As part of this year’s Record Store Day on April 19, San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD will release a 10-inch vinyl single, with the A-side containing the “demo” version of a new song, “Killers & Kings”. The B-side will be a cover version of the track “Our Darkest Days” from one of MACHINE HEAD’s favorite bands, IGNITE.
The cover artwork for the “Killers & Kings” single can be seen below. Also available is video footage of MACHINE HEAD members Phil Demmel (guitar), Dave McClain (drums) and Jared MacEachern (bass) laying down backing vocals on the “Our Darkest Days” cover version.
Says MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn: “I remember growing up in the thrash scene and always wanting to hear the demo version of songs. You searched them out. Thankfully, my buddy Jim was a big ‘tape trader,’ and through trading, we had both METALLICA demos, EXODUS demos, bootlegs of songs sometimes ‘years’ before they came out.
“I knew how to play every note of ‘Pleasure Of The Flesh’ by EXODUS easily two years before the record was out. I had SLAYER’s ‘Reign In Blood’ three months before it came out. I remember it still had the hi-hat counts starting the songs!!
“My friends and I would debate the merits of each (the demo was always better, LOL!).
“It’s so much cooler to hear it BEFORE the album is out!
“So we’re gonna do that for you.
“I can’t wait for you guys to hear this stuff. Then you can debate it, haha!”
MACHINE HEAD will enter the studio in February to begin recording its new album for a late summer release via the band’s new label, Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Other tentative songtitles set to appear on the CD include “Beneath The Silt”, “Ojos De La Muerte”, “Sail Into The Black” and “Night Of The Long Knives”.
Says Flynn: “The new stuff is turning out better than anyone expected.
“We had THE breakthrough with the song formerly known as ‘Back From The Grave’.
“I’d been working with the string section that played on ‘Locust’, Quartet Rogue, as well as multi-instrumentalist / keyboardist Rhys Fulber, and to quote [METALLICA drummer] Lars Ulrich (who was actually quoting Robert Trujillo), ‘We’re on some NEXT-LEVEL shit!!!’
“With that one song getting finished, I could totally see where the whole record is going. It opened up before my eyes.
“Nothing short of exciting!!!”
Speaking to U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine, Flynn stated about the band’s new material: “It sounds like MACHINE HEAD! It’s definitely moving forward, which I feel like we’re probably always gonna do.
“We’re not a band that ever looks back. We do our thing and try to take the life experiences that we have and the musicianship that we’ve evolved and try to use it. Obviously, we have our sound and we have the MACHINE HEAD patented harmonics, the downtuned riffs and I sing the way I sing.
“I think Bob Dylan said it best: ‘You just find new ways to say the same thing.'”
Speaking about some of the specific tracks and the lyrical themes covered on the new album, Flynn said: “I’ve got some pretty cool lyrics ready. There’s a song called ‘Night Of The Long Knives’, and it’s pretty fucked! It’s about the Manson murders, and the lyrics are really dark and vicious.
“We’ve found some new twists to give to the MACHINE HEAD sound and some new fire and excitement.”
Asked what the band’s main aims were when they started composing music for the new CD, Flynn said: “Well, it’s nice to try and have a plan, but music has a way of unravelling over time! [Laughs] You’ve just got to roll with it.
“With [2007’s] ‘The Blackening’, I’d love to say I had this grand vision of nine- and 10-minute songs, but the first four songs we wrote were the four shorter songs on the record. For months, there was no indication whatsoever that we’d have 10-minute songs. That stuff came later.
“Human nature wants to control and dictate where things will go, but you can’t. It won’t let you! The more you try, the more it goes, ‘Fuck you.’ It’s going some other way!”