Auditions are officially over, and Machine Head would like to thank each and every person for their YouTube submissions as part of the bass / vocal auditioning process. A lot of hard work and effort went into each and every submission, with many people bravely making them public for the whole world to see and judge both their singing and playing, mostly fairly. It took a lot of brass to do that and we earned an even greater respect for our fans in doing so. There are some incredible musicians out there, fantastic players who unfortunately did not make an attempt to sing, and thus were ineligible, but you should absolutely keep at it! In fact, in the course of these submissions, it looks like many people have earned a lot fans in doing so. Congrats!!
We will now begin the process of having our top picks come down and jam with us in person, and get a feel for each other, both musically and on a personal level.
We have posted this reply on our websites as many submissions came via YouTube with no way for us to reply to them directly, so in order for all people to see it we felt this was the most effective.
On a final note, many of the men and women who sent in YouTube clips performing, did so with the utmost passion and intensity, but of all the submissions, this man deserves a special mention. He learned and played not only the hardest song of the submission "This Is The End", but played it with only ONE HAND. It moved some of us to tears, it took a lot of heart to do this, cheers Frank Memolo.
- Machine Head
ONLY U.S. HEADLINE DATES IN 2013 ANNOUNCED
Machine Head are proud to announce 3 headline shows as part of "The Road To Mayhem Tour", and will be the only headline shows MH are playing in all of 2013. The dates listed are specifically catered to not conflict with the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival summer tour where Machine Head are headlining the Jägermeister USA stage.
Says Robb Flynn "We love playing in these markets, the fans in these places don't have the luxury of a hundred shows a month, they're starving for metal, and they f**king lose their marbles and go BANANAS when Machine Head come there!!"
Phil Demmel added, "All right Summer '13, whatcha got?!?! West Coast Machine Head headlining shows before The Mayhem Fest, that's what!!!!! Look out Spokane, Portland and Fresno, prepare to be F**KED UP!! We'll see you there!!"
Machine Head are asking you, the Head Cases, to do whatever you can to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, Text or good ol' fashioned flyering about the headline shows and will have a digital / downloadable flyer available later this week.
Machine Head will also be playing 4 post-Mayhem Festival support dates with Rob Zombie including this years Sturgis Bike Rally and Montreal Canada's premier metal festival Heavy MTL 2013, Dave McClain added his thoughts on sharing the stage with Zombie, "Our summer just got even better! Pretty excited to be doing a few Rob Zombie shows after Mayhem and also Heavy MTL in Montreal!"
HEADLINE DATES: (Tix on sale this Friday)
JUNE 24 - Spokane WA. - Knitting Factory
JUNE 26 - Portland OR. - Hawthorne Theatre
JUNE 28 - Fresno, CA - Fulton 55
ROB ZOMBIE / HEAVY MTL DATES: (Tix on sale now)
AUG 5 - Bonner Springs, KS - Sandstone Amphitheater
AUG 7 - Sturgis. SD - Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Buffalo Chip
AUG 9 - Columbus. OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
AUG ? - Montreal, CAN - Heavy MTL
Martinez, CA, 3:15 AM, been up for an hour, can't sleep, laying in bed, and thinking. Thinking, and thinking, and thinking. McClain says I think too much, he might be right, so it's better that I write. So here I am, up and writing a General Journal.
I get these occasional bouts of sleeplessness or even insomnia. When this happens, I'll often get up and write... lyrics, music, journals, helps quiet my mind. I wrote the majority of lyrics for The Blackening at 5 AM in my kitchen during the recording of the album. Come home from tracking at midnight, go to sleep at 1 AM, wake up at 5 AM, write lyrics in my kitchen while the dawn came. That was my routine for 2 months.
That, and not sleeping in my bed.
