San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD entered GREEN DAY’s Oakland, California’s JingleTown Recording compound on February 9 to begin recording their new album for a late 2014 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Comments MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn in the latest installment of his online blog, “The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman… And Other Ramblings”: “As I step off the insane recording treadmill I’ve been on for a few weeks, one thing is for certain, it’s all about slow and steady progress. I mean, I really wish I had more of an exciting update to give you, but I’ve been slammed recording guitars, laying down vocals, and working on some killer packaging ideas with the Nuclear Blast crew.
“Less than a week before we got into JingleTown, we finished a pair of songs, one of which was literally not even an idea the week previous. Phil [Demmel, guitar] brought in some great, GREAT stuff at the 11th hour and we were able to turn it into a really cool song with the working title of ‘Sharkbite Days Revisited’. The other song, formerly known as ‘Blazing Saddles’, just wasn’t working. Even though it had some cool parts, it was just too goddamned hard to play and make it sound natural, so we back-burnered it for a while. It was the type of song where we finally realized our mortality, LOL! One of those ‘dammit, I can’t play this fast at my age anymore’ kind of moments! But it was a song that came at a time when we needed a good kick in the ass, and it completely helped break my writer’s block. It was the crack in the dam, and after that, all hell flowed. So if anything, it served its purpose well!
“So on the second to last day of rehearsals, [Dave] McClain [drums] and I deconstructed ‘Blazing Saddles’, and then reconstructed it into a far simpler structure, and it’s fuckin’ rockin’! Less of a SLAYER/SLIPKNOT vibe, and more of a ‘Screaming For Vengeance’-era JUDAS PRIEST feel to it. Appropriately, it has now been given the working title ‘Simmering Saddles’.
“I laid down some scratch vocal ideas on the 3 ‘newest’ tunes, and made some huge progress on the song (working title: ‘Riffnado’). I can already tell it’s gonna be really cool.
“So that’s about it for now. I know it doesn’t look like much, but as my engineer Juan says, ‘There some blood on the board there’ (pic below).”
“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 third of four tarot cards making up 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!”
Tentative songtitles set to appear on the new MACHINE HEAD album include “Killers & Kings”, “Beneath The Silt”, “Eyes Of The Dead” (formerly “Ojos De La Muerte”), “Sail Into The Black”, How We Die” and “Night Of The Long Knives”.