Q #2,052: This Fear Factory vocalist was in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video.
Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell was a Nirvana fan in their pre-‘Nevermind’ days. The band released ‘Archetype’ in 2004, which features a cover of Nirvana’s ‘School,’ from their 1989 album ‘Bleach.’
Bell says that he saw the band many times on the ‘Bleach’ tour, and that he got an early listen to ‘Nevermind’ through a friend that performed on the album, a cellist performing on the track ‘Something in the Way.’ Then, after seeing Nirvana play at the Roxy, Bell got an aftershow flyer asking fans to attend the video shoot of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ Burton appears in the video, but even after some research and Wikipedia-digging I finally found the specific time (2:12-ish if you’re so inclined), but you have to slow down and pause like a teenager with a VHS tape to try and find him. I’m sure we can all take his word for his appearance.
Upon listening to ‘Nevermind,’ Bell said “I saw Nirvana once after that, and I knew it was gonna be the last time I saw them because ‘Smells’ was on the radio and they were blowing up.” I’m not sure if that means he saw the monster emerging that would inevitably have a hand in resculpting the rock and metal scene, or if it just meant he preferred the smaller intimate shows that he knew would no longer be happening.
Fear Factory’s latest release, ‘Genexus’ had a better first week than the band’s previous two albums, which are all a part of what is ultimately the third chapter of lineups in the band’s history. Burton is the only member to appear on all of the band’s releases, and even amidst the most recent three efforts, Burton and Dino are the core on them all.