Posted on by Oran

With an impressive jaunt all across Europe at the end 2015 and during the summer of this year, FEAR FACTORY have come to the end of the touring cycle for the ‘Demanufacture’ Anniversary and are now looking to the future and a possible follow-up album to ‘Genexus’. Overdrive spoke with frontman Burton C. Bell about his plans to begin work the continuing story of his successful graphic novel ‘The Industrialist’ as well as the possibility of a FEAR FACTORY documentary.

fear-factory-interview-burton-2015Fear Factory have been resurrecting their classic Demanufacture album over the last year or so, with a campaign that has seen them pack out venues across Europe, North America, and the Southern Hemisphere, much to the delight of their legions of fans.

With the band no taking some well deserved time out to concentrate on family, friends and personal interests, vocalist Burton C. Bell has plenty to keep himself busy as he explains to Overdrive.


OD – It’s been a while since I last spoke with you, tell me when you think back on the overall European tour last year before Christmas, how do you now feel about coming back?

BURTON – It’ss been great being back in Europe doing some festivals as well as catching up with some old friends and making some new ones also. We were doing a  combination of festival shows and then some really cool side shows in clubs and they were insane man. Really good fun.

OD – The last set of dates you did happened to be in honor of Demanufacture, so we are still expecting an official tour for Genexus. Will this be happening or will we have to wait for the next album to see a tour like the previous one in Europe?


BURTON – Yeah I think we pretty much exhausted Europe at this point (laughing)! The next time you will see Fear Factory over there will be for hopefully a new album cycle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t like to do shows over there, it’s just that we have to know when it’s time to back off for a while and concentrate on a new territory. Not to mention the fact that we have to get some down time and start to think about doing another record.

OD – Have you begun writing anything towards a new album lately and if so can you give me an idea of the concept to any of the lyrics or arrangements?

BURTON – No not at this point. I’m sure Dino (Cazares – guitars / writer) has been thinking about some concepts and contemplating a series of ideas, but of this time there is nothing new worth talking about. It takes time to get a good concept going and the process of storing ideas and doing some research on particular subjects. That’s pretty much how we take on a new album concept. However, in saying all of that, there will definitely be another album.

Fear Factory 2OD – Being a veteran of the business, do you find that you have a good handle on things now and can almost see it coming down the line or do you still get surprised along the way?

BURTON – You know there are still things that really surprise me in this business. I should really see them coming but regardless of it being something good or something disappointing, the music business is one tricky bastard that certainly keeps you on your toes.

We have definitely had our share of both good and bad things happen to us during the band’s legacy and it’s safe to say that we are not done with things yet and can expect to experience a whole new series of situations in the future.

OD – How is your graphic novel career going, the last time we spoke you told me that you were talking with Noel (Guard) and Vachel (Shannon) about a follow-up to The Industrialist, what’s happening there?


BURTON – Yeah, Noel and I actually schedule to get together soon and continue the story of the industrialist. The overall concept really proved to be successful and it would just be such a shame not to continue the story. I would like to keep the same team with Noel and Vachel as they are just fantastic artists and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work with them.

OD –  You had mentioned playing festivals earlier and wanted to ask you about the difference in playing such events as Bloodstock or even Wacken when comparing those to  similar style events in America?

Bloodstock 2016 final poster


BURTON – The fact that the European fan base for metal is so willing to travel and camp out for a few days to soak up the music is really cool. People are just not really into that in America. It’s really weird actually. They just don’t seem to be willing to do the traveling for shows like that. This is the reason why you have these big traveling festivals in America. You have to consider also that the States is a big spread out place and public transport is not really that effective as it is in Europe.

OD – When you have created something so groundbreaking as Demanufacture do you find that it’s kind of hard for people to get past an album like that and they expect you to be almost in suspended animation without progressing forward?

BURTON – On the most part, people want to naturally hold onto something that they fell in love with. It’s kind of like a cherished memory that they want to hold on to. They will accept a new record but they are still like “well, it’s not Demanufacture is it?” and they have to realise that there never will be another Demanufacture or there never will be another Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood or Vulgar Display of Power.  That’s just the way it is.

fear-factoryDemanufacture was one of those iconic albums that set the tone for us, throughout our career and in some ways still does. We are all music fans and all have one special album that just resonates with a huge amount of people at the same time.

It’s like the timing is just perfect for some albums and really reflect a certain moment in time and it’s just really hard to nail that over and over again when it comes to recording / writing new material. We are all guilty of wanting more of something that is special to us. Fans of music crave nostalgia and that’s just a fact, especially now in present time.

OD -The last time you were over here you had our very own Dead Label with you. The industry has changed so much since you were in their position but what do you think about bands such as Dead Label taking chances like that as it can be a risk going off into the unknown with limited funds and big dreams?


Photo – Down The Barrel Photography © 2016

BURTON – Yeah, they are such a great band. Really awesome live band and one that people should check out. When we were on that tour with them it just reminded me of way back; when we were starting out. Those days were really fun but we were still struggling and to be honest we are still struggling but the only difference is, we know how to get through it (laughing).

Like you said earlier, being a veteran in this business has its perks. You sort of develop a sense of things and that certainly helps when making decisions. We have done the groundwork for our fanbase and have completed countless tours, so we are well past a stage where we are having to “fight” for the fans. Now we are playing for fans but the only difference is that we are fighting to keep them.


OD -I read that you guys were considering doing the whole Obsolete album live, is that still a possibility?

BURTON – It’s something that we are currently discussing right now. It’s without a doubt our biggest record and we just want to make sure that if we go ahead with this, that it’s done right.


OD -Have there every been any consideration to doing something like what Twisted Sister did with their ‘We Are Twisted ‘Fucking Sister’ documentary as you guys were a pretty important influence in the overall direction of where metal has come to today?



BURTON – That Twisted Sister documentary is fucking great! We have actually been approached by many different people in the past and recently with something like this. Again it’s something that we feel just has to be done right or not done at all. When we saw that Twisted Sister movie, it was obvious that they had a team of people that totally knew what they were doing and that’s the only way we would ever go down that road with something like this.

It needs to be the right time for us to do it and until that time comes along, it’s something that will just be in the background. I can totally see us doing something like that and the thought of putting that together is something that I really look forward to doing.

Genexus is out now via Nuclear Blast and can be purchased at this link.


Oran O’Beirne