When Machine Head announced earlier this year that they would be embarking on the 2nd leg of their “Freaks & Zeros” tour this fall, fans were expecting another series of powerful performances from the band in support of their most recent release, Catharsis. Well, now it turns out that fans will get one last chance to see this lineup of the group as The PRP has reported that lead guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain will be leaving the band once the tour finishes.
Robb Flynn addressed the lineup changes in a Facebook live stream last week, stating that both McClain and Demmel were tired of playing in the group and no longer wanted to deal with the way Flynn ran the band. Despite reports that the band was breaking up, Flynn has confirmed that after this tour Machine Head will continue with a new lineup that will feature current bassist Jared MacEachern. As the founding member, and bandleader, Flynn attributed the breakup of this lineup to his personal failings and that the split was amicable between all members.
Demmel originally played with Flynn in the legendary Bay Area thrash metal band Vio-lence, with Flynn forming Machine Head shortly after their breakup in 1994. With Machine Head struggling creatively and commercially after a series of poorly received albums, Demmel joined the group in time to record their stunning comeback record, 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires.
McClain joined the group 23 years ago and has played on all but one of their studio albums, their groundbreaking debut Burn My Eyes.
There is no word yet on who Flynn has in mind to replace McClain and Demmel, but it will be quite the task for him to find musicians capable enough to fill the massive void that will be left in the band after this tour concludes.
Flynn released another video clarifiying his statements made during the Facebook live video, saying that:
I’ve been getting a lot of texts based on the video that I did earlier today on Facebook Live, and I just wanted to clarify that this is the farewell tour of this lineup; this era of Machine Head. This is not the farewell tour of Machine Head. It’s been a very emotional 48 hours, and I very well could have said that weird on Facebook Live – or not as good as I could have. And while the future of Machine Head is uncertain…”
The audio abruptly cut off after that but it would seem to indicate that Flynn intends to keep the band going after this tour.
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Photo credit Owen Ela