#1056: This Fear Factory vocalist was in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video

Q #2,052: This Fear Factory vocalist was in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ music video.

A.

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.

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#1050: ‘Smoke on the Water’ appears on 1972’s ‘Machine Head’ by what band?

Q #2,046: ‘Smoke on the Water’ appears on 1972’s ‘Machine Head’ by what band?

A.

Deep Purple’s sixth studio album ‘Machine Head’ contains a modest seven songs, clocking in at under 38 minutes. Opening with ‘Highway Star,’ and closing with ‘Space Truckin,’ Deep Purple would have likely still managed to find success with this record, but side two’s opening track ‘Smoke on the Water’ was most certainly the catalyst for a respectable few million in sales.

The band endured mishaps, conflicts, and changes while attempting to record the album, and ultimately ended up using a mobile studio in an empty hotel in Switzerland. The members had to journey through rooms and balconies in order to be able to hear playback of the takes being recorded. They eventually gave up on listening back, and decided on keeping what felt the best after jamming the songs. Can you imagine a band today being told that not only do they have to record the songs in unison in one take, but that they also can’t listen back and have to make a judgment call on what to keep? This would be an excellent reality show for bands of all levels, and I’d be willing to bet most would pass at the opportunity for that sort of “exposure.”

The legendary Deep Purple guitarist Richie Blackmore used his classical guitar training and influence to help shape the sound of what would become modern hard rock and heavy metal. During his post – Deep Purple solo career he managed to piece together Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio. Not too bad.

Deep Purple Vocalists Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, and Joe Lynn Turner have all made their way around the industry outside of their tenures in Deep Purple, with Gillan going on to replace Ronnie James Dio in Black Sabbath. David Coverdale went on to Whitesnake, and would work with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, and Joe Lynn Turner would join Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force.

For an even more in depth game of “6-degrees of separation,” bassist Glenn Hughes has made exceptional rounds as well, recently playing with Black Country Communion which features Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, and Derek Sherinian.

With 100 million in sales, and a seemingly endless web of legendary splinter acts, it is no wonder the band went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

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