Former FEAR FACTORY singer Burton C. Bell and his ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS bandmate Jayce Lewis took part in a Facebook Live chat yesterday (Friday, January 14) on the official ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS page. You can now watch the question-and-answer session below.
When asked if he identifies more with melodic or aggressive vocals, Bell said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "For me, it's all about… It's not a preference. It's all about vocalizing for feeling and vocalizing a moment and capturing those harmonies that I hear in the music and trying to emulate them with my voice. Believe it or not, I can hear harmonies in chunky riffs — I can hear harmonies and I hear melodies in my head. Now, for me, when I do the heavy voice, I'm not screaming; I'm vocalizing. Like a pastor or a preacher, he orates loudly and distinctly to his followers that he's trying to convey a message passionately, and that's what I'm doing. I'm not screaming — I am orating the message out passionately and as succinctly as possible. And depending on where I am in the song or what the harmony's doing, what the melody is calling to me, that's what I'll do. I love singing — I love harmonies, I love singing, I love the heavy vocal. To me, it's all harmonics, and it just depends on what the song calls for. And I'll be doing both as long as I can."
Speaking about his singing technique when it comes to switching between styles, Bell said: "When I started off, I never had any type of vocal lesson or [training] at all. I was doing what I felt; I was doing what I wanted to get out of myself, to release. And the only instruction I had in the very beginning was learning how to breathe. So lung power, diaphragm power was the key. And I didn't really think about having to switch over; it was just like that. [Snaps fingers] I did it without thinking. I don't know how to explain it. It's just one of those things. It's like turning off and on a switch."
In September 2020, Bellissued 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 guitarist Dino Cazares launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist him with the production costs associated with the release of FEAR FACTORY's long-awaited new LP, "Aggression Continuum".
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."
Pressed about whether there is any chance of a reconciliation with FEAR FACTORY down the line, Burton said: "I'm done. I haven't spoken to Dino in three years. I haven't spoken to Raymond [Herrera, drums] and Christian [Olde Wolbers, bass] in longer than that, and I have no intention to. I'm just moving forward with my life."
FEAR FACTORY's fundraising campaign marked the first public activity from the band since it completed a 2016 U.S. headlining tour on which it performed its classic second album, "Demanufacture", in its entirety.
"Aggression Continuum" was released in June 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Bell's ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS project released its second full-length album, "Apocrypha", in October 2020 via Dissonance Productions.