Holy shit, it’s already August!?!?! Hopefully this finds each and every one of you well.
I was perusing the internet the other day looking for YouTube clips on "Spiritual Science," a topic that was recently introduced to me by Nick Schendzielos, the ridiculously talented bass player of Job For A Cowboy. In addition to being a rad bass player and all around rad dude, he's also a compelling speaker, I swear this dude was holding court with 5 people, in a dimly lit parking lot in Scranton, PA having a discussion about cell biology, energy vs. matter, and the basis of an audiobook called ‘The Biology Of Belief,’ that had all of us captivated... Yeah, like uh, fuckin' really...!!? Dude can talk!! And it was all cool shit to hear, shit I needed to hear.
Anyway, I've been listening to this audiobook and a bunch of stuff he loaded onto a memory stick (sorry, I still have it Nick!), and it's kind of got me interested in the subject. I found a couple of interesting clips online, about Sacred Geometry and the Fibonacci Sequence, but then I stumbled on to some Joe Rogan Podcasts, which I've always found interesting, but don't listen to on a regular basis. Actually I don’t really listen to any Podcast on a regular basis for that matter.
I don't really know much about Joe Rogan other than he was a commentator for UFC for a while and a host on a now-defunct TV show called Fear Factor, but this dude is so on-point about so much shit I really, have started to dig him a lot. His views on weed, DMT, the 9-11 Tower 7 conspiracy, the JFK Conspiracy, and just his overall views on life are pretty fuckin’ awesome. One of the best Podcasts he did was with the dude who does the Zietgiest movies Peter Joseph, which to me are a set of movies that every human being on earth should watch. They're amazing!!
I was first introduced to them by someone from Machine Head's long-running message board The Frontlines, and I love them. LOVE THEM! Really inspiring stuff, and I've re-watched all of them several times.
Someone did a mash up of a NASA Scientist and Joe Rogan on YouTube that was just cool-as-shit so I decided to share it.
Joe Rogan - Re-Think Your Life:
Joe Rogan / NASA scientist: We're Living In The Matrix:
Joe Rogan with "Zetigeist's" Peter Joseph:
ZEITGEIST THE MOVIE - MOVING FORWARD:
In the last Journal, I talked at length about our staging for the tour and a little of the ins and outs of what went into making all of that happen. I’d like to switch gears a bit to discuss another important aspect of the touring game, merch. Machine Head’s new line of merchandise saw record sales during this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, posting double the total sales of our last two Mayhem Festival appearances combined, and making us the #3 band overall in total merch sales after Rob Zombie and Five Finger Death Punch. "AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!!"
The appeal of the new merch line wasn’t limited to a handful of items either, with every single new design inhabiting the “top seller” spot at some point, which, I gotta tell ya, is an especially rare fucking occurrence, when you consider that for pretty much every band out there, the biggest shirt is consistently the traditional “tour dates” shirts, they usually strongly outsell other available designs. It’s almost a no-brainer when it comes to concert merchandise.
How or why did this happen? Well, we had an all new, fresh line of merch this year, and with the help of Ted Mattes at Global Merchandise and our bad-fucking-ass art team of Eric Johnson and Rafal Wechtoriwicz, we came up with some of the best designs of our career. These designs were something I fully believed in before a single date was even played so to have it come to fruition with such a positive response? What can I say??? Juiced!!
We focused the art on the new, evolved Lion Crest design and an all-new Tarot Card set (Death, The Devil, and The High Priestess) and we are going to continue to expand on the Tarot Card theme going into the new record, it's got so much depth to it. The often conflicting meaning of them (Death = Change, not dying; for example) is really firing our creative juices. All good shit!!!
For those curious, the top 5 cities in total sales were Chicago, Denver, Albuquerque, Detroit and Mountain View, with Chicago selling more in one day than the previous 3 shows combined! CHI-CA-GO, the Metal and now merch capitol of the US? FUCK YEAH!!!
I also think, it's a testament to our amazing, AMAZING, fan base going out there and standing behind us! It has to be! We’re out there obviously promoting the band, but were also out there for OUR people! These are the people that support us in the theaters, clubs, and venues time and time again. It always feels good to have our supporters come out to a multi-band thing like Mayhem and REPRESENT! Walking around and seeing people wearing their Machine Head gear is not only awesome, but something we do not take for granted. That pride is something we feed off of!
