Interview - Fear Factory


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Sam: In the lyrics it sounds more like you're going for personal stuff and stuff that's going on in the world right now.
Burton C. Bell: "That's very true, I like to describe them as images of transgression. There's not a continuing story or anything like that on this record, but what there is, is a theme. All like, variations on a theme, that's transgression, so all the songs like '540,000 Degrees Fahrenheit' describes what someone might see and feel being at the center of a nuclear blast because that's the estimated temperature. The song 'Moment Of Impact' describes what someone might be thinking who is in a plane going down to crash, or someone who jumped off a building. Someone who knows exactly when they're about to fuckin' die."
Sam: That's the last track right?
BCB: "That's the last track"
Sam: That's my favorite one on there so far.
BCB: "It's a brutal track, I love that song. My favorite song is 'New Promise', that was loosely influenced by the Terry Schiavo case."
Sam: whoa, really?
BCB: "I take it from the perspective of the husband who is trying to ease his wife's pain...just like...imagine and thinking in that song, the husband whispering into her ear, those words. I promise I'll release you from your pain."
Sam: They made a friggin' circus out of that, it was disgusting.
BCB: "It was disgusting. The song 'Echo Of My Scream' is a personal song, it's basically it's almost like a dream kind of thing. It's almost a union philosophy, but it's like looking at myself and what I used to be and all I see is an echo of my scream."
Sam: I thought that one sounded more like an Ascension Of The Watchers tune than a Fear Factory tune.
BCB: "It sounded like a Pink Floyd song to me, but you know, that's the song they wrote so, that's how it came out. But we've had songs like that alot, you know 'A Therapy For Pain' off of Demanufacture...'Timelessness', you know that's the vibe. So, all these are images of stepping over the line, exceeding boundries, you know, going to the extereme. 'Empty Vision', bascially is, they didn't do it correctly on the spelling, but I wanted the letters M, T, and V capitalized and the rest of the letters lowercase, so it would be, 'eMpTy Vision' is actually MTV."
Sam: Haha, that would've been great.
BCB: "I know, that's how I spelled it out, they fucked up, but it's like fuckin' forget it, it's no big deal. Actually, I think it is that way in the interior of the record but not the outside spine or the back. So that describes how I feel about MTV and like soucres you know? Just a useless waste of mind control."
Sam: I sit through 2 hours of Headbanger's Ball to see maybe 2 or 3 good videos, if they show like Corrosion Of Conformity or something.
BCB: "Headbanger's Ball is bullshit, you know it's one who listens to metal even watches MTV, and they're not even going to watch Headbnger's Ball, it's like 'that's not the metal I want to hear' 'cause it's all fuckin' Avenged bullshit Sevenfold, all that, Fallout Boy what the fuck is that? Fallout Boy, that was fuckin' Millhouse's character"
Sam: Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy...
BCB: "What other songs are on there...Spinal Compression is just, the idea of the weight. Stress and the weight of the stress of the world you might be living in, just weighing down on you. It's just going to fuckin' compress your spine it's so heavy, you know, so, it's the images of transgression. I think my lyrics on this record, I'm very satisfied with them, I think they're some of the best lyrics I've written in awhile."
Sam: I head the "Millenium" cover and figured out Hatebreed totally ripped that riff off from them.
BCB: "Yeah, totally ripped it off, but that's a good song, it's already like a Fear Factory song, already sounded like a Fear Factory song then we did it."
Sam: You went all poppy on the U2 cover though.
BCB: "I didn't think it was that poppy, but I think it's a great song, you know. The whole record itself is a transgression because we were breaking boundries of that we've always done as well. We've done some strange covers in the past, and I think this is no different. If you do a cover, you've got to do it well, doesn't matter if it's pop or metal or folk or country. Johnny Cash took a NIN song, he made it his own, I like that version better than I like the NIN version. Johnny Cash made that his song, so you know, it's just all about breaking boundries."
Sam: You went really clean with the vocals on this one, I didn't hear any of the Napalm Death style going on.
BCB: "Well, 'Moment Of Impact', but why should I really do that again? I'm trying to progress."
Sam: It was really good.
BCB: "It was good, and what I've done is good, and it'll always be that way. But I want to progress, so, to me it's not really interesting, it's not that interesting any more to me."
Sam: Kinda wore it out?
BCB: "Just got tired really. But if I did the Napalm Death vocals, that's not my voice, that's not my style. 'Moment Of Impact', that's my style, that's pretty much that style that's all on Demanufacture, so I've got my own style. 'Soul Of A New Machine', I'll never do vocals like that again, ever, I was just a fuckin' rookie, I was still finding my niche. So, even if I wanted to I couldn't..I could, but I don't want to."
Sam: You guys are coming back in November?
BCB: "Yep, we're going to be headlining and Strapping Young Lad and Soilwork will be opening up."
Sam: You guys recorded other covers that didn't end up on the album right, anything gonna happen with those??
BCB: "They'll come out eventually, we covered Godflesh 'Anthem' that one is probably going to come out at some point, but we're just sitting on it right now. It came out really well."
Sam: What was it like working with Toby Wright?
BCB: "I thought it was really cool. I think it was one of the best recording experiences I've ever had."
Sam: It went more smoothly?
BCB: "No, it was just something that was very different, we'd never done that. I mean I worked with him a month straight with vocals. I mean I had ideas for the songs, but if I'd get stuck or if I didn't have an idea he would come up with it, we'd come up together with a great idea. He's very patient, very creative. He recorded the drums which sound fucking great, he recorded the vocals and he mixed the record. That was another transgression of Fear Factory because we'd never worked with a producer of that caliber or that resume'. We did it because we had the opportunity, and I felt like the time is right, let's do it. In alot of ways, this is our last, to me it's almost like our last chance up at bat. I wanna hit a home run, I want this record to do well, you know? So let's take every step. We've always recorded our own records, and we've done a certain amount, but let's experiment, let's see what happens if we use a producer who has a different ear, who brings in a different perspective. And I think it was very, very successful, I think this record sounds fucking amazing. To me this is sonically one of the best records we've ever done, sonically. It's fucking loud, it sounds good, to me I think it's awesome, but that's how I feel."