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  Issue 26 - Feature - Fuel

Fuel“Four Questions with Fuel”
By Deanna Rilling

After being on hiatus for a few years, Fuel is back on the road in support of their newest album, “Angels and Devils.” With the Chris Daughtry saga behind them, new vocalist Toryn Green and drummer Tommy Stewart (formally of Godsmack) have joined bassist Jeff Abercrombie and guitar player Carl Bell to round out Fuel’s lineup.

Bell, who now calls Las Vegas home, caught up with Smash Magazine while on tour.

SMASH MAGAZINE: As the band member primarily responsible for Fuel’s music and lyrics, why wouldn’t you step up to the mic and take over lead vocal responsibilities when formal singer, Brett Scallions, left the group?

CARL BELL: I considered it. I though long and hard about that… I think for me, I’m not a true vocalist. When you hear Steven Tyler or somebody sing, they’ve got a certain thing. I’ve got a certain thing, but it’s a little bit more work for me. I’m not sure how to go about it, but I’m looking to get into something like that in the long run. But, I think for this round there was a history for us as well; there were a lot of songs that Fuel had already done. I can sing all the hits… I just can’t do some of the higher pitched stuff that we had, and I think I thought it might be better to have another vocalist come in who could do it justice and give it a shot. Later on, the future may hold something for me vocally, so the jury’s not out on that yet.

SMASH: Since songwriting can be very personal, is it difficult for you to have someone else sing your lyrics?

BELL: It is. The Who and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey and those guys, they kind of had the same situation where Pete Townshend wrote all the music and Roger Daltrey sang a lot of it. So it’s not completely unorthodox in rock and roll. There is a point for me where I feel like I’m missing a part of what should be said, or what should be sung, or how it should be sung, and that is what calls my name of wanting to sing more. That part is not as fulfilling as I wish it would be. At the same time, plenty of artists have done it they way we do it. I mean, many country stars- none of those guys write hardly any of their music, so it’s not foreign at all. Obviously, the art of that is to take a song and make it your own, which is an art in and of itself.

SMASH: You’re very involved with your fans and interact with them on a regular basis through the collaborative fan site, www.fuelies.net. What is your main motivation for being so hands-on, while other bands sometimes choose to maintain distance from their fan base?

BELL: I enjoy seeing what’s going on and getting feedback from the site. It’s my band… I’m trying to keep it going the best I can and I think a lot of it involves talking to fans, working on the websites, seeing what’s happening… I try and do what I can. It’s part of it; it’s a part that I enjoy. I like seeing what people want to hear, what songs they’re feeling, how they feel the shows are going. It’s interesting to get that feedback that you can get nowhere else.

SMASH: Did you ever consider reforming as an entirely new band with a new name?

BELL: We went through everything. We went through every possible scenario on how to handle it, how to do this and how to do that- perhaps to fold the band Fuel altogether. The fact is, there’s a lot of work that has been put towards the name “Fuel” and the band Fuel, which we’re hoping still holds some value to the fans… we decided with the climate and the way music is today, it’s harder and harder to turn your back on something you’ve already established and sold four million records. To let all of that fall away didn’t seem like a wise decision.

For more information about Fuel, visit www.fuelweb.com.
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