These shows were so fucking life-affirming it was something incredible to behold. This year was also the first year where we didn't do a signing to sell merch or CD's at our merch tent, or the Rockstar tent, (almost all bands still did) which makes the fact that we doubled sales and came in #3 even more impressive. HEAD CA-SES, FUCK YEAH!!
And Mayhem, fuck, what can I say, it was fucking amazing, such a well-run, organized, cool, fun, tour do to it's almost hard to believe. Great catering, great vibe from head-honcho John Reese down to the he girls who run the show Keri Lee and Co., everyone pulls together, everyone wins. I can't tell you how much I needed this tour, and honestly, at first I was a little down on it, it was interrupting the writing cycle, I thought it might be better to just stay home and write.
Nah man, I needed to get out of the headspace I was in, needed to get out here and be a band again, needed to gel with Jared, to stand on the stage and remember, "oh yeah, we're really fucking good at this", needed to remember "oh yeah, I'M really good at this", to see what's happening in America, to challenge ourselves by mixing up the sets every night, to bring back songs like "From This Day" for the first time in 5 years, opening with "Bulldozer" for the first time in years, opening with "Davidian" for the first time in years, mixing up the routine, getting to watch Rob Zombie's ridiculously amazing show every night...
Nah man, the record is only going to BETTER because we went out on Mayhem. It will be a stronger, more powerful, more confident record because of it.
There's no doubt in my mind.
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It’s 5 AM and we’re headed to Moody Deer Lake in Kentucky for a day off! Not just a boring sit-in-a-parking-lot day off, this one will be filled with ski boats, Sea Doos, and our friend John is renting a Pontoon boat. We'll be tubing, hopefully wakeboarding, swimming, and drinking beer all day, and MAN, I can't wait!! I love summer for this type of shit, and be able to do this while on tour is not just really cool, but to me, special as well.
As for the beer I'll be drinking while on the lake, I myself will be drinking gluten-free beer, as I have been eating gluten-free for the last 2 months. I had been getting a lot of inflammation/sore joints and even though I ate a lot of sprouted breads and brown rice pastas before, it's one of the few thing I had never tried to see if it had any effect. Not sure how good it's working, but it feels good to eat less gluten, a lot of meat and salads, and getting carbs from fruit, honey, black beans, and brown rice. It's good to switch it up and break food habits.
I found a couple of gluten-free beers that are really good actually, it takes some effort to find them, but they’re definitely out there. I tend to enjoy Blue Moon-style beers, and love the orange or lemon added in them. One gluten-free brewer called New Planet has a "Tread Lightly Ale" and a "Blonde Ale" that are awesome, I found another brewer called New Grist out of Milwaukee that make a damn good beer, and when I was in Cleveland the other day (at our ridiculously amazing off-date with Mastodon), I tried a gluten-free Strawberry Blonde Ale from Dogfish Brewing Company that was fucking GREAT!
I believe the one thing that makes it gluten-free is it's brewed with something other than "wheat", tried some of the ones brewed with sorghum grass, (not too sure about those ?!), but these other beers are surprisingly good, and bizarrely, even if I drink a shit-ton, I don't get a hangover/headache the next day, BONUS!
Another thing I'm looking forward to about the lake is that we will have a full on chef manning the BBQ for us. Jagermeister is one of the sponsors of Mayhem and they’ve partnered up with Chris Santos the judge from the Food Network show "Chopped" to make a line of Jager based sauces, he is a HUGE metalhead/Machine Head fan and has been out on the tour for the last week making the most insanely amazing food. Seriously, the best ribs I've ever had, and these god damn mini-burgers called "sliders" with a "bacon-jam" that are TO-DIE-FOR. I think pretty much everyone is very freakin stoked to have him around on the tour, and to top it all off he's a super cool dude.
This Mayhem run has been fucking ridiculous. Shows have been so freakin good. We played Chicago 2 nights ago, and it was just absolute chaos. Chicago is always a great city for MH but this was just plain retarded, they are fast becoming the Metal Capital of the United States! Last night was Detroit who were some bad mother-truckers and definitely keen to hold onto their "Rock City" title, they now hold the record for most circle pits of the entire tour, with 6 massive pits, including one behind the sound desk!! Gotta mention Hartford, Connecticut which was insane, as was freakin' Noblesville, Indiana... holy mackerel, bat-shit-crazy!!!
All the bands are really good out here, and I've caught every single band on the tour so far, and there is something good I could say about every one of them, but if there was a "hot band", the "hot band of the tour award" goes to Motionless In White. Good band, kinda Bleeding Through meets Marilyn Manson, fast with heavy breakdowns, but with singy bits, rock parts and melodic keyboards that add a New Wave feel to it. Gothy image, lots of make-up, but so over-the-top it's cool.
For main stage though, I'm crazy about Rob Zombie, I could watch this show every day. Much to the chagrin of a few of my bandmasters I’ve never been a KISS fan, but it's like the new KISS. Seriously, this show is just so god damn cool and on so many different levels it's ridiculous! I mean from the stage outfits, to the visuals, to the opening sequence with the weird masks, costume changes, robot monsters, giant devils, giant boom-boxes, break-dancers in skeleton outfits, it’s just got so much going on. The first time I watched it, when he put up "Ultraman" clips on the video screens in "More Human Than Human" I just about shit myself. As a HUGE Ultraman NERD when I was a kid, (collecting all the action figures and books, posters, etc.), to see that in a metal show...I was like "wow, Rob Zombie really is the coolest motherfucker on earth!" Let’s be honest here, who the fuck puts Ultraman clips on their video screen? NO ONE... no one except Zombie.
About 6 months ago our babysitter played Rob Zombie for my youngest son Wyatt (who's now 6 1/2) both him and my oldest Zander (who just turned 9) dig it, but Wyatt in particular got really into it. Neither myself or Genevra knew this though, so when Wyatt came up to me one day and said "dada, can I hear the song that goes "hey yeah, I'm the one blah blah blah blah" I was like "Huh?" Is that Zombie? I hadn't played it for him so it took me a second, but soon enough I pulled it up on Spotify and he was rocking out to it, a few days later I asked him if he wanted to see the video for "Dragula," he watched it, and MAN, it was like a lightbulb went off in his head. He FLIPPED OUT, I mean, he went C-R-A-Z-Y, it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen, I've never seen him flip out over a band like that, now he's doing all the moves, and the headbang, and the hands and faces, it was AWESOME!
So as the tour got closer I told him "you know dada is playing with Rob Zombie, do you wanna watch the show?" He was all over it. My wife asked me to do some recon the day before the Bay Area show in LA to make sure the shows wasn't too crazy / inapproriate, and after watching it, I decided we'd skip Wyatt and Zander seeing the opening song "Teenage Nosferatu Pussy" which flashes in giant letters the word "PUSSY" across the screen 20 times, (LOL!), but after that it was all good. So there we are, Genevra, Zander, Wyatt and me, all watching Zombie at the Mountain View show, the kids first rock concert (that they really wanted to see) singing along, throwing horns, head-banging like, well, kids, it was awesome, really really cool.
I can almost guarantee this is not what every American family does (and from time to time, why the hell not?), but that's what our family was doing, and it was perfect. This is life, not everything is going to go the way you want, when you want it. I feel the sooner you realize that the better, but you have to find your times of peace and yeah, perfection whenever possible. For some it’s when the day is done gathered at the dinner table, for others it might be at a church of some kind, but for the Heavy Metal family Flynn? We found it amongst the masks, costumes, monsters, giant devils, boom-boxes, break-dancers...
And yes... Ultraman!
I'm going to be 46 this Friday.
Born under a bad moon on July 19th, 1967.
Where the hell does the time go!?
I'll tell you where. It goes into a whole lotta rockin'! We’re talking about an entire lifetime of playing metal for a living. Since I was 16 years old I've been playing some heavy ass music, damn near 30 years now and I tell you what…I may look a little bit older, I may crawl outta bed a little bit slower, but I'm out here killing this shit!! Giving kids half my age a run for their money and just plain KILLING IT! Let's see how many of these kids are still around when they get to my age? Will they still be playing heavy? Will they still be in it for life? Will they still love it? Will they stick it out through all the up’s and downs 30 years into it? Will they still be in it for the thrill? And above all, will they still able to make 5,000 to 10,000 people lose their fucking minds night in, night out?
It's been fun getting here and I'm feeling really good right now. 46 years old...? Nah... 46 years young motherfucker!
Out here on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour there is a guy named Ari (short for Aristotle) who's the soundman / tour manager for Job For A Cowboy and who's also a trainer. Dude is super cool, (as are all the JFAC dudes), and JFAC brought a shit ton of weights, dumbells, kettle-bells, bench press, and have been WAY nice about letting other people use it. Seriously, these guys have more weightlifting gear in their trailer than music gear, LOL! They've named their "gym" the "Globo Gym" after the Ben Stiller / Vince Vaughn movie "Dodgeball". Hella funny. I haven't hit the weights hard in years, and this Ari dude has such a positive vibe, he's really inspired me to get outta my rut.
