In an interview with Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell had a few things to say, most notably about 1) a new album, and 2) Roadrunner Records founder Cees Wessels.
On the subject of the album, Burton confirmed that the next Fear Factory album is in the works:
“We have started writing a new record. I’d like to have it out by August and start touring in September. You have to tour right when the record comes out so people know that it is out. So put out a new record and start touring again… let the cycle begin.”
As for Wessels, who’s no longer with the company, Burton isn’t exactly a big fan in retrospect. He recounts the band signing with Roadrunner and how it all turned out:
“I still get royalties. It comes in, but it depends how much we work, how much we tour. If we tour a lot I see better royalties, if we don’t then I don’t. I have no idea when we’ll get the rights back [to our catalog], because that Roadrunner contract is bullshit. I literally signed a deal with a Dutch devil. But when you’re young, you don’t care. You’re 23 years-old and ‘we’re going to give you an advance to make your first record, we’re gonna put you on tour, sell your shirts in all the stores. You are gonna to be famous!’’Alright, make it happen!’ My fucking lawyer too … he gets paid to be a fucking asshole, and I know his name. Fuck him. He’s still around to [sic], but I want to kick him in his nuts.”
Man, I can’t even imagine being a brand-new band starting off these days. I’m very fortunate in that respect. We have a resume, and we started when there was a music industry. It was right before the decline of the industry, we were there. They were still putting money in records, they were still putting money into videos, tours. We were right there before the end. And we saw that decline.
We asked Roadrunner ‘what’s going on?’‘You’re not selling any records.’ ‘That’s not my fault, that’s your fault.’ ‘How is that my fault?’ ‘You didn’t put out the right record.’ ‘Did everybody not put out the right record?’ It was so easy for the label to blame the artist, when it really was the label’s fault. It was every label. I just say Roadrunner because that was what label we were on.”
On the one hand, you can sympathize with Burton’s frustration given how other bands have gotten into spats with labels and it can be difficult for newer bands nowadays. On the other hand, Roadrunner was responsible for helping to put Fear Factory on the map and Burton might not want to burn his bridges if he wants the rights back to the catalog.