With personal differences set aside, Fear Factory are back with a vengeance. Thankfully, it's now all about the music for the Californian alternative metal outfit.
Guitarist Dino Cazares has buried the hatchet with singer Burton C. Bell after years of public stoushing, which saw members leave the band.
"Burton and I are in a good space," Cazares says backstage in New Jersey, where the band are on tour in support of their recently released eighth album, The Industrialist.
"We had to bury the hatchet to work together again. We also realised that what we argued about and what we were in a fight about was nothing important. It was just a combination of being around each other for 14 years straight, recording and touring."
Fear Factory have now been on the road in the US since March and Cazares says all is as it should be, on the music and friendship front.
When the band head to Australia this month, it will be part of a run of dates including New Zealand and Japan, followed by shows back at home and in South America as well as co-headlining a tour with Devin Townsend around Europe.
As one of the first countries to fall in love with Fear Factory, Cazares says they have a special place in their hearts for Australia. We were also the first country to see their 1995 album Demanufacture to gold status after their debut visit in 1993.
While Fear Factory is Cazares' main focus at the moment, he also has a history with his other bands, Divine Heresy, Asesino and Brujeria. For the moment, though, his enthusiasm for this year’s gigs is coming from his excitement about The Industrialist and the "amazing" response from fans to the new tracks.
"The plan was to make a classic Fear Factory record," he says. "The last album, while still Fear Factory, took a little bit of a different direction with more thrash. With this we wanted to go back to the Demanufacture era."
The guitarist says touring is still the best way to make a living and he reckons about 20 per cent of their music sales come from downloads compared to physical albums. To that end, the band won't road-test songs anymore. They save them all up for the album tour, lest someone record one at a gig and share it around before the album is done.
Fear Factory play Capitol on September 30. Tickets from the venue or Oztix.