Fear Factory: The Longevity & The Legacy

"If you love the fact that you’re doing it, it makes it a lot easier"

Fear Factory is an institution and not shy of a tonne of hard work. The LA natives have established themselves as the foundation for the modern industrial genre and a staple in any metal rich diet. Having a prodigious influence on the sound of metal throughout the 90’s the boys began with the blueprint; Soul Of A New Machine. The early career of Fear Factory was paved with difficulty, dodgy record labels, greedy producers, whatever obstacle; Fear Factory faced it. Fear Factory has indeed set a standard for dogged persistence; something the band can finally see coming to fruition. 

As Metal As Fuck caught up with the infamous Burton C Bell, we chatted about the important things; the world’s biggest ball of yarn, cats and the boys playing my 30th birthday, however we thought it best to get to the vital issues such as the impending Fear Factory album debut through Nuclear Blast and the first time the band will play Soundwave... 

Wow Burton, what is the status of this album? I’m frothing at the mouth here! “We’re still working on it; it’s taking a loooong time, sorry about the froth”. [Laughs]

A lot of distractions (great distractions) have come about for the band over the past few months, so how was your trip to India? “India was great, I’d never been there before and it’s a pretty surreal place, I had a really good time. The shows were very successful also”.

And of course the bands first ever Soundwave! “Yeah, we’re pretty excited; it’s a tour we’ve wanted to do for a really long time so we’re glad we’re finally on it. There are plans for sideshows with Exodus which have just been announced, I don’t know what we’re more excited for. The whole tour will be amazing”.

Touring takes a lot of energy and a lot of effort and it does take its toll on musicians; some love it but can't hack it, some loathe it but can hack it – so from a musician who flat out loves it what are your tips to get through a massive touring cycle? “Patience. [Laughs] Get enough sleep, don’t drink every night, enjoy your days off and pretty much just enjoy yourself and love the fact that you’re doing it. If you love the fact that you’re doing it, it makes it a lot easier”. How much has touring affected your home life? “Well I think about this stuff all the time, I mean I used to have a cat and that always played on the back of my mind. But it’s just being as organised as you can. Have plans for things, I mean you make ways to get around the mundane but essential parts of your daily life, it’s a struggle sometimes but you get used to it”. What are some of your favourite things to bring on the road; things you couldn’t possibly live without? “My journal and my personal music and definitely my cell phone so I can talk to my kids – to me those are the big things”. When you’re driving from venue to venue to stop and ogle at roadside attractions? Like if you saw a sign saying “the world’s biggest coffee cup 15 miles away” do you stop? “If we’re awake yeah [Laughs] generally the roadside attractions involve the nearest truck stop, with the same crap for sale. With a long drive, when you have a day or two to get to the next show; if you see something, like a famous restaurant that offers something interesting or the world’s largest string of yarn or something [Laughs] you’d have to go see it”.

With your travelling over the years have you picked up any other languages? The fundamentals, like cuss words “Not really, I’ll give it a go sometimes. I know a few words in French to make sure I can get around. During school I took Spanish for five years so I can get around there easily enough. I know some key German words that help but nothing to the point of being fluent. I like learning cuss words though”. [Laughs]

Fear Factory have just celebrated twenty four years, a massive congratulations is due. The band has solidified yourselves on the world stage and after all the ups and downs over the twenty four years it seems things are falling back into a nice comfy place for you all “Knock on wood! It takes a lot of hard work, all the records, the tours, hard work is basically the secret and it’s a huge part of our success and the longevity that we have”.

There has been a staggering number of bands jump to Nuclear Blast of late and the label has always been a personal favourite of mine so it’s good to see you guys a part of it and the fact that Fear Factory are soon to be releasing a Nuclear Blast debut. “It’s awesome, we’re part of the family now, we have a lot of expectations and curiosity with the label as to what they can do for the band. Absolutely a breath of fresh air. We’re working again with Monte Conner who originally signed us to Roadrunner. Once that entire machine collapsed he started with Nuclear Blast. We’re working with old friends again so it’s really exciting. Proper promotion and proper marketing is what we need, and what I’d like to see, I am confident that Nuclear Blast will accomplish this for us”. 


As Burton said, you can see the band at the following sidewaves along with Exodus and Terror Universal:

Monday, 23rd February 

170 Russell, Melbourne (18+)

Tickets: 170 Russell


Wednesday, 25th February

Metro Theatre, Sydney (Licensed, All Ages)

Tickets: Ticketek