MACHINE HEAD played its new song "Do Or Die" live for the first time during its concert Wednesday night (October 16) at Gasometer in Vienna, Austria. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
Released last Friday (October 11), "Do Or Die" has been described by some fans and media outlets as a "diss" track aimed at MACHINE HEAD's detractors, in particular those who have been critical of the band's last album, 2018's "Catharsis".
On Wednesday, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn took to his Instagram to discuss the lyrics for the new song and to explain how he has managed to keep the band going for nearly three decades in the face of at times seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Robb wrote: "If you're an angry person, then you know what it means when there's a fury inside you that simmers just below the surface. For me it's a rage that can fill my mouth (and in the past, my fists) with bile and I'm not satisfied until that bile's reached its victim. ⠀
"I, like so many of us, am fucked up in the head. I've felt as if the world was against me from the day I was born. My upbringing, like millions of others, was fueled by an uncontrollable rage. So those like me, we learned to put on a happy face for society, a laugh here, a smile there, but deep down that rage never goes away.⠀
"That same rage has helped guide me through 33 years in the music business. You don't last this long in this business being 'happy.' Happy is contentment and that's never been me. You last in the music business due to a hatred inside. A hatred that burns a fire so bright, that it can only be extinguished by music.⠀
"It's made for some beautiful hate filled songs...⠀
"However, living with that fire inside comes with consequences. ⠀
"It is a gift and a curse.⠀
"I write songs for a living, but I also write songs to live. ⠀
"Some people love them and connect with them beyond my wildest dreams, some people hate them and wish they never heard 'em, and that's okay too. ⠀
"I've taken my lumps, I'm still standing and I'm never going away. In fact, I'm coming back hard as fucking nails.⠀
"This is 'Do Or Die'."
"Do Or Die" was produced by Flynn and Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. It was mixed by Russ Russell (AT THE GATES, NAPLAM DEATH, SIKTH) at Parlour Studios in the United Kingdom. The mastering was handled by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering in Burbank, California.
The "Do Or Die" cover artwork was created by Marcelo Vasco.
"Do Or Die" was recorded last December by Flynn, bassist Jared MacEachern and WARBRINGER drummer Carlos Cruz.
Cruz stepped in to play on "Do Or Die" following the departure of MACHINE HEAD's longtime drummer Dave McClain.
"I had just been wanting to make music, and so right after we got done with the last tour, I was, like, 'I've gotta make music,'" Flynn explained during an August Facebook Live session. "I had all these fucking songs written for months now, since April [of last year], and I wanted to go and write them and record them and jam them with the dudes. So my engineer Zack arranged for Carlos Cruz, who is the drummer for WARBRINGER. He played in POWER TRIP — an awesome new, modern thrash band. Sick-ass drummer — awesome drummer. Young guy, really cool. He came up and jammed with Jared [MacEachern, bass] and I. [He] just fucking killed it. It was awesome playing with him. And it really inspired me, kind of brought me out of my funk. I'd been really wanting to write new music for a while, and it was just right place, right time. The dude was amazing, and I can never be grateful enough for everything that he brought to the table. Awesome dude."
Flynn previously told Metal Hammer magazine that he wrote "Do Or Die" in August 2018, before McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel announced they were leaving the band. "Two days after that announcement on Facebook Live, I was back in the studio and working on ideas and lyrics," he said. "I guess I was really just pissed off that day. After all the haters and all the negativity, all the bullshit. It's vicious!"
MACHINE HEAD kicked off the first leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut, "Burn My Eyes", on October 5 in Freiburg, Germany.
Building on the band's previous "An Evening With…" format, the "Burn My Eyes" anniversary show is described in a press release as "a three-hour musical extravaganza," comprised of two parts: part one consists of a battery of MACHINE HEAD's modern classics, such as "Imperium", "Halo" and "Locust", featuring Flynn and MacEachern performing alongside new recruits, Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and British drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT); part two features "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in.