CHRIS KONTOS Thinks 'Burn My Eyes'-Era MACHINE HEAD 'Could Have Been The Next METALLICA'

CHRIS KONTOS Thinks 'Burn My Eyes'-Era MACHINE HEAD 'Could Have Been The Next METALLICA'

The entire touring lineup for MACHINE HEAD's "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour was interviewed by Rock Hard magazine prior to the band's October 5 show in Frieberg, Germany at Sick Arena Musikclub. You can watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the biggest difference for MACHINE HEAD touring in 1994 versus today:

Robb Flynn (guitar/vocals): "I want to say we've gotten better with age. We've aged like a wine. We're tighter now. I think when we jam the songs, we get into a groove. I listen to some of the stuff we did back then and everything's a hundred miles and hour. Everyone's racing to the end. That was rad for our 20-year-old selves. But now our 50-year-old selves are, like, 'Yeah, we can sit back and groove a little bit.' It's just as hard and maybe even heavier. It feels good. It feels really good. I don't think we've ever sounded this tight. We never sounded as tight as we do now."

On how DECAPITATED guitarist Vogg (real name: Wacław J. Kiełtyka) came to join MACHINE HEAD:

Vogg: "It was a quite simple way it happened. I talked with Robb on Instagram, sending him some messages. I sent a message about how I'm excited about the 25th-anniversary tour because I've always been a big fan of MACHINE HEAD. I grew up on MACHINE HEAD's albums. I just wanted to send congratulations to Robb: 'It's a great idea. I cannot wait to see the show.' After a few weeks or a few months, I'm here on tour with those guys. I'm stoked."

On how many people auditioned for the open guitar and drum spot:

Jared MacEachern (bass): "We had almost, like, 20 people — that's a guess — that were coming forward that wanted to audition. Many videos. And we had a good handful of guys actually come out and jam in our jam room with us. And we took our time. And I wanna say we were kind of picky, and we have to be. It was a fun process. We met a lot of great dudes, but here we are. The whole iteration is super-tight."

On why drummer Chris Kontos originally left MACHINE HEAD in 1995:

Chris: "I had some sicknesses and it really got in my head. And then my reactions to being sick like that were maybe a little aggressive. I just think I had a lot to prove, for some reason, back then, and I was kind of in my own head. It wasn't anything about really being homesick or anything. It was more about not wanting to be sick, and then being stuck in a situation where we didn't have the best lines of communication, to be honest. We were young. We weren't given the tools."

Robb: "We were idiots. We were fucking animals."

Chris: "We missed the note. I think if we would have been able to connect, not to sound like an asshole, but I think we could have been the next METALLICA, like they [the rock press] were saying. But it didn't happen, and I think that it created this moment, which, in hindsight, is maybe even better — to have a record with such relevance and a record that's so revered by people, to come and celebrate that with the fans and then celebrate with these guys on a different level and on a different mentality now. We care more about each other. I feel like since this has been going on, there's a genuine care for everyone's well-being. It's cool. It's really cool. But it has been a minute since I've been on the road. So I'm getting my bus legs. [Laughs]"

MACHINE HEAD recently announced the North American leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut, "Burn My Eyes". The dates kick off in Phoenix on January 16, and continue across Texas, Florida, New York, Toronto, Chicago and Denver, wrapping up at the legendary Fox Theater in Oakland, California on February 21 and House Of Blues in Anaheim, California on February 22.

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