Fear FactoryKevin Estrada

Dino Cazares Discusses Burton C. Bell’s Departure From Fear Factory, Says The Door Will Remain Open For Him For A Limited Time


Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares appeared on Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn‘s ‘No Fucking’ Regrets With Robb Flynn‘ podcast yesterday, September 28th, just after frontman Burton C. Bell announced his departure from the band. Cazares himself recently announced that he had won a lawsuit filed against him by the band’s former drummer Raymond Herrera and bassist Christian Olde Wolbers over the Fear Factory trademarks.

That battle left Cazares as the sole owner of the band’s trademarks, which was previously shared 50/50 with Bell. Cazares has clarified in the past that there was no direct litigation between Bell and himself during the various legal proceedings.

Apparent tensions over the verdict began to emerge in the public when Bell recently publicly denounced Cazares‘s ongoing GoFundMe campaign to finish a Fear Factory album which the pair had originally recorded back in 2017.

According Cazares the funds for that campaign will go toward the recording of actual drums to replace the originally programmed drum tracks, as well as the added costs of Cazares re-tracking the guitars and bass and the production and special guests that have since been added.

In his exit statement yesterday, Bell made clear that he was unhappy, offering in-part:

“The past several years have been profoundly agonizing, with these members bleeding my passion with depraved deceit. As a direct consequence of their greed, these three have dragged me through the unjust, judicial system, resulting in the legal attrition that has financially crippled me.

In the end, these three members have taken possession of my principal livelihood. However, they will never take my 30-year legacy as the beating heart of the machine. A legacy that no other member, past or present, can ever claim.”

Addressing the matter to Flynn on the below podcast, Cazares offered,  “Today our singer for the past thirty years decided to leave the band. But he released a statement, it’s all over everywhere.” When asked if he had any advance warning of Bell‘s intentions, Cazares replied “no, [I] found out via social media.” Speaking further on the matter, Cazares offered:

“I don’t really want to get into what it says, really, because a lot of it’s just a lot of nonsense. He doesn’t—what I noticed—is that he doesn’t take responsibility for all the legal actions went down. As you know, most people know that we were in a legal battle for the last three plus years trying to sort out this Fear Factory name situation.

And him and I were sued separately in separate courts… Not jointly, separately. [They were filed by] the other two ex-members [Raymond Hererra & Christian Olde Wolbers], which led to me and Burton going bankrupt in separate counties, separate states. I live in California, he’s out there in Pennsylvania.

And so… for anybody who decides to lie in the court of law when you’re under oath, not a good idea. That’s all I can say. I ended up… the name came available. Burton‘s trademark ownership became available so I ended up purchasing [it]. I don’t want to get into the gory details. I don’t want to have to throw anybody under the bus.

But if anybody wants to see the truth, they can go and Google the paperwork, Google our names and you’ll find it. It’s all there, it’s all black & white and you can see what happened and how it all transpired.”

He later continued:

“…Sometimes you don’t like to hear about the band drama and all that but some people decide to talk about it in public in that way. Or some people decide not to. But really, sometimes, you kinda have to hear it because people have to defend themselves from other band members that are trying to paint a negative picture about you.

So you kinda gotta defend yourself. So unfortunately you have no choice but to put it out there and say the truth. You have to defend yourself. So for me, Burt announcing that he’s leaving the band and a lot of the things that he said in his announcement, all I can say is go look up the public court record and there you will find the truth of how all this transpired.

Now for me, I didn’t want him to leave the band. I wanted him to stay in the band and let’s continue and lets go work, that’s how I look at it. We got a record that’s coming out, next year. And when the touring opens up, let’s get out there and work.

That’s my whole thing, it was like ‘Ok, I got the name, let’s go work.’ What’s gonna change? nothing would change. The only thing that changed was the person who owned it. That’s it. That’s how I look at it.”

When asked who previously owned the Fear Factory trademark, Cazares clarified that both he and Bell shared it prior. Cazares then stated:

“And years before that, it was all four of us [Bell, Cazares, Herrera and Wolbers]. At one point, it was all four of us. My friend Robert Murray… he’s the one who initially came up with the name Fear Factory way back in 1990.

And he sold it to me and I bought it and then when the first record came out, “Soul Of A New Machine“, we started the corporation and we split it three ways, me, Raymond and Burt. And then back on “Obsolete“, back in 1998, we ended up bringing Christian onboard and then was all four members who owned a quarter of the trademark.”

When Flynn mentioned that it was odd for the band to bring Wolbers in as an equal share partner after “Demanufacture” had already hit, Cazares explained:

“During the ‘Demanufacture‘ touring, Christian came in and he basically showed that he can handle being on the road for two years in a row… And so when Christian was in the band he lasted through all that and he could hang with the band. Because there are some guys, the minute you take them away from home they can’t handle it. Some people can’t handle being away that long.

So he made it and so during “Obsolete” we decided to bring him in as a full-fledged member, owning a quarter of the name, of the [Fear Factory] trademark.”

So 2002, I was out of the band and then fast-forward to 2011, I came back in the band in 2009 and then 2011 we did a contract with each other that after we pay Raymond and Christian x amount of dollars, that Burton and I would own the [Fear Factory] name. So the trademark became two halves, my half and Burt‘s half.

And so then all these others court proceedings happened over the years and Burt lost the other half and so I purchased it. That’s basically the gist of it.”

He continued:

“I look at it this way, you know what? I finally got it [the trademark rights], let’s get to work. That’s just my attitude. Let’s get to work, go back to there, make some record that the fans want to hear. The classic Fear Factory stuff you know?

We got a great record coming out next year. It’s too bad that he decided not to stick around, but the door is open for him. So whenever he decides to get past whatever his issues are, I’ll be here waiting. But I can’t wait too long, because when things start opening up, I gotta get back out there and work.

I gotta do what every other band does, they gotta move on. So for the meantime, the door is open for him.”

When asked if Bell‘s vocals will still appear on the band’s nearly completed new album, Cazares confirmed they would, offering that Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament) is mixing the record at the moment. He went on to say that they are shooting for a March release date via Nuclear Blast for the effort.

Cazares also once again stated that he and Bell have yet to establish communication in over a year and that while Cazares reached out, Bell did not reply. Cazares offered of that:

“We don’t have a perfect relationship, not a lot of bands do… Again, I want to put this record out, get back to work like everybody else. Get out there and tour, hopefully he’ll get past that, whatever he’s going through and we can do it. But if not, if not, and he still chooses to not be in the band, then I gotta earn a living, you know what I mean?”

He went on to say:

“You know it’s sad right now, maybe for some people. But I kinda saw this coming when he… during his whole court proceedings to the end, he kind of just went super private. [He] didn’t want to return anybody’s texts, emails, you know.

So I kinda got the message that maybe he was going through some shit and that he needed some time. It’s not the first time he’s done that. He’s done it in the past as well. Way back in 2011 we were doing a record called “The Industrialist” and he kind of just disappeared and he was working on one of his other projects at the time.

I’m into giving people their space. I get it. It’s been thirty years, we’re on the same bus together for 24 hours a day and some people when they get home, they just want to go… and do their own thing, they need to get away from you for a little while.”

If you’re unaware, Bell‘s involvement in the legal proceedings were seemingly a bit more complicated than Cazares‘, as they involved bankruptcy, settlements and more.

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