The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Dino Cazares Fear Factory - Interview
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BURTON C. BELL

FEAR FACTORY


Fear Factory

I've been fortunate enough to speak to the legendary frontman of Fear Factory a few times now and he always comes across as super friendly and generally happy to chat about whatever. The band return to Australia for the millionth time in support of their latest album "Genexus" which made our top 10 metal albums of 2015. Albums and touring aside, I decided to talk a little more sci-fi stuff as well as a few other things outside of Fear Factory. Also check out our interview with Dino Cazares HERE.

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Andrew: It's good to see you coming back to Australia again!

Burton: Yeah we're looking forward to getting back there too! Unfortunately we're not there long enough, just in and out.

Andrew: It seems like you come here just about every year. I know you guys have been regulars here for years now, do you feel like you're Australians now by this time?

Burton: An honorary Australian! We have been there a lot, we've been there more than I can think of any other band. It's always a good time but I like to consider myself an honorary Australian if you guys don't mind.

Andrew: Yeah absolutely, we'll definitely take you man! You were here last year for Soundwave and obviously as you would probably be aware that it was the last Soundwave ever. What are your thoughts on that whole thing and how it all happened?

Burton: I would say get rid of A.J. Maddah!

Andrew: Did you have any idea when you were playing the festival?

Burton: No of course not and neither did any of the other bands. We were one of the bands that never got paid so good riddance to him, he destroyed something really good. And he destroyed a lot of people in the process, he deserves to go to jail.

Andrew: Yeah it's an unfortunate thing that happened and it sucks that you guys didn't get your compensations for what you guys deserve obviously. You guys were quite regulars in festivals like Big Day Out and things like that so would you like to return to Australia in a festival setting again or are you [done] because of what happened last year?

Burton: No I would do another festival if it was done right but we would probably have to check the credit rating of the promoter to see how they are able to pay.

Andrew: Yeah it's funny as the whole festival season in Australia has gone down hill as well, not just in the metal world but also in the electronic and hip hop world and all that kind of stuff so it's funny how they are all disappearing. What's it like in the U.S. at the moment? Are the festivals still going pretty strong over there?

Burton: No the U.S. is not really a big festival country, there's the couple like the Coachella and then there's Bonnaroo but all those festivals are very tailored towards a certain genre. Coachella is basically for rich white people who can afford to go, Bonnaroo is for people who are into eclectic non-metal kind of thing. The Knotfest, that just started and Mayhem has gone down. Mayhem was and Knotfest is the only touring festival, everything else is like a weekend festival. But it's still catered towards a certain type of audience so nothing really for metal except Knotfest.

Andrew: Yeah unlike in Europe where a lot of bands go over to play festivals, I guess that's where it all is at the moment.

Burton: Yeah and it's been that way for a long time. There's so many summer festivals over there and the fact that they don't tour I think is how they do so well, festival tours is how they lose money. You create a scene in a certain place like Pinkpop or Lowlands or Dynamo or Summerbreeze where you create a scene in a place where there is no scene and you bring everybody together in one place.

Andrew: OK very cool. Well getting back to your Australian tour, I think it would be silly at this point to ask you what we can expect because I think Fear Factory fans in Australia pretty much know what you guys do and being a fan myself and having seen you guys about 12 or 13 times now, is there anything new you can bring to the country at this point?

Burton: Well we got a new album that we're going to be playing some new tracks from and we'll do those in Fear Factory style that we always do. We're not really like a smoke and fire kind of thing, we don't have dragons and sparklers on stage and fireworks gong everywhere. It's all about the sonic intensity and the live show.




Andrew: The new album came out mid-last year I think, fantastic album by the way. Congratulations on that, I think it's one of the best albums you have done so far in your career. How have the fans been responding to the new songs live so far?

Burton: Wow thanks! Very well, as you know we're doing "Demanufacture" on stage right now. We start off with "Demanufacture" and after that, we do a second set and we do 3 songs from the new album and they go over very well. The fans are singing along as well and we've been getting a great response so it manages to go very well together with "Demanufacture".

Andrew: OK well obviously the ones you have been playing so far are the singles. I know you just released a video recently for "Expiration date" which is the final track on the album, why did you go for that one to make a video?

Burton: There's been an overwhelming demand for it. Wherever we go, doesn't matter what kind of metalhead it is, everybody loves that song so there's been this kind of demand for it. So we thought, 'Hey let's see what happens', and so we made a video for it and I think they're gonna push for Octane or something but I think the fans really like it so I think it's a fan favorite.

