MACHINE HEAD Drummer Says Band Is ‘Almost Playing The Whole’ New Album Live

Steve Patrick of UWeekly recently conducted an interview with drummer Dave McClain of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

UWeekly: What did the band want from this new album [“Unto The Locust”} on the heels of the success of “The Blackening”?

Dave: We didn’t want to write “The Blackening” again. At that point, we were just so…from touring “The Blackening” for three years … we were just ready to get home, not that we were tired of touring or anything, but we were just kinda ready to close the door on “The Blackening” and get on with new stuff. We took a little bit of time off, a couple months, and then got back into it. We didn’t know where the record was gonna go. We’d all been writing separately, so we didn’t really have like one vision of where we were going and we never really do. Me and Robb (Flynn, lead vocals/guitar) got together first and he had the song “This Is The End” and it started off completely different than anything that we were doing before with “Through The Ashes Of Empires” or “The Blackening”. It started off with this classical stuff … super-hard, super-thrashy, and kinda blast beat stuff going on. So it’s cool, you know, just getting into that writing process with something completely different than what we’ve done.

UWeekly: “Unto The Locust” has some pretty striking artwork. How was the art/artist selected?

Dave: Originally we kinda wanted to do something that was kinda similar to VAN HALEN‘s “Fair Warning” or SLAYER‘s “Reign in Blood”, that kind of weird art, you know? We just started looking at all this stuff and I think Robb just sort of stumbled upon this guy (Paul Gerrard) and he had some really cool stuff. It turned out that he was in college and stuff, and he used to listen to MACHINE HEAD a lot, so he was just pretty excited to do it.

UWeekly: Is there a new song that you are particularly enjoying to play live?

Dave: Uh, yeah, a lot of them actually. We open up with “I Am Hell” and it’s just insane right off the bat. Just full blast. Yeah, we’re almost playing the whole record except “Pearls Before The Swine” … The cool thing about the record is that I think like every song is kind of different in its own way, so going from a song like “I Am Hell” to, like, “Be Still And Know” … they’re all just so different. Maybe it’s just that we’re not sick of playing them yet. I don’t know. [Laughs]

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