Fear Factory

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Fear Factory

“Think classic Fear Factory . . .,” smiled the ever-magnetic Burton C. Bell when quizzed about their impending studio album. “This record will have all the elements that Fear Factory fans would expect – focusing heavily on well-crafted songs this time around. In fact, I spent the day doing vocals on some of the tracks.
“We’re working with the incredible Rhys Fulber again [Canadian musician and producer] – he’s such a good guy and an excellent producer. Also, I’d love to be able to tell you the album title but I think we’re going to sit on that a little longer, just to make sure it’s the right one,” he teased.
Fear Factory have become firm favourites around the Forte office, regularly checking in with us whenever they come to town. Last time we caught up with the LA natives they were gearing up to play a very special run of shows, bringing the brilliance of their seminal gold-selling album Demanufacture (coincidentally mixed by Rhys Fulber) back to eager Australian audiences.
“We had so much fun last time – we couldn’t wait to see all you guys again, so we’re coming back for Soundwave. I noticed it’s a pretty cool line up this time; Faith No More, Soundgarden, Lamb of God, Godflesh, Ministry, and I’m loving Monuments, from the UK.
“Unfortunately though, the new record won’t be out till after Soundwave – but definitely expect to hear new songs at the shows,” Bell announced with a grin. Next I ask the question on every fan’s lips: Any side waves planned, Burton? “Not to my knowledge – there are no extra shows scheduled yet, but you never know, there’s still time. We’ll let everyone know as soon as we do.”
These days Fear Factory appear to function like a well-oiled machine – a far cry from the turmoil and in-fighting that led them to implode late last decade. “Absolutely!” Burton agreed. “Dino [Cazares, lead guitar] and I are getting along very well and we’re working together wonderfully. We all are. That goes for Mike [Heller, drums] and Matt [DeVries, bass] too.
“We’re making things happen and we’re excited for the future. For example, I started Fear Factory almost 25 years ago and we’d never been to China . . . we played our first show at a festival in Shanghai just last month – that’s amazing to me.
“Also at the end of November we’ll be in India. We’re playing two shows at the moment, possibly another one. Two places we’ve never been in one year. It’s a great way to start off the next album cycle that’s for sure! It’s incredible – music is the universal language. You can have ten people in one room all speaking different languages, but once the music starts, chances are everyone can sing along.
“As you probably know I’m a huge fan of Australian music, and I’m actually a big fan of the Bee Gees! They had a lot of good songs, a LOT of good songs,” he repeated, defending his answer with a chuckle. “Karnivool is a really good band … INXS is a GREAT band. Shabooh Shoobah is one of my favourite records – that album is just timeless. Beasts of Bourbon, they’re awesome. Tex Perkins is a rad guy.”
When&Where: Soundwave, Melbourne – February 21 & 22
By Natalie Rogers