Some sudden and unexpected line-up changes have occurred within the ranks heavy metal legends Machine Head, who have regrettably announced that guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain decided to step down from the band.
Frontman Rob Flynn announced the news of the member changes via a live video announcement on Facebook.
In the video, Flynn explains that guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain decided to step down from the band last week, and that their upcoming tour will be a “celebration of Machine Head and this version of the band.”
You can take a look at the video along with a transcript of what Flynn says below.
“I’ll get right to it. On Wednesday night, Phil Demmel quit Machine Head. Yesterday afternoon, Dave McClain quit Machine Head, and Jared… kind of quit, but didn’t know if he was quitting for sure. The tour is still going to go on. We have all agreed to make this a celebration of our music and this era of the band.
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. I’m kind of a barnacle, and, you know, 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.
I ask that you respect Phil and Dave’s decision, as I respect their decision, and I want to say that I’m honoured and grateful for everything that they have contributed to Machine Head, which is a lot. Fifteen years with Phil, twenty-three years with Dave. Innumerable riffs and, you know, Phil wrote ‘Beautiful Mourning’, and added the harmonic in ‘Halo’, and brought ‘In The Presence Of My Enemies’, and most of ‘Locust’, and ‘Be Still And Know’, and ‘Now We Die’, and so many songs and lyrical ideas. He brought the concept for ‘Locust’, he brought the ‘Be Still And Know’ concept and lyrics.
Dave started writing riffs on ‘The Burning Red’. I think he wrote part of ‘Nothing Left’. He brought the main verse and chorus of ‘Imperium’. He brought the main riff in ‘Halo’… ‘Vim’, ‘Descend The Shades Of Night’. A lot, you know, and just always was there to jam with me, and make these songs come to life. Day in and day out.
They made Machine Head a better band, having those guys a part of it.
I don’t know what the future holds. 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. Phil is an amazing songwriter. He’s funny and quick fitted, and has formidable social skills. He would be a great ambassador to any band. Dave is the best drummer that I’ve ever played with. He is incredible. He is also super funny. If you need somebody to tell you how it is, he can skewer you with the truth, and that’s a good thing. I could see him ending up in a country band, or some awesome band making a jillion dollars. I could see Phil starting some super hugely popular cover band that, you know, plays awesome rock songs and killing it. I wish them well, and more success for them.
We are- I’m going 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 twenty years of therapy at this point, and apparently it wasn’t enough. I guess I need to do about twenty more.
This upcoming tour is going to be a celebration of this era of music and this line-up. That may be the best era of Machine Head ever, and may be the best line-up ever, and may be the best line-up that this band ever has, and we’re gonna end it on a positive note, and we’re gonna end it on a classy note. So, come out and have a drink with us on the Freaks & Zeroes tour… maybe not too classy, like, white trash classy. Like, hammered and stoned at a metal show classy. So, not too classy.
It’s the end of an era. It’s the end of an era. I did a lot of crying yesterday, and I kind of felt like I’d got ran over by a truck. I spoke to Jared this morning, and Jared actually says now that he’s going to stick around, and he wants to continue on which made me happy. We’re going to do this tour, so everybody come out, ’cause it’s going to be like the Ozzy song, ‘Goodbye To Romance’.”
Following the release of the above video announcement and the statement that their forthcoming run across North America would be a farewell tour, fans have speculated and interpreted this as an end of the band.
However, Flynn has since taken to Instagram with a short follow-up video clarifying that Machine Head have no intention to break up, and that this would just be a farewell run to see off both guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain.
You can check out Flynn‘s follow-up message clarifying this below.
More details surrounding the future plans for Machine Head will be confirmed as they develop.