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Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory was Fear Factory “for kids”, says Burton C Bell

Burton C Bell and Linkin Park
(Image credit: Press/Scott Harrison/Liaison)

Ex-Fear Factory frontman Burton C Bell has called Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory “a watered down version” of his former band’s classic album, Demanufacture.

Speaking to Metal Hammer, Bell – who currently fronts Ascension Of The Watchers – addressed the subject of Fear Factory’s influence on the bands that followed them in the 1990s.

“Demanufacture gave us a sound, and it almost created a new genre. I think many people tried to copy it but never succeeded… Linkin Park did a watered-down version of Demanufacture.”

Asked what he thought when he heard Hybrid Theory for the first time, Bell replied: “I wasn’t a fan. I respect what they did, but to me it sounded like Demanufacture for kids.”

Bell quit Fear Factory in September 2020 amid ongoing tensions with co-founder and guitarist Dino Cazares.

“Working with someone you don’t trust anymore and to be in a business where everyone's coming after you… it wasn’t worth it. I was, like, ‘Fuck this, you can have it, take it all,’” said Bell of his departure.

Bell and Cazares recorded a new Fear Factory album in 2017, but it remains unreleased. The guitarist has said that he plans to release it imminently, with a new vocalist.

Bell says he and Cazares  haven’t spoken since in more than three years.

“He said some things to me that I was, like, ‘That’s fucked up… that not only fucks you up personally but you’re fucking with the business at the same time.’ He’s said he’s reached out to me to call, but if you want to call me – don’t text me to call you. Fuck that.”

Bell reactivated his other band Ascension Of The Watchers in 2020, releasing their first album in 12 years, Apocrypha.