Megadeth’s David Ellefson Premieres New Song “Hammer Comes Down” Feat. Alter Bridge, Sacred Reich, Ex-Megadeth, Etc. Members

Megadeth’s David Ellefson has premiered a lyric video for his new song “Hammer Comes Down.“ The track features a number of guests including: Ellefson’s business partner Thom Hazaert, Eric “A.K.” Knutson (Flotsam And Jetsam), Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge, etc.), Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth), Joey Radziwill (Sacred Reich), and Dave McClain (Sacred Reich, ex-Machine Head). The song will appear on Ellefson’s “More Life With Deth” companion album “Sleeping Giants“ (out July 16).


Phil Demmel Says Machine Head “Became A Robb Flynn Solo Project”

During a recent interview on the “Talk Toomey” podcast, Phil Demmel opened up about his departure from Machine Head. The guitarist says the band got to a point where “it just became a Robb Flynn solo project, and that isn’t what [he] signed up for.”

Demmel said the following:

“I’m not gonna badmouth the breakup or [Robb]. I think he’s an amazing musician, and the times I had in Machine Head were awesome. The last few years just weren’t. We just didn’t work as people anymore.

I think [Robb] strayed from the path of being a band. He stayed on his path. Instead of us being on the same path or asking to be on the same path, it just became, ‘This is what we’re doing.'”

Demmel also said he “hates” the band’s latest album “Catharsis“:

“I hate the last record. There’s moments of what I wrote that I like. I wrote most of the music to ‘California Bleeding‘, but then he [Robb] wrote the lyrics on top of it that I just wish that… Me and Dave talk about it, like, ‘Fuck! I wish I could take my riffs back.’ [Laughs] ‘No, that isn’t what we want them used for.’

So, I think, in that sense, it just became a Robb Flynn solo project, and that isn’t what I signed up for. And the last few years were basically collecting a paycheck. And I just couldn’t do that. The stress and all the talks and all the ‘can’t do this,’ ‘don’t do that,’ ‘don’t do this,’ ‘don’t stand there,’ ‘don’t say this,’ ‘don’t sing the words to the audience,’ don’t point.’”

For his part, Flynn basically said they had “grown apart” and that he “held on too tight to the reins of this band,” suffocating the other guys in the process. Demmel was also asked about that statement and whether or not the frontman told him that directly. He responded with the following:

“The way I remember it, the final talk that we kind of had… I don’t wanna speak out of turn here, so I’m gonna choose my words pretty carefully. I think that—personally; I only speak for me—I think that Robb was just as done with me as I was with him. I think it was, like, ‘Maybe we can go to therapy,’ but it was kind of things that are just being said just to, like, ‘Hey, we both know this is over.’ I think I kind of did him a favor by not having him have to fire me. I think that he believed what he said. And he knows what’s happening, but it’s just the way that he’s running things now. And so, it just didn’t work anymore.”

He went on to discuss the final tour after being asked if it was awkward:

“…I wasn’t gonna do the [last] tour. I was hoping that they’d get somebody to replace me. And then Dave said, ‘Well, I’m not gonna do the tour unless you do the tour.’ So, if Dave left, then the tour [would have been] canceled. So we just kind of agreed to, ‘We’ll honor the tour [and] be done.’ The last tour, [it was] totally awkward. Me and Robb [weren’t] talking. It [wasn’t] mean, but there [was] no talking. Onstage, it [was] kind of forced.

I’m sitting here now just kind of processing everything that has happened, and I think that there is still some… I don’t wanna say ‘bitterness,’ but just… I don’t know if I’ve been able to really process the way everything has ended and gone.”

The guitarist also said he is sure Flynn will move forward with a new lineup:

“There was never a doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t [carry on]. Especially in my position — I think that the guitar position for that band would just be a plug-and-play situation. I contributed heavily to the material. But in the end, Robb wants to do what he’s gonna do, so I don’t know how much that would be a factor. The records that I contributed to — five records; well, actually four — I’m not gonna count the last one. ‘The Blackening’, ‘[Unto The] Locust’… Those records would look entirely different without my contributions.

I think losing Dave McClain is a huge, huge blow. I think that he was such a part of that process, and finding somebody is not gonna be easy. But there’s never been a doubt in my mind that [Robb will] find two people to probably just be hired guns. I don’t think that he wants to take on the headache of the corporation and all that. This is what he’s good at. He’s an amazing musician. He’s great with notes and note selection and melodies and layering stuff. And he’s got Jared [MacEachern, bass] with him, who’s fucking… I think he was the best musician when I was in the band. The guy is classically trained and knows theory and can sing his ass off and can play.”

Despite all this, Demmel doesn’t regret his time in the band:

“I look back at my time in the band and I’m really proud of everything that we’ve done. I helped take this band from its lowest point to its highest point. We wrote some amazing records, played some amazing shows. So I’m trying to reflect on all the positive stuff. And just being free now of… So much was held back towards the end—in the past couple of years, three or four years—and just being stress-free is what I’m kind of focusing on now. Just focus on all the positive stuff that we’ve done and move forward with all the fun stuff that’s happening now.”

This news comes after Demmel previously said Flynn was not approached about participating in Vio-lence’s reunion shows, which are set to take place on April 13-14 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, CA. Those shows will reportedly be followed by another to be announced date overseas.

[via Blabbermouth]

Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head) Rejoins Sacred Reich

Dave McClain (ex-Machine Head) has officially rejoined Sacred Reich. The drummer was previously a member of the group from 1991 to 1995.

