Jonathan Newsome of Unsung Melody 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.
Unsung Melody: During my research for this interview, I read a few interviews and watched a couple more. One of the things that was mentioned was a possible graphic novel based upon the story within [the latest FEAR FACTORY album] "The Industrialist". Is there any progress on that to speak of?
Bell: I'm glad you asked that question, Jonathan. That is happening right now. After much research in finding the right artist, I finally found the right one in London. His name is Noel Guard. He's a fantastic artist. I was referred to him by another artist friend of mine. Then I let them know it was something that I've been wanting to do. There were a couple different artists that I spoke to before, that were brought to me through the label. They were great people, but their art wasn't what I was looking for. Their style didn't match my vision. When I found Noel, his art was exactly what I was looking for. His style is amazing. So this past year, we've been working on "The Industrialist" graphic novel. All of the pages will be completed by June 1st. Right now, he's following the story from the booklet that I wrote. He's following each scene and he's putting images into these scenes. His vision is exactly what I'm seeing in my mind. We're definitely connecting. Add in that he's a FEAR FACTORY fan to boot helps immensely. So he gets it and what it's all about. He was the perfect candidate. He came at the right time. He's working on the images and it's going to be sick. Once completed, we're going to look for a publisher and hopefully it will be out by the end of the year.
Unsung Melody: Now you guys did something different than most bands. You licensed your masters through Candlelight Records. It's not the most conventional record deal. How did that situation come about and do you feel that this type of deal is the future model for music?
Bell: It is definitely a futuristic model because it's ahead if its time. There are not a lot of bands doing this. It really works well for an established band, I will say first. If FEAR FACTORY didn't have 20 years of building up fan support from a grass roots perspective, seven records into our career, it wouldn't work. This type of deal or situation would not work for a new band, but it works for us. We have our fan base. We have the ability to get it out there and we tour, so it works for us. It's a great model for the future for a lot of bands and for a lot of labels. Record labels are a dying breed. No one's buying records anymore. The working musician, which I consider myself, makes their living by touring and selling merch. So, I think this is a model for future bands. Own what you create. License it out for a very short period of time. That way, you can get it back and do something else with it later on and it's all yours.
Unsung Melody: It was released also that you guys are playing "Demanufacture" in its entirety on the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise in 2014. A lot of bands have had an anniversary tour celebrating a past album. Is that type of tour something that you could see FEAR FACTORY doing?
Bell: Absolutely, and we've already got a title for it. It's going to be called the "Demanufactour". We're going to introduce it in Australia this year. Then we do the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise and hopefully, we can bring that tour to the States.
Unsung Melody: That should make a lot of people very happy.
Bell: I hope so. Like you say, it's a classic record and other bands have been doing it. MACHINE HEAD did it with "Burn My Eyes". METALLICA did it with the black album. Various other bands have done it as well and it's a good idea.
Read the entire interview from Unsung Melody. You can listen to the entire chat using the audio player below.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral