Fear Factory are legendary. They do stuff with guitars and noise that made people I like want to do the same stuff. That's where my connection to Fear Factory began and up until chatting to Burton C. Bell I thought that was where it ended - it's not though. So like an elephant on a tightrope I proceed to make myself look like a right dick in the following interview but Burton had fun... I think.
Mr Burton, I reckon you've got yourself a few political songs, the Industrialist being one, why corner yourself off like that? Most people write about their ex.
Political? I would disagree. I think it's social. There's a huge difference between political and social ideas. Political really touches upon certain party, different party, ideologies while social is the entire mass of how it affects the civilisation and people and general, but I'm not talking about class warfare - that's the difference between me. Plus, I hold no political affiliation either so I wouldn't say it's political at all.
So I don't look like a complete dick getting that wrong, what political ideas light you up?
Ever since the very beginning, I grew up on Punk rock and for me, Punk rock is anti-establishment and for me, I continue that anti-establishment type of mentality. It's a look at how the machine, the corrupt government, the corrupt governments of the world affect humanity and the social structure and people in general and so it affects me as well so as a member of society I get angry at how injustices are just running an epic.
My core ideas are: Government corruption, authoritarian corruption and abuse and the brain washing of civilisation through education and control.
You reckon people only like you because you fill a need sing to that 'I hate the government' tune that a lot of people seem to be into these days?
Some might, not all fans do, some fans might just listen to it for the music and the melodies, the vocal melodies, a lot of fans do a lot of fans do take what I'm saying, they read the lyrics, and they take it to heart and they understand it and that's why some fans really like the music as well. Because the vocals are just as caustic as the music itself.
Is music more important now in helping people be understood?
I really hope so, that's something I really focus on I have this moment in time where my voice is heard and I'm not going to waste it on banality, I'm going to write about things that are important and that I feel are important and hopefully others can understand what I'm writing about and take it to heart.
You've been in the band since 1990 - are you still motivated by the chicks and free booze or has that changed?
No [not motivated by chicks and free booze], the reasons probably [have stayed the same], yes. But the motivation is always there. I'm an artist, I always have been. There's the need to create and the need to survive. If I can survive off creation then that motivation drives me more. The fact that I have three children to support, that motivation to continue working and the creative elements to make my music drives me 300x more.
I'm still able to write music and people are still interested in hearing Fear Factory.
You've influenced some of the bands that I love, like Slipknot, these days, what do you think a band needs to ensure longevity?
Just persist, consistently work. Consistently put out albums that people are drawn to and that people want to hear and introduce your music to new fans which means touring to a wider audience and touring with different style bands and getting out there. That's what it takes, y'know. Delivering music that you can't find anywhere else. Fear Factory created a stamp on its music a long time ago and you hear a Fear Factory song for the first time and you go 'wow that is a fear factory song'. Some bands have that as well, you hear an Iron Maiden song for the first time and you know it's an Iron Maiden song or a Metallica song or a Slayer song, bands set their stamp, their identity in place. This is our identity and people are drawn to it.
The challenge is always to out do yourself or to come up to where normal Fear Factory standards and it's always a challenge and it's challenge we strive for and it's a challenge that makes it worthwhile. We don't do things because it's easy, we do things because it's challenge and so to rise to the occasion is one of the reasons that we do it. There are a lot of other bands out there that have been inspired by Fear Factory and have an element of FF and that's fine, I'm happy and honoured that my band was able to influence another artist to create and that's a positive thing in this world. Always try to write things that could inspire another artist.
Speaking of Slipknot, Corey Taylor is my God (well, one of them) you're someone's God, does being God come with any pressure?
Haha no, I don't feel pressure. Maybe the pressure is that we want to create something where we don't let our fans down. I create for myself first and foremost but in the long run it's for the fans so you want to release something that you're proud of but that you know your fans will also enjoy so there is a challenge and there is pressure to do that. Is there pressure feeling like I'm an idol? No, because I'm still myself and I don't consider myself an idol. I know I've contributed to the music community in positive ways but the best thing to do is when you meet someone I'm always open and sincere, like I always am, and when they see me and they meet me they realise 'wow you're pretty cool' and I'm like well, y'know [laughs] that's the way it is.
Got any Gods (or Goddesses) yourself?
Heck yeah, I still have fanboy experiences and when I have the opportunity to meet one of my heroes or an artist that's influenced me, I feel completely humbled and I become a fanboy and it's not even like I become myself anymore. I try to hold my composure and try not to geek out. When I meet the artists that I've been fans of and they're cool to me it means a lot to me so I try to emulate the way they've treated me and if they've treated me in a really cool and respectable way, that's the way I should be.
Thanks dude, hope to see you soon.
Yeah, we'd really love to get over to NZ.
You've just been announced for WestFest straight after Soundwave.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The 4-piece genre-melders Hellions are getting ready for their biggest Australian headline show yet. The tour will be taking place this May and stopping off in all the major cities; Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
It howls. It's grindingly beautiful. It's dangerously sentient. It’s The Sisters of Mercy returning to Australia and New Zealand this October and November. Due to demand, The Sisters Of Mercy will be adding Perth, Adelaide and Auckland to their tour in 2019.
Who Loves NZ The Most? Following a Sold-Out Winter Tour in 2018, Kiwi icon's The Jordan Luck Band today announce their massive 19 date New Zealand Winter(ish) Tour. Trekking the whole country; the massive NZ tour begins the last weekend of April with shows through to late June 2019.
Psychedelic heavyweight Earthless have announce their supporting acts for their Australia/New Zealand tour. The support line up is heady and heavy, meaning that each show is going to be stuffed with rock n roll greatness.
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.