Dino Cazares Explains How He Got 100% Ownership of Fear Factory Name
Dino Cazares has been a bit coy about how exactly he acquired 100% ownership of the Fear Factory name, which he revealed to us in our exclusive interview last week but then declined to elaborate. Citing his respect for now-former vocalist Burton Seabell’s privacy, he told us simply that “The name became available, and I got it” over the course of the litigation that consumed Cazares, Seabell and former members Raymond Herrera and Christian Olde-Wolbers for the past few years.
But now, following Seabell’s sudden departure from the band earlier this week, leave it to Machine Head’s Robb Flynn — who hosted Cazares on his No Fucking Regrets podcast — to cajole something approaching a complete explanation out of Dino.
After again stating that “Burton‘s trademark ownership became available so I ended up purchasing [it],” Dino at first demurred, saying, “I don’t want to get into the gory details. I don’t want to have to throw anybody under the bus,” telling fans to “Google it” if they want to know everything (we tried. it’s not there). Cazares also said that “for anybody who decides to lie in the court of law when you’re under oath, not a good idea,” implying Burton didn’t get the outcome he desired from the legal proceedings.
Later, Flynn pressed again, and after detailing the history of ownership of Fear Factory over the years, Dino finally offered a nugget about the latest development in ownership:
“So 2002, I was out of the band and then fast-forward to 2011, I came back in the band in 2009 and then 2011 we did a contract with each other that after we pay Raymond and Christian x amount of dollars, that Burton and I would own the [Fear Factory] name. So the trademark became two halves, my half and Burt‘s half.
“And so then all these others court proceedings happened over the years and Burt lost the other half and so I purchased it. That’s basically the gist of it.”
And there it is: “Burt lost the other half and so I purchased it.” Our best guess is that Dino is saying Burton lost the suit brought by Herrera and Olde-Wolbers’, after which Dino stepped in to either purchase the rights Herrera and Olde-Wolbers had just won, or lent money directly to Burton to cover it in exchange for the rights to Fear Factory.
Burton’s case, mind you, was more complicated than the one brought by those same two ex-members against Dino: there was also a bankruptcy filing involved and allegations that Herrera and Olde-Wolbers weren’t paid money due to them as a result of a 2011 contract cutting them in to a share of revenue (which Dino mentions in the quote above). In 2015, Bell was ordered to pay a total of $905,605.41 in damages and legal fees, so it’s easy to imagine how that — on top of whatever came later — could have put him in a hole too deep to escape, leaving no other option but to sell.
Where that leaves us is that Dino now has 100% of the rights to Fear Factory’s name and Seabell just quit the band but an album with his vocals on it will be released anyway. It’s odd, to be sure. Dino, for his part, is leaving open the possibility of Burton’s return:
“I look at it this way, you know what? I finally got it [the trademark rights], let’s get to work. That’s just my attitude. Let’s get to work, go back to there, make some record that the fans want to hear. The classic Fear Factory stuff you know?
“We got a great record coming out next year. It’s too bad that he decided not to stick around, but the door is open for him. So whenever he decides to get past whatever his issues are, I’ll be here waiting. But I can’t wait too long, because when things start opening up, I gotta get back out there and work.
“I gotta do what every other band does, they gotta move on. So for the meantime, the door is open for him.”
You can watch the whole chat between Dino and Robb Flynn below.