We chat to Fear Factory's Burton C Bell ahead of their SA tour

2016-05-20 06:00

Cape Town - US heavy metal band Fear Factory has been tearing up the metal scene since the early 90's, with nine full-length album releases and countless live performances, spanning a career of more than 25 years.
These juggernauts of metal have announced a tour to South Africa in June. Fear Factory will be tearing up Johannesburg and Cape Town on 10 June 2016 and 11 June 2016 respectively.
Channel24 had the opportunity to catch up with frontman Burton C Bell before he makes his way to our shores to hear what he thinks about the metal scene, how the band feels about visiting South Africa for the first time and about being such a big influence in the metal scene.

Check it out here:
Channel24: Fear Factory has been around for more than 25 years now and have been to many countries in that time. Are you excited to visit South Africa for the first time?
Burton: We are absolutely excited to finally play shows in South Africa! It’s like the golden city of Coronado. A mythical place that some of our friends have played but impossible to get to! We can’t wait to see unicorns!

C24: Speaking of visiting for the first time as a band, have any of your members ever been to South Africa (or Africa) in another capacity?
Burton: Only our bassist, Tony Campos, has been to SA with Ministry a couple years ago.
C24: Do you have any plans to do touristy things whilst here?
Burton: Not certain if I’ll have time to be a tourist, but If I do have time, you may find me exploring Johannesburg or Cape town. I’m up for suggestions!
C24: Many successful artists have listed Fear Factory as an influence in their own music. How do you think metal or heavy music has changed since you guys started out?
Burton: Every time a band cites FF as an influence, I always feel as en elder sage. Having that effect on individuals is a positive force in this world.

Metal has changed somewhat. There are definitely more genre’s of metal; too much if you ask me. It makes it harder to find music you do like! The many different genres have separated the metal community in factions, and that has made it "cliquey".


C24: Since you guys have been around for so long, how do you feel your sound has changed over the years, especially with the line-up changes and being the only one to have been consistently part of the group since the beginning?
Burton: The band has definitely evolved over the years, and that is due to our curiosity to explore music and break the boundaries of metal, industrial, electronic music. Sure, a couple times we experimented too much, and inevitably alienated our audience. Lesson learned! We still explore, but we maintain the sound that put FF on the map, and that would be the sounds of Demanufacture / Obsolete. Both albums are praised by fans and they wish to hear more songs like that. So our goal these days is to craft great songs without losing the essence of FF. We will still experiment, but keep it to a couple songs per album.
C24: Of all the shows you've played over the years, has any one in particular stood out as being your absolute favourite show to have ever played?
Burton: I immediately thought of a show in NYC in 1999, during the Obsolete tour. It was a sold out show at the Roseland. About 2000 fans. I was excitedly nervous before the show, more so than ever. Showtime. I walk onstage and the house roars. Seeing all those people, and hearing the joy from their voices, filled me up with so much happiness. It was so overwhelming to me that it nearly made me break out into tears of joy. I had to stop on stage and turn around for a few moments to regain my composure before I could continue.

It was that moment I knew that FF had 'made it'. 
C24: And in that same line of questioning, what is your favourite band / artist to have shared the stage with?
Burton: I have 4 favourite bands/artists that I have been able to share a stage with. Ministry, Godflesh, Gary Numan, and Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath).

I still have yet to share a stage with Nick Cave, Willie Nelson, or SWANS, but I will one day!!!
C24: Do you have a special message for your South African fans before coming to visit us?
Burton: Please support music and artists by attending the shows! We are coming for you! We are travelling to the ends of the earth, away from our loved ones. Please come to the show and show support! Strength in numbers!!! 

We are very excited to finally see our SA fans!

Tour details:

Date: Friday 10 June
Venue: Bassline
Tickets: R580 (Early Bird) / R600 (Regular)

Cape Town
Date: Saturday 11 June
Venue: The Assembly
Tickets: R600 

Tickets are available from Quicket.

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