Whale Watching With Dino Cazares

Sean Harris

Now I have a very difficult time meeting bands out of the blue. If there is no prior setup, I never want to run the risk of being that crazed super fan that rushes up to their heroes screaming, “OH MY GOD YOU’RE… (Insert name here).” They know exactly who they are and where they’ve been and don’t need some insensitive dolt to bum rush them. That being said, I encountered one of my favorite bands growing up last week and I like to think that I handled the situation rather well. 

I live on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. I’m a stones throw away from Vancouver, the hub of the west coast. Victoria is a city that’s on the island off of Vancouver and it’s about a 90-minute ferry ride away. Most ferry rides are rather boring due to the fact that you have to sit around with a bunch of people you don’t know, which goes for most forms of public transportation. I made it my agenda to make this the best ferry ride I’ve ever taken in my life. Why? 

Fear Factory were on the same exact boat I was on. 

As soon as I purchased my ticket, I cruised around the neighboring market which includes a Starbucks, numerous places to eat and travel display cases that include Best Buy products. Yes, you can buy an iPhone at a ferry terminal. Through my travels, much to my chagrin, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a group of rather large men with long hair and beards. Upon closer inspection my assumptions were correct, this was, in fact, Fear Factory themselves.

Did I turn into the insane fanatic attempting to tackle and pin the band down for autographs? No, I had more sense than that. I hovered close to them and pretended to be on my phone. I thought I was playing it cool until bassist Matt DeVries looked over and gave me a nod and a smile. How’d he know I was trying to be so sly? I guess my Exodus hoodie, Iron Maiden wristband and Testament shirt were a dead giveaway. 

Nonetheless, I built up the courage to go shake hands with Burton Bell and he was at least cordial. It was the 90-minute ferry ride that had me chilling on cloud nine for the rest of the week. I was, once again, calmly scouting out the ferry, looking for anyone I could recognize. Uh oh, Dino Fucking Cazares! He was, oddly enough, sitting two seats over from Hate Eternal’s sound man, who I later found out was named Anthony. An empty seat in the middle. Dare I sit there?

I walked up to Dino and jived the usual bullshit. “Hey have a great show tonight,” etc. Dino was a tad worried about the turnout at that night’s show citing he’s never played in Victoria before. I assured him that things would be copacetic. He then asked me, ASKED ME, to sit down with him. Umm… yeah I guess. 

For the next hour and a half we proceeded to talk about a wide array of topics including good venues, old action movies, Danny Trejo and his former super group side project Brujeria. There was even a pod of killer whales circling around the boat at one point and knowing the out-of-towners, they had to get a look-see. 

The ride ended and so did my high, at least until doors opened later that night. My boss from the radio station I work for had an interview with Dino and we were lucky enough to be welcomed onto their pimped out tour bus. Talk about swanky! This bus was packed to the gills with cool shit: TV’s, video games, mini-amps and more. It was almost nicer than my house!

Anyway, we sat down and of course, he recognized me from our little whale excursion and had to mention it in the interview. 

The sit down went off without a hitch and to make the day complete, we watched the last bit of the NHL’s coverage of the San Jose Sharks vs. The Los Angeles Kings Game 7. 

So, as if watching my favorite sport on a plush tour bus with one of my favorite bands isn’t enough, after the amazing show the boys put on, I ran into Dave Davis. That’s right! Former Annihilator guitarist who played on the tour in support of Alice In Hell and lent a hand to the guitar playing on Never, Neverland and King Of The Kill, among others.

What does he do now? He’s a fucking taxi driver.

That’s so metal.

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