My oldest son Zander (then-2 years old) would be sleeping in my "really comfortable" Eastern King bed with my then-pregnant wife Genevra. I'd be sleeping in his "really uncomfortable" Twin bed in his room. Not that I wanted to sleep in the Twin bed, but he'd only sleep in his bed for a couple hours, then sneak into our bed every night, and Zander was such a crazy sleeper, that after he crawled into our bed, sleep was literally impossible. There he'd be, the craziest sleeper in the world, tossing and turning all night, arms flailing, punching our faces during the night, his razor sharp baby-toe-nails scratching down our backs, I'd wake up with his whole body laying across my throat choking me, wondering why I was dreaming about being strangled, LOL, ... ah kids... gotta love 'em.
Yeah, the Twin bed was as good as it got back in November / December 2006, in fact it was heaven.
And for some reason now, that's always what my mind goes back to when I can't sleep, The Blackening period, and I like that thought. It's better than the other thought. It's better than the thought that used to be there
Back when I was a kid and I couldn't sleep, I'd lay in my bed, shade pulled down, and I'd hear the train off in the distance (I just heard a train laying in bed earlier and it triggered this memory), we lived near the train tracks and the BART (subway) station when I lived half way down the block on 810 Viddel St. in San Lorenzo. I'd listen to that train getting closer and closer, and then it would finally pass. I'd listen for hours, sleepless, crying, the rain and the train.
I have bad memories of the train tracks.
I went back and visited those train tracks during the recording of The Burning Red, I don't know what I hoped to find, it was different than I remembered it. I sat there hoping to feel something, anything, but nothing ever came. I went back to my house off of Grant St. in Berkeley that afternoon and started writing. The first line I wrote was "To whom it may concern"... I'm not sure why... it never got used cause it's such a random way to start a lyric, but ultimately the the lyrics that poured out of me that day became "From This Day". A heavy, deep, set of lyrics that I put over a sort-of pop melody. I've always admired artists who could pull that off, take a somber, depressing or fucked up lyric (ala - Robert Smith or Morrisey) and put it over a catchy melody so that people go around whistling this catchy hook, with a totally fucked up meaning.
A lot of people try and shit on that song (mainly for that god awful video with me dressed like a box of orange juice!) but the lyrics to that song came from a place of deep pain, of real pain. That song is what opened the floodgates for the song "Five" to come about. The wound had been picked open, now it was time to dig around through the maggots.
It's 5:15 AM now, I'm gonna try and go back to sleep. Sleep so that I can get up and "not" think, but enjoy, enjoy life.
Yesterday was a fucking frustrating day of demoing, went in with such high expectations and got almost nothing done, AGH!!
But it's a new day.
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On the 10th anniversary of Phil Demmel joining Machine Head, the guys take a look back at "The Shred Biletnikoff of Metal", Mr. Phil Demmel.
Seems like yesterday that Phil rolled his amp into our practice room and first jammed with us.
I remember thinking when the jam session was over, that it felt like a perfect fit. At first, it was just going to be a temporary gig for some European festivals that we were doing. A last hurrah for Phil before he retired from music. Lucky for us (and hopefully him) he didn't retire and
wanted to be in MH on a permanent basis. We welcomed him into our Island of Misfit Toys with open arms!
Ten years later, we've been thru great times, trying times and down right horrible times. I would not trade any of them for anything and I'm proud to have experienced them with our Phil!
Love you, duder and here's to another ten years!
I have to concur with McClain, it does not even seem like 10 years at all!
Happy 10th Phil!
"Hellalive" had been out for a few weeks (with 2 tracks Phil performed on from the festival dates in 2002 ), we had all met, discussed plans, coordinated both a world-wide press release and announcing Phil's joining MH on a Bay Area metal radio show Nikki Blacks Metal Zone on 107.7 The Bone. Everything had come together and it felt great!
I have worked with Phil off-and-on for more than half my life, touring in vans alongside him as manager, soundman and roadie all-in-one, and having Phil officially in Machine Head was a great feeling for me personally and a great moment for MH.
It was a very exciting time for all of us when he joined, and most importantly, it felt good to all the fans that have made and continue to make MH what it is. It feels as right today as it did 10 years ago, and it will feel just as right way into the future.
