In a new interview with Aftershocks TV, FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares was asked why the band's former lead singer Burton C. Bell seemingly tried to "sabotage" Dino's efforts to complete the 2017 album they recorded together and finally get it released. Cazares responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That was something I didn't understand. If you're gonna quit, then okay, quit. Don't try to sabotage me continuing to move forward with the band. That was something I couldn't understand. I don't know why he was being a vindictive ex-girlfriend; he seemed to be very vindictive. And I was, like, 'Okay. Where is this hatred coming from?' 'Cause he hasn't spoken to me in three years, so I don't know — I really don't know. I can't get into his head and see what he was thinking. I can only go by what he said in the media and what he tried to do to me. I don't know. I don't know how to answer that question other than the fact that that was kind of fucked up what he did. It's almost like, 'If I can't have it, nobody can have it.'"
Last month, FEAR FACTORY released its first new song in over five years, "Disruptor". The track will appear on the band's upcoming album, "Aggression Continuum", due on June 18 via Nuclear Blast Records.
"Aggression Continuum" features Cazares and Bell alongside drummer Mike Heller. It was produced and engineered by Damien Rainaud (DRAGONFORCE, ONCE HUMAN), with keyboards by Igor Khoroshev (ex-YES), and programming on two songs from longtime collaborator Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY). "Aggression Continuum" was mixed by A-list rock and metal producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM), who also mixed FEAR FACTORY's previous album, 2015's "Genexus".
Last 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 Cazares launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist him with the production costs associated with the release of FEAR FACTORY's long-awaited new LP.
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," he said. "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 [Herrera, drums] and Christian [Olde Wolbers, bass] 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." The guitarist 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 would 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 production by Rainaud and Cazares, and mixing and mastering by Sneap. Burton's original lead vocals, which were recorded in full in 2017, 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.