Sure, I been running for a few years, push-ups, pull-ups, but hitting the weights...? Man, been a while. It feels good, really good. I wake up, lay around for a few minutes, then jump outta bed, throw my workout clothes on, and join them in the hot, humid sun. No breakfast, no coffee, just get out there and do it. If I start fartin' around with coffee and internet and all that shit I just lose all motivation, and anyway, it supposedly burns more calories with no food in your stomach.
Yes, being in a band keeps you young.
Thom Yorke from Radiohead went on a big rant about the evils of Spotify the other day. It was so random and out of the blue it was a total WTF? It's funny how Spotify has come to represent the bad thing for (it seems) older people... er uh, people my age *ahem*.
In fact I was talking to a buddy out here on Mayhem the other day, and he was telling me about a bands new record I should check out, and I was like "oh yeah, thanks for the reminder, I'll have to Spotify that," and he gave me a little shit like "oh man, you gotta go and 'buy' that shit," and I was like, " I AM buying it, I got Spotify Premium, they're getting money off my stream and if I love it, I'll most likely buy it on iTunes, but dude, I'm on tour, at an amphitheater in the middle of nowhere, when am I going to buy that shit at a store? That most likely doesn't even carry said record?"
That's the beauty of Spotify. I can get music in an instant, no waiting, no trips to the store, literally within 30 seconds! For 10 bucks a month!! Shit, I spend 5 times that on fucking coffee which doesn't do jack shit for me!!
See what getting old does?
It makes you scared of the future. It makes you scared of what other people may think of you, it makes you scared to adapt, when really, the only thing that will allow us to survive is adapting. When you're young, you just don't care, you're gonna rebel, you're gonna do your own thing, you want to find about the "newest thing", you're willing to give things a shot, and if it sucks, you're quick to ditch it, but if it's great, you tell everyone you know.
Do I ever miss being 22? Hell no! I was a cranked-out, tweaked-out, heavy drinking, gun-toting, idiot without a car! I don't need to be young again! I'm better now than I've ever been but most importantly I don't "feel" old. I don't want to be like Thom Yorke thinking Spotify is a scary thing. The world changed, and that's a good thing.
2 days ago was Genevra and my 13th wedding anniversary. She surprised me the day before, by opening up my bunk at 7AM and going "hey", Happy Anniversary!". She had planned with the whole crew and band to have secret trip out, and everyone kept it under wraps. I had NO idea, it was so fuckin cool. We had a day and a half of just hanging, and fun, and gettin' hammered, and watching Rob Zombie, dancing, no stress, didn't have to drive home, man, it was fucking amazing. It was like a day long date! It was the first time in 10 years she had been out on the road, since we had kids really. It was really fucking special.
THE FALL OF GIANTS
Reading books on my iPad in my bunk before I go to sleep, is one my favorite ways to pass the time on tour. I just finished part 1 of a trilogy of books called "The Fall Of Giants" by "Pillars Of The Earth" author Ken Follet. This dude is one of my FAVORITE authors, he is so ridiculously fucking good, but be warned, his books are EPIC in length. Part 1 of TFOG takes place from 1914 to 1920 during World War I. And let me tell you, talking about the world being a different place, man, our world was way different back then.
People rarely had toilets in their houses, the shitter would be a block away, and shared by 20 other houses in the neighborhood (kinda like being on tour!). Women couldn't vote, blacks couldn't vote, shit, a lot of whites couldn't vote, and if someone went away you might not speak to them at all for several months, maybe several years!
Reading this book, puts a lot of shit in perspective, as did his previous book the staggering epic "Pillars of the Earth", our society is so petty, we're spoiled, entitled to convenience.
Am I worried about growing old, or Spotify, or needing reading glasses, or being outta shape, FUCK NO!! I'm stoked to be alive! I'm stoked I made it this far! I'm stoked to still play the game!! I'm stoked I did what I did and lived to tell about it!!
We should all be so lucky.
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While it seems absurd that El Paso, Texas-based radio station 95.5 FM, KLAQ would choose to go through the effort to post this on their website, we guess in-light of the big hub-bub about Black Veil Brides getting "called out" by the drummer for The Bronx for having "fake cabs" on the Warped tour earlier this month, some "brain-donor" over at the station has decided to drop the "newsflash of the century" and "call out" Machine Head for having "fake amps" too! A practice that for over 40 years now has been common-place in rock 'n roll going back to the days of Van Halen and AC/DC.
