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Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds

It’s been a turbulent three years in the metal world since Machine Head released Unto the Locust to much critical praise. We’ve seen the continued rise of djent and it’s bastardizations, deathcore’s leanings into more progressive territories, progressive metal’s leanings into softer and more introspective territories, black metal through the eyes of shoegazers, and the return of a few old school death metal bands. The late nineties saw the band conform to the sound of the times, adopting the nu-metal style introduced by bands like Rage Against the Machine , Korn , and Limp Bizkit in years prior. Luckily, the current musical climate has had no impact on Machine Head, who have chosen to pound the flag they’ve been flying since their triumphant return to form with 2004’s Through the Ashes of Empires deeper into the ground, resulting in Bloodstone & Diamonds , their latest gem and first release for Nuclear Blast . Whereas Machine Head merely flirted with orchestral arrangements in the past, opening track ‘Now We Die’ starts off with a full on string section, setting the tone for the prodigious journey that lay ahead. The return of producer Colin Richardson is immediately apparent once things kick in: buzzsaw quad-layered guitars, drums punchier than Mike Tyson, and distorted bass sitting perfectly in the mix to complement the guitars. The sonics of Unto the Locust were perfectly appropriate for most metal albums of its caliber, but Richardson’s return makes it apparent that there is an intangible magic when the two work together. This is also the first album to feature new bassist Jared MacEachern after the well publicized fallout with original bassist Adam Duce , leaving Flynn as the sole original member. The band has been fraught with lineup changes over the years, but the heart of Machine Head has always been with Flynn. By the time second track, ‘Killers and Kings,’ bulldozes it’s way through the speakers, any apprehension is completely removed. Drummer Dave McClain ’s tasteful and simple ride bell play during the choruses carries the song masterfully, and his performance throughout the album is a testament to powerful modern metal drumming. Bloodstone & Diamonds does not wear any masks, exuding an honesty lost on much of today’s metal. In Machine Head’s case, perhaps it is a continued rebellion against their “experimental” period from 1999’s The Burning Red to 2001’s Supercharger . Despite this, the band have retained the best parts of said period while keeping the foundation they built in the beginning with Burn My Eyes , and also venturing into new territory. ‘Eyes of the Dead’ is the most representative track of their career by far, and perhaps the strongest track on the album. The intro reeks of early Megadeth with the ascending tapping lick over the pulsing drums, calling to mind ‘The Conjuring’ from the classic Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? . The verses thrash about in the melodeath way the band adopted on Through the Ashes of Empires , with a deadly infectious chorus with Flynn chanting “Murder! Murder!” and a follow-up hook worthy of the best melodic moments from The Burning Red . Add a whammy bar breakdown groove in the mid-section worthy of 1997’s The More Things Change and you have a massive recipe for success, all while not sounding the least bit derivative. From a performance aspect, this album marks some of Robb Flynn ’s most impassioned and versatile singing in years. The airy falsetto of the verses on ‘Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones’ are simultaneously sensuous and foreboding, counteracting perfectly with the bendy groove that follows. Without a doubt the biggest surprise found here is the brooding and eerie ‘Sail Into The Black’. Parts of this song reek of Ulver ’s dark ambient masterpiece Shadows Of The Sun , which is absolutely not a bad thing. Whether this is mere coincidence remains to be seen, but the drone of the baritone choir, thick and enveloping vocal harmonies, and subtle orchestral elements call the album to mind. It’s not until around the halfway mark when the trademark chainsaw guitars, distorted bass, and pounding drums kick in do we have any inkling that we’re still listening to Machine Head. While past tracks like ‘Violate’ and ‘Down to None’ extracted the sludgiest roots of the band, they have dug even deeper into the muck with the swampy ‘Beneath the Silt’. The track opens like an audio engineer’s dream, with the drums pounding out a gigantic fill that highlights the perfectly roomy mix. This is followed by possibly the lowest tuning the band have used to date, with a simple, bluesy, and filthy riff flinging gunk all over the precious and pretty melodic moments delivered on the previous six tracks. The song is not lost on melody however, with Flynn’s