Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud 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.
On how FEAR FACTORY’s new album, “The Industrialist”, slots neatly next to early FF masterpieces “Demanufacture” and “Obsolete”:
Bell: “It wasn’t our intention to make it sound like those records. One thing that was intentional: before we went into the studio, I discussed with Rhys [Fulber, producer] and I discussed with Dino [Cazares, guitar] that I really wanted to introduce an industrial element back into FEAR FACTORY. For the past few years over the past few records, it seems to have been just glossed over, and for me that was always one of my favourite parts of FEAR FACTORY. So, with that in mind, it was intentional with that mode of thinking. Also, the fact that the title, ‘The Industrialist’, seemed to influence not only the sonic theory but also the conceptual theory as well.”
On “The Industrialist” concept:
Bell: “The twist this time is that, obviously, this time it is from the viewpoint of the machine. The Industrialist is how a machine becomes sentient, and with this new-found knowledge it has found the will to exist, the will to survive. It’s basically teaching other models of its kind, that have become sentient as well, how to survive. How to fight man. How to take down the establishment that man has created. The establishment that is also trying to disassemble them at the same time. So The Industrialist is the protagonist, but it’s also our antagonist. . . It’s all from the viewpoint of the machine, and it’s seeing that man and its faith is flawed. Because man is not a god, man is not a king. Man is only man. This is the mantra that The Industrialist is teaching the other automatons. ‘They’re only men. And they are flawed.’”
On how his personal views affect FEAR FACTORY’s message:
Bell: “All the albums are my thoughts, and they are the story of FEAR FACTORY in a lot of ways. Even though I put them into a third person perspective and try not to make them very personal, it’s still my thoughts so there’s a lot of my own personality throughout FEAR FACTORY. My opinion of religion is never gonna stop. It’s always gonna find its way into my lyrics some way or another. So the lyrics definitely are spawned from my own thoughts and my own beliefs.”
On embracing drum-machine technology completely on “The Industrialist”:
Bell: “Drum software and drum programming has moved so far, beyond just a simple drum machine. It really made the process of writing easier, a lot more efficient, expedited the writing process so quickly. We were able to write with a drum program and not have to kill our drummer. And once it was done, we were like, ‘Oh, man! We should have done this a long time ago!’
“On the past records, we’ve always had a drummer to record, but when does a drummer stop being a drummer? Because everything that person records goes into Pro Tools and it’s fixed perfectly and the sound that was recorded isn’t even used. All the sound is sampled. It basically becomes the program. So we basically eliminated the drummer. And we thought, if we’re gonna do that anyway, let’s just use a drum program. So we did it.”
Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.