The idea of man vs machine became a recurring theme for Fear Factory. Perhaps more prophetic than they could have imagined in these days of self-checkouts, drones, and self-driving cars, but the idea of a concept album, explains Burton, came after Demanufacture was completed.
“We'd recorded the album and the artwork was done,” he says, “but I was asked to do a description of each song for the press. I started typing it out and decided to tell a story for each song, so we have our protagonist in the midst of all this chaos and people rioting.”
Looking back on the lyrics, some of it seems very personal rather than futuristic...
“Yeah, they're all personal,” agrees Burton. “Therapy For Pain is about a dream about an ex-girlfriend, and being in love and in pain. And I wrote Zero Signal in London, waking up from an acid trip. I took this big dose of acid at the Marquee club at some kind of rave and started hanging out with this girl. We tripped all night in her room and I woke up to sunlight coming through the blackout drapes, this ray of light coming in and hitting this huge picture of Jesus with blue eyes. So, that was very personal. I was also watching a lot of law shows and recording dialogue onto cassette, and a lot of that got used for the album.”
Dino, meanwhile, found his inspiration elsewhere.
“Dino and I used to live together back then,” says Burton, “and he memorised all of Cowboys From Hell, because he wanted to pick like Dimebag. And here's a fun fact... the riff for New Breed is the riff for a Stone Temple Pilots song played backwards, Vaseline, I think.”
Released on June 13, 1995, Demanufacture certified Gold in Australia and Silver in the UK, reaching number 27 in the album charts – an incredible feat for such an extreme record. Moreover, it influenced countless metal bands, becoming a blueprint for industrial metal and metalcore.
“That album changed my whole career and opened up a whole lot of doors for us,” says Burton. “I think it's stood the test of time. Not just sonically and in production, but lyrically it holds true. For us, with the riots and everything, there was literally tension in the air, you could see it.”
So pretty much like it is now!
“Exactly! The more things change, the more they stay the same!”
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