Deb Rao of MetalMonthly.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist Burton C. Bell about discuss his work with FEAR FACTORY, ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS, and his involvement with MINISTRY. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.MetalMonthly.com: How did MINISTRY influence your band FEAR FACTORY? You are both industrial. I can hear so many comparisons.
Burton: MINISTRY was an influence on FEAR FACTORY for sure. I was always a fan of industrial music. When MINISTRY's "Land of Rape and Honey" came out it really a whole new corrosion of sound. It was just amazing. When Dino [Cazares] and I and Raymond [Herrera] started working on FEAR FACTORY, we wanted that sound but Raymond and Dino took it a little bit further with sounds that are mechanical. They are industrial. All of that was a huge influence. We wanted to utilize it in our own music. For me a lyricist, I saw that the lyrics for MINISTRY were very, very simple yet poetic in a way. To me that was an influence lyrically.
MetalMonthly.com: As a producer, what did Al [Jourgensen, MINISTRY mainman] teach you in the studio? What did you learn from him that you will forever treasure?
Burton: He helped me realize the balance of sound and the right techniques to get it big. Just the engineering and how things should fit and sit in a recording. Where the highs go, where the lows go. How to separate the vocals. I have been doing records for years and it was a great experience. I felt like I was apprentice to a master.
MetalMonthly.com: Do you have any special memories from this tour that stand out in your mind?
Burton: The first one I thought of is, I am originally from Houston, Texas. When we played Houston, here I am in my hometown fronting MINISTRY. Singing "Just Got Paid" with Billy Gibbons on the side of the stage. I grew up with ZZ TOP way before I even knew about anything else. That is one of the first bands a Texas is introduced to is ZZ TOP. I grew up with that song. It was so surreal and an honor at the same time. Seeing that it is Al's last tour, a lot of his old friends are coming out. I got to meet Jello Biafra, I got to meet Ogre, Glenn Danzig just classic people. People that I always looked up too as musicians. Possibly, one of the greatest moments on this tour was just meeting these people and befriending them. Then there is just the normal insanity of just touring with Al. There is almost too much to tell, I don't know where to start.
MetalMonthly.com: What is the status of FEAR FACTORY?
Burton: We are just taking some time off. Read the entire interview with MetalMonthly.com.