San Francisco Bay Area metal titans MACHINE HEAD have announced that their upcoming U.S. tour will be the last one to feature the band's current lineup: Robb Flynn (guitar, vocals), Phil Demmel (guitar), Dave McClain (drums) and Jared MacEachern (bass).
Flynn broke the news of MACHINE HEAD's plans in a 10-minute Facebook Live video in which he revealed that Demmel left the band on Wednesday (September 26), followed by McClain's exit a day later. "Jared kind of quit, but didn't know if he was quitting for sure," Robb added.
According to Robb, the fall 2018 MACHINE HEAD tour "is still going to go on." He explained: "We have all agreed to all make this a celebration of our music and this era of the band."
As for what caused Demmel and McClain to want to leave MACHINE HEAD, Flynn said: "We have grown apart as people. Musically, we've grown apart. I have held on too tight to the reins of this band, and I have suffocated those guys.
"I've got some rough edges," he admitted. "I'm kind a barnacle. And those rough edges have given us the success we have, but they've also hurt the people around me.
"I've got a lot of drive, but I've got a lot of anger and rage. And that drive of mine has alienated folks in the band."
Flynn, who is the sole remaining original member of MACHINE HEAD, insisted that he doesn't hold any grudges against his soon-to-be-former bandmates.
"I ask that you respect Phil and Dave's decision, as I respect their decision," he said. "I wanna say that I'm honored and grateful for everything that they've contributed to MACHINE HEAD, which is a lot. 15 years with Phil, 23 years with Dave."
Flynn went on to say that he doesn't "know what the future holds." He added: "We're all a little scared. I'm scared, and they're scared. But if you're looking for a drummer or a guitar player, you can find no better people to have [than Dave and Phil]."
Personally, Flynn plans to "do a little bit of soul searching here in my life and take a long, hard look at myself, as I've done in the past. I've done 20 years of therapy at this point, and apparently it wasn't enough," he laughed. "I guess I need to do about 20 more."
According to Flynn, MACHINE HEAD's upcoming tour will be "a celebration of this era of music and this lineup. And that may be the best era of MACHINE HEAD ever, and may be the best lineup ever, and may be the best lineup that this band ever has," he said. "And we're gonna end it on a positive note, and we're gonna end it on a classy note."
He continued: "It's the end of an era. I did a lot of crying yesterday and kind of felt like I got ran over by a truck."
Robb said that he spoke to Jared this morning, and that the bassist "actually says now that he's gonna stick around, and he wants to continue on, which made me happy."
Flynn later clarified in a separate video message that "this is the farewell tour of this lineup, this era of MACHINE HEAD. This is not the farewell tour of MACHINE HEAD," he said.
MACHINE HEAD's final tour with the current lineup will kick off on October 4 in Sacramento, California and conclude on November 24 in Santa Cruz, California.
The band's latest album, "Catharsis", was made available in January via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds" was produced by Flynn and was recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California.
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