Tammy Vega of The Rock Stage recenty conducted an interview with drummer Dave McClain of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Rock Stage: “The Blackening” was such a crucial album in MACHINE HEAD‘s career and many people didn’t think that you guys would be able to top yourselves because of how successful it was but I believe “Unto The Locust” has become just as successful. Do you think that you exceeded people’s expectations?
Dave McClain: First off, thank you! Yeah, I mean, you never want to go into your next record and be like, “Oh, this one is going to totally suck compared to our last one.” It was a crazy record for us, “The Blackening”, in the respect that so many crazy things happen to us. You never really know how people are going to react to it and we wrote this record that people just like really took to. Even with, like, gaining a whole new generation of fans and all this stuff that happened with the band was so amazing. So yeah, going back into the writing cycle, it had been three years since we started touring so we were really ready to just start writing and recording. I think we were just lucky that everything fell into place. We had all these great riffs going on and these songs that were coming up were really good. So yeah, we worked really hard on doing it. We didn’t want to create the same record again.
The Rock Stage: How long did “Unto The Locust” take to write and record?
Dave McClain: From the time we started up until we went into the studio was about a year. Even when we did get into the studio, we are always changing things. Robb [Flynn, guitar/vocals] is always coming up with different vocal melodies and stuff like that.
The Rock Stage: In the new record, you guys have so many different layering involved. Does that make it hard to perform these songs live?
Dave McClain: It’s possible, but the basic songs are really raw, and I think being in the studio more for us now is about not getting into like PINK FLOYD stuff or anything. Just kind of treating the two things differently and also keeping it to when we do get to a live situation don’t we have people looking around and being like, “What the fuck was that? I don’t recognize any of that.” And we don’t use any tracks, like, yeah, we’ll use an intro, but we would never play over tracks.
The Rock Stage: How is being on the road with SUICIDE SILENCE and DARKEST HOUR?
Dave McClain: It’s awesome! The DARKEST HOUR dudes we took them out with us in Europe the last tour. I met a couple of the guys before and we hit it off great. Me and the two guitar players, the two Mikes, have a cover band. They come up here and we jam to a bunch of different rock songs, so they’re cool. We get along great with all the guys. SUICIDE SILENCE, we’ve known those dudes for a long time, so it’s good to bring them out.
Read the entire interview from The Rock Stage.