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]

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Robb Flynn (Machine Head) Shares Behind The Scenes Look At Recent “Stars To The Rescue XXVIII” Fundraiser

Robb Flynn (Machine Head) has shared a behind the scenes video from the “Stars To The Rescue XXVIII” fundraiser. That event took place on January 26 at the Lesher Center For The Arts in Walnut Creek, CA and it found Flynn performing with Craig Locicero (Dress The Dead, ex-Forbidden), Andy Galeon (ex-Death Angel), Harald O. (ex-D.R.I.), and Kayla Dixon (Dress The Dead, Witch Mountain). Proceeds from the fundraiser went towards Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

Phil Demmel Says Robb Flynn Was Not Approached About Participating In The Upcoming Vio-lence Reunion

As previously reported, Vio-lence will be reuniting for two shows at The Metro in Oakland, CA on April 13-14. However, Machine Head’s Robb Flynn will not be taking part in the reunion. Decibel recently asked Phil Demmel (ex-Machine Head) about Flynn’s absence and he responded by saying Flynn wasn’t even approached about participating.

Demmel said the following:

“Ray Vegas will be playing on guitar. We actually didn’t even approach Robb to do this. He’s always really worked pretty hard to not talk about Vio-lence or include Vio-lence in the past and this is something that, especially fresh off the Machine Head exit—yeah, he wasn’t approached.

This is something we’re doing without him; when we closed Vio-lence back in 2003 when I joined Machine Head, I was actually gonna write a Vio-lence record and shortly after I joined Machine Head, I was told that I couldn’t do that.

So Robb, he played in that last show and even his involvement in that last Vio-lence show back in 2003 was kinda… there are some memories from all of us about him being involved and playing the benefit with Sean that was something special and he got to sing. We will do like we have done before, move on, without him.”

He also added the following when asked about the future of the band:

“Future Vio-lence performances [laughs]. I’m really surprised, some other people aren’t surprised, but starting to get some offers for some Euro festivals and the rumors are abound, like, “Oh, Vio-lence is rumored to be on tour with Overkill!” and all this.

There’s no tour involved. There’s guys in the band that work and have families and need to be at home, so we’ll assess all of that and see who can do what. Euro festivals and American festivals have no formal offers, but have inquired to see what we’re doing. I think we just need to get through these first two shows and prove to ourselves that we can do it and also prove to everybody else, see if we have a product and if the quality is there and if we’re able to pull it off.

Not closing the door on anything. I really never thought that this would happen, you know? I’ve had some peers say “Hey, you should do some Vio-lence shows, we’ll get some other dudes to sing,” and first of all, I never thought anybody really cared outside the Bay Area outside the band anyways. It’s pretty awesome. The outpouring of support and everything, we’ll see. People, if they wanna see it, then we’ll see. We couldn’t do Vio-lence without Sean, there’s no Vio-lence without Sean Killian. He’s the one ingredient that needs to be there.

I am very, very happy that my friend is healthy, first and foremost, and getting to jam with him again, that’s just a plus. I am hoping that everybody will enjoy this gift of—he had a liver transplant, the dude was on death’s door and here he is, wanting to play. It’s not just, like, wanting to get up and sing “Green Manalishi” with your high school buddies. This fucking Vio-lence set, man, is not easy to fucking get through, especially to sing it.

I’m proud of him and I’m proud to be his friend and I’m proud to be in this band again.”

Robb Flynn (Machine Head) To Perform At “Stars To The Rescue XXVIII”

Robb Flynn (Machine Head) has announced that he will be performing at “Stars To The Rescue XXVIII.” That event will take place on January 26 at the Lesher Center For The Arts in Walnut Creek, CA and proceeds will go towards Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. Other confirmed artists include Bruce Hornsby and Christian McBride. Additional lineup announcements will be made at a later date. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

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.

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]

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Comments On Violence At Shows After A Fan Gets Suplexed During Their Southampton, UK Show

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn has issued a statement regarding violence at shows following various fan injuries, including one instance in which a man was suplexed and knocked unconscious during the band’s May 13 concert in Southampton, UK. You can read what he had to say below.

Flynn’s statement:

“Robb here: The man on the floor is Dan Giles, Dan was severely injured at last nights show when during a song near the end of our set. Several witnesses confirmed that Dan (who is a big dude to begin with) was picked up by a larger unknown dude and “suplexed” WWE-style (turned upside down and dropped on his head). He was knocked unconscious for 45 minutes.

We stopped the show after people alerted us that he was not getting up, and we were unable to finish the concert as we waited for an ambulance to arrive, combined with a strict Sunday night curfew.

Dan was laid out on the venue floor for over 90 minutes. He eventually came to, and thankfully was able to walk to the ambulance through a great amount of pain in his chest. He felt bad for stopping the show.

To say that Machine Head does NOT in any way approve of this WWE-type of behavior at our show would be a fucking understatement.

Machine Head shows are rough, we know it. Part of the fun of being at our shows is the rowdy, drunken, nature of it all, circle pits, jumping, releasing negative energy in a positive way. Hell, surviving a Machine Head pit is part of the danger and fun of our concert experience. I myself can’t tell you how many “war wounds” I walked out the pit with when I was young, and I’m proud of every one of ’em. Busted nose, chipped teeth, broken rib at a Slayer show in 1991… they were all lived-to-tell-about-it-moments… some bizarre rite-of-passage young men put themselves through.

But it is an unsaid rule of the circle pit, that if someone falls, you pick them up… you love your brother! I often bellow these words as a reminder to folks before starting a giant circle pit, to “look out for each other”. We’re all here to work out our own struggles and bullshit that we are going through as individuals.

It should go without saying that picking somebody up and slamming them on their head, is COMPLETELY FUCKING LAME! I can’t imagine the dude who did this is a Head Case or even someone who regularly goes to metal shows. More like some asshole there to start shit.

This is the 2nd show in a row now, where we’ve had to stop the concert because of a serious injury.

Complicating things even more, is that for the first time in 24 years of touring, people are now regularly waving-us-down to “stop playing” because someone fell or got hurt. It happened 4 different times last night, and we finally stopped when there was clearly a serious issue.

The tough call is that, in MOST cases the injured person is fine, and gets up. Obviously stopping the show every time someone falls down, will basically ruin the show for thousands of folks. But at the same time we need to find a balance between violent-fun and safety.

This is uncharted territory for us.

You’ll have to bare with us a we figure out the best way to approach this, and involving well-trained concert security familiar with Machine Head-type shows at a higher level will absolutely be important.

The good news is, is that long-time Head Case Dan Giles walked out of the venue last night, and while I’m sure he’s feeling it today, is going to be able to rage at another Machine Head show again.

Thank you Southampton for what was great show up until then, send some good vibes to your local boy Dan Giles.”