Trystan MacDonald of Lithium Magazine 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.
Lithium Magazine: FEAR FACTORY has had some rough years with its lineup. With the new album, "The Industrialist", what was it like creating an album with you and Dino [Cazares, guitar] being the only creative forces behind it? What were the positives and negatives being the only two people to create the album?
Burton: It was fantastic, actually. It was like how we used to work in the old days. Dino and I were really the steam behind the engine of FEAR FACTORY. This record was myself, Dino and Rhys [Fulber, producer]; and the three of us really know what FEAR FACTORY is supposed to be. We're the ones who've been working with it since the very beginning. So, to me, it was a very focused album. We did exactly what we had to do and we were all on the same page. It felt really good and the fact that there were less people made it easier to get ideas across and it was easier to get what we needed to be done.
Lithium Magazine: Could you describe how you and Dino go into writing a song and writing an album?
Burton: It usually starts with a riff. Dino comes up with a riff and a beat comes with it. The beat is written afterwards to follow the riff and I'll sit and listen to it. We just start with a riff and I come up with ideas: vocal rhythms or a melody, and from there he just starts to add stuff and it starts building into a song.
Lithium Magazine: With your newest album "The Industrialist", did you find there were any challenges for you as the vocalist for writing lyrics that reflect the concept of the album?
Burton: It was a challenge, but it's the challenge that fuels me. The concept didn't really start sinking in until we came up with the title of the album. We had been writing songs and we had lots of words and titles, thoughts and quotes and whatever. Once the album title came into the picture though, that's when it really started to congeal as a full thought, as a full concept. Once that happened, everything that I wrote just made sense. Every time I start writing or start singing, it's a stream of consciousness, and I just went with it. It was quite exciting. Everything we were writing, everything we were recording was a fresh idea. You hear the excitement. You hear the intensity of something like: "Wow, this is killer! Let's just keep it going." You're not beaten over the head with redundancy. You don't hear that, you really hear a fresh excitement in it.
Lithium Magazine: Metal bands have to tour a lot. A lot of bands embrace the touring and many bands break up from the stress of it.
Burton: It's totally up to the individual. Some people are just not cut out for that kind of lifestyle, and some are. It really comes down to the individual and the real drive that they have to pursue their dream of music. If you're going to pursue music, you've got to go all the way, you can't do it half-assed. You have to give it your all, and touring is a big part of that — live shows in front of people all over the world. That's what we do and if it's not in you, you're not going to last.
Read the entire interview from Lithium Magazine.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral