Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) performed the U.S. national anthem during a February 10 Dublin Gaels basketball game. You can find footage of that below:
During an interview with Blabbermouth, Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) discussed his work as a fill-in guitarist. For those unaware, the musician has filled in for a number of heavy hitters in recent years including Slayer in 2018, Overkill last year, and Lamb Of God this year.
Demmel said the following:
“The SLAYER thing happened within 24 hours of me quitting MACHINE HEAD. I think [SLAYER drummer] Paul Bostaph’s girlfriend knew that MACHINE HEAD was done and knew that I was home, so they reached out for that. As the urban legend goes [laughs], I had three hours to learn 19 songs. It was pretty successful; a fill-in trip, one of the higher-profile things you can imagine — SLAYER on their final world tour. I filled in for my buddies in NONPOINT, too. The OVERKILL gig was more about me and Bobby [Ellsworth, vocals] doing the BPMD record together [2020’s ‘American Made’]. We’re familiar and I got the rep of being able to learn songs pretty quick. The METAL ALLEGIANCE, guys, too. I’ll play 25 songs with them in a night. It’s one of those quirky things where I can learn songs pretty quickly and I can pick them up pretty quick.”
“I was pretty confident with the OVERKILL songs. We had three good rehearsals. I didn’t rehearse with SLAYER at all. I played two songs at a soundcheck. [Laughs] ‘Okay, we’re good!’ It’s like, ‘Fuck!’ OVERKILL, we had a couple of days of rehearsal. I had two and a half, three weeks to prepare for that. I felt pretty strong with that.”
“The LAMB OF GOD gig, that was a big deal. They had approached me before their MEGADETH States tour last summer and wanted me to learn both parts, Mark [Morton] and Willie’s, just in case one got sick, they didn’t want to cancel their tour. That’s where I am: I’m their bullpen guy when one of them can’t make the shows, I’m ready to go. It’s such a high-profile band. I didn’t want to go out there and blow it. I wanted the band to sound good. I wanted to keep that pride in what they are and not have a drop-off. Willie and I play differently. There’s different vibrato in our left-hand and pinkies. I didn’t want there to be a drop-off. I wanted people to be not-bummed that he wasn’t there. And that’s not a slag on Willie. If I went to see one of my favorite bands, let’s say QUEENSRŸCHE. I want to see [Chris] DeGarmo, I want to see Michael Wilton. No slight against the other dudes, but they better fucking bring it if they’re not going to be out there.”
Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) has premiered a lyric video for his new song “The Permanent Decay.” The track, which features Dave McClain (Sacred Reich, ex-Machine Head), David Ellefson (Megadeth) and Brandan Schieppati (Bleeding Through), serves as the first release under Demmel’s new “umberella of music,” which he is calling “Echoes Of Reckoning.” That collection will feature “various artists covering various genres.”
Demmel said the following about “The Permanent Decay”:
“I had some tracks I had written and submitted for a previous band, that were never used, and I really liked them. Dave McClain and I had worked some of them up, and I kept thinking of who would be perfect to sing on it. My wife plays in Bleeding Through with Brandan, he ended up writing all the vocals, and singing on it, and it came out killer. Ellefson and I had been talking at NAMM last year about doing something together, so when this came up, it was the perfect opportunity to do that as well. We don’t know if we’re a band, we don’t know what we’re doing, other than that we all played on this song, and that we dig it. No one knows what the future holds.”
“Originally when me and Phil were in Machine Head, and it came time to start writing stuff for the next record, Phil had some ideas and riffs, and I’m always down there practicing all day. He just came down one day, he had these riffs, we started messing around. I mic’ed up everything in the room on my laptop, and we recorded this stuff live, and then it ended up not being used for anything.
Fast forward to all this time later, when we’re both out of Machine Head, and Phil was going out on this guitar clinic tour, and he was like, ‘Let’s record some of the riffs and songs I had.’”
Ellefson also commented:
“About a year ago when we were doing Metal Allegiance at the Anaheim House of Blues, I mentioned to Phil that we should collaborate on something together. And as the year went by, he contacted me back in October about a track, and he sent it over to me, I loved it.
It was fun to work with Brandan, who is so respected in his genre, I always love playing with innovators, and in this case, I’ve had a great experience and friendship playing with Phil, and to be able to branch out and play with Brandan, and to be back playing with Dave McClain who played on ‘Hammer Comes Down‘ on my ‘Sleeping Giants‘ album, was really kinda reuniting the family in a way, but at the same time stepping out into some new turf, and a new sound, for me, that we kinda touched on on ‘Sleeping Giants‘ as well.
I love to branch out and work with a new cast of people, and dive into different styles and genres of metal, and that’s really what this was all about.”