Here's to all the great memories Phil! Those we have experienced together, and those that lie ahead.
Love ya !
Phil... Phillip (my Mom calls me Phillip, you can call me Phil), (my fave) Phillatio... Philthy... Philodendron... LandPhil... Drunky McDrunkerson... Sloppy McSlopperson... and last but not least...The Lemon.
10 FREAKIN' YEARS IN MACHNE HEAD!!!???
MAN, has it flown by.
Technically it’s almost 11 years as Phil began jamming with Machine Head back in June 2002, a month after Ahrue (who?) quit. We were getting ready to do a festival run that summer to close out the ‘Supercharger’ tour. On the itinerary was headlining Germany's With Full Force Festival for the first time so we were playing some really cool festivals and we needed a guitarist.
I probably wasn't quite ready mentally at the time, so while I enjoyed those first practices with Phil; it wasn't until the first show on July 1st, 2002 at The Ambassador in Dublin, Ireland that it became apparent to me. That's all it took to completely erase the memory of our old guitarist for me. Just looking stage right to see Phil rocking-out and in my head saying "Hey, I remember THAT guy." It was a great feeling. Right then and there I knew we had our guy.
Phil has been in Machine Head for 10 years officially today, but I've known Phil Demmel for *cough* 26 years! Though it's hard to remember, I met Phil somewhere back in 1986, when I was 18 years old. He was in Vio-Lence and I was in Forbidden Evil, we practiced in a Fremont, CA warehouse district behind a studio / jam room called Fast 'N Furious owned by Pat Sauger and the Annihilation guys. Vio-Lence was moving in to rehearse at F 'N F and Phil and couple of the other guys came by to watch a Forbidden Evil practice. I remember liking him, he was very friendly, always smiling, and had a cool car (LOL)! I started going over to Vio-Lence practices and watched in awe as they produced some of the most ferocious riffs and songs I'd heard. Thrash Metal bordering on punk rock. I LOVED it!
Little did I realize, but the Vio-Dudes had their eyes on me to replace their then-guitarist, Troy Fua. And while Phil will insist to this day that he "stole me away," I happily left Forbidden Evil, eager to play in such a ferocious group, and in January 1987 I played my first show with Vio-Lence.
We made a heck of guitar team back then and that was something we worked at. But there was always a natural chemistry that didn't take much effort; we complimented each other’s style. We started writing instantly and the riffs flowed easily. Back then in many ways we were the odd couple, Phil was, and remains, more outgoing. He could talk to most people about anything, all the chicks loved him! I was always more introverted and would lose myself in my guitar. But we weren’t so odd when it came to hanging out as we partied like HELL, we RAGED, and being around him really brought me out of my shell. I looked up to him in a lot of ways. He came from a stable family that was very supportive of him in whatever he did. I didn't have any of that. It was great to see and to just be around as those things made me a better kid and later a better man.
10 years, plus 5 years before that, plus a 10 year break-up in the middle somewhere, but we're still together singing "Careless Whisper" whenever we get hammered!
We've lived A LOT of life together. We’ve experienced more crummy 2 month van tours than I care to remember, the 2 of us driving all night on only a few hours sleep only to end up as bed-mates in a crappy Motel 6's double bed next to Debbie Abono's bed. Entire tours eating one meal a day at Denny's, and then hoping the club would feed us, all while loading our own gear in and out of vans, then when life got good, out of trailers!
There was no road crew back then except for Joe (our manager back then, riding in the van with us, who is still with us now!). There were fights, hilarious 3-hour-drunken wrestling matches, hotel rooms destroyed, more arguments than I can even remember, a lot of tears cried, and so many more good times and full-on-side-splitting-belly-laughs I could write a book about it. We've played A LOT of shitty clubs to 50 people, and we've stomped a mudhole in the ass of 30,000+ people countless fucking times.
