Fear Factory: Burton C. Bell Is Totally Out of the Loop

  • Axl Rosenberg

Jeezy creezy, does this Fear Factory story ever just keep getting weirder and weirder.

To review the chain of events:

  • In 2018, vocalist Burton Seabell said: “Fear Factory has a record done. It’s delivered to the label. We’re just waiting for some legal technicalities [to be sorted out]. And the record’ll be out next year.”
  • A year later, we learned that those “legal technicalities” involved a dispute between Seabell and former FF members Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera. It became clear that there would be no new Fear Factory album released until that dispute was resolved.
  • In April of this year, guitarist Dino Cazares announced that he was launching a new project and actively seeking a vocalist for said project.
  • In May, Cazares told a fan on social media that “I will not ever and I mean never perform [with] or speak to [the other members of Fear Factory] again.” Although his phrasing wasn’t 100% clear, he may have been referring only to Wolbers and Herrera.
  • A week-and-a-half ago, Cazares announced that there would be new Fear Factory music in 2021. He later elaborated, stating that the band needed “help financially to complete” the record. When fans suggested Fear Factory launch a crowdfunding campaign in order to attain that financial help, Cazares seemed hesitant, citing the current state of the coronavirus-infected economy and fans’ own financial hardships as the source of his ambivalence.
  • Nonetheless, on September 11, Fear Factory did launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise $25,000 in order to complete the album.
  • That very same day, Seabell took to Twitter to assert that “I am not part of, nor am I benefiting, from any GoFundMe Campaign.” He later called the campaign a “scam” intended to raise money not for the band, but “for Dino’s legal bills.”
  • Cazares released a statement assuring fans that the campaign is not a scam, asserting that he was basically re-recording the entire record save for Seabell’s vocals: “On the previous version of the album recording, which was completed in 2017, it had programmed drums. I decided to not make that mistake again and had Mike Heller perform live drums on the record. I later realized I needed to re-track guitars and bass to fit better with the live drums. I also decided to add new keyboards from Rhys Fulber and a few other keyboardists. Damien Rainaud took over production duties for all this, and Andy Sneap is also handling the mixing and mastering. They all did an amazing job on ‘Genexus’, and I decided to bring them back for the new album. Burton’s lead vocals, which were also recorded in full in 2017, will remain on the new version of the album.”
  • Cazares also expressed “respect and love” for Seabell, despite the singer bad-mouthing him.

Which brings us to this new interview Aftershocks did with Seabell. Naturally, they asked Seabell what the what has been going on, to which the frontman replied:

 “Well, we finished and delivered a new Fear Factory record in 2017 — mixed, mastered, artwork and everything. Now, we’ll see what [Fear Factory’s label] releases. I have no idea. My focus is [his other project] Ascension of the Watchers.”

This probably goes without saying, but this is all weird as fuck. It seems like Cazares and Seabell agree that Fear Factory completed a new album several years ago… but Cazares decided to make major changes to that album without consulting Seabell. But, like… why didn’t he consult Seabell? Or maybe he did and Seabell disagreed with his feeling that the album still needed additional sprucing up? Or maybe, uh… I dunno… Dino’s e-mail about the new recording sessions went into Burton’s junk box?

You also have to wonder what this means for any future Fear Factory touring. I mean, obviously, there’s not much touring to be done right now anyway. But when there is. Will Seabell be a part of it? Will there be a Fear Factory tour announced that he didn’t even know was happening?

Strange, strange, strange.

You can check out the entire Seabell interview below. Expect lotsa more nutty things to happen before this story officially concludes.


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