For the record, Machine Head "back" ANY band that uses dummy cabs in hopes of giving their fans a better, more impressive show. That includes the Black Veil Brides, who like many young musicians (and Machine Head) use direct-to-PA amp modeling gear like Fractals and Kempers. At least Black Veil Brides are playing their instruments, and not waving their hands along to a fucking laptop!!
Machine Head have 2 cabinet set-carts in the shape of our diamond logo, we use half of the 4 cabs for live sound, the ones labeled "live" in the "smoking gun photos" are actually that, a real LIVE cabinet, that's plugged in (as you can see in the photo), that make sound, have real speakers, plug into a "real amp", and has a mic in front of it that sends our face-melting guitar tones out to the crowd via the PA. The ones that our guitar techs labeled (for some reason, in bright green flourescent gaff tape)"dummy" are actually real cabs too, with real speakers and everything, but we only have so many amps to power them, and really who gives a shit, because ALL the cabs are REAL!!
Quick history lesson for grizzled 24 year-old heavy metal veteran Lisa Sanchez: Since the dawn of heavy music, bands have used dummy cabinets as part of an often-impressive looking stage design. When Slayer played the Mayhem Festival last year and had 2 giant upside-down crosses made out of Marshall cabinets, that lit on fire, guess what? They weren't all plugged in!
When Rob Halford of Judas Priest rides his Harley thru a swinging gate of Marshall stacks, guess what? Those are "dummies" too. In fact, the only "dummy" here is the one taking pictures, taking liberties, while standing on our stage, as our uninvited guest, and writing up the "controversial scoop", and then Tweeting and Facebooking about it.
How about calling out someone for something that really matters instead of bands who are only helping people escape for a little while?
What exactly are you trying to do here?
Here's what, you're attempting to create a controversy to get hits on your website, and this response should do just that. In fact, we're already giving you and your radio station website too much traffic via this response.
Hope you enjoy the free press.
- Robb and Phil
Black Veil Brides "controversial" photo:
Machine Head "fake amp" photos taken by KLAQ:
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I just looked at my last Journal entry, it’s been 3 weeks... 3 WEEKS!!!??? Where does the time go? All I do know is it has been the craziest, most hectic 21 days I can remember having in a very long time.
Amongst the things I’ve been doing include; finalizing an entire line of new merchandise, finalizing an entirely new stage set, getting the full headline set rehearsals in, showing Jared the little nuances of Machine Head songs, trying to remember all the things I need to take on a summer tour after having 6 months off, layering in parts and vocals for the still unfinished demo we have, and squeezing in being a dad and husband somewhere in there, and in all honesty probably not doing a very good job of it.
We just wrapped up show number 7 in Auburn, Washington (or as one of the lunatics shirts in the pit read "MOSHINGTON", LOL!), it was a killer show, man I love Washington, freaks, stoners, meth heads, all just ready to rage and have a good time. Night before that was in Nampa, Idaho, where it was 106 degrees outside, but man those people went for it! It was a rager!! I love playing in places like this, people are starving for it. They don't get bands very often unless it's country crap, so it's a big deal to them. Because of that the shows are often incredible for both the fans as well as the band themselves.
The tour started off on the other side of the state in Spokane, Washington. I flew in the night before, Phil flew in day of show, but the rest of the crew/band left a day before that on the bus, and just like what happened on the Dethklok tour, right as the bus passed thru Eugene Oregon, it broke down, AGAIN, in the same exact place we broke down last time!!!?? McClain was like "This area is the Bermuda Triangle for busses and Machine Head!!"
This time they were able to get the bus fixed, they pull up to the venue at 7:30 PM for a show were supposed to play at 9:15, and somehow, our insanely amazing crew got all the gear up and running and miraculously, we hit the stage by 10 PM. Not only was this the first warm-up show after a six month break, but we were playing our first show with new guy Jared MacEachern. So right off the bat he gets his first taste of the chaos of being in Machine Head, LOL!! I'm SO glad we [band and crew] pulled it off, because as always, Spokane was fucking killer! Total die hard metal heads up there, they love it.
