Fear Factory

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Fear Factory


“Pretty much everything they want to hear we already play,” says frontman Burton C. Bell. “[We play] songs pretty much from every album – except Transgression.”


Released in 2005, Transgression is an outlier in the Fear Factory catalogue. It was one of two albums made during guitarist Dino Cazares’ seven-year absence from the band, and the title reflects Bell’s creative ambitions for the record. “It’s a transgression against Fear Factory. So what’s a transgression? Go against what you normally do,” he says. “It’s a rock album, and our fans just didn’t get it. But a lot of people do like that record. A lot of people had never heard Fear Factory and they heard that record and they liked it. It’s a rock record, and we were trying different things. So it’s a transgression against Fear Factory – against the normal sound that our fans are accustomed to.”


The line-up of Fear Factory has changed numerous times over the years, with Bell the only member to appear on each album. For him, every record has creative value – all of the various experiments with genre and production have expanded their arsenal and given them something to respond to when moving forward. “Each album is a time capsule of what I was feeling or what I was thinking or what we were going through,” Bell says. “Every album represents a certain time period of our career, of our lives.”


Genexus came out last August, and it’s the third album made since Cazares returned to the band. Fear Factory have been around for over 20 years, making nine records overall. For Bell, there’s one primary element that drives the creation of new material. “Survival. You’ve got to keep producing albums, you’ve got to keep touring. In a world culture
that has developed into even faster than Depeche Mode – you know Depeche Mode’s ‘Fast Fashion’. Everything is much quicker. Everyone’s attention is shortened. So you have to keep on going out there so that people don’t forget, because they will. Fear Factory’s always done records every three years. “We wish to continue being musicians and to continue doing that you’ve just got to keep working. So we put out an album and then tour for two years and then go and write and record a new one.”


With the exception of Transgression, the band have approached each record with the intention to make the perfect Fear Factory album – something that demonstrates all of their strengths at once. This was especially the case with Genexus. “This is a record that we actually researched ourselves and had to relearn what was the best part to Fear Factory. What do the fans like? What are the songs that go off live? [The plan was to] basically become reacquainted with ourselves and go from there. Writing this record was a long process. It took a while, but I think we did it right. A lot of fans love this record.”


For much of their existence, Bell and Cazares have been the band’s creative nucleus – taking charge of all the songwriting and overseeing the recording process. The strength of their creative partnership depends on sharing a lot of core aims, but things can become rather tense on occasion. “We’re human and we don’t always see eye-to-eye. But we’ve known each other for 26 years 
so we communicate. We understand each other’s strengths and each other’s weaknesses and we appreciate that and we go with that. But any creative team – artistic or professional – they’re all butting heads at some point, because people are going to disagree. But you work through it and you figure out a solution.”


The results of this collaborative to-and-fro have long resonated with Australian listeners. “For some reason Australia really just opened its arms for Fear Factory and understood the nature and the music and the concepts from the very early days. We’ve toured there so much that we’ve even done small tours – grass roots, playing tiny little places everywhere, building up a following. The fact that we keep coming back; our followers have grown and have kids now. We’re like a staple metal band down in Australia.” 



Genexus is out now through Nuclear Blast. For more details, head fearfactory.com.