hypnotic falsetto covering the chuggy verse like an opiate laced wine basted over a stuffed pig. ‘Game Over’ smacks of bitterness and regret lyrically, quite obviously being an elegy to the friendship between Flynn and Duce. As Flynn cries “Another time, when music’s all we had, bonded by anger and addictions, so glad, always together, but no words are spoken, this is the sound of a friendship broken”, it’s hard to imagine it being anything but. Flynn also took to the mic in the past to deal with former guitarist Logan Mader ’s departure with the Sabbath infused ‘Devil With the King’s Card’ from The Burning Red , so this comes as no surprise. The only downside to this album is the sprinkled on patriotism of ‘In Comes the Flood’. The majority of the music is superb, with the use of orchestra in the beginning and the cascading classical melodies on the tail of the main riff. The problem is the uninspired populist ranting over the top of everything, especially the tired sounding “Wake up, America!” over a riff that drags harder than Ru Paul. Leaving this track off the album would have eschewed a perfect score. Despite this setback, Machine Head have delivered yet another classic addition to their catalog to rival and revel in the most triumphant moments of their career. ? Machine Head’s Bloodstone & Diamonds gets… 4.5/5 -DW

Jason Newsted Talks to Full Metal Jackie Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Newsted spoke about his new band, Newsted, and their new EP titled ‘Metal.’ He also explained how the sounds of the previous bands he has been in throughout the years influenced his new music and much more. Read Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Jason Newsted below: We’re here to talk about the new EP ‘Metal.’ Tell us as a player, what’ s most exhilarating about Newsted being a trio? It covers a lot of new territory for me so it’s a fresh start and I have to do a brand new start because I climbed the mountain with Metallica and I stepped off right there when we were up at the top and that’s we’re I get to come into this as far as the approach to everything. So the freshest part is new ground, being lead vocalist, singing my songs, my lyrics, in front of people, playing bass and guitar. I composed all the music on guitar, played all the rhythm guitars on the music and some bass but it’s all my stuff from the get go and then my guys came in and made it what it is now. It’s very personal this time, kind of different in that way. How is it to hear your music being played by other people; is it hard to not want to control it or do you allow these other players to inject their own creativity? I’ve been playing long enough with these guys, Jesus Mendez Jr. on drums, he’s from Fresno and Jessie Farnsworth was from Connecticut, now he’s from Fresno; he plays guitar and stuff actually he plays everything. We switch back and forth between guitar and bass. Jesus started working for Metallica at the end of the ‘90s as a local California road crew guy and then he was their drum tech. We started making music about 10 or 11 years ago and then he brought Jessie in about five years ago. We started melding our stuff together and getting to know each other for about five years and then last September or so after I put it all together pretty much on my iPad and gave them the music. They brought back their stuff and they have paid enough dues and they make their own records – Jessie Farnsworth has his own albums where he fronts his own back, he’s a way better singer than me, a way better guitar player than me already so they have their own ground that they cover and they stand on their own. When they come in to do their thing it’s like, “Man, can you please make it better because I certainly can’t play as good as you play.” So, it’s like they’ve paid as much dues as anybody else but they haven’t gotten the recognition that they deserve, yet – but it’s coming. Obviously, a four year period of physical rehabilitation following surgery on both shoulders limits your ability to play an instrument. Not being able to play how did that in turn change the way you listened and appreciated music? Wow, that’s great insight – just like anytime you lose something in life that is so valuable you appreciate that much more, I think that’s an obvious thing but when you taste it for real it really becomes magnified. I was always able to rig up a thing like a very thin Parker guitar or something in between my sling to keep my chops up a little bit but I could no where even get close to being the monster or do what I really wanted to dig in on any instrument for that matter. I took my loudness to canvas and I started painting – I had left shoulder, right shoulder back and fourth for about a four year period. Each time you do something as serious as that – time for it to rehabilitate and be good enough to let the other one go and take over becomes a crazy little cycle I got into. Fortunately, we caught it three times back and fourth like that but it’s a really tricky thing, it takes a long time to get it back especially when it’s used so much and I really overuse those parts of myself in the years. I’m getting it back about 95 percent now and feeling strong again but the painting is what came from it. I also became as good with each hand, all the paintings are done with both hands now and the instruments are a little better because I can use both hands the same so I’m trying to make some pretty wicked lemonade out of it. Everything for a reason, man, somehow it was all mapped out and everything that’s happened, everything that has transpired, I put all those paintings together – between 800 and 1100 pieces between 2005 and 2010 when I did my first art show in San Francisco, three different studios across the country. I took the loud expression of my music and put it on a canvas and just changed the medium but now I’m back to what I know best because I’m able again and the timing of things, it’s magnificent really. I’d like to talk about the timing of the 12 years of Metallica, being away – it was 12 years ago this week that we had a meeting that they announced it to people that we were going to do what we were going to do and that I was going to step out. Now that the dust has settled and we look back, they have a great band that’s once again dominating the universe, I have a cool band that I’m really happy about that makes me feel like I’m 19 again. I’m really pretty jacked up about the purity of it and the word for this week is Rawesomness – the rawesomness of the Newsted ‘Metal’ EP and the music itself. James [Hetfield] is healthy and clear-eyed and stronger than he’s ever been and I’m healthy again too and all that came from that decision so whether it stung a little bit – yes it did in the beginning, it was traumatic but now that’s all that happened, looking back it’s a beautiful thing. Fantastic things have transpired. Just talking a little bit about Metallica, which is more than a band, it’s an institution. What’s the most valuable thing that taught you how you now approach writing, performing and distributing music? Wow, Metallica taught me so much and the first and most important thing is the work ethic, road dog thing – never wanting to be the weak link, always keeping yourself strong for the performance, everything revolves around the show, that always comes first. The professionalism that I got from those guys and from their whole camp because it goes all the way around, the same people have worked for Metallica for decades and there’s a reason for that. If they didn’t work for them for that long it wouldn’t be Metallica being around for that long and it’s a cycle. Everybody has to do their job as good as the next guy from the light guy to the carpenter guy to the guitar player to the drum tech – everybody is that same team and they’ve known each other forever and ever and that’s what makes it what it is. Having the same people, it doesn’t take a lot of people – if you have good people in the positions that know what they’re doing and assume their role and do what they do and not try to do the other guy’s thing or anything like that. That’s the main thing right there are work ethic and once you find the people that you gel with keep them close and you can build something. When everybody has a stake in it, everybody’s willing to put a lot more forth to make it happen so all of those things business wise, presenting music to people, always going big – I don’t know if I did but Metallica always did. The distribution of music these days is so considerably different and I’m learning every minute now as I’ve opened myself up to social media. I haven’t really been neck deep into it and really involved since the middle of a Voivod record since 2007, 2008 and the last release I did with them was 2009 so I haven’t really been in a place to think about all the social media stuff Michel [Langevin] ‘Away’ from Voivod always handled that stuff. I find myself almost 10 weeks into it now, I’m learning that there is a small percentage of the old avenues that still exist – that I knew and grew up on and that Metallica taught me and there is a whole slew, twice that, that has new avenues and I’m learning as we go here in this new place. I’m getting neck deep in it with this thing, it’s old school music in a new place. Because of the 30 years we worked and going around with Metallica, Voivod, Ozzy and all of these things, I’ve built a certain reputation and following with all those bands, as part of those bands to get people to respond to what I’m doing now because this is what they’ve wanted from me. Somehow the timing is just right but I can only do what I can do, it’s old-school metal because that’s what I am. All of the experiences that I’ve had with all the musicians and all the times and different styles