Making music videos isn’t always as glamorous as you might imagine. In fact, sometimes it can be downright nauseating.
Just ask former Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares. If you happened to catch the video for “Failed Creation” — the first single from Divine Heresy’s inaugural LP, Bleed the Fifth — when it made its debut on MTV2’s “Headbangers Ball” over the weekend, then you no doubt recognized Cazares. But what you didn’t see was drummer Tim Yeung and bassist Joe Payne losing their lunches — that footage was left out of the clip for obvious reasons.
“We’d filmed it out in the Salton Sea,” Cazares explained, referring to the inland saline lake located in California’s Colorado Desert. The band partnered with director Christoffer “Salzy” Salzgeber (Damageplan, Soulfly) for the clip. “Back in the ’30s, the Colorado River overflowed … into this basin, creating this huge gigantic lake in California. During the ’50s, it used to be a tourist spot — you’d go there, park your camper and go swimming in the lake.”
Not anymore, though. Over the years, sewage and industrial waste have contaminated the Salton Sea, killing thousands upon thousands of fish. The sand around the lake is actually composed of crushed fish skeletons — very metal. Linkin Park shot their Minutes to Midnight LP cover there too.
“Everyone was throwing up and sick, because the smell in this place is horrible,” Cazares said. The area around the lake is populated by abandoned hotels and houses, but some still call the place home — “Weird people,” the guitarist said, “like ’The Hills Have Eyes’-weird.”
The smell was so powerful that, on at least a few occasions, filming had to be stopped so members of the band and crew could excuse themselves.
“At one point, you see Joe walking off-camera, and the camera follows him, and he just starts throwing up,” Cazares said. “And then Tim, he’s playing, and you see him stand up from the drum kit, and he starts throwing up.” Cazares said he wanted to keep the cookie-tossing in the video and hopes Divine Heresy will one day include it as a DVD bonus feature.
Cazares started working on Divine Heresy back in 2002, at which point he set out to find the best musicians around to join him. With his other bands, Brujería and Asesino, demanding much of his attention, the guitarist said he’d come up with riffs here and there and stockpile them for Divine Heresy’s eventual LP. Things went into full swing in 2003, when Cazares met Yeung, who was on tour with Nile at the time.
“We exchanged numbers and kept in touch, but he was busy, and I kept writing songs with a drum machine and with other drummers,” Cazares explained. “It wasn’t until around 2005 when Tim moved to L.A. that I was like, ’OK — I need to buckle down and take this seriously and really do it.’ So, me and Tim started jamming together in 2005, and whenever we had time, we’d get together and write songs.”
With a little help from Century Media founder Robert Kampf, Cazares eventually found the perfect singer for DH: Tommy Vext. “We sent him over some CDs of the music, and he went to the studio and recorded vocals and sent it back. I heard it and knew he was the guy — I needed to work with this guy. I wanted a drummer that could take the music to the next level and be diversified. I wanted the singer to be the same way — scream, sing, everything. And these guys are exactly what I was looking for.”
Cazares played the bass tracks on the recently released album, but he brought in former Nile bassist Joe Payne to tour with the band and collaborate on future recordings. Cazares said working on the disc — an incredibly brutal exercise in death-metal aggression — opened up his playing.
“I really enjoy doing metal music, and that’s what in my heart, so that’s what I’m going to do,” he said. “I can’t really write pop songs with a drummer like Tim Yeung. I have learned from working with these guys, and my playing’s gotten more technical, more musical. … I have chosen the right musicians, to explore more styles, if I wanted to. The main thing when I write songs is, I try to make them as catchy and memorable as possible.”
The band has only played a few live shows together but plans to kick off its first tour this month in Mexico. After that, DH will head out with Static-X and Shadows Fall for a tour that runs through much of the fall and early winter. Then they’ll join Chimaira on the road for a trek that will keep them busy until Christmas. In early 2008, the band will head back out on the road, but the guitarist didn’t reveal with whom. Cazares said the band does plan on playing some Fear Factory material during its sets — even though he has no love for his former band.
