Former MACHINE HEAD guitarist Ahrue Luster (currently in ILL NINO) has released a statement in response to MACHINE HEAD drummer Dave McClain's post regarding Luster's previous characterization of the decision-making process in MH as "a Robb Flynn dictatorship."
Speaking to Metal Hammer magazine for its current issue, Luster said, "I've known [the ILL NINO] guys a long time. MACHINE HEAD did two tours with them, and I actually had more fun hanging out with them than any other band I've toured with. I feel more comfortable now than I did being MACHINE HEAD for a year. ILL NINO's more of a group effort where everybody puts in. MACHINE HEAD was kind of like a third-world democracy — where it's actually a Robb Flynn dictatorship."
In a posting to MACHINE HEAD's official forum, McClain addressed Ahrue's remarks, saying, "Is this the same Ahrue that called me a month ago asking me if I thought it would be cool for him to call [MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist] Robb [Flynn] & [bassist] Adam [Duce] 'cause he didn't want there to be any bad feelings? Fact: Ahrue usually got out voted on most stuff 3 to 1, yes we do vote on things! Fact: When it came time to talk about writing for the new album, Ahrue wanted it to be about 50% mellower stuff. Ahrue is wishy-washy at best, I mean come on, one minute he's making a supergroup Then he joins a Sacramento band and has to get a 'real' job. Needless to say, ILL NINO is the best thing that could've happened for him. That's just fuckin lame to say one thing in front of me about him not wanting any bad feelings between everyone and then going and saying this stupid bullshit!"
Responding to McClain's post, Luster sent the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"First of all, the supposed 'quote' that Dave's post was based on was not even accurate. My exact words were 'MH is more like a third-world democracy where it's really more like a dictatorship.' Meaning that although we claimed to be a democracy, I never really felt like we were one.
"Second of all, the interview in which this misquote was taken from was done before my talks with Dave and Joey Huston (MH manager) to straighten out any left-over negativity between MH and myself.
"I did have some negative feeling towards MACHINE HEAD and I'm sure they had some towards me too. That's usually the way it works with any separation. It's usually those negative feelings that cause the separation. However, I shouldn't have shared my negative feelings or opinions with the press. Also, I wish Dave would have contacted me and got the facts straight before lashing out in a public forum like he did, but what's done is done. I have since called Dave, after reading the post, to let him know that it was based on inaccurate information and it seems that things have been cleared up between us.
"Although musically, [MACHINE HEAD mainman] Robb and I don't see eye to eye, I have great respect for MACHINE HEAD and wish only the best for them. I've shared some of my highest highs and lowest lows with these guys and for that reason, MH will always be a part of me. MACHINE HEAD has a great new guitar player in Phil Demmel, who is a lot better fit for them than I was for the direction they have decided to pursue and I'm in a band that I'm a lot happier in musically and personality wise. Everyone benefited in the end so let's leave it at that.
"I know that some people in the press like to try so start wars between bands or members of bands to have something to write about, but I have no desire to perpetuate any sort of childish press war between MH and myself and hope that the journalists who read Dave McClain's last post will read this one too, realize that and let this rest."