Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with vocalist Burton C. Bell of Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: The thing that surprised me most was, you haven't really done too many U.S. shows after ["The Industrialist"] came out. According to my knowledge you've done only 16. Now, of course, you're going out on a full U.S. tour, but why has it taken so long to do a U.S. tour for the album?
Bell: That's a really good question, but I really don't know. We did just one tour for this album in the States and we kept it really short. I'm just going to assume that our main market is Europe and outside the U.S. Times are tough everywhere. The economy is not doing well, and for FEAR FACTORY, we are rebuilding. A lot has happened with the band over the past few years so we are still trying to rebuild our grassroots by touring. We haven't done much of it in the United States for this record, but things will change. We have 40 shows on this tour coming up and we're playing a lot of smaller towns that we haven't been to in a while, some towns we've never been to. We're just going to try and saturate what we've missed, and hopefully it translates to ticket sales. Hopefully people will want to see us. [laughs]
Metal Assault: On the previous album, "Mechanize", I think you explored a little bit of the deeper and cleaner side of your vocals more, on songs like "Final Exit" and all that. Was this album more natural and easier in that regard? You don't have so much of that stuff on this one.
Bell: Yeah, on "Mechanize" there was a lot to prove with the band in general, so we wanted to really come out with something almost cosmic. But this time around for "The Industrialist", it was a more natural process. I think it is totally a true FEAR FACTORY album because Dino [Cazares, guitar] and myself have always been the main proponent of FEAR FACTORY, and with just Dino, myself and Rhys [Fulber, producer] working together, we really had the flow going so smooth. So yeah, it was easy, it was natural and vocally, I knew what I had to do. The inspiration came, and when I felt it that's what we did. The vocals that you hear on the record are the true inspiration of what we felt at that time. The vocals aren't run into the ground, and not edited. For instance, I didn't record and re-record two or three different demos like we had in the past and the vocals changed every time. This time that's not the case and you hear the true inspiration in the vocals, and the spark of creativity that I first felt upon hearing the music. So we went with it.
Metal Assault: When you're on tour, are you one of those guys who save the vocals by not talking when you're not on stage, and stuff like that?
Bell: Not too much. I talk. [laughs] You have to talk! But I'm fairly soft-spoken to begin with. I'm not one to be walking around and yelling at the top of my lungs all day long. I talk normally and I don't push myself. I try to enjoy myself on tour. I like to have a couple of glasses of wine after a show, may be a couple of beers. I like to drink, you know, I'm a social drinker. On days off, I enjoy myself and may be have a few more beers. One thing I learned on this part tour in Europe when we were out with DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, it was a really brutal tour and it got to a point where it was just like, I had to do something to my regular program. I had to basically deprogram myself to let myself get vocal coaching. It was the first vocal coaching I've ever had. So I met with a vocal coach online via Skype, and she asked me what my problem was. I was being very sincere and honest, and I told her what I was having trouble with. She came back a couple of days later with this regiment of what I needed to do. She gave me instructions on how to breathe properly, which apparently I'd been doing wrong since the very beginning. [laughs] So she taught me breathing exercises and vocal warm-up to really be ready for the show and how to use my voice properly without blowing it out. It frigging worked! [laughs] So, I'm a firm believer in warming up before every show now. It works.
Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.