MACHINE HEAD's DEMMEL Wants To Make 'Timeless Songs' People Will Listen To In 20 Years

Michelle LaRose of Garage Radio magazine recently conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel. A couple of excerpts follow:

Garage Radio: Can you tell us a little bit about your brand new album "The Blackening" that just came out this week?

Demmel: Yeah. "The Blackening", eight songs over an hour long of just epic metal. We've gone back to trying to make a statement with the record and we think that we've done so. We try and make really big-sounding songs and kinda timeless-sounding songs that you'd hear twenty years from now. It's been a week and we're still listening to them. Let's hope for another twenty years and we'll be good!

Garage Radio: Are you nervous or apprehensive while waiting for a new album to be released?

Demmel: Yeah, for sure. I've been in this band now for the past five years so I've seen two very highly anticipated records come out. We're always excited to see what it's going to do and we got amazing reviews with this thing and we think it's going to sell really well.

Garage Radio: Your first choice for a video from this album was "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent" but you opted for "Aesthetics of Hate". Why?

Demmel: Well, actually we filmed the video for "Now I Lay Thee Down" and it's kinda' more of a mellower tune more of a hit type song and we didn't want the first taste people got from the record to be that more marketable tune. We wanted to come out swinging with "Aesthetics of Hate", which is a more aggressive song and more indicative of the record as a whole.

Garage Radio: Will you shoot a video for "Clenching The Fists Of Dissent"?

Demmel: Well that's a ten-and-a-half-minute song. Yeah, if we do we might just do it for an internet type only deal. So that's maybe down the road a little bit further. We'd like to do that but we want to see how things roll, so we'll get to that.

Garage Radio: Speaking of Internet only, you did three cover tunes for your online message board members only. Will we ever see those songs on an album?

Demmel: I seriously doubt it. One of the songs that's on there, we rerecorded it. Originally we asked our kids on the message boards, "What three songs would you love to hear MACHINE HEAD do?" It was kind of a down time in between "Through the Ashes" and "Supercharger". They said "Battery" from METALLICA, "Jizzlober" from FAITH NO MORE and "Toxic Waltz" from EXODUS. So "Toxic Waltz" and "Jizzlober" we're probably never ever going to record for a record but "Battery" did come out as an added song over in Europe. So it's out over there.

Garage Radio: What do you like best about going to Europe?

Demmel: The best part about Europe is we're so much bigger over there. The shows are always three times the size of the shows we do in the states. So it's just the crowds and the reaction we get.

Garage Radio: That's what I hear from every single band I talk to, why do you think that is?

Demmel: You know I think they're more intelligent music fans as a whole. They're more accepting of all music genres instead of, "Oh you can't like SLAYER and BLIND GUARDIAN." You get kids over there in corpsepaint going to the death metal show but then are going to go to the lighter… maybe THE DARKNESS show. They just love all types of music out there, they appreciate it. So I think over here you get too cliquey with Hot Topic and MTV telling you what's cool and what's not cool.

Garage Radio: What do you like least about going to Europe?

Demmel: You're in Europe! [Both laughing] I mean I love the conveniences of America, I really do. I love being able to stop at a truck stop at two in the morning and be able to get my favorite microwave bean burrito or a Slurpee or something. Over there you can't, it's probably a good thing, but it doesn't mean I like it.

Read the entire interview at


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