Dino Cazares spoke to Finland's Kaaos TV about FEAR FACTORY's recently launched search for a vocalist to replace the band's original lead singer, Burton C. Bell. The guitarist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We have a lot of people who sent in video submissions, and I wanna thank them all for that. The love that we were getting from people who wanted to fill Burt's shoes was enormous. But I can tell you this: no announcement is going to be made for a while. We wanna get along with the person; we wanna see if we have the right chemistry.
"[There are] some really good talented [candidates] — male and female," he continued. "And my decision will not be based off gender at all whatsoever. Gender does not play a role in my decision. So if it's a female and she can do the job, great. If it's a male, they can do the job and they're ready to commit, they're ready to go on tour, on the road, and they can handle it, great."
Asked if he is looking for a singer who will sound very similar to Bell or someone with a completely different approach, Dino said: "Whoever we pick has to know the style. And they have to be able to do both. No, they don't have to sound like Burt. Some people might want that. Some people might want them to be identical — kind of like what JOURNEY did. That guy [Arnel Pineda] — that guy sounds identical [to Steve Perry]… I think that in the JOURNEY sense, the original [singer] was better years ago. But that doesn't mean he's better now, because he's aged and his voice has changed. Whereas if you get a new, young replacement that sounds identical from way back when the original sounded really good way back, then it can be a plus. I mean, look at Todd La Torre with QUEENSRŸCHE; that guy sounds amazing. He does sound like Geoff Tate, but he also has other elements — fresher elements — that he brings to the band. So it can work. 'Cause as you know, we have different eras to FEAR FACTORY. Some people love the 'Demanufacture' / 'Obsolete' era, and some people like the later era. And if you noticed, over the years, obviously, [Burt's] voice changed. So, what era do you want the guy to sound like? So, my decision will based off the guy who can do all the different eras."
FEAR FACTORY's new album, "Aggression Continuum", will be released on June 18 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP, which was recorded primarily in 2017, features Cazares and Bell alongside drummer Mike Heller. It was produced and engineered by Damien Rainaud (DRAGONFORCE, ONCE HUMAN), with keyboards by Igor Khoroshev (ex-YES), and programming on two songs from longtime collaborator Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY). "Aggression Continuum" was mixed by A-list rock and metal producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM), who also mixed FEAR FACTORY's previous album, 2015's "Genexus".
Last September, Bell issued a statement officially announcing his departure from FEAR FACTORY, saying that he "cannot align" himself with someone whom he does not trust or respect.
Bell's exit from FEAR FACTORY came more than two weeks after Cazares launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist him with the production costs associated with the release of FEAR FACTORY's new LP.
Bell later told Kerrang! magazine that his split with FEAR FACTORY was a long time coming. "It's been on my mind for a while," he said. "These lawsuits [over the rights to the FEAR FACTORY name] just drained me. The egos. The greed. Not just from bandmembers, but from the attorneys involved. I just lost my love for it.
"With FEAR FACTORY, it's just constantly been, like, 'What?!' You can only take so much. I felt like 30 years was a good run. Those albums I've done with FEAR FACTORY will always be out there. I'll always be part of that. I just felt like it was time to move forward."
In October, Dino issued a statement in which he said that the door for Burton to come back to FEAR FACTORY wouldn't "stay open forever." The guitarist also revealed that Burton "lost his legal rights" to the FEAR FACTORY name "after a long court battle" with drummer Raymond Herrera and bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. "I had the opportunity to do something right, and I felt that obtaining the name in full was the right thing to do for the both of us, so after nearly four years we can continue as FEAR FACTORY, to make more records and to tour," he said. "That is why it is sad to hear that he decided to quit and, in my opinion, for whatever issues he has it seems like it could've been worked out."