Another day, another band in legal troubles. Sort of.
Fear Factory is a band that blended industrial metal and death metal, at least on their earlier material. Later they continued to blend styles but chose to blend industrial and groove metal. They were fairly successful in the mid to late 1990's. Demanufacture and Obsolete are particularly good albums, possibly even classics. But, the band had some personnel problems.
Guitarist Dino Cazares left the band in 2002. At this time, bassist Christian Olde Wolbers became the guitarist and Byron Stroud of Strapping Young Lad joined the band to play bass. Burton C. Bell and Raymond Herrera remained with the band as vocalist and drummer respectively.
Fast forward a few years. Bell and Cazares have reconciled their differences and want to form a new band. This band's name is going to be Fear Factory. They also will have Stroud and drummer Gene Hoglan (rent-a-drummer, most known for time with Dark Angel). However, Herrera who is also a founding member, never officially left or was kicked out of the band. He and Wolbers still claim to be members of Fear Factory. The new band started by Bell and Cazares originally was not going to be called Fear Factory so it is, in essence, a new band. At least according to Herrera. Herrera and Wolbers claim they were never consulted about anything and they cannot be kept out of the mix if Bell and Cazares start a new band and call it Fear Factory.
I have said several times before that if the founding members (there are three still involved here: Cazares, Bell, and Herrera) leave voluntarily, they no longer have a say in what is going on. The real issue here is whether in fact Bell left Fear Factory to start a new band with Cazares, who left in 2002, Stroud and Hoglan. Stroud does not have any say as he is not a founding member in Fear Factory. Hoglan was never in Fear Factory before. If Bell left Fear Factory (Wolbers and Herrera) to start a new band, which by all accounts he did, then the name Fear Factory is still held by Herrera. Initially when news of Bell and Cazares reuniting came out, the name of the band was still up in the air. This shows that, at least at first, the band intended to start out new. Of course Bell and Cazares don't see it that way.
At any rate, I see a settlement check coming to Herrera.