My head hurts already, so you’d better brace yourself. Members of Fear Factory (sort of) are in a legal battle over the trademark after a quick series of lineup reunions and departures, and way too many hasty announcements.
Let’s see if I can break this down as clearly as possible: first, Fear Factory vocalist Burton C. Bell surprisingly reunited with former Fear Factory guitarist and original member Dino Cazares for a project that would not be called Fear Factory, also featuring current Fear Factory bassist Byron Stroud and nothing-to-do-with-Fear-Factory mega-drummer Gene Hoglan.
This was followed by an announcement that this new group would be called Fear Factory. This entire time, mind you, no formal announcement was made that original member and drummer Raymond Herrera had been fired or quit; we were apparently supposed to assume he shuffled out as part of a “reorganizing”.
NOW, this new project might not be called Fear Factory after all, with Herrera and Wolbers claiming rights to the name:
[original bassist Christian Olde Wolbers] and I are actually still in Fear Factory. There’s a big legal battle going on right now. Essentially, what’s happened is the big guy and the singer have become friends again and they decided to start a new band, and decided to call it Fear Factory. They never communicated with us about it and act like there was never any contract. So it’s almost like them two against us two; it’s kind of a stalemate. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with the trademark, so to speak. It’s a weird situation.
Ultimately, it comes down to whomever’s name is on the paper at the trademark office. A quick search will find all uses of the “Fear Factory” trademark are owned not by a person, but the corporation Fear Factory Inc., which Wolbers and Herrera seem to still be shareholders of. Though, as our buddy Axl Rosenberg at Metal Sucks points out, there might be a loophole where Wolbers and Herrera would be forfeiting ownership if it can be proven that they willfully quit (which it does not sound like that’s the case). Either way, knowing Fear Factory’s tumultuous history, prepare for what could be a long and dramatic battle.
Also, because you need more information to process, Wolbers and Herrera recently started their own new band, Arkaea, with an album to be released this summer on E1. I’m going to lie down now, but we’ll post any updates as they come in