December 26, 2005

MACHINE HEAD's official web site has been updated with the following message:

"December 26th [2005] marks the official ten-year anniversary of the day that a one Mr. Dave McClain joined a band called MACHINE HEAD, and in celebration of the most underrated drummer in heavy music, some folks that you could say know a thing or two about the man behind the kit would like to share a story or four..."


"I met Dave at a TORQUE show soon after he'd joined MACHINE HEAD. We were opening for SACRED REICH in Berkeley and he was seeing them for the first time with their new guy. I introduced myself and, knowing that he was a Spurs fan, started talking hoops with him. I walked away from that conversation the McClain fan I am today.

"I've been pretty blessed to have played in bands with killer drummers: Perry Strickland (VIO-LENCE) had the hands and the fills, while Mark Hernandez (VIO-LENCE, TORQUE and TECHNOCRACY) had the meter and the consistency. Dave has it all, the complete drumming package. Amazing ideas, writes riffs and just plain looks cool! I look at his kit and can't imagine how he hits those things. His kicks are a mile apart, his toms practically flat. He's a frickin' freak! Personally, I'm voting for a 10 minute solo on the next tour.

"He's been a great friend, the only guy in the band I can really talk sports with, and he's the only guy older than me in the band. What's not to love?

"To the most underrated drummer in metal, happy 10th anniversary McNugget. Here's to 10 more.

"You rule, you fool."

Robert Flynn (MACHINE HEAD frontman):


"10 years? Crazy!?

"10 long years.

10 looooooong friggin' years... KIDDIN'!


"Dave McClain was brought to our attention by Igor Cavalera (SEPULTURA) and metal journo Borivoj Krgin. I myself had never heard, heard of, or seen him live. Igor had given Dave an insane, ringing endorsement of his drum skills and personality, and I must say, all of us were chomping at the bit to hear him play. Igor and Borivoj arranged a phone call, and had basically told us Dave was ready to join and relocate to San Francisco, but when I called Dave, he completely shocked me by letting me know that, while he had strongly considered joining the band, after having some good talks with his then-current band SACRED REICH, he would be staying with them and NOT joining us.


"At first I was a little miffed, but after a couple of days, a weird respect for him came out of it. I knew what we were offering him. We were doing far better than they were doing, but he chose to be loyal. I thought it showed a great deal about his character. We figured that would be the last we'd hear of him, and began a long and arduous session of try outs for the drum spot, which brought out some pretty great drummers (including Tommy from SOILENT GREEN, future-DOWNSET/BLOODSIMPLE drummer Chris Hamilton, talks with future-ILL NINO drummer Dave Chavarri and session drummer Deen Castronovo [JOURNEY, OZZY OSBOURNE], and hand-delivered CDs from a then-unknown and soon-to-be SHADOWS FALL drummer Jason Bittner) not to mention a few talented kids who played a mean air-drum (God, I wish we had recorded those... hysterical!).

"We had just finished up a short string of Australian and Euro dates with fill-in drummer Walter Ryan, but his style, while very good, was a bit different than what we needed. We had our first U.S. headline tour behind 'Burn My Eyes' set to begin shortly, and, still not sure if we had found our guy, we ended up choosing a temporary fill-in drummer and S.F. metalhead Will Carroll to handle the U.S. run. Will was a solid drummer, and a great dude, but again, his style was not quite what MACHINE HEAD needed. The 'Burn My Eyes Tour', which we nicknamed 'The Disas-tour' ('cause we averaged about 100 kids a night) was going pretty badly, morale was pretty low, and to top it off, STUCK MOJO (who we were sharing a bus with)... well... in a nutshell, their drummer let them know he was quitting them, and joining us! Which was news to us, and made for some pretty wacky inter-band / bus relations... jeez! But then about a month-and-a-half into it, I get a call from Igor and Borivoj telling me that Dave is interested in joining the band, again, and that he'll be at the Tuscon, Arizona show at the skate park.

"I must say, I was a little skeptical at this point, but as promised, he and his then-girlfriend and future wife Shelli showed up, and we all hung out a bit. He also came out to the Phoenix show the following day; he apologized for maybe leading us on earlier, he said his band had said they were going to do this, and do that, but in the end it was same ol' same ol', and he was done with being in such an unmotivated band. He was hungry, and you could see he was hungry, you could feel he was hungry.

"Six days after the tour ended on December 10th (at a surprisingly sold-out show at The Troubador in L.A.),Dave flew into Oakland on December 16th, where I picked him up from the airport to try out. To this day, he'll still go on and on, at length, to anyone who will listen, about how I wouldn't help him load his pedals into my car, wouldn't help him carry his cymbals, wouldn't hold the door for him, left garbage on the table at Jack In The Box, what a dick I was to him, blah, blah, blah... I don't remember any of it *AHEM! cough, cough, cough* But, after he volunteered to start off with 'Davidian' (which impressed us, as that took balls) 5 and 1/2 minutes later... we knew we had our guy. The three of us sat there clutching our jaws tight (so that they wouldn't drop to the floor) with one eyebrow raised, trying not to smile, silently saying to each other, 'Oh my fucking GOD, that was sick! We ran him through 'Block', and a good chunk of others, which he slayed, and a few days later tried out one more drummer (BrentSTUCK MOJO) but in the end we knew we had found our guy. Maybe it was that McClain 'wingspan', maybe it was how hard and consistently he pounded the fucking drums, maybe it was that he was the funniest complainer we'd ever met... but we knew he was our guy.

"Though we wouldn't let him know it, we kept Dave in 10 long days of suspense, until I called him on December 26th, 1995 to let him know he was our guy.

"10 years... wow. It doesn't seem it. Honestly, I couldn't imagine doing this with anyone else. The riffs he brings, attitude, honesty, his oft-imitated style (everyone bites his shit),his non-cheating thrash beats, his groove, meter, consistency, the man runs circles around his competition, and he'll fucking out jog 'em too!!

"Fuck yeah, happy anniversary Dave McClain, you're fuckin' alright, man!!!


Joseph Huston (MACHINE HEAD manager):


"10 years, wow, hard to believe!

"MACHINE HEAD needed a drummer. The four of us talked about what we wanted and needed: First and foremost — a monster on the kit, not just someone who could pull off the drum parts the band already had, but someone who would help create and grow with the band. We also wanted someone who would be up for touring relentlessly, be able to deal with all the rigors of being in a professional band — the politics, the work, the drive, etc. Finally, we wanted someone who would be part of the band and part of us. We wanted someone who would be there through thick and thin, someone who could live with all our 'minor' quirks.

"We wanted (and needed) Dave McClain. We just didn't know it yet.

"From the first day that Dave was part of MH, he has made a mark on the band and everything that it does. He has an uncanny way of taking a situation that leaves some of us ready to smash things and turning it into something that we all end up laughing about. He is one of the best and most skilled guys ever to grab a pair of sticks and he is the piece of the puzzle we had hoped to find but never thought we would. Here is to many more, Dave!"

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