Fear Factory Guitarist Explains All Things People Don’t Get About Touring Today, Opens Up on Financial Problems Musicians Face

Recently, Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares appeared on Vulgar Display of Podcast where he touched upon the current struggles of active touring musicians. The post-pandemic setting affected many aspects of the music industry, especially with the rising cost of fuel and all the other necessary resources and services. While discussing Fear Factory’s upcoming tour with Static-X, Cazares said (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“So much has changed in those couple of years, because look how much the economy has gotten really, really over the top, with gas and even availability on certain things, even drivers; just getting a driver, it’s hard. People really don’t understand the cost that goes into doing these tours.”

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“Everything affects you, whether it’s venues taking a big cut of the merch sales to insane diesel and gas prices. A lot of people don’t realize that these buses take diesel, and diesel is more expensive than gas. So that adds up, when you’re spending eight hundred to a thousand dollars just to fill up a tank of a bus. People don’t realize the cost of all that. So it’s getting harder and harder.”

“It’s really kind of weird, because when we first booked the tour, the economy was much lower than now. And then we do these show contracts for ‘X’ amount of dollars, and all of a sudden we postpone the tour to a year or so later, and so much has changed. Now these contracts, it doesn’t match to where the economy is at now.”

“A lot of people don’t realize that either, that a lot has changed so much. I wish we can go back and renegotiate our contracts, but it’s too late — can’t do it. It is what it is. We’re just not gonna be making the money that we would normally make to do that tour, but we’re still gonna do it; we’re committed to it. We can’t wait to get back on the road and just play in front of all those people.”

Further on, Dino reflected on the financial issues of present-day musicians and how plenty of other big names in rock and metal have been affected by it over the past few years. He said:

“I’m not the only one that really talks about that. There have been other people — Devin Townsend’s been talking a lot about it; Dark Funeral and a few other bands as well, talking about what it’s like out there.”

“Of course, a lot of people who follow me who are fans of the band, they don’t really understand what it is, how it is out there. But in a way, they should, because, obviously, gas prices affect everything. Food prices — food prices have gone insanely high.”

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“So people should be able to relate to it in that way. Speaking in the third person, if it’s hard for that person to pay rent or to buy food, imagine what it’s like for us to be out there touring. People have this misconception, just because you’re on the road, you’re making big bucks and you’re a rich guy. We are affected by it just as much as they are — as a matter of fact worse, ’cause we have more overhead.”

What Dino was referring to was Devin Townsend’s recent statement in an interview where he addressed these same touring-related issues. Devin explained:

“It’s gotten way worse. I don’t think it’s better at all, actually. Because the costs of touring now, with inflation and the cost of gasoline and diesel… Plus, over the course of the pandemic, we’ve lost a ton of really good venues. I’d say probably 50 percent of the workforce in touring has now left. ‘Cause what’s a guitar tech gonna do for two years? You have to get a job, right? And so the ones that are remaining, not only are they already spoken for with other bands, but they’re almost twice as expensive.

“I saw this thing about Live Nation the other day, they’re taking 30 percent of merch sales from some of these venues. The costs of airlines have gone up. So artists, the ability to make money on tour is almost completely gone now — at least an artist on my level.

Photo: Chris W. Braunschweiger (Vainstream2015 FearFactory-24)

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

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