April 8, 2024

In a new interview with Australia's New Breed TV, FEAR FACTORY's new frontman Milo Silvestro spoke about the way he approaches his singing as the replacement for the band's original vocalist Burton C. Bell. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I would say a bad clean singing, especially with those high notes, can do more damage to your cords than a good screaming. Because if you have a good screaming technique, growling technique, you're using it properly. So what I do, which is what Burt did, it's like a mixed sound between false cord, fry scream and shouting. So you use a little bit of vocal cords, false cords… Burt was probably one of the first in that era. It was a vibe back then, like Robb [Flynn] from MACHINE HEAD, Phil [Anselmo] from PANTERA, of course — they had that tonal kind of scream. You could hear the note, but wasn't like a normal singing; it was rough. But Burt had his own unique way to do that. And I've always been a lot inspired by him, but when I got the gig, I went back and studied his vocal style even more to make sure that all those nuances were there. Like, my scream before FEAR FACTORY was way more guttural-ish. I'm a lot inspired by singers like Dez [Fafara] from COAL CHAMBER, Jonny [Santos] from SPINESHANK, Wayne [Static] from STATIC-X, which they have way more like a raspy guttural [approach]. But Burt was more gutty — he used a lot of guts, a lot of energy. And so I went back and studied that approach."

Elaborating on some of the other aspects of his singing technique, Milo said: "I would say another thing that I worked on while studying properly Burt's style is not just the the way you make the sound, actually create the sound, but also the way you pronounce words.

"At first, Dino [Cazares, FEAR FACTORY guitarist] wanted me to have some pronunciation coach lessons, because he was, like, 'Your English is good, but I want to make sure there is no imperfection. You have to sound as native as possible, because, of course, you're from an L.A. famous band, you have to sound as American as possible. So, I kind of have an American sound because of my parents; they raised me on American music."

Last December, Milo addressed the fact that a lot of people think he sounds very similar to Bell, telling RichardMetalFan: "Yeah, either if they mean it in a good or in a bad way, for me, it's a compliment, because first of all, Burt is my idol and I love him, I love his artistic job and legacy as a vocalist. And second, I'm singing for a band that it's iconic, and everything in FEAR FACTORY's sound — guitar, vocals, the synthesizer, the drums, the bass — everything is iconic. If you could listen to FEAR FACTORY stems, the separated tracks, you know that's the FEAR FACTORY guitar, you know that's FEAR FACTORY vocals. Everything is so iconic about FEAR FACTORY. And I think, and Dino thinks also, that if you need to replace such an iconic singer, you have to nail the style. So it's not that I want to sound like Burt just because I like Burt and I want to — like some people say in a more hateful way — be a Burt copycat, which to me is still a compliment, by the way. I mean, it is what it is. They miss him and I get it. But it is what it is. There are people that enjoy having FEAR FACTORY moving on with a new guy."

He continued: "The thing is it's not that I want to be Burt copycat, but it's a matter of nailing the style. It's like if you came to filling in for, let's say, for Dino, for such an iconic guitar tone and playing style, of course you're gonna use his sound, his guitar, his pickups. You wanna create that tone. And the same thing goes with vocals. Dino was sending me a cappellas during the audition process. He sent me a cappellas from [the songs] 'Resurrection' and 'Timelessness'. And he's, like, 'I'm gonna send you a cappellas.' And I'm, like, 'Oh, okay, cool. What am I supposed to do with them?' And he was, like, 'Just listen and study his style.' Because, of course, he started to hit me up because he noticed that I have studied [Burt's] style, but he wanted me to study even more, like you have to nail it, not just sounding like him, but having his nuances, his leaks. Burt has a lot of leaks, a lot of typical Burt leaks and things he did with melodies and his voice, even the slide-off notes you hear in the records, that's all part of his sound. The beauty of his vocal is that he wasn't super precise and technical, but it was true, though. It had soul, and you have to nail that soul, not just with the technical aspect, but with the emotional aspect. You have to feel what he's singing. I think that's the very most hard, difficult part about singing FEAR FACTORY. You have to sing with that passion and that soul. And that's something that you can study as well. And I think that's the reason why — and I'm really glad that people are saying that — but that's the reason why people are noticing this similarity with Burt's voice. We don't have very similar voice when we talk, but we're baritones, so that, of course, that matters because you wanna pick up a guy that has the same vocal range. And I went through a lot — I studied surgically all his nuances on the records and with those a cappellas. So, I guess that's the reason why. I really studied his style because that's what I was asked to do, of course. And I think that is perfectly right and fair because you wanna pay justice to the vocal legacy of this band. You don't wanna just throw a completely different vocal style."

In October, FEAR FACTORY kicked off a European headlining tour with support from BUTCHER BABIES from the USA and IGNEA from Ukraine. The 44-date trek marked FEAR FACTORY's first European shows since 2016.

FEAR FACTORY and MACHINE HEAD joined forces for the "Slaughter The Martour North America 2024" tour in January and February. Additional support on the trek came from Sweden's ORBIT CULTURE and Louisville, Kentucky's GATES TO HELL.

Dino recently confirmed plans for FEAR FACTORY to make a new studio album in 2024. The effort will mark FEAR FACTORY's recording debut with the Italian-born Silvestro, whose addition to FEAR FACTORY was officially announced in February 2023.

FEAR FACTORY played its first headlining concert with Silvestro and touring drummer Pete Webber on May 5, 2023 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

Earlier last year, FEAR FACTORY completed the "Rise Of The Machine" U.S. tour as the support act for STATIC-X marked the Cazares-led outfit's first run of shows with Silvestro and Webber.

Webber has been filling in for FEAR FACTORY's longtime drummer Mike Heller who is unable to play with the band due to "scheduling conflicts."

Image courtesy of IFM RAW

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