As I'm writing this, it dawned on me, we've written 6 albums worth of material together, and are about to write a 7th... wow... some pretty goddamn good metal I'll tell you that.
I'm grateful you are in Machine Head. We are lucky to have a band member like you. You're a great guitarist, a great songwriter, a great team mate, and above all a great friend.
I love you dude.
Here's to 10, 15, 25 more!
McClain and I had a really good jam session on Monday. It was one of those jam-days where you feel a breakthrough happen, a day where for no apparent reason several things fall into place and start to make sense. It is an amazing yet hard to explain feeling, but you know that a huge chunk of progress just happened! New riffs flowed, new ideas materialized and new concepts explored. It was definitely one of “those” days. We had one more day of rehearsals yesterday and we'll start demoing the new tunes today with my trusty engineer Juan from Trident Studios manning Da Tools. Phil begins his Jackson Guitars Clinic Tour overseas for a couple weeks, so it’s a perfect time to demo. I tend to take over the jam room when demoing, so rehearsals fall by the wayside as I track and experiment with a million different ideas. Europeans interested in checking out any of Phil's clinics, dates below.
Fender/Jackson booth Hall 4.0 booth E08
Thursday April 11th, Friday 12th, Saturday 13th
Bologna @ 19:00 Sunday 14th
Music Academy 2000's Theatre
Milan @ 13:00 Monday 15th
Lucky Music Store
Helsinki @ 19:00 Tuesday 16th
Gothenburg @ 12:00 Wednesday 17th
Stockholm @ 19:00 Wednesday 17th
Paris (Juvisy Sur Orge) @ 19:00 Thursday 18th
La Garde @ 17:00 Friday 19th
Brighton @ 18:30 Saturday 20th
Glasgow @ 14:00 Sunday 21st
"In the desert you can remember your name, 'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain"
As I mentioned in my last Journal, the fam and I went on a much needed vacation to Rancho Mirage in the Palm Desert area of Southern California. Genevra, myself, the 2 kids and the 2 dogs. The hotel is dog-friendly which is a cool perk and they don't even charge for the dogs, they just ask you to sign a damage waiver. The hotel itself is based around 2 smaller waterslide parks and several pools, way kid-friendly and there’s also a large golf course (though I don't play). The Rancho Mirage area has quite a few hotels based around waterparks, pretty rad, and seeing how it's the desert and was 92 degrees (33.3 Celsius to the Euros) on most days (in APRIL!!) why the hell not?
While I had planned to stay "on the wagon," (ie: sober) so if you're GONNA fall off the wagon, well, THERE is the place to do it. While I wasn't sure IF I'd fall off the wagon while on vacation, hell...I fell off the wagon in GLORIOUS fashion. My friend Tracy who went sober for 2 months said when he fell off, "he fell off the wagon, rolled down the hill, bounced in the air, hit a tree, smashed into a branch, punctured a lung on the way down, and landed on his ass."
While I didn't fall off THAT hard I will say after 3 months of sobriety, it's was a freakin' blast! The hotel allows you to bring your own booze as long as it's in plastic containers, so the wife and I drank Chopin Rye Vodka Mojito's with agave instead of sugar syrup and fresh mint all day. No responsibilities except going down the waterslides and swimming, playing foosball or air hockey, making sure the kids had burgers, and the dogs got a walk to go poop. It was nothing fancy, just good times.
Sometimes you need to hit the reset button, and that's exactly what happened.
We take our time getting down there, it takes about 2 days and rather than drive through downtown Los Angeles halfway through the Grapevine we'll cut across towards the Mojave Desert. It's a beautiful drive with way less traffic and some of the most unusual towns and places on Earth, it's a lot like visiting an alien planet and I HIGHLY recommend it. That there is actually ANY town out there in the desert is amazing and when you consider that in the summer they're smack dab in the middle of a desert that reaches 125 degrees and in certain areas have 50 mile an hour winds to boot! But yet, there are these weird, unique, abandoned ghost towns and occasionally very depressing and very real towns. Like the movie "The Hills Have Eyes" but for real and that is part of the charm. Part of what makes it such an interesting place to travel through. I bet there are some brutal bands out there.
