that we’re not part of the resurgence of death metal or nu metal because we weren’t just those type of things… I’m just saying that we were a part of all of it in a way — like I said, we had our foot in door in all those different genres, but we didn’t particularly fit into one genre. And that to me could have been part of the reason why we’re not part of a resurgence of certain genres.”
If you were to classify Fear Factory, which genre(s) would you associate with them?