has brought me here – it’s like a certain culmination, a certain regurgitation of all that stuff and being influenced by all those people. The distribution thing, now I’m learning as I go. I think I have something to work with, people seem to be responding to it really well – positively actually overwhelmingly right now because I can hear everybody. You used to have to go on foot to say something to them and talk to them and say “Hi” before I got that response and we went to those places and that’s the only way I could know how they felt about the music – I went to 40 or 50 countries with Metallica. Now you just go online and it’s not even a matter of going up to someone and saying, “What did you think?” Right, even though I enjoy all of that stuff and I will continue to do that kind of connection with fans,this thing is my new re-connection with fans in a way that I could never do before. I’m in one place and I’m able to get across to everybody, what’s happening and they respond to it. It’s so eye opening, it gives me hope that if you do it right. As long as you let people know you’re going to be where you’re going to be to jam or your music is going to be in a certain place for them to share – they’re going to go for it because of all the hard work that we’ve done. So that distribution thing, I’m trying to let the kids help me because we got to No. 1 a debut with this thing on the iTunes Metal Charts with a four man crew out of my garage. So that in itself, the fans, the people, they’re the ones that really spread this around and I see how powerful that is now, it’s a whole different thing. I’d like to talk about that more actually, what I’ve learned about that, the technology thing. I’m feeling like the music is the calling card, the music is the head of the spear and it has to get everybody’s attention and once you have that calling card in their hand, in their ear, in their pocket, in their earbuds, then they’re going to come to the show, then they’re going to want to start sharing. If you make them feel a part of it then they’re going to come and share it, that’s what Metallica always did forever and still does, perpetually – making everyone feel a part of why and where they are, everybody does it together, it’s a big family, a big army. That’s undeniable, people are very loyal in that way so taking the music out to the people, having some cool merchandise together so everybody can share it and be a part of it in that way and fly the flag and keep the metal alive and all that – that’s how you got to keep the music on the road and pay the musicians you want to pay and that kind of thing. That’s all I really want to do with this, the people screamed me back into this, but for real when we did the 30th anniversary thing with Metallica, that’s what brought me back into it so when I do this for the fans and they’re responding so much it makes me want to do it more. I just want to take it to the people again. I know that’s what has to happen now, it’s a single based thing where people and the short attention span and that – I’m testing the waters because I don’t know what the waters are mostly. So I put these four songs out to see how people were going to respond and if anyone gives a snot anymore and it seems like people do. We recorded 11 songs total, we’re going to release them in batches and if people dig them then try to get a full LP out with the last EP with nice vinyl and stuff – that’s my plan. If I can get that through and share that with people, then that’s going to be really cool. I want to have it on CD, I ultimate want to have it on vinyl – the separate EP and the final one. We have to do it from the ground up like this because you have to take it to the people and selling the CDs at the show and all those kinds of things are the only way we were going to get back any money from the music. I think if you’re going to put it online and share it with people that way – you get the downloads you can and then once it does whatever it does, you shouldn’t try to really fight it – just present the best source material that you can, try to have it be representative and let it do its thing. Would Newsted exist today had you not taken part in Metallica’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco at the end of 2011? I would say that the Newsted band as serious as it has become now and the commitment we’ve made to it would not have been in this form if I has not been invited by Lars [Ulrich] to come and play with Metallica at the 30th Anniversary on December 2011, four nights over one week – each night got louder and louder. You ask anybody that was there and I’m just observing this is what took place, when we came on it got really loud and they were chanting in every dialect you could figure out, every language. It was crazy and wild and I hadn’t tasted that sweetness for a long, long time – when you’re addicted to the chemicals that