It took them Twenty-five years, but finally Fear Factory are making their way to the African continent, hosted by the legends at Witchdoctor Productions.
With just weeks away from Fear Factory’s debut tour to South Africa, The Metalist za caught up with Burton C. Bell to prepare for the epicness that is to follow and dig a little deeper into the lives of the metal legends that are Fear Factory.
So how are things with you and Fear Factory?
Things are good, we have two more shows on this tour and it’s going really well. I’m excited to take a break for a couple of weeks (laughs)
That’s great, what are you doing on your break?
Uh, I am Mr. Mom (laughs) I’ll go back and take care of my kids for a while.
So tell us, are you excited about coming to South Africa?
I am excited, South Africa has been an enigma for a long time. It’s a place that people have always gone to play, except Fear Factory. I’ve had friends that go there and say it’s amazing, so I’m really excited to get to a continent that I’ve never been to.
What do you hope to do when you’re here?
Uhm, well… What I hope is not going to happen (laughs). We’re just going to be flying in and out, so I won’t be able to go to the beach or anything like that.
Oh that’s terrible! You can’t see the country?! Are you flying out the next day?
Ah no believe me, I want to see the country, but it’s not going to happen, so if I want to do that I have to go there on my own time.
So now tell me, Fear Factory has been around for ages. How do you find the time to keep going? What keeps you going?
Survival (laughs). This is how we survive, this is what supports our families. You know we do this because we would rather do this than anything else. So survival and passion. It’s the passion to continue, continue with music and continue travelling and playing for audiences around the world.
Do you ever feel tired of playing the same old songs, tour after tour?
Uhm…sometimes. It does happen. But you know, each night I go on stage and the vibe is just really really good. You know, the crowd is really excited, they’re amped and singing along and so that really makes it a lot better. You know, me? I have probably played these songs countless times, but the fans? For them, this rarely happens for them so it just excites me every show. So it’s the fans that really make the show happen.
Do you ever have crazy experiences with fans?
(Laughs) Yes, yes I do. I can understand a fan being nervous meeting us, you know I am fan of music and I have my idols as well. I get nervous when I meet my idols or am about to meet my idols. But, they say weird things or do weird things but it’s par for the course. (laughs) You think you have seen it all but then there is something that surprises you and you’re like WOW… okay.
So with you guys being around for such a long time, a lot of bands look up to Fear Factory. Is it in any way a praise or honour for you guys? Or do you still get excited about that?
All of the above. This year in October we’ve been around for twenty-six years. And you know, I feel like I’m a sage in the music business, where I’ve been around for so long and we’ve produced so many albums that we have inspired younger minds and younger artists. We have moved them to create their own art and for me that is a positive aspect of this world. You can help someone create art and that is beauty in this world, to me that is important and that’s what this world means. When people get excited it’s great, it means you’re still doing something right and still doing something positive and something that inspires people to get excited. To me that’s a good sign.
Do you ever think this might end one day?
Everything comes to an end.
Does that scare you a little bit?
No not at all. That’s the way life is. Nothing lasts forever but while you have it enjoy it. I take each day as it comes, as cliché as it sounds, I live for the day. I live each day as something spectacular.
What legacy do you hope Fear Factory will leave behind?
Hmm…legacy…I hope that we’ve left a positive message for musicians, for fans. A long time ago I realised that I have this moment to have my voice heard through my words in my lyrics. So I made a point to make sure that I say something that is poignant and positive. Even in a world that is so messed up, all over the world there are so many messed up things going on, I can write words that can make people feel like they can rise above it. To me that is what’s important.
That’s quite deep actually (laughs)
(Laughs) It has to be deep, you know it can’t be superficial. The deeper it is the more it sticks around I think.
Do you have any last words for South Africans especially?
You know, Fear Factory is very excited to get to South Africa, it’s our first time. Please come out to the shows. Support live music! Support bands that venture all the way around the world to perform for you. Because we are separating ourselves from our families to be with you. So please support live music, support musicians that are making their existence by touring the world. Please support Fear Factory, it is our first time out there, hopefully not our last, but definitely our first. So lets make it a good one!
Thank you so much Burton! Really appreciate it!
My pleasure, great speaking with you too!
You can catch Fear Factory in Johannesburg on June 10th at Bassline and in Capetown, June 11th at The Assembly.
Tickets are available from Quicket:
Interviewed by: Lav Nandlall (more from Lav)
Date: 1 June 2016
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