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Divine Heresy Interview

A Conversation With Guitarist Dino Cazares

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Divine Heresy

Divine Heresy

Century Media Records
Former Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares has formed a new band, Divine Heresy, with veteran drummer Tim Yeung (Hate Eternal) and vocalist Tommy Vext. They have also recently brought aboard bassist Joe Payne (Nile). Divine Heresy’s debut CD is Bleed The Fifth, an aggressive, intense and technical slab of extreme music. It was produced by Logan Mader (Machine Head, Soulfly) and Lucas Banker. I interviewed the always gregarious and outspoken Cazares, and we talked about how the band came together, a rough video shoot, and the inevitable comparisons to Fear Factory.

Chad Bowar: What kind of response has Bleed The Fifth been getting so far?
Dino Cazares: The majority of the response is very positive. But we are between a rock and a hard place with my Fear Factory past. It’s either too much Fear Factory or not enough Fear Factory for those fans. But I think we’ll get past that and people will realize that this is a great metal record.

I’d describe the record as brutal, but technical. Do you think that’s an accurate description?
I would say it is. I would also say you also have a lot of catchy parts, a lot of catchy moments to it. One of the things I really try to do when I write is to try to make it as catchy as possible, no matter how heavy it is.

How did Divine Heresy come together?
The biggest challenge in putting this together was finding the time, really. I had plenty of other projects going at the time. I met Tim Yeung around 2003 and we kept in touch. We finally met up in 2005 and started writing songs. Tommy came aboard in 2006. Tim and I had recorded songs and sent them over to Tommy for his vocal audition. We heard passion and anger in his voice, which was something we wanted. It was also very aggressive. We flew him out to L.A. and went straight to the studio and started recording with him. That’s how it came together.

You recently brought aboard Joe Payne as your new bassist.
On the record Tony Campos from Static-X did three songs. I had met Joe Payne in 2005 when he was touring with Nile. I saw him play live. Three months ago he called me. I told him to come on down, he had the spot. I already knew he was a kick-ass bass player and a good guy. Tim also knew him really well. He came highly recommended. We did have bass auditions for a lot of people, but we were picky. Joe is both a bass and guitar player, and he is able to play the bass like a guitar, which I really like, which is another reason we picked him.

Is he a permanent member, or just a touring member of the band?
We feel good about it. We’re going to see what it’s like on the road. We have two big tours coming up. As of now, he’s pretty close to it.

How did you decide on Century Media as your U.S. label?
We decided to go to Century Media based on how they were on the creative side. Previously on Roadrunner they wanted me to do a lot of radio and commercial type stuff. Century Media gave me creative freedom to do whatever I wanted. I am still on Roadrunner in Europe.

You’ve known producer Logan Mader for a while. Had you ever worked with him before?
Yes, I worked with him when I did the Roadrunner All Stars. We were recording at the studio where he works at and kept having problems with the computer while we were tracking. We kept calling Logan to come help us out with the computer. We saw how great he was. Right after that I started recording demos with Divine Heresy with Logan producing. Then right after that I ended up doing the Asesino record Cristo Satanico with him. Logan co-produced it with me. Then when Tommy came out here we went into the studio and recorded more demos for Divine Heresy. Then obviously it was only natural for him to produce the album.

You did a few more guitar solos on this album than you’ve done in the past.
Yes, I decided to add a few on the record. Most people know me from the Fear Factory stuff, and that music didn’t call for many solos. But I’ve been doing solos for other projects for a long time.

What does the album title signify?
It’s a play on words. You have the right to keep your mouth shut, but on this record we believe we’re saying a lot.

I understand the video shoot at the Salton Sea in Caifornia was a bit rough for “Failed Creation” because of the location.
It was pretty nasty. It was about 116 degrees with rotted, dead fish everywhere. The water there is really polluted and thousands and thousands of fish die every year. Birds flock there and think they can feed on these fish, but when they do they end up dying too. It’s a perfect place to shoot a video. (laughs) The combination of the smells and the heat made me throw up. I had to throw my clothes away after the shoot. We’d be jamming and someone would have to throw up.

It looks like Divine Heresy will be busy touring through the end of the year.
We have three tours lined up. We have Static-X and Shadows Fall, and that’s called Operation Annihilation. Then right after that is Chimaira. That takes us through December, and then we fly over to Europe and do about 10 shows there.

Will you be playing any Fear Factory songs live?
People have been asking me about that. Maybe when we start doing headlining shows we’re going to have to do something. We’ll see how the fans feel about it, and if they want a Fear Factory song, yeah, we’ll throw it in there. If they don’t, then we’ll do something else.

Who are some other guitarists you admire?
Growing up it was Angus Young from AC/DC, James Hetfield, Jeff Hanneman from Slayer. I picked up a lot of different things from different people. James Hetfield was the downstrokes, Slayer was fast picking, and AC/DC was rock riffs and killer song structures. You try to take whatever influences you to another level.

You play an 8 string guitar sometimes, and you’ve been with Ibanez for a while. Do you work closely with them developing your guitars?
Yes. I’ve been with Ibanez for 11 years, and it’s been a great company. We’ll see what the future holds. I’d like to start my own guitar company, Cazares.

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