Drummer Dave McClain of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD was interviewed for the summer issue of U.K.'s Rhythm magazine.
When asked if he is feeling the pressure to follow up MACHINE HEAD's 2007 masterpiece "The Blackening" with an equally epic album, McClain said, "There's always pressure, especially after everything that came along with 'The Blackening' for us. After the tour, which I think was three years, we were just so ready. As much as we loved everything that happened with 'The Blackening', we were ready to put that whole thing behind us and get started. I was writing a little bit, Robb [Flynn, guitar/vocals] had written some stuff, Phil [Demmel, guitar] was writing, but we were all not showing each other anything! Once we got back home I set my drums back up that week and started playing again and waited around for everyone to come around. Robb was the first one to call, and we were more just excited than feeling any pressure about anything that point. It was good: we were ready to get back in, although we didn't have to get back in. We were ready to start writing and it was really cool."
Regarding the new MACHINE HEAD song "Darkness Within", which is said to represent a new direction for MACHINE HEAD, McClain said, "Yeah. There's elements to it that are really rock, but it's really dark too. Super dark. It totally sounds like MACHINE HEAD, though. We had a four-piece orchestra come in and do stuff on it. There [was] also a song that I wrote the music for [that didn't make the new album], and when I gave it to Robb. I said to him, 'I've always wanted to hear a song that's just you and a piano, kind of like 'Changes' by BLACK SABBATH.' I wrote the whole thing on the guitar with a melody-line lead, and he liked it and put piano on it. . . [Had the song made the record] it [would have been] a big stretch because it's something that we've never done before, bringing in piano and everything."
You can order a copy of the summer issue of Rhythm magazine at this location.