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?
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.