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Burton C. Bell Says He Won’t Be Rejoining Fear Factory: “I’m Done”


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Burton C. Bell has spoken with Kerrang! about “Apocrypha“, the impending new album from his band Ascension Of The Watchers, and his recent publicly announced split from Fear Factory. When asked by the publication if the decision to exit Fear Factory had been on his mind for some time, he replied:

“It’s been on my mind for a while. These lawsuits just drained me. The egos. The greed. Not just from band members, but from the attorneys involved. I just lost my love for it. I’ve been working [intensely] on The Watchers for the last two years. Working with people who I can trust and who I love, and with whom I have grown to find a niche musically definitely pushed me towards it.

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There are a lot of surprises. I’ve had a lot of surprises for the last four years. With Fear Factory, it’s just constantly been like ‘What?!’ You can only take so much. I felt like 30 years was a good run. Those albums I’ve done with Fear Factory will always be out there. I’ll always be part of that. I just felt like it was time to move forward.”

In regards to how he views his 31 year legacy with the band, he offered:

“I’m proud of my legacy. We achieved great things. We made incredible music and left an indelible mark on the music industry and on fans around the globe. We’ve had peaks on top of mountains with our highs and we’ve plumbed the deepest trenches with our lows. There just comes a point where you have to move forward to do more great things with a different band…”

As Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares has indicated, Bell‘s vocal parts will indeed be featured on the band’s forthcoming new album. When asked if he will appear on the record, Bell responded:

“We recorded and delivered an album in 2017. It was written and demoed in late 2016 with Damien Rainaud. In 2017, we recorded. The artwork was finalized. We designed the new Fear Factory logo, as always. The album was delivered to Nuclear Blast, and accepted. We’ve just been waiting for all of these lawsuits to be over for it to come out. So, yeah, I’m supposed to be on it because I recorded all the songs!”

Bell officially quit the band in late September, conveying his unhappiness with the state of the band in his departure. His exit followed the resolution of a lengthy legal battle over Fear Factory‘s trademarks that involved former bandmates Raymond Herrera and Christian Olde Wolbers. Cazares himself was also involved in a separate lawsuit with that aforementioned duo over his share of the trademarks.

Though Cazares managed to gain 100% control of the trademarks in the legal battle, it would appear that Bell, who is said to have previously held a 50% stake, was unhappy with the arrangement and decided to exit.

In the weeks prior to Bell‘s exit Cazares launched this GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for additional studio time and production costs associated with the release of the previously completed Fear Factory album.

Cazares stated that he decided to go back re-track some parts after having Mike Heller come in and record live drums for the record—a decision which led to additional production costs.

Originally unveiled by Bell several years back as “Monolith“, Cazares has indicated recently on social media that the upcoming album may arrive under a different title. It is tentatively expected out in March.

While Cazares has also publicly stated that he is open to Bell returning to the fold, he has also cautioned that offer is only valid for a limited time. Should Bell not decide to come back, Cazares intends to replace him with another vocalist. Speaking with Kerrang! in the interview mentioned above on the prospect of ever returning to Fear Factory, Bell responded:

“I’m done. I haven’t spoken to Dino in three years. I haven’t spoken to Raymond and Christian in longer than that, and I have no intention to. I’m just moving forward with my life.”

Ascension Of The Watchers‘ new album “Apocrypha” will be out this Friday, October 09th.

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