are released when you play in front of 50,000 people or 20,000 people or 10,000 people and with the confidence you have with something like Metallica and you get dosed with that time after time after time, you’re addicted, you’re done. People say “Adrenaline junkie” it’s flippin’ real, so I came down from that – it took me 12 years to come down from that addiction. When I tasted it again, it was like the first time I hit it and that’s why I’m back again – just like that. The people called me back into it, I’m doing it because they did. We know how good ‘The Black Album’ did and does – I do what I want to do and anybody that knows me knows that I make my own path about things. I’m doing this because I want to do this for the people, this time and they keep responding to me like this, I was to take it to them that much more. If it hadn’t been for those shows when those people gave me that energy I would have not chased what I’m chasing now. I’m happy that Newsted does exist today and looking forward to more to come for you. Welcome back. [Laughs] Thank you very much, it really is great to be back. It’s overwhelming and I feel young again with it. I think the fountain of youth is within music or something where you find you have a purpose like that – fortunately this stuff has a lot of juice and you get to pump up your heart a lot. I’m still the same fighting weight I was all the times I’ve played, I’ve always kept that metal alive even when I was just painting and the whole thing I still kept that juice going. Now it’s back and I have an opportunity to show off a little bit or maybe something I’ve been storing for a long time and I didn’t even know it. A lot of the stuff came to me as channeling, I know what that’s about when you get into the painting and you let it become what it’s going to become – you are the conduit but that it what happened. On half of these songs I was the conduit and the deal about the way it sounds, why it sounds the way it sounds, it’s the immediacy of it. Even where the songs are a little bit heavier, held back a little slower tempo or that kind of thing they still have this immediacy to them. I had the iPad, with the GarageBand thing – it was new to me but I could do the simple recording on there, I built those songs on there, it was right there in front of me. I had my guitar I could do everything, boom change to bass, change to drums, as it came to me on the moment – I hadn’t had that before. All of the things we’ve done at the Chop House Studio, all of those jams for all of those bands for all of those years, everything’s mic’d up you just rock and record it as a jam then I got that machine and I focused on writing these songs. It just came to me, like that. We used to have our guy Gio back in the day with Metallica, he would carry six cases into my hotel room for me, keyboards, bass, guitars, mixing desks, speakers, power amps now I can do songs on my phone with one instrument or the iPad. The immediacy of that enabled me to channel that stuff that quick and that’s why it sounds like it does, there is a certain primal simplicity to it. It ain’t ground breaking, it ain’t innovative, none of that kind of stuff. It’s just old school metal like I was building the whole time as I went through the different bands. There’s flavors of every band I ever got to jam with in that thing. By the time everybody hears all 11 of this offering recorded in that pocket – 11 songs in two weeks, when they hear all of that stuff and all the interludes and all the flavors and textures – there’s one big song that finishes off that is the frosting and it’s long. I can’t remember how many tracks we ended up doing but it was many – I’m thinking past 140 and it was just layers of all kinds of craziness, I never thought anything would come out that kind of epic-y thing. Once people hear all that stuff they’ll see “Okay that snarl is from Snake in Voivod” because that is such an influence and great teacher without even knowing that he did and “That’s from Hetfield and that’s from Zakk [Wylde] and that’s from Flotsam” that’s what’s going to happen “and that’s from Black Sabbath” because they’re the great teachers “and that’s from Motorhead” and those are the two biggest comments so far. Motorhead is the number one comment, that’s the best compliment you can give me because if there wasn’t Lemmy [Kilmister] there’s not me. He plays with a pick through a guitar amp that’s how I started that’s what I do now. I didn’t know he did what he did until I found out then it made it okay for me to do it. So it’s a big deal, that’s where I’m at with it, it’s just stuff that my great teachers have brought back out and the flavors that I got to experience through time with my privileged opportunities. Full Metal Jackie will welcome High on Fire frontman Matt Pike to her program this coming weekend. She can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to .

Finch Expand ‘What It Is to Burn’ 10th Anniversary Tour + Announce Support Acts

Facebook: Finch There were a lot of happy fans last fall when Finch decided to regroup to play some dates commemorating the tenth anniversary of their breakout album ‘What It Is to Burn.’ There are even more ecstatic people now that the group has decided to expand the trek outside of California to other North American and European stops this year. Adding to the excitement, the band has also revealed the support acts for a number of their upcoming dates. At present, the band will resume touring in support of their influential disc on Feb. 1 at the Glass House in Pomona, Calif. The group scheduled four dates over consecutive February weekends to give their West Coast fans every opportunity to catch their performance. Late Night Revival and Weatherbox will support on Feb. 1, with Hancox and Particles Like Planets opening on Feb. 2. Just Eleanor and XO will open the Feb. 8 date, with Reverend Crow and Fluf rounding out the support acts on Feb. 9. As the band expands to a wider audience in March, they’ve announced that The Almost have signed on to provide support throughout their remaining North American stops. That leg of the tour runs from March 7 in Chicago through March 16 in Boston. After that, Finch will pack up and head to Europe for the remainder of March. The title cut from Finch’s ‘What It Is to Burn’ album cracked Loudwire’s Top 50 21st Century Hard Rock Songs list. Finch ‘What It Is to Burn’ 2013 Tour Dates: 2/1 — Pomona, Calif. — Glass House 2/2 — Pomona, Calif. — Glass House 2/8 — Pomona, Calif. — Glass House 2/9 — Pomona, Calif. — Glass House 3/7 — Chicago, Ill. — Metro 3/8 — Detroit, Mich. — St. Andrews Hall 3/9 — Toronto, Ontario — Sound Academy 3/11 — Pittsburgh, Pa. — Mr. Small’s 3/12 — New York, N.Y. — Irving Plaza 3/14 — Silver Spring, Md. — The Fillmore 3/15 — Philadelphia, Pa. — Electric Factory 3/16 — Boston, Mass. — Royale 3/19 — Manchester, U.K. — HMV Ritz 3/20 — Glasgow, Scotland — O2 ABC 3/21 — Birmingham, U.K. — HMV Institute 3/22 — London, U.K. — O2 Brixton Academy 3/23 — Paris, France — Le Trabendo 3/25 — Koln, Germany — Luxor 3/27 — Amsterdam, Netherlands — Melkweg [button href=”” title=”Check Out Other 2013 Must-See Rock Concerts” align=”center”]

Anthrax Film ‘What’s In My Bag’ Segment at Amoeba Music Record Store

Megaforce Amoeba Music is one of the most celebrated chain of record stores in the world. Based in California, the shops can carry around 100,000 CDs, vinyl albums and more. With such a collection among Amoeba’s Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles stores, choosing just a few items to buy is a brain-scrambling task, but the members of Anthrax jumped at the challenge for a segment called ‘What’s in My Bag?’ First up was guitarist Scott Ian , who passed over music entirely with his findings. Ian suggested the animated series ‘Batman: Year One,’ the Patton Oswalt comedy album ‘Finest Hour’ and some old school entertainment from ‘The Dean Martin Variety Show.’ Also choosing Dean Martin in his bag, bassist Frank Bello grabbed himself a copy of he seventh season of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ along with U2′s ’360 Degrees’ live DVD. Don’t worry, the choices from the remaining Anthrax members delve more into rock ‘n’ roll, as drummer Charlie Benante pulled out three Queen albums along with the Nirvana classic ‘Nevermind’ on vinyl. Among others, guitarist Rob Caggiano walked away with albums from Rob Crow and Peter Gabriel, along with the Pink Floyd offering, ‘Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81.’ Finally, vocalist Joey Belladonna picked some gems from guitarists Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson, before unveiling his choice of Whitesnake’s ‘Live at Donington 1990′ album, which features guitar god Steve Vai. Check out the full video of Anthrax at Amoeba Music below.: Anthrax – ‘What’s in My Bag?’ at Amoeba Music [button href=”” title=”Anthrax’s Charlie Benante Discusses 2013 Grammy Nomination” align=”center”]

Hellyeah, As I Lay Dying + All Shall Perish Singers to Play Mitch Lucker Memorial Show

Facebook: Suicide Silence The music world continues to mourn the loss of Suicide Silence ‘s Mitch Lucker , a rising star in the metal community who perished in a motorcycle accident on Halloween night earlier this year. In the wake of his death, a memorial show designed to raise funds for Lucker’s young daughter, Kenadee, was recently announced and now some of the talent has been revealed. According to a Facebook posting , the first three musicians to sign on for the “Ending Is the Beginning” show are Hellyeah and Mudvayne frontman Chad Gray , As I Lay Dying belter Tim Lambesis and All Shall Perish leader Eddie Hermida. The event is expected to honor the musical legacy of Lucker with guest vocalists taking turns joining the band onstage at the show. The event will take place at Pomona, California’s Fox Theater on Dec. 21, with the proceeds from the show going to a fund that will provide for the future education of the singer’s daughter. More guests are expected to be named in the weeks leading up to the show. Tickets for the event are currently available here . Even if you’re unable to attend the show, there are other ways to help out by either purchasing a shirt or making a donation at this website . [button href=”” title=”Next: Best Suicide Silence Songs” align=”center”]

