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MACHINEHEAD - Rockstar Mayham Festival
Rockstar Mayham Festival
Machine Head are approaching their 20th anniversary and they show no signs of slowing down. They are alternating opening the main stage on this year’s Mayhem Festival and proving to old and new fans alike why they so influential in their field. Drummer Dave McClain sat down with us backstage in Raleigh, NC and talked about their new album, the heat and winning over fans.
Rock and Metal News: Hey Dave, it’s cool of you to take time to talk to us today. I know you guys are really busy with getting everything ready for you show. How have things been going?
Machine Head: It’s a great festival. John Reese, the guy who puts it on, is very band friendly and he’s out here himself. He loves the music and it makes it really cool for all the bands. There’s no drama going on out here. There usually is when you get this many bands and people together. He has bands throw theme parties and he gives you a little budget to work with and at the end of the day, the bands get together and hang out.
Rock and Metal News: Have you adjusted to the blistering heat on this summer’s tour?
Machine Head: It’s been pretty brutal all summer and there are some bands on the side stages like All Shall perish who are touring around on an RV. It’s great fun, but at the same time it definitely takes it out of you. We had a show in Cincinnati right on the river and with the heat index it was 115 and ten minutes before we went on it just started pouring rain! The temp dropped about ten degrees and it was awesome.
Rock and Metal News: You guys have a new album called Unto the Locust that’s coming out on September 27. What can you tell us about it?
Machine Head: We’ve released the song “Locust” and we’re playing that one. That’s the only one we’re playing so far because we only have 35 minutes. We don’t want to bombard people with stuff they don’t know. It’s especially hard with a 35 set and a lot of your songs are ten minutes long. We know what songs do a good job in getting the crowd going and to sing along with.
Rock and Metal News: This festival seems to be a different type of beast. The fans seem to be into it more than say the Warped tour where there’s a lot of socializing going on. This may be their only show all year long and they are definitely here to party and have a good time. Do you get that feeling too?
Machine Head: Oh yeah, you have the two stages out in the parking lot area and the real hardcore kids are there. It goes from around one and ends around 5:30 or so. There are tons of pits out there and dust flying. We have been flip flopping opening the main stage with Trivium. This stage opens around six and there are people just getting here, probably about half who weren’t even here for all the other bands. They’re here to see Godsmack and Megadeth, but after our second song, you see them start banging their heads or clapping along. That’s a great feeling when you see that because you know that you are winning them over.
Rock and Metal News: Anything memorable happen on the tour so far?
Machine Head: There hasn’t been anything really crazy that’s happened. The night time is when all the fun really starts to happen for us. The parties and stuff start happening then. It’s great being out here with so many of our friends. There are some we know from doing Mayhem two years ago and some new ones too. There’s also the typical stuff that starts happening from being out on tour like your bus engine blowing up and being stranded on the side of the road. We were stranded for about four hours on the side of the freeway.
Rock and Metal News: The perils of touring! So, what’s next on the never ending touring agenda for you guys?
Machine Head: We have a month off and then we head over to Australia. We’re headlining the metal stage for the Soundwave Revolution Festival. The main stage is Van Halen which is pretty cool. After that we go to South America where we will be doing our first headline over there and then we headline a run in Europe. We come back here to headline after the first of the year. It’s been quite a while since we headlined a run here in the states.
Rock and Metal News: We will definitely be looking forward to that US headline tour. We are certainly looking forward to seeing you tear it up today. Thanks again for talking to us Dave.
Whether you are a fan of the old school music from Machine Head or you are a fan of the recent stuff that Machine Head have come out with then there is something on this album for both of you. This album has got the fast riffing and screaming vocals from “Burn My Eyes” with the mix of long story telling songs and lots of guitar solos that follow on from the style of ”The Blackening”.
In this album machine Head have cut back the melodic singing in most of their songs but you will get your fill in the song “Darkness Within”. This song will taking you back to the album “Through The Ashes Of The Empires” and the song Descend The Shades of Night”
When Machine Head released their single “Locus” I did feel that they changed the sound of the whole band again but when you hear the song on the album it sounds amazing and strong and mixes well with the rest of the album. For me I didn’t quite get the song as a single.
On the whole this is a great album and one of the best to date. Most fans call The Blackening Machine Heads bible then I would say this album can be called their Holy Grail and will stand the test of time as one of the all time greatest album ever.
Album Review by Joe Metal