Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Smith redefines strong silent type

Jazzberry loves to spread jam

Fear Factory assembles plans

Fear Factory assembles plans

By Myles DeRosse
Gazette Staff

Once and a while everyone gets scared about the thought of the future. What will it be like? Will machines take over the world?

Great philosophers of ancient times, to modern writers – such as Orwell and Huxley – have pondered such questions, each one displaying their own despotic vision.

The '90s have brought about a new breed of artists asking themselves these same questions. Leading the way is the heavy and powerful metal band known as Fear Factory.

"There are surveillance cameras everywhere. You can't feel safe anymore. There is always someone looking down at you, someone is always looking at you," reports Christian Olde Wolbers, bassist of Fear Factory. "Even the liquor store in my neighborhood has cameras prejudging you. It's kinda fucked up, but that's the way it is."

The band's latest album Obsolete is a concept album which explores the world's dependence on technology. "It's definitely a futuristic story, a possible reality," Olde Wolbers describes. "There are fiction characters like Securitron, Edgecrusher and Smasher/Devourer. Smasher/Devourer is a police unit, Securitron is like a government that keeps people in check and Edgecrusher is the rebel of the story.

"[Burton C. Bell, lead vocalist] wrote the whole story to go along with the music and the sequences of the song. We would love to do a book or comic or even a short film of it," Olde Wolbers continues.

Fear Factory is used to expanding their medium beyond just music CDs. They have recently made a recording for the video game Destruction Derby 3. Along with video games, the band is moving into the realm of wrestling, as they performed live during WCW's King of the Beach on MTV's Spring Break '99 in Cancun.

However, Fear Factory's promotion medium is not the only aspect of their expansion. In 1997 the group released a remix album titled Remanufacture consisting of older Fear Factory songs done in an electronica/ambient fashion.

"We have always had an electronic aspect in our music," Olde Wolbers explains. "For Fear Factory, we limit it a lot as we don't want it to fill our sound, we never wanted it to control our music. For Remanufacture we wanted to do it the opposite way."

Doing things differently plays a major role in defining Fear Factory. However, through all the changes and expansions, Fear Factory is still defined as the band they were in '92, with their debut release Soul of a New Machine. While losing fans is not something the band experiences often, gaining new ones is a reality they face every day.

No matter how much change Fear Factory goes through, the band plans to stick to their original ideals – kicking ass and taking names.

Fear Factory plays the Embassy with System of a Down, Hed Pe and Nile tomorrow night.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999