DevilDriver Singer Dez Fafara Offers Details on New Album, New Label + More

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire It’s been quite a year for DevilDriver , as they began 2012 as part of the Metal Alliance tour with Arch Enemy and recently finished up a massive U.S. trek with GWAR. During DevilDriver’s stop in Brooklyn, N.Y., we caught up with frontman Dez Fafara , who dished on the band’s new album and expressed his excitement about joining Napalm Records’ roster. He also took a look back on DevilDriver’s 2011 release ‘Beast.’ How would you describe your relationship with GWAR and the rest of the roster on this tour? We’ve been friends with GWAR   for a long time; we toured with them six or seven years ago it was one of the funnest tours we ever did. We know everybody, we know the Cancer Bats really well, we’ve toured with them before – it was my ideas to put the Bats on as well and it ended up happening so it’s been really killer so far. Everyone’s just hanging out and having a great time. No doubt you have toured with numerous bands but is there one band or musician you would love to tour with that you haven’t gotten a chance to tour with yet? We did some shows with Metallica but they were festivals but I would love to do a Metallica tour – every band is going to say that. Other than that, there’s a lot of artists out there that I would still love to work with of course. With all of this touring what is one thing you must bring on tour with you, no electronics? I bring my own blankets because there’s been a million musicians sleeping in those bunks and on those mattresses so I bring my own blankets, my own sheets, my own pillow, my own everything. If you tour like we do and I take the same bunk every time in different buses. Any creepy findings in one of your tour buses? Oh yeah, I got really ill about a year ago on a tour and they couldn’t figure out why was so ill. It was about two weeks into it and I was coughing up black s—t, we finally stripped my bunk down and we turned over the bunk and the whole thing – the bottom was covered in black mold. Somebody had spilled a drink in there or whatever and left it over the course of time and it was just getting me really sick. Other than that I’ve never experienced other creepy crawlies, you’ll see spiders in buses sometimes but we tend to let those guys out and let them live ‘cause they’ve already had a hard road. Congratulations on your new home of Napalm Records – what made your guys decide on this move? They have passion. I think when the whole folding of Roadrunner was happening, they were … letting a bunch of other people go – I had been there a long time, I think they decided, I decided, we all decided that it was just time to part ways. Napalm has a massive amount of passion for heavy metal, they love the band. When we met with the owner, he was like “I love the band.” He knew songs and it was like okay, “This is a guy who’s entrenched in our music so we want him behind it.” We’re also with Roadrunner still overseas in Australia and New Zealand so it’s good to be with them still over there. The United States label itself has changed and I forsee in the next year, it’s just going to fold completely in probably to Warner, I would imagine. With people in the UK that I’ve worked with forever, press people and others – when they lose their job, it’s time to go, start over and I’m not afraid of that. A lot of people are afraid of moving into a new house but it’s awesome to do and decorate it new and make it happen again, make it feel alive so that’s what’s happening with DevilDriver and Napalm right now. We’re excited for the record, they’re excited for the record – I think Napalm needs a flagship in the United States and I think we could be it for them and I think their press people and they think we could be it for them, too. We’re going to go gunnin’ with this next record and see the numbers – I’m predicting both higher sales and a higher chart position than what Roadrunner offered us. So we’ll see. What’s the progress on the next album? Songs are all written – I’m six songs in right now, written, we’ve got two covers that we’re going to be doing. We’re looking at a late fall – sometime between late August and late September, kind of hard to quote me right because we’re just looking for that release space but I