“In the long run, I believe I came out the winner, and I feel that they have bastardized the name, and it’s a completely different band, different style,” he said of the group, which is carrying on despite Cazares’ departure in 2002. “I definitely carried the passion in that band, and my riffs, my style, they were very distinctive. I don’t regret anything I created in Fear Factory whatsoever. It will be part of my memory for the rest of my life. I believe I am continuing the legacy and keeping this metal torch alive and bringing it back with DH. You can feel the hunger and passion in DH, which I believe Fear Factory has been missing, and is still missing to this day.
“Divine Heresy will be a band that will develop into something even greater, the more input these guys have and the more we all start playing together, and the more we get out on the road, living it, breathing for it,” he continued. “I think the sophomore LP will be something massive.”
The rest of the week’s metal news:
Florida death-metal band Six Feet Under shot a video earlier this month for the song “Doomsday,” which appears on the group’s latest album, Commandment. “The concept of the clip is pure f—ing insanity on all levels,” said the band in a statement. “We were fortunate enough to work with Grady Stiles (a.k.a. ’Lobster Boy’), who plays our main character. This has to be the creepiest clip we’ve ever filmed, from location to story line to cast.” …
We wouldn’t quite say like father, like son, but at least Kinks co-founder Dave Davies’ son, Daniel, is carrying on the family’s musical tradition. The lad is the frontman for Year Long Disaster, a surprisingly loud group that also features ex-Karma to Burn and REO Speedealer bassist Rich Mullins and former Third Eye Blind drummer Brad Hargreaves. The band’s self-titled debut, recorded by Jim Waters, is currently scheduled for a September 25 release. Year Long Disaster will be on the road with Turbonegro and Mondo Generator from September 15 in Silverlake, California, through October 12 in Portland, Oregon. …
Technical psych-metal band Baroness will launch a tour for their just-released Red Album on September 19 in their hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Dates run through October 9 in Charleston, South Carolina. … Cephalic Carnage’s video for “Endless Cycle of Violence” can be seen here. The video was directed by Soren (Unearth, Greeley Estates) and was shot in the band’s native Denver. The track comes from the band’s fifth album, Xenosapien, which came out in May. … The new Gorefest CD, Rise to Ruin, will come out in North America on September 25. The album, released in Europe last month, is the follow-up to the Dutch band’s 2005 reunion disc, La Muerte. …
Eighties shock-metal band Lizzy Borden will release Appointment With Death on October 2. As its title suggests, Appointment With Death is a concept album about the end of the line. “Oddly enough, writing 11 songs about death was no easy task for me,” frontman Lizzy Borden said of the band’s first album since 2000’s Deal With the Devil. “Being graphic or grotesque would have been too easy, and being overly morbid would bring nothing new to the concept. Death is all around us, lurking, waiting to pounce, striking fear and antagonizing the living in many different ways. I tried to explore [this] in the most poetic way I know.” … Melodic-metalcore band Still Remains will tour with Aiden and Drop Dead, Gorgeous starting September 11 in Seattle. Dates run through October 12 in San Francisco. …
Extreme Riverside, California, metal band Suicide Silence have shot a video for “The Price of Beauty” with director Matt Bass (the Esoteric, Black Dahlia Murder). The song comes from the band’s second album, The Cleansing, which comes out September 18. Immediately after their current tour with Despised Icon, Winds of Plague and See You Next Tuesday — which ends September 26 in Worcester, Massachusetts — Suicide Silence will hit the road with Unearth, Darkest Hour and August Burns Red. Dates are scheduled from September 27 in Towson, Maryland, through October 28 in New Haven, Connecticut. … Classic metallic-hard-rock band the Cult will release their new album, Born Into This, October 2. The disc was recorded in London in the spring with producer Youth (the Verve, Primal Scream). A “Savage Edition” of the album will feature five bonus tracks and a sticker. Born Into This is the Cult’s first offering since 2001’s Beyond Good and Evil.