FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares, who has yet to publicly reveal the identity of the band’s replacement for Burton C. Bell, spoke about the singer change in a recent interview with El Lado Oscuro. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “The future is gonna be definitely very challenging for sure. Everything is — life is. Every day we wake up can be a new challenge. But it’s how we take on those challenges. And for me, it’s been very positive.
“I’ve had a lot of people around the world contact me regarding the position of singing for FEAR FACTORY, and I look forward to it,” he continued. “I look forward to where this new person can take us — to a different chapter of FEAR FACTORY.”
Regarding what he was looking for in Bell‘s replacement, Cazares said: “I don’t want to get somebody who can’t necessarily represent the past; I want somebody who can do that. But I also want this person to have his own identity moving forward in the future — just as when we have to step into the past that he’s able to handle that as well as what we create moving forward.”
FEAR FACTORY will release the first song featuring the band’s new lead singer prior to the group’s North American tour with STATIC-X. The 37-date “Rise Of The Machine” run, produced by Live Nation, will kick off on February 21 in Portland, Oregon and run over five weeks, wrapping up on April 3 in San Francisco, California.
Cazares told This Day In Metal about his decision to showcase FF‘s new frontman with a new song: “I really want people to hear it and judge it by when they hear it. Because if I announce who it is right now, then it’s gonna be, like, everybody is gonna give their opinion before they even hear anything. So I’d rather people give their opinion of when they hear it than before they hear it.”
This past August, Dino told Bucketlist TV that FEAR FACTORY‘s new frontman has experience and is “kind of known” within the metal scene.
Asked about his previous comment that he was open to hiring a female vocalist for FEAR FACTORY, Dino told Bucketlist TV: “That was true. I auditioned a few women, yes. But it didn’t work out — not because they were female or anything like that. Because I wanted to pick whoever was best for the position, and it turned out to be a guy.”
Dino also addressed his statement from earlier this year that he wanted to give an “unknown guy a shot” at fronting FEAR FACTORY. He said: “Well, it wasn’t like I was only looking for somebody that nobody knew. I was looking for all different [types of singers]. Sure, if the guy turned out to be, or the girl turned out to be, someone that nobody knew and I gave ’em that shot, yeah, great. I was open to all of it, is what I’m saying. Male, female, whatever, known, unknown — I was open to all of that. And it turned out to be somebody who is kind of known, I guess. Kind of known. He does have experience.”
In September 2020, Bell issued a statement officially announcing his departure from FEAR FACTORY, saying that he “cannot align” himself with someone whom he does not trust or respect.
Bell‘s exit from FEAR FACTORY came more than two weeks after Cazares launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist him with the production costs associated with the release of FEAR FACTORY‘s new LP.
Bell later told Kerrang! magazine that his split with FEAR FACTORY was a long time coming. “It’s been on my mind for a while,” he said. “These lawsuits [over the rights to the FEAR FACTORY name] just drained me. The egos. The greed. Not just from bandmembers, but from the attorneys involved. I just lost my love for it.
“With FEAR FACTORY, it’s just constantly been, like, ‘What?!’ You can only take so much. I felt like 30 years was a good run. Those albums I’ve done with FEAR FACTORY will always be out there. I’ll always be part of that. I just felt like it was time to move forward.”
In October 2020, Dino issued a statement in which he said that the door for Burton to come back to FEAR FACTORY wouldn’t “stay open forever.” The guitarist also revealed that Burton “lost his legal rights” to the FEAR FACTORY name “after a long court battle” with drummer Raymond Herrera and bassist Christian Olde Wolbers. “I had the opportunity to do something right, and I felt that obtaining the name in full was the right thing to do for the both of us, so after nearly four years we can continue as FEAR FACTORY, to make more records and to tour,” he said. “That is why it is sad to hear that he decided to quit and, in my opinion, for whatever issues he has it seems like it could’ve been worked out.”
FEAR FACTORY‘s new album, “Aggression Continuum”, was released in June via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP, which was recorded primarily in 2017, features Cazares and Bell alongside drummer Mike Heller. It was produced and engineered by Damien Rainaud (DRAGONFORCE, ONCE HUMAN), with keyboards by Igor Khoroshev (ex-YES), and programming on two songs from longtime collaborator Rhys Fulber (FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY). “Aggression Continuum” was mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, TRIVIUM), who also mixed FEAR FACTORY‘s previous album, 2015’s “Genexus”.