believe that’s when the time is going to be. So this is the last time DevilDriver will be in the United Stated at least until September, October of next year. We’re taking a whole year away from the States to just let it marinate and then come on back on the new record. What do you think the vibe will be like for this new album? Every record is different, that being said I thought ‘Pray For Villains’ was kind of an out of the box record for us, I thought ‘Beast’ was a weird out of the box record for us – we’ve kind honed back in to where we are. This new record sounds a lot like the first three records, it’s got an intense groove to it and I’m really happy – the writing is going extremely well. That being said I think we’ve laid back on our laurels right now and be like, “We’re a groove band” the fans started calling us The Groove Machine, The California Groove Machine – everybody needs a title, we’ll take that one and we’re going to give them that on the new record for sure. It’s been well over a year since the release of ‘Beast.’ Looking back on it, what does Dez the music fan love about that album? A weird record for us, I’m not going to lie, when I sat down – the arrangements everything, it was a weird record to write. When it came out we knew it was just an out of the box, aggressive record for us and it got a lot of positive feedback. All of the accolades that it got, I didn’t know if I expected that reaction. Now looking back in hindsight, we needed that, we to just do something apart from ourselves and that’s what has led us now to where we are with the new record which is like, “Let’s really hone in on the songwriting on this one, let’s make sure the arrangements are really tight.” Everyone’s really excited. Looking back on ‘Beast’ we worked really hard, we toured really hard on it and it did what it was supposed to do for us which was put our sound out there in a unique way and make sure that we didn’t follow any kind of course of anybody else and we laid our own path, which we’ve been doing since we started. [button href=”” title=”Check Out Photos of DevilDriver Performing in New York City” align=”center”]

Machine Head Exit Current Tour as Frontman Robb Flynn Undergoes Emergency Surgery Machine Head are having to exit their current tour, at least temporarily, as singer Robb Flynn  undergoes emergency surgery to deal with a double inguinal hernia that has become the source of tremendous pain for the frontman. The band was out on tour in support of their ‘ Machine F—ing Head ‘ double live album, and were touring alongside Dethklok , All That Remains  and Black Dahlia Murder on the run. But this evening (Nov. 13), the group informed fans that it would miss nine shows on the trek as Flynn recovers from a planned surgery on Wednesday (Nov. 14.). Machine Head released a statement via their website on the matter which read: Machine Head must exit their current North American tour with Dethklok, All That Remains and Black Dahlia Murder due to matters completely beyond their control. Frontman Robb Flynn must have emergency surgery. Flynn had planned to go under the knife in January after completing the tour as he has been playing through the pain of a double inguinal hernia since the tour started in October. He had hoped to continue the tour despite extreme discomfort, but it’s become too difficult to continue on. Flynn will undergo surgery tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 14 in Minneapolis before returning home to California to recover, rest and recuperate. Machine Head will rejoin the tour in Portland, OR. Machine Head extends its regrets to fans, the other bands, and the other crews for having to leave the tour prematurely. Flynn also offered a statement of his own on the matter: I’ve been toughing out an inguinal hernia below my waistline since June of last year, and a few months ago got a second hernia in my nuts. What basically happens is my guts drop into my nuts, and it looks like I have a third testicle (man, I can hear the jokes already!) It hasn’t been that painful, and I’ve gone to the doctor a few times to take care of it, but he said after surgery I probably couldn’t sing for a few weeks, and since that wasn’t going to happen, I scheduled it for January when I had a break. Unfortunately, after the last few shows, my guts have been very swollen and hard to push back in. Yesterday, the pain was excruciating and I went to the emergency room last night. They said that I need surgery. I will be doing my damnedest to rejoin the tour in a couple weeks. Thanks to all the fans, bands, and crew for understanding. I’m determined to see you all soon and finish what has been a great freakin tour! The tour is scheduled to run through Dec. 8 in Atlanta. [button href=”” title=”Next: See the Remaining Tour Dates on the Dethklok Trek” align=”center”]

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