PHIL DEMMEL Is Still 'Super Proud' Of 'Many Different Things' He Helped Create During His Time With MACHINE HEAD

March 17, 2020

In a recent interview with "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, guitarist Phil Demmel of reactivated San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE was asked what the most fulfilling has been about being able to revisit the band's early music with the same people he played it with as a teenager. He responded (hear audio below): "It's kind of crazy. The most fulfilling thing? I think that it's still — I wouldn't say 'relevant,' but it's still important to a lot of people to hear these songs and to see us playing these songs. There's songs that I wrote in the mid-'80s in high school that are still being screamed for and [we're] still playing and still getting messed up by certain members of the band after 30, 35 years [or] whatever. [Laughs] I just think that it's still so important to some people that we're… with the day and age, with the Internet, people are getting this widespread access to the band more than they did before. Nobody outside of the Bay Area really cared about us back in the '80s."

Demmel also talked about his longtime working relationship with Robb Flynn, with whom he played in both VIO-LENCE and MACHINE HEAD. Phil said: "[Robb] was in VIO-LENCE for about four years, I wanna say, and I spent 16 years in MACHINE HEAD, so [there's] quite a disparity in that sense. So I think that most of our writing together became in the middle part of MACHINE HEAD — so 'Blackening', 'Locust'. I think that there was a point when we were really on fire and really accepting of each other in a sense of material and writing-wise, when we really knew what the other person was [going to do] — what harmony they were gonna hit or there was just a real, real jelling in that sense. And we were super creative; there's so many different things that we came up that I'm super proud of. And yeah — that's about all I wanna say about that. [Laughs]"

Last year, Demmel told the "In The Pitts Of Metal And Motor Chaos" podcast that MACHINE HEAD ended up becoming a Flynn solo project toward the end of his time with the group. Demmel also said that the musical side of MACHINE HEAD took a sharp turn for the worse during the writing stage for the band's latest album, 2018's "Catharsis", an LP he said he hated.

VIO-LENCE recently inked a deal with Metal Blade Records. The band's new EP is tentatively due to be recorded in the coming months.

This past January, VIO-LENCE parted ways with guitarist Ray Vegas and replaced him with former OVERKILL axeman Bobby Gustafson.

VIO-LENCE released three studio albums between 1988 and 1993. The group reunited soon after Demmel left MACHINE HEAD in late 2018.

VIO-LENCE performed its first comeback concert in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California and spent the last year playing select shows in the U.S. and Europe.

The band's current touring lineup consists of Demmel, Gustafson, singer Sean Killian, drummer Perry Strickland and bassist Deen Dell.

Although Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE's classic incarnation and played on the band's debut album, "Eternal Nightmare", he wasn't contacted about doing the comeback shows.

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