Andrew: Well on "Genexus", there is a lot of songs that remind me of the earlier stuff like "Demanufacture" and "Obsolete" but that particular song "Expiration Date" kinda reminds me of "A Therapy For Pain". Was that the idea when you wrote that song?

Burton: A lot of the albums there's a last song like that, we kind of round off the album with a slow one to calm people's nerves down. So it was intentional but not to sound like "A Therapy For Pain", it's a slow track, it's intense and it's tailored for that kind of song.

Andrew: Is that something that you might play live in the future?

Burton: I think so! I think people will like it.

Andrew: When you came over to do the Demanufacture tour, you played "A Therapy For Pain" which I believe you said was the first time you had played it right?

Burton: That's right. People like it. When we played "A Therapy For Pain", I was looking out into the audience and everybody was almost like in a trance after being bombarded with 'ba-ba-ba-ba' for 50 minutes and then this song slows it down. It's hypnotic, people just get really entranced by it. That's how I see it.

Andrew: Yeah it's a good contrast. You guys touched on the whole Terminator thing way back with "Demanufacture" and it's sort of touched on it again with "Genexus". Did you end up seeing the new Terminator film?

Burton: No I didn't want to, it looked stupid.

Andrew: [laughs] Oh right OK. That's funny as I talked to Dino last year and he saw it and thought it was pretty good so I guess you thought the opposite then.

Burton: Yeah for me the first one was great and then Terminator Salvation was great. I didn't like T2, it had great effects, don't get me wrong. Had great action but the story was just stupid because a Terminator comes back to be a babysitter? Fuck off!




Andrew: [laughs] What's some of your favorite sci-fi movies then?

Burton: I love Star Trek, the original Star Trek, the Star Trek films, Star Wars, Blade Runner. I love all the Godzilla movies. When I was growing up there was always some kind of sci-fi movies on television on a saturday morning that you could watch, or a Friday night movie. I always enjoyed watching those and there's so many great science fiction films that I still enjoy watching and that I still re-watch to this day. But Blade Runner is probably my favorite science fiction film.

Andrew: What did you think of the new Star Wars movie?

Burton: I like it! They didn't re-write the book on Star Wars but J.J. Abrams really grasped what the first 3 were about with a good story and a little hint of humour in it but told with a really good story. It wasn't based on CGI, it was actual sets and just made a good science fiction film. George Lucas lost the plot during the prequel bullshit and ruined it for everybody.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah I know what you mean, it's nice to get the franchise back in the right direction again.

Burton: Yeah he did alright!

Andrew: Last year I had read that you put out a book based on "The Industrialist" album. What was the idea behind that? Where did that idea come from?

Burton: Well "The Industrialist" was a concept and there was a story within the booklet and so I hired an artist who created images to the story so it's a graphic novel. It looks fantastic and it's only available on my website. I might bring a handful to Australia to sell at the shows but I'm almost sold out so I really can't bring many. I really made it a fan item because I only made 500 so it's a very limited count, each of them are numbered and it's really just like a fan item. Like I said it looks first class like a true graphic novel, heavy matte paper, amazing color. It just looks fantastic.

Andrew: I've been meaning to grab a copy of that as I like graphic novels and love some sci-fi stuff and it's cool to see you involved in that.

Burton: You might want to grab one soon online because it's almost sold out!

Andrew: If you do sell out, will there be any plans to bring out more at all and reprint them?

Burton: I don't know, I'm debating that. I'm really debating that so we'll see. I could easily reprint them, it would be a second run of course so we'll see.

Andrew: Is that something that you might get into, to write another one?

Burton: I would, absolutely! I will definitely write another one.

Andrew: Based on another Fear Factory album or a different story?

Burton: I might do a different story but along the lines of what Fear Factory writes about. I might do the continuation of "The Industrialist", maybe just continue the story.

Andrew: Well hopefully you can bring some of those copies out because I'm sure fans will snap it up straight away, very cool idea. Anyway it's good to see you coming back to Australia, we love having you come back here all the time so thanks for your time, it's really appreciated.

Burton: My pleasure Andrew, thank you for calling.


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FEAR FACTORY AUSTRALIAN 'REGENERATOUR' 2016:

Thursday, 2nd June - The Tivoli, Brisbane
Friday, 3rd June - Roundhouse, Sydney
Saturday, 4th June - Prince Of Wales, Melbourne
Tuesday, 7th June - HQ, Adelaide
Wednesday, 8th June - Metropolis, Fremantle

Tickets and tour details can be found at Destroy All Lines.

Check out our other interview with Dino Cazares HERE.


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on April 14th 2016