Interview logs: Burton C Bell

Hello gang! 

We are on the roll! Day three of our interview logs brings you the master of the machines: Mr Burton C Bell. The voice of City of Fire and Fear Factory has been interviewed by members of City of Fire Face Book fan group right in the middle of  e-campain to collect the funds for the band’s second album “Trial through fire”. Malicia, a mastermind behind the whole project, gathered the questions and then submitted them to Burton through email. Some time later, we received the answers and this is the final result!

Cover of “Trial by Fire”, the second album of Canadian rockers, City of Fire

City of Fire – fan interview with Burton C Bell

Burton C Bell, the voice of Fear Factory and City of Fire, is a very busy man. In recent months, he and the rest of the band dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to secure founding of their second album. They teamed up with Pledge Music to launch an online campaign that allowed fans to finance the release. As City of Fire is now preparing to finally enter the studio, Burton was kind enough to answer several questions from the fans:

1. Question asked by Daniel Stevenson: Is City Of Fire going to be your full time band now? Or are you going to continue playing in both City Of Fire and Fear Factory?

Burton C Bell: City of Fire is a great band to be a part of. So is Fear Factory. Why do one or the other? I can do both, with a lot of inspiration, hard work and determination, and scheduling, I can make them both work.

2. Question asked by Rita Dabrowicz: Imagine that you can play one song with your favorite musicians: what song would you choose, where would you play it and who’s in your band?

Burton C Bell: Please allow me to have a bit more thought into this scenario. So many beautiful songs and so many heroes.

3. Question asked by Angela Smith: I’m seeing a lot of bands, these days, creating albums with “themes” (FF has proven this with their albums) and I’m curious to know if there will be a theme for the forthcoming City of Fire album? Meaning, is the inspiration for the songs being written centered around anything particular going on in the world and/or personal lives?

Burton C Bell: The new City of Fire album will not have an official theme through out, however; there will be relativity in all the songs. We have all been through many stresses and setbacks there (including the entire world). I have always written close to the heart. To poetically relay the passions of my heart, the thoughts on my mind, and the strain on my soul. This is true for the new COF album.

Page 1 of the Interview. Image used with permission

4. Question asked by David J Mazur: What does the song “On the River” truly means to you?

Burton C Bell: This is a very personal question. The song came about through a sensation of enlightenment I experienced one day as I was strumming the music to the song that became “On the River”. As I was sitting in my room with a view of the Susquehanna River in summer, the late day sun was angled on the rolling river in such a way as to glimmer like gold in my eyes. It is difficult o explain a moment of Gnosticism. It is something that penetrates your entire being. At that moment of ecstasy, I could feel the oneness with my surroundings. I felt a presence of something much greater than life itself, an intense love of being.

5. Question asked by Daniel Garcia: We know you’re a good lyricist and also a good writer; you developed a full concept on “Obsolete” album for example. Have you thought on releasing a novel or write small stories on a blog, website or something like that?

Burton C Bell: I have always wanted to be a writer. I do have plans to release a book of all the lyrics I have written, including all the “stories” behind “Demanufacture” through “Digimortal”. I am also looking into releasing my own book of photographs. I have stories and essays outside everything else that I have to complete. So yes, one day, I will reach all my goals.

6. Question by Malicia Dabrowicz:  I was wondering about your fascination with the element of fire. Five of Fear Factory songs refer to the act of self immolation. You took the photo of  “a burning” tree from the cover of Ascension of  The Watchers album. Your third project is called City of Fire. Some songs of COF recall mythological figures linked with fire: Phoenix in “Rising” and Prometheus in “Prometheus Unbound”. Is there something behind all those fiery ideas?

Interview page 2, image used with permission

Burton C Bell: I am fascinated with fire, so much to the point of being a pyromaniac. Since I am water/air sign, fire stirs my soul. I see it as a life saver and a life taker. The ability to harness nature within your fingertips, and how a simple action can also destroy nature. Fire is inspirational, mystical, useful. It soothes me and frightens me. I see life as a burning flame.

7. Question by Sandra (aka WormGirl): In “Hollow Land” you wrote: “Lost in her thoughts I was in Hell”. What does “hell” mean to you? Is that fear you refer to in this song? Fear of what?

Burton C Bell: To me, life as we live it, is a physical hell. Heaven is what we dream of for the hereafter. Hell is any place that causes grief, anxiety, loathing, fear….Feeling and being lost is a hell in itself. The fear that uncertainty and worry, unease and doubt creates can be interpreted as hell. To be lost and bound inside the fear of another’s mind? That sounds like a hell to me.

The Pledge Music project is still ongoing. Though the band is now at 194%, please keep in mind this is a set amount estimated by Pledge Music based on band’s Twitter and Facebook followers. Every bit collected will be spent on making the next record. If you’d like to pledge in support of the album, please visit the band’s official Pledge Music site:

Thank you again!


You can see the whole PDF by clicking on this link:

As with the other interviews. Please do not use, re-post, make screens and post anywhere else without  our permission. We have worked hard to put them together and it’s hard to see your efforts being taken away from you. If you’d like to ask about anything, please contact us at rdabrowicz at yahoo dot com.

And because it is the 4th of May, let us say this:

May the force be with you today!
Rita and Mal

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