Sweetwater editorial director Mitch Gallagher recently conducted an interview with guitarist Phil Demmel of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. You can now watch the chat below.
MACHINE HEAD will release its new album, "Bloodstone & Diamonds", in November via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The CD was recorded in part at GREEN DAY's JingleTown Recording compound in Oakland, California.
Regarding the "Bloodstone & Diamonds" album title, guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn said: "Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth. It is also a lyric from the opening track of the album, 'Now We Die'.
"In many cultures, the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music),and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band."
Speaking about the musical direction of "Bloodstone & Diamonds", Flynn said: "There's definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It's a really heavy record arid there's a dark and evil vibe to a lot of it, but I feel like there's more of a rock vibe in there too. It's stripped down at times, and I like that. I think that sense of urgency has carried over from the demos we did, which were all done very quickly and spontaneously. We tried to keep that spontaneous vibe on the album."
He continued: "At one point we started getting really anal on the tracks and spending tons of time on stuff, and we'd listen back and say, 'You know what? This doesn't have the vibe of the demos.' The demos were so fuckin' frantic, so we changed our mindset and now it's a little bit looser. Some of the guitar takes are basically live. Often, 40 or 50 percent of a song came from a spontaneous, live take and that's killer! It adds energy and makes the songs feel alive."