Frontman Phil Rind commented:

“It is with great pleasure that we announce that Dave McClain is once again a member of Sacred Reich! This was the best case scenario that we could have hoped for. Dave is the best! A great drummer and a great person and we are beyond excited to welcome him back to the band. We’re headed into the studio in February and can’t wait for you all to hear our new record due in the Summer of 2019!”

McClain added:

“I’m so excited about rejoining my brothers in Sacred Reich. To have the opportunity to make and play music with one of my favorite metal bands was always something I hoped could happen. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new album that we’re recording in February and to come see us out on the road in 2019-2020.”

Concert Review: Machine Head Play Final Show With Phil Demmel & Dave McClain In Santa Cruz, CA

On November 24, I attended Machine Head’s concert at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA and it was an awesome show that saw guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain take the stage with the band one last time.

The group kicked off the three hour set with “Imperium” and the crowd lost their minds. The energy in the room was infectious right from the beginning and it was sustained throughout the night as the band continued to power through tracks like “Volatile,” “Now We Die,” and “Beautiful Mourning.” The group were solid on all fronts and were definitely trying to put on an amazing performance in light of Demmel and McClain’s impending exit. Frontman Robb Flynn was even trying to get the entire audience involved with fist pumping, clapping, moshing, and more.

After about seven songs in, Demmel was given a chance to show off his skills with an insane guitar solo. It was kind of a bittersweet moment, considering he will no longer be performing with Machine Head, but the crowd loved every second of it. As he finished, people started to chant “thank you Phil” for his years of work with the group. From there, they launched into “Darkness Within” followed by the title track to their latest album “Catharsis.”

The band then played six more tracks, including: “Is There Anybody Out There?,” a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” “Locust,” etc., before it was time for McClain to say goodbye with an epic drum solo. It was another bittersweet moment since McClain’s thunderous beats will no longer be present in the band’s live shows, but everyone was awestruck nonetheless. The solo paved the way for three more killer songs, “Bulldozer,” “Killers & Kings,” and the crowd favorite “Davidian.”

After that, the show began to reach its end, but the energy never faded. In fact, it actually grew as the group rocked a covers medley featuring tracks from Metallica, Bon Jovi, Queen, Guns N’ Roses, and Alice In Chains. As if that wasn’t enough, they followed it with “Aesthetics Of Hate,” “Game Over,” and “Old” as the main set came to a close. The audience then screamed “Machine Fucking Head” repeatedly until they returned for their encore song “Halo.”

At the conclusion of the track, Flynn thanked everyone for coming out, and said it was kind of a weird moment since it was Demmel and McClain’s last show, but the two did have an incredible sendoff as the crowed yelled “thank you Phil and Dave.” Demmel seemed to be a little emotional and gave a Flynn a long hug, before all the members ended up hugging each other. Demmel and McClain then took center stage for one last bow as everyone screamed. With that, the latest chapter of the band was officially closed on a high note. However, there is still a bit of uncertainty regarding their future, so it will be interesting to see where Flynn takes things next.

Machine Head Clarify They Aren’t Breaking Up Following Phil Demmel & Dave McClain’s Departures

Robb Flynn previously revealed that guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain will be leaving Machine Head after their upcoming North American tour. Now, the band have issued a new statement saying that this will just be “the Farewell Tour of this line-up of Machine Head” and that they will be continuing on without the two.

Here’s the new statement:

“After 23 years with Dave McClain pounding the skins at the drum throne, and 15 years with Phil Demmel shredding the guitar on stage right, both members have decided to move on from Machine Head and open a new chapter in their lives.

The upcoming Freaks & Zeroes Tour of North America (that starts this Thursday in Sacramento, CA) is still happening, and will be a celebration of the music that the line-up have created throughout the years. The split is amicable, and the guys are looking forward to playing these very special shows for the Head Cases of North America and ending this era on a positive and classy note.

Head to our YouTube page to watch Robb‘s emotional announcement.

To clarify: this is the Farewell Tour of this line-up of Machine Head, not the Farewell Tour of Machine Head, as has been reported in the media.

Machine Head wish to thank Phil and Dave for their significant contributions to the band, both musically and lyrically, as well for the spirit, genuine passion they infused into the music, and legendary live performances brought along the way.

Machine Head ask that you, the Head Cases, the Freaks & Zeroes, the Lion Hearts of America, come down and have a drink (or 5), a joint (or 3), rage at the shows, let your freak-flag-fly, and celebrate this unique moment in time with us.

Thank you friends,

– Machine Head“

Phil Demmel & Dave McClain Quit Machine Head

Robb Flynn has revealed that Phil Demmel and Dave McClain are planning to exit Machine Head after their fall North American tour. He also added that Jared MacEachern “kind of quit” too, but he has now decided to stay. The upcoming trek, which is now being called a farewell tour, will be a “celebration of [the group’s] music and this era of the band.”

Flynn said the following about the split:

“We have grown apart as people. Musically we’ve grown apart. I have held onto too tight to the reins of this band and I have suffocated those guys. I got some rough edges—I’m kind of a barnacle. And those rough edges have given us the success we have, but they’ve also hurt the people around me.”

“I’ve got a lot of drive, but I got a lot of anger and rage. And that drive of mine has alienated folks in the band. I ask that you respect Phil and Dave‘s decision, as I respect Phil‘s decision. I want to say that I’m honored and grateful for everything that they have contributed to Machine Head, which is a lot.”

He also added the following about the future:

“I don’t know what the future holds. We’re all a little scared. I’m scared and they’re scared…”

He later continued:

“I’m gonna do a little bit of soul searching here in my life and take a long hard look at myself, as I’ve done in the past. I’ve done twenty years of therapy at this point and apparently it wasn’t enough.”

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[via The PRP]