Portland, Oregon was up next, and it was great to finally make it up to them after missing them on the Dethklok run. On the day off we stayed in a really cool area of Portland that I had never been to called Lower Burnside. This is a young music-centric part of town with lots of one-of-a-kind shops that are totally worth checking out. The show itself was way sold-out, shit it was way over-sold and I'm guessing 115 degrees onstage and it was easily the best, rowdiest headline show we've ever played in Portland. People were losing their minds. We saw our buddy and former Terror guitarist Doug Weber and had a good party sesh after. All the local openers were rockin’, and we got hooked up by the guys in Proven with some cool merch. Thanks dudes!
Fresno was coming up next and Mayhem the following day and I still had a ton of stuff to prepare for and pick up. So the next day myself and the man-of-many-hats, Pandoro, Pando Calrissian, rented a car and took a 4 hour road trip from Redding, CA down to The Bay to pick up part of our stage set. While we drove, Scott and Rodrigo rented a truck and loaded up our gear and went down to Petaluma to the Mesa Boogie factory to get new grills set in our Boogie cabs and swap out the head cases back to our original 5150 cases. Unfortunately the new Kryptonite cases were flimsy pieces of shit.
Our long time art collaborator Strephon Taylor and I had been designing this stage set for the last couple months. We brainstormed needing something that would translate in the daylight, as there are no lights on the Jager stage or need for them at 5 in the afternoon. To watch all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place bit by bit was fucking cool as shit. These frankly bad ass MH Flag Standards that he helped design were to be turned from a 1 dimensional drawing into a 3 dimensional reality, all 12 were supposed to be done on this day, but when we got there only one was ready. It ended up being a blessing in disguise as we had a few questionable ideas about how we were going to paint them, and it gave us the time to re-think it.
Luis at AAA Flag made the banners we had mocked up and did a sick job, and Jose over at Accurate Staging designed the banner supports as well as delivering everything! Both companies did top notch work, and both of these guys went way above and beyond.
I crashed at my pad all too briefly and the next day Pando and I picked up the Flag Standards, drove 5 hours to Fresno, where Phil, Jared, Phil's buddy Shack, and later Dave, immediately began priming and spray painting the 12 standards in the 106 degree Fresno heat. As this is happening, get this, a car crashed into our bus!! This is Machine Head and this shit happens, but you know what? We went and played another over-sold-out show to a fuckin’ rabid maniacal audience, where the temperature rose to at least 120 degrees inside.
Easily it was the hottest show I can remember in a decade, and running outside to cool off in the still 95 degree weather didn't do much. Fresno was fucking insane!!!!
Next day we got to Mayhem, bumped into Mark from Suicide Silence who totally saved the day helping us out, our buddy Gerardo was a hero in painting the rest of the standards and by the time we walked onstage to play our first show, the vibe was palpable. I'm not one to brag and I'll be the first to admit if we played like shit, but man, we KILLED it that first day! It was such a good feeling to know all the preparation, all the work leading up to this, to see it all come to life, the stage, the merch, the banners and the flag standards, it was fuckin’ epic! I was really proud of us for pulling it off.
Don't miss this tour, Mayhem is crushing across the US!
It is with great pride and excitement that Machine Head announce Jared MacEachern as their new bass player. Jared has already begun rehearsals for the upcoming Rockstar Mayhem U.S. summer festival tour and will soon relocate from North Carolina to Northern California to begin pre-production for Machine Head's upcoming 8th studio release.
Some fans might remember MacEachern from 2007's The Black Tyranny Tour, playing with his previous band Sanctity. Machine Head, challenged to find a fill-in bass player for the North American tour after an injury sidelined their then-4-stringer, also found themselves in need of someone to sing harmony with singer/guitarist Robb Flynn. Flynn remembers, "We had locked in Brandon Sigmund of local boys Hostility to play bass on that tour, but we soon realized we'd need someone to hit the high harmonies. Our A&R guy Monte Conner recommended Jared since he was already on the tour, and that ended up being a great call. Jared flew out a few days before the tour and rehearsed with us and did great. What was most impressive about the whole thing was that he was doing double duty - opening for Machine Head with his band at the time Sanctity, and then later singing with us. He would stay sober until after our set, and often get in the van and drive all night. His seriousness and dedication was awesome to see and it stuck with us".
Earlier this year, Machine Head conducted an extensive search for candidates through various channels, the most fruitful of which proved to be video submissions. Sifting through more than 400 videos, the band personally reviewed and evaluated everyone's performances, including MacEachern, who made the short list without a second thought. Lead guitarist Phil Demmel recalls, "There were dozens of amazing players, and it was interesting to watch each one take on our tunes. One of our biggest criteria for this gig was to be able to sing the high harmonies. That was our litmus test. And Jared passed with flying colors."
