MACHINE HEAD Guitarist Says New Album Is 'A Big Departure'

Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with guitarist Phil Demmel of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: The new album is titled "Unto The Locust". What can you tell me about the idea behind the title and the overall lyrical theme for the album?

Phil: Well... (laughs) .. the word "locust" kind of came up because I had a couple of people in my life that had ulterior motives under the guise of purity. They had ulterior intentions, and I'm sure everybody has discovered in their lives when a friend or a business associate or lover, or anything like that, come up to you only to get what they can from you. Like a locust, they soak up everything until they see that it's eradicating, and move on to the next resource. This title is about that type of person.

Metal Assault: Musically, where do you think it stands in comparison to the previous MACHINE HEAD albums?

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Phil: I think this is a big departure. Not a huge departure, but there are elements that we're kind of branching out in. So I think you'll get to hear some of the old elements that have kind of drawn the people that have been part of our fan base, but it's a snapshot of where we are in time right now. That's what the past records have been, too. [It's] just kind of where we are personally, emotionally and creatively.

Metal Assault: How has this album compared to previous ones in terms of the time you've taken to write it? Have you taken longer with this one?

Phil: Well, I think the fact that the [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] tour was coming up kind of pushed us into the studio before we would have liked. But timing-wise, I would have liked to be able to write a little bit more, because we were on such a roll. Sometimes you don't get to choose those things, but we still took 15 months off, and I think we've got a great and solid record. Besides, we don't write like most other bands do. I mean, I was talking to some of my buddies in these bands (laughs), and they go, "Yeah, we've got 30 songs written and we're going to pick and choose!" And I was like, man, we wrote just eight songs for the previous album and for one of them it was just like we threw a bunch of stuff together and it turned out to be pretty cool. We write the songs one at a time, and they tell a story. So if the story is incomplete, we can't put them on there.

Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.

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