As part of this year's Record Store Day on April 19, San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD released a 10-inch vinyl single, with the A-side containing the "demo" version of a new song, "Killers & Kings". The B-side is a cover version of the track "Our Darkest Days" from one of MACHINE HEAD's favorite bands, IGNITE.
Says MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn: "I remember growing up in the thrash scene and always wanting to hear the demo version of songs. You searched them out. Thankfully, my buddy Jim was a big 'tape trader,' and through trading, we had both METALLICA demos, EXODUS demos, bootlegs of songs sometimes 'years' before they came out.
"I knew how to play every note of 'Pleasure Of The Flesh' by EXODUS easily two years before the record was out. I had SLAYER's 'Reign In Blood' three months before it came out. I remember it still had the hi-hat counts starting the songs!!
"My friends and I would debate the merits of each (the demo was always better, LOL!).
"It's so much cooler to hear it BEFORE the album is out!
"So [we decided to] do that for you.
"I can't wait for you guys to hear this stuff. Then you can debate it, haha!"
This limited-edition 10-inch single features four alternate covers with two specific colors, each limited to 1,000 copies each.
"Killers & Kings" 10-inch single track listing:
Side One: Killers & Kings (demo version)
Side Two: Our Darkest Days / Bleeding (IGNITE cover)
The entire "Killers & Kings" song can now be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
MACHINE HEAD entered GREEN DAY's Oakland, California's JingleTown Recording compound on February 9 to begin recording its new album for a late 2014 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Other songtitles set to appear on the new MACHINE HEAD album include "Beneath The Silt", "Eyes Of The Dead" (formerly "Ojos De La Muerte"), "Sail Into The Black", "How We Die" and "Night Of The Long Knives".
Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn stated about the band's new material: "It sounds like MACHINE HEAD! It's definitely moving forward, which I feel like we're probably always gonna do.
"We're not a band that ever looks back. We do our thing and try to take the life experiences that we have and the musicianship that we've evolved and try to use it. Obviously, we have our sound and we have the MACHINE HEAD patented harmonics, the downtuned riffs and I sing the way I sing.
"I think Bob Dylan said it best: 'You just find new ways to say the same thing.'"
Speaking about some of the specific tracks and the lyrical themes covered on the new album, Flynn said: "I've got some pretty cool lyrics ready. There's a song called 'Night Of The Long Knives', and it's pretty fucked! It's about the Manson murders, and the lyrics are really dark and vicious.
"We've found some new twists to give to the MACHINE HEAD sound and some new fire and excitement."
Asked what the band's main aims were when they started composing music for the new CD, Flynn said: "Well, it's nice to try and have a plan, but music has a way of unravelling over time! [Laughs] You've just got to roll with it.
"With [2007's] 'The Blackening', I'd love to say I had this grand vision of nine- and 10-minute songs, but the first four songs we wrote were the four shorter songs on the record. For months, there was no indication whatsoever that we'd have 10-minute songs. That stuff came later.
"Human nature wants to control and dictate where things will go, but you can't. It won't let you! The more you try, the more it goes, 'Fuck you.' It's going some other way!"