21
Jun

Tuesday Trivia: Smelling Fear in the Teen Factory

Now, if the headline above isn’t just the greatest headline of all time, then I might just have to lay off the weed. And, depends on if you’re stoned yourself or not, you might have already figured out what, or rather whom, this article is about. But, just in case, I’ll break it down for you.

‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ + Fear Factory + weed = Smelling Fear in the Teen Factory

Worked for me.

But anyhow, now you know whom this article is about. Are you wondering just what the two (the Nirvana song and Fear Factory) have to do with each other? Well, make the jump to find out.

Surely, if you’re over the age of 20, you’ve seen the above video for Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ about a million times already but did you know that Fear Factory’s vocalist, Burton C. Bell — who was 21 years old at the time — is actually one of the kids jumping around in the video?

Fear Factory were still a Death Metal band at the time and recorded their debut album, Concrete (audio sample below), with Ross Robinson. Pretty soon, Fear Factory realized that Ross Robinson is crap (maybe that’s something for another Tuesday Trivia) and chose to completely re-record the album with a different producer, which ultimately turned into Soul Of A New Machine.

Fear Factory - Deception (Concrete)

13 years later, Fear Factory recorded a cover of the classic Nirvana song ‘School‘ and released it on Archetype.

So in 1991, Nirvana shot a music video for the first single off their new album Nevermind and Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell was one of the kids jumping around in that very video. In 2008, Bell — now a famous musician himself — was asked about that very situation and said:

“Yes, I did participate in this Nirvana video – the first one for Nevermind. This was some 16 years ago… Back then I was listening to SubPop bands and industrial music and I was a huge fan of Nirvana back in the Bleach days – I saw them so many times… and the last time I saw them was this particular show they played before Nevermind came out, when they were handing out flyers saying, “Come down tomorrow to hang out and shoot a video with us!” So me and a couple of friends of mine went over and took part in the video. I can point myself four or five times in it.”

Read the complete interview here.

So, there you have it. Every musician just starts as a music fan himself. You’re not born a musician but you rather turn into one. Nirvana surely had their influence on Fear Factory, and especially Burton C. Bell, and maybe even this moment itself had an influence on Bell’s decision to turn music into his dayjob.

So, I guess “Thank you” to Kurt Cobain for inspiring Fear Factory to write a modern Industrial Metal classic with their latest album Mechanize? No? It doesn’t quite work that way? Well, at least it’s an interesting piece of trivia.


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