After reviewing all of the submissions, the band narrowed down the 400+ candidates to a short list of 7, each of whom took a trip to Oakland to perform a handful of songs in person and spend the day hanging with the band. Remembers Drummer Dave McClain, "Jared came in to the audition and just killed it! Besides being able to nail the bass and vocal harmonies, he also had the vibe and personality to make it feel like we were a BAND again. It was a great feeling and we all knew he was the guy."
MacEachern first picked up concert bass at 12 and around the same time, discovered metal. Jared recalls, "I heard the song 'Unforgiven' and really liked it. The next day my friend gave me 'Kill 'Em All' and it was over. I became completely enamored with all the metal bands of that time; Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera, but when it came to bass, it was all about Cliff Burton, he was, and is my dude." With a brief stint at the Brevard School for Music Performance, Jared has consistently played bass for the past 22 years, most notably in Sanctity, where oddly enough, the band needed a guitar player. "That was purely out of necessity" he explains, "I'd been a bass player, but that gig opened up and I gave it a shot on the 6-stringer."
After extensive global touring with Sanctity and the birth of his daughter in 2007, the band's release from their label ignited Jared's sense of responsibility and he quit the band to focus on her. But music stayed a part of his life and he continued to jam locally throughout the south with death metal bands From A Dig and Telic, until he saw Machine Head were in need and thought he'd try out.
Frontman Robb Flynn reflects, "We really wanted a guy that was hungry for this, someone who could live and breathe this with us. Dave would joke around that we didn't want to get someone too green that'd be like 'oh my god, is this a dressing room?!', but we also didn't want someone who was too jaded by the whole thing and 'been there done that'. We thought the perfect guy would be someone who'd paid some dues, who had done 9 or 10 crummy van tours, and wasn't broken by that, but inspired to keep going and play music, and in many ways that was Jared. I mean hell, the guy's only rode in a bus for two nights, one of which was with us! It brings a really cool level of appreciation to the table, and it shows where his heart's at."
Jared enthuses, "I'm ready to get to work! This tour is going to kick ass and the new tunes are heavy as shit! I'm SO looking forward to making good music with good dudes!"
Jared's Audition photos:
Jared's Audition videos:
Sanctity - Beneath The Machine (video):
Jared circa 2007's The Black Tyranny tour with Machine Head:
So check this out - My son Zander and I have been laid up with the stomach flu for the last week, I had it bad, he had it really brutal, and after one of the longest weeks of my life we’re both finally over it. I had been meaning to put these pictures up as soon as I was able to get them up on my Instagram and Twitter, but not here. Since it seems the Twitter people and Facebook people don't really overlap, it appears that many of you here missed these, so here are the pictures in the photo section.
My manager Joseph, his girl Cass, and I bought last minute tickets on Southwest Airlines and flew down to L.A. on Thursday morning. We got in a few hours early and grabbed lunch at a rad restaurant called Tender Greens which is located right across from the Hollywood Palladium. We also had the pleasure of finding a ridiculously good coffee place called Groundwork Coffee Company. There we kicked back for a bit knowing that the day ahead was going to be an intense one. We hung out and watched the streets get taken over by a sea of black, denim and leather. Slayer fans were now snaked down the streets of Hollywood.
Once we arrived at the Palladium we hit the will-call and we ran into long-time friend William Howell, photographer Stephanie Cabrall, ours and Slayer's lawyer Scott Harrington, Paul Bostaph, Nikki Black, Maria Ferraro and a ton of friends. The vibe was sad but upbeat, shitty circumstance, but happy to see each other.
The memorial itself was really cool, in fact, it was impressive. The first 1,500 or so got a free laminate and guitar pick upon entry, video walls with classic Jeff photos rotating the whole time. There were memorial shirts available for purchase, a huge display on stage of Jeff memorabilia including his Marshall cabs, his guitars, his thigh-high boots, an iron cross flower wreath. For me the one amazingly cool item was the Gibson Les Paul from "Show No Mercy" that took center stage.
As cool and amazing as the items were, I was well aware of where I was at, and what I was there for, because I was still in a bit of shock that Jeff Hanneman from Slayer was actually dead. But seeing that guitar... that's when it really hit me. I spent a lot of time looking at the back of that "Show No Mercy" album, those classic pictures. Sitting there with my old guitar tech Warren Lee and Dave Lombardo before doors had opened, looking at the guitar and talking old Slayer stories... man, it was heavy.