Because of the heat (or not), many of the houses have burned down. On our travels thru the desert whenever I'd see one of these burned out houses, I'd park, and much to chagrin of my wife would go in and take photos. The smell was nothing short of brutal so I held my breath in most of them.
We also stopped at an Exotic Feline Breeding Reserve near Lancaster. There were fuckin' black leopards, panthers, snow leopards, tigers, all just cool as hell! This too comes HIGHLY recommended!
There are also these areas where the wind just RIPS, its nutzo! We’re talking 50 to 70 mile per hour winds ripping at your face! So powerful that all the energy companies have erected these Star Wars-looking wind-mills in the windiest areas and it's a goddamn trip to drive through. I know these pictures don't do the height or scale of how far they stretch over the mountain-sides justice, but take my word, they're fucking HUGE!
Driving along these roads can also be a bit dangerous as the mind can start to wander. Being in deserted areas surrounded by the Earth’s energy just does things to you. It forces us to adapt and adjust. Just being out of your comfort zone forces us to do things differently and this isn’t lost on me. As I write this I’m back at home and the kids are back at school and we’re all back in our “comfort zone”. Machine Head is about to hit “record” on the next step of our (damn near) two decade journey, there are songs to write, demos to track, tour dates confirmed and obstacles to climb. Windmills have been replaced with city landscapes and the empty desert highway is now clogged with Bay Area traffic. I find comfort in all of the above as I really have no choice.
I learned a long time ago how to adapt to just about any surrounding, it’s all just another extension of the desert road.
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Machine Head would like to thank all of the people who have submitted YouTube clips so far, we want you all to know that we've watched all of your videos, and while there may not have been an initial confirmation/reply that your video was received, we have been going through each of the many submissions one-by-one. We will continue taking submissions until next Friday, April 19th, at which point we will stop accepting submissions, select candidates and begin tryouts.
If you want to submit your clips but have not yet done so, make sure you do before next Friday. Videos can be set to private with the only allowed viewer set to the audition e-mail address (MHBassAuditions@gmail.com), should you choose.
Remember, you are being asked to play bass AND sing. Anyone who is not also singing in their clips will unfortunately have to be overlooked, so if you're going through the instrumental effort, give the singing a shot!
Thanks to everyone for all of the submissions so far, your time and effort is sincerely appreciated.
- Machine Head
As this summers Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival draws near, the Machine Head boys recount tales of mayhem and debauchery in a new blog series called "Mayhem Memories".
This week: Dave McClain's after-show party memories, "swords and pajamas, carry him thru the night":
My Mayhem Memory.
Where do I start?! Some of my best times on Mayhem have been the after parties that John Reese (co-founder of Mayhem Festival) has most of the bands put on. He'll give a band a budget and have them come up with a theme AND a special drink (alcohol of course!) for their party.
Just a few of my fuzzy memories have included Disturbed's Oatmeal Cookie shots, Red Fang's Pabst Blue Ribbon Swords (duct taping all your empty PBR cans together to make a sword), Godsmack's pajama party, Suicide Silence's "gangsta" party and of course John Reese and Robb's bday party where John and Mike from Disturbed charged head first into Jagermeister ice sculpture!
Another awesome memory is watching the Metal Mulisha guys do their thing while we're on stage doing our thing. It's amazing playing a show and seeing those guys flying off the ramp doing the most insane motorcycle tricks I've ever seen!
Can't wait for another Summer at Mayhem Metal Camp!
- Spokane, WA US Jun 24
- Portland, OR US Jun 26
- Fresno, CA US Jun 28
- San Bernardino, CA US Jun 29
- Mountain View, CA US Jun 30
- Boise, ID US Jul 02
- Auburn, WA US Jul 03
- Phoenix, AZ US Jul 05
- Albuquerque, NM US Jul 06
- Denver, CO US Jul 07