[This interview can also be downloaded as an mp3 file]
As I said in earlier posts, Roadrunner were great back when metal was somewhat less popular than it’s (re-)become in recent years. I spoke to Dino probably once every six months as they released new albums, tracks, tour details and so on. Really nice guy, as is Burt who I interviewed on another occasion – but I don’t have that one typed up.
This interview’s from April 17th, 1997 and the reason for it was the release of Remanufacture, a remix album based on the classic Demanufacture.
Dino – so how are you?
I’m getting a little tired here – all these interviews.
Well, it sells albums, doesn’t it?
I sure hope so!
The first question, and an obvious one, is ‘why do an entire album of remixes?’
Well, first way back in 1992 we did Fear is the Mindkiller which was an EP. So we decided to start off with an EP. Six of the tracks were going to be done by us and Rhys Fulber – a collaboration between the two bands. Then we decided to get The Prodigy involved in it. They were totally into in then all of a sudden they got into hectic schedules with the new album so they didn’t get a chance to do anything on it. We got a million calls from other people wanting to do it, right, and all the people we tried to approach were either afraid of it or totally into it. For some reason all the big bands wanted nothing to do with it. I have no idea why. For me, I think a lot of dance music and metal are starting to come together. Obviously it shows with Remanufacture, The Prodigy and Fear is the Mindkiller. It shows the collaboration between the two communities. So there was this rally bad stigma between some of the major artists who we wanted. They didn’t believe in it, or they didn’t like it. It was all these other underground artists who were calling us up and we decided to go with them. Junkie XL is one of the guys who we really, really like. He’s some underground guy who we’re never really heard of until he approached us. He approached us through Roadrunner, now he’s actually signed on Roadrunner and is going to come out with a record. DJ Dano we were already familiar with as he does a lot of work for Locum [I think – Mosh] Records which is also a subsidiary label of Roadrunner and he does mainly the hardcore gabba stuff that you hear out in Holland and Germany. And Kingsize is a big underground DJ in New York who also releases his own records on ESP Records, which is part of Roadrunner also. In America it is, anyway. We really liked his style so we decided to make it a full length album because we didn’t want them all remixing the same tracks. Now because it was going to be a full length album, we didn’t just want to call it Remanufacture, we wanted to call it Cloning Technology, so we gave it a subtitle. Just to give it a whole new second concept.
Yeah, every track on the album’s been given a new name as well.
There are a couple of reasons for that. One was because we felt that each track was different enough to have its own image and individual name. Secondly because it fit with the concept of cloning. Genetic Blueprint,Cloning Technology and all that kinda fit with what was going on with the CD and Demanufacture. They’re both very relevant concepts. They both go along with each other. Demanufacture and Remaunfacture are basically the opposite of each other. Zero Signal – the whole meaning behind that was of someone who was very faithless; someone who had no faith. Cloning Technology is another way of saying Replica – it’s the process of replicating. The whole meaning behind Flashpoint was a person who was lying so much it came back to him so he was burning, hence Burn. H-K was actually taken from The Terminator, so we took T-1000from Terminator 2. Machines of Hate was one of the lines from the song and they just went along with each other. 21st Centure Jesus was originally a secondary title for Pisschrist. Bound For Forgiveness is basically what A Therapy For Pain is about. Refinery is an extra track which was going to be on Demanufacture but never made it, and Bionic Chronic is just this little insert we put on there. Now, Body Hammer/National Panel Beating – what that is is a place in Australia which works on cars. An auto body shop. And what they do is if your car’s been in a wreck, they beat the metal back into shape. The tools they use in the shop are called body hammers, so we thought it was the perfect title for it.
And they get a free advert out of it as well!
Yeah, I’m sure people over there will see it and go ‘Oh!’ and put two and two together and realise it means something. But basically the concept of the record is cloning. That’s what it’s all about. Remanufacturing, cloning, replication. It was all started with Demanufacture where you take it all apart, and now we’re putting it all back together again. Cloning – well, have you ever seen the movie Boys From Brazil? Or even Jurassic Park. Then on the news, all of a sudden, boom! Sheep cloning. All of our questions have been answered. It’s not bullshit any more. It’s not science fiction. It’s not make-believe.
Was this actually something you followed in the press or more scientific papers before?
I don’t read Scientific American or anything, but I hear all about it on the news, from movies, from watching The Learning Channel. I try to keep myself aware as much as possible. Even Time Life magazine touches on something like that. All this sparked a lot of questions. Where is this technology going to work? And how is it going to work? And why would anybody want to clone each other? I’ve heard about a Campaign Against Genetic Manipulation in America. The next step is going to be humans that they’re going to be cloning and I think that’s where it’s going to get out of hand. Especially when this technology gets into the wrong hands. People are going to get carried away with it and I think they’re going to want to bring things back from the dead and shit like that. I mean, what happens if you could actually bring Elvis back from his DNA strands? [Well, he isn’t dead yet. Apparently. Told me himself at the deli counter at the local supermarket last week – Mosh] It sounds stupid, but it almost doesn’t sound impossible any more. What happens if someone wants to bring Hitler back?
Like Boys From Brazil.
Exactly. And then clone the perfect race. It’s not even make-believe any more. It’s starting to become real. I understand in some ways it’s progress, and in some ways it can be really cool. For instance what happens if you have a beef problem like you guys do now. You can clone a really nice healthy cow which doesn’t have this disease and have proper beef. Also with fruit and vegetables which I know they’ve been doing for years. I think that’s where it all started actually. So what we’re trying to say on this record is that cloning can be a threat to humanity.
Well, that’s a pretty thorough description of the album!
Well the whole thing fits in with the theme of cloning. The package has pictures of sperm cells and stuff on it. It kinda shows you all the things that are used to clone.
That’s one disadvantage of getting the promo stuff. You just get a rather plain cardboard sleeve.
What we’ve realised about these remixes that we do is that it allows us to experiment. It also allows us to complete the chapter of Demanufacture and go onto the next album. You could say we gave these other artists the genes of Demanufacture and they cloned it.
You were apparently much more involved with this than you were with your previous remixed material.
Yes, we were definitely more involved for numerous reasons. The whole concept of the album, the titles, we worked on 6 of the tracks with Rhys Fulber. We spoke to every artist and told them ‘leave some guitars and vocals in there’. And ever when we got the finished tracks back we had to put them through the computer and make them a bit more musical, condense them and edit them a little bit more. Make it more of an album package, not one long club mix.
It’s taken awfully long to come out. Is this due to it being reworked and reworked, or mainly other things taking up your time?
Finding the time to get it all done and finish touring. We were on tour for fuckin’ ever. About two and a half years. We’re not going to tour on the remixes because we really need to concentrate on the new album which we’re trying to have out early 1998.
Have you started any work on that yet or is it all songwriting so far?
We’ve started working on it and we have three tracks already. They’re all extremely heavy and extremely groovy! We’re definitely keeping the base elements of Fear Factory – heavy riffs and heavy vocals. We’re going to put a lot of stuff on top of it to make it more interesting and create something fresh out of it. We want to have certain parts where things break down and build back up. Just make it more exciting and make it a really good record. Bottom line is no matter what style we do, it’s got to be good songs. That’s what Fear Factory is. We like to record sections and pieces of music then we stitch them together to make music.