In a recent interview with The Razor's Edge, ex-FEAR FACTORY singer Burton C. Bell was asked if he would be open to working with any of his former bandmates again, including Christian Olde Wolbers, drummer Gene Hoglan, Byron Stroud and Raymond Herrera. He responded: "No, no, no. It's like going back to an ex-girlfriend. The thought of it for a second might be good, but once you get there, you regret it. People move on for a reason, and when I move on, I move on.
"I have a lot of great achievements, I have a lot of great times and great moments, but for me, if I wanna continue working, I wanna move forward," he continued. "And there's just things that you cannot change. And instead of changing it, I'm gonna move forward."
This past September, Bell issued a statement officially announcing his departure from FEAR FACTORY, saying that he "cannot align" himself with someone whom he does not trust or respect.
Bell's exit from FEAR FACTORY came more than two weeks after FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist him with the production costs associated with the release of FEAR FACTORY's long-awaited new album.
Bell later told Kerrang! magazine that his split with FEAR FACTORY was a long time coming. "It's been on my mind for a while. These lawsuits [over the rights to the FEAR FACTORY name] just drained me. The egos. The greed. Not just from bandmembers, but from the attorneys involved. I just lost my love for it.
"With FEAR FACTORY, it's just constantly been, like, 'What?!' You can only take so much. I felt like 30 years was a good run. Those albums I've done with FEAR FACTORY will always be out there. I'll always be part of that. I just felt like it was time to move forward."
Pressed about whether there is any chance of a reconciliation with FEAR FACTORY down the line, Burton said: "I'm done. I haven't spoken to Dino in three years. I haven't spoken to Raymond and Christian in longer than that, and I have no intention to. I'm just moving forward with my life."
In October, Dino issued a statement in which he said that the door for Burton to come back to FEAR FACTORY wouldn't "stay open forever." He also revealed that Burton "lost his legal rights" to the FEAR FACTORY name "after a long court battle" with Herrera and Olde Wolbers. "I had the opportunity to do something right, and I felt that obtaining the name in full was the right thing to do for the both of us, so after nearly four years we can continue as FEAR FACTORY, to make more records and to tour," he said. "That is why it is sad to hear that he decided to quit and, in my opinion, for whatever issues he has it seems like it could've been worked out."
In explaining his reasons for starting a fundraising campaign, Cazares said that all donations will go toward covering newly incurred production costs involved with the making of the new FEAR FACTORY LP, including re-recording the drums, guitars, bass and keyboards, as well as mixing and mastering by Andy Sneap. Burton's original lead vocals, which were recorded in full in 2017, will remain on the new version of the album.
FEAR FACTORY's fundraising campaign marked the first public activity from the band since it completed a 2016 U.S. headlining tour on which it performed its classic second album, "Demanufacture", in its entirety.
Bell's ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS project released its second full-length album, "Apocrypha", last October via Dissonance Productions.