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Code Orange

Black, Coarse, With Spikes

Posted on February 12, 2008

Before the Fear Factory tour, we decided to give one of our teamers the chance to interview Burton C Bell for the website. Jane Hawkes was the lucky gal, and below you can read her comments on the experience and her interview! Over to Jane… “Arrived at the Academy on a freezing Friday afternoon to be greeted by Byron Stroud chattering with fans that had been stood outside for ages in the cold. I thought this was cool because so many bands ignore their fans these days but he seemed really friendly and down to earth. Same can be said for Burton who was charming and funny from start to finish, it was almost like talking to a mate! Was ushered into a bizarre cell like room to do the interview with what looked like a psychiatrist’s couch to sit on! I even got to see what the band munch on when on tour! Their rider contained amongst other things… Hint of Lime Doritos Copious amounts of Jaffa Cakes Wensleydale with cranberries Enough Tango and Coke to fill a swimming pool! Man those guys must work up a thirst!! I’d like to say thanks to all at the Fear Factory camp for being so nice! Cheers guys!” Interview with Burton. C. Bell 10.12.04 at Manchester Academy What was it like recording Archetype after everything that went on did you feel the whole Dino thing was able to reinvigorate FF? It was a challenge that we were faced with to continue, to take care of business basically so we could continue our career and make the world believe we were still Fear Factory. We were invigorated for many different reasons. Do you see it as learning experience? Trial by fire (laughs). I learned a lot about many different aspects of myself, Fear Factory and the music business. What does it feel like to still after all these years be regarded as groundbreakers of the scene? (Laughs). I take it with a grain of salt. For me, I was influenced by many other bands without which I wouldn’t have been inspired to do what I did in Fear Factory. I think what we did was completely by accident but a lot of times, great adventure comes from a mere accident. When people say we did that I’m like ‘yeah that’s cool’. It’s a good type of recognition. A lot of people ask me the question ‘Do I feel ripped off that a lot of other bands a getting bigger credit?’ Honestly, no I don’t feel ripped off. The fact that Fear Factory are able to influence young minds and inspire young artists to follow suit, to me that’s what art is about, to inspire other talented people. To me that’s better recognition than platinum records, it would be nice, (laughs) but the fact that I will always be with someone in their mind is the best reward. What made you guys decide to re-release Fear is the Mindkiller at this point in time? That was Roadrunner’s idea, they approached us. Of course, they own the masters so they can do whatever they want but they do ask us. They want to know what we think and they allow us to give some input. They wanted to re-master it and make it beefier so we were like ‘OK, lets hear it’ so they did it and it sounded great. They wanted to add a bit more to it with the EP that came out right after so it was worthwhile. It’s cool we have a lot of young fans that had never heard of Fear Factory until Archetype or even Digimortal. So this way, they are able to hear this first actual album by Fear Factory recorded in 1992, and to me that’s killer. In a recent poll of us Roadrunner Teamers, Raymond was voted as being one of the top drummers ever. What do you think he would say about that? (Laughs) He’d be like ‘Cool!’ He has his favourite drummers as well. Pete Sandoval from Morbid Angel is one of his favourites and he really likes the drummer from Panzer Christ right now too. Raymond likes all different types of drummers, not just metal drummers. ‘Back the Fuck Up’ saw you working with B-Real from Cypress Hill. What made you decide to work with him for the song? Fear Factory became good friends with the Cypress Hill camp, B-Real, Sen Dog, Muggs even Bobo. We basically had an extra song and we asked B if he’d be interested in throwing some words down and he was like ‘Yeah lets do it!’ So B-Real and I got together one day in the studio and just kind of went for it and we had a good time. There are some rap artists I like, I’m not really in to hip hop but I like rap, there was some really good rap back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Cypress Hill was definitely ground breaking, B-Real is a great MC. My favourite though is Chuck D from Public Enemy, he is the be all and end all of rappers. Not only did he have a great delivery but he had a great message, and to me that’s what rap is all about. In Kerrang *issue 1033* recently it said Demanufacture and Edgecrusher are 2 songs you should have in a play list of 666 songs. Do you feel they are your best two songs or would you have chosen differently? That’s cool. But I don’t know there’s a lot of different songsí¢ä‰åŒ_ Demanufacture is a good song, Edgecrusher is a good song. I like all of the songsí¢ä‰åŒ_ a lot of the songs I like a lot because they have a different feeling or different message or remind me of a different point in my life. I would pick Demanufacture, that’s a strong title. Edgecrusher I might not have picked. Off that album I might have picked maybeí¢ä‰åŒ_ Freedom or Fire that’s the bastard song on the record! (laughs) Demanufacture is one of those albums that will live for ever kind of like Reign in Blood. When you created this masterpiece did you expect it to have the impact it did? Absolutely not. We were just doing the music we were trying to convey artistically our feelings like ‘This is what we are going through’. It’s a really great description of that time in my life musically and lyrically. Which famous song do you wish you had written? (Laughs) Let me thinkí¢ä‰åŒ_ there’s so many! I’m trying to think of one that would make the most money! (laughs) I guess the first one that came to mind was ‘New Years Day’. What are your opinions of talent shows like Pop Idol? Do you feel these shows are killing music? It’s the same old crap that’s been going on for years on TV. Before American Idol there was Starsearch, before that was Amateur Night. It’s just y’know TV offers nothing new. Once in a while there’s great drama or whatever but usually it’s the same old stuff. People like things like American Idol though it’s entertaining to see the underdog trying to win. That’s what people like to see. Where do you stand on the issue of downloading? I’m kind of on the fence about it. As a fan of music, I love music and I will pay 99c to download a song. As an artist, I feel that my art should not be freeí¢ä‰åŒ_I want fans to realise that when they are downloading for free, they are taking from my mouth. If you want to support your favourite band why do you want to steal from them? Who has the most annoying habits on the road? (Laughs) ME! Well, I’ll start with my hygiene…I mean, it’s not like its bad or anything (laughs) but I rarely take showers, showers at venues scare me! I’ve often wondered what rock stars do when they are not workingí¢ä‰åŒ_ At home, I go to movies and concerts just like everyone else. I’m constantly working on music and I try and stay creative. I write, I walk around the city and I try and find inspiration on a daily basis. As an artist, I think it’s important to keep your eyes open and check out the world around you. Name an item of clothing that best resembles your character? My leather jacket, I’ve had it since high school. It’s black, it’s coarse, it’s a little aged and it’s got some spikes on it that give it a hard edge. It’s comfy and lived in. Y’know, I’ve had it for over 18 years and it still fits!! What are you doing for Christmas? Actually after this tour is over I’m staying in Europe. My girlfriend is flying out and we are staying in Paris for a few nights. Then we’re going to Nuremberg for a couple of days to check out the Christmas markets. Christmas Eve we’re spending in Paris and Christmas Day we fly from Paris to New Orleans for four days because my brother is getting married there on the 27th. Ok, finally, what’s next for Fear Factory? Well this will be the last tour for this album. Christian and Raymond have already started writing new music, so I guess the goal is to have a new record out by festival season!

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