We were told that there would only be 4 speakers, so I dashed the idea of going up and saying something. Nick Bowcott started off the proceedings, and did a damn good job, he's a really good MC to an event, funny, meaningful, loud, and they couldn't have got anyone better. Metal Blade Records founder (and McClain's former landlord!) Brian Slagel got up and spoke and he told some great early Slayer stories. He talked about recording the first albums with Bill Metoyer, and the pre-‘Show No Mercy’ days. Next up was their long time record company liaison at American Recordings, Dino Parades, who was far and away the most choked up about being there. Dino said he'd been worried about him for the last 10 years; it was emotional as he had to stop a few times. It was moving and it was awesome, he told a lot of great stories about Jeff. You can tell he truly cared about Jeff Hanneman.
Kerry was up next, feisty and cool as cucumber, he joked about how ironic it was that the memorial was at the Palladium considering that they had been banned from playing there for 20 years after a ‘South Of Heaven’-era riot! He told a good joke about Hanneman never having a drivers license (after getting 2 DUI's when he was 18 and just saying "fuck it, this driving shit ain't for me," LOL!), he would pick him up for practice for the remainder of his tenure in Slayer. He told a couple other stories, nothing really about Jeff, more about him (Kerry) and then "Jeff laughing." He shut down a heckler, did a shot in his brothers honor, and then walked off.
Robert Trujillo came up next and had a good story about Rocky George and Jeff (who were very close) from the Suicidal Tendencies days, but mostly spoke about the legacy of Slayer, which truth be told... was weird.
Our former manager Rick Sales and his management team were up next and Rick told a great story about how in the pre-cell phone days, Jeff would get off tour and disconnect his phone so that no one could reach him. This would go on for up-to 4 months sometimes, and then he'd turn it back on (with a new number) and slowly let people figure it out. Apparently Jeff thought this was absolutely freakin' hilarious!! Nick John spoke, Kristin Mulderig read a letter from Jeff's wife Kathyrn that was pretty rad. She mentioned how stoked Jeff was to find out that Gary Holt of Exodus was filling in for him, gave Gary some well-deserved props. It was cool.
At this point Nick Bowcott mentioned that people in the VIP could speak if they wanted to, which was a bit of a surprise to everyone, I thought about it for a sec, but with Tom not being there and Lombardo not speaking, it just seemed weird.
In the end Shavo from System of a Down came up and again talked about the legacy of Slayer. Then they started the photo tribute. This was heavy, a soon as I saw baby pictures, that was it, I welled up. Interestingly, they started the montage with Metallica's "Fade To Black" which after all the bad blood between the 2 bands all those years was really cool (they also played Krokus’ - "Screaming In The Night" three times throughout the night, which apparently another favorite of Jeff’s ).
Some of the early pictures of Jeff were amazing, him and his brother in backyard air-guitar-ing was a standout. The classic early Slayer shots in make up, very fuckin' cool. The 2nd song of the montage was “Raining Blood,” and when it started, 4 huge circle pits broke out. I have no idea why, but that totally welled me up, I didn't quite shed a tear, but it was fucking close. I kept asking myself, "why of all things is THIS, a fucking CIRCLE PIT, welling me up?" LOL! maybe it was the passion they stir. Either way, it was fuckin awesome!
We hung out in the VIP for a bit after, hung out with Chuck Billy and his wife Tiff, Gary Holt, Mark and Danny from Suicide Silence, Johnny Araya, Dean Karr, rapped with Kerry and his old on-tour bartender Boner who was out with Slayer / Machine Head on the Divine Intourvention tour back in '94 / '95.
We ended up going across the street for drinks with the Slayer camp, I talked to Nick John for a bit, Kerry and his wife Ayesha who I had a really cool conversation with, Rick Sales, Rita Haney. Caught a good buzz and then headed for the airport, caught a flight back to the Bay where I passed out the whole time. I had grabbed some shirts and picks for Dave and Phil and took some pictures of the stuff I got. In the end it was a monumental tribute to a monumental guitarist who helped define an entire style and genre.
Kudos to the Slayer camp, and hails to Jeff Hanneman
Jeff and I with our friends from Broken Hope Shaun Glass and Jeremy Wagner back in Feb '95 on "Divine Intourvention"
Tribute Guitar Pick
THE guitar from "Show No Mercy", SO awesome!
Now that's a flower wreath!
4 circle pits for "Raining Blood"
Gary Holt, Ya Boy, dude, and Chuck Billy
The General and The King
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