In a conversation with Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves) on The Ex-Man podcast, former Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell opened up about his departure from the band in September of 2020.
"Stepping away from Fear Factory was not an easy decision by [any] means," he said. "But what I experienced for the 10 years before that, the lawsuits, the acrimony, that was the one that killed me. And I just had to step away to realize, you know, they can take all this stuff from me — they can take the money, they can take the royalties, they can take the trademark away from me — and I realized that didn't define me. They can take that, but I'm still Burton C. Bell, motherfucker, and whatever I have they can't take. So I'm just kind of moving forward and doing new things."
Those new things include several new projects to keep the creativity brewing. "I feel really good," Bell said. "I've been creative. I've been working on various new projects, just extending my creative abilities outward and onward, not just musically but writing, photography, even extending towards painting and stuff like that — just being fully creative in every possible way. I'm not saying I did nothing for two years but I've been busy for two years as well just moving forward in my life path and my career. And I haven't looked back."
Fear Factory's most recent album is Aggression Continuum, released last June and featuring Bell, guitarist Dino Cazares, and current drummer Mike Heller. The album was completed in 2017, but did not see release until after Bell's departure. Since then, things in Fear Factory remain ambiguous, as Cazares recently explained the mystery surrounding the band's new singer. Saying that it doesn't make any sense to announce a new vocalist with a new song if there's nothing behind it—preferably a tour. Cazares also expressed concern about announcing a new vocalist now, concerned that "everybody's gonna attack" whoever it might be.
Bell, for his part, is trying not to look back in anger.
"Whatever negativity has happened in the past with Fear Factory doesn't even hold up to the amount of positivity that has happened," he said. "If you think about the negative, it can weigh you down so much, but it's not really that much in comparison to what the band achieved, what we created, what we provided to the music world, and for that I'm proud and very happy.
"No one likes to talk to a bitter person at all," Bell added. "Me for one. It's, like, 'Man, just get over it and just move on.' 'Cause holding on to the past doesn't serve me anything, it doesn't serve anybody else anything. Move on and show 'em what you can do from that point forward."