Oakland Metal stalwarts Machine Head have clarified that they will not be splitting up, following several rumours, after the announcement of two band members’ departures.
Guitarist Phil Demmel and longtime drummer Dave McClain were confirmed to be quitting by band frontman and leader Robb Flynn in an emotional Facebook Live video, which you can see below.
In the video Flynn confirms the departure of the two band members, saying “I’ll get right to it […] Wednesday night, Phil Demmel quit Machine Head. Yesterday afternoon, Dave McClain quit Machine Head. And Jared kinda quit but didn’t know if he was quitting for sure.”
Since the video went live, the band have issued a more formal statement on Demmel and McClain’s departures, making clear that their upcoming tour will be ‘a celebration’ of this iteration of the band, rather than the end of the band completely.
The statement reads: “After 23 years with Dave McClain pounding the skins at the drum throne, and 15 years with Phil Demmel shredding the guitar on stage right, both members have decided to move on from Machine Head and open a new chapter in their lives.⠀
“The upcoming Freaks and Zeroes tour of North America (that starts this Thursday in Sacramento, CA) is still happening, and will be a celebration of the music that the line-up have created throughout the years. The split is amicable, and the guys are looking forward to playing these very special shows for the Head Cases of North America and ending this era on a positive and classy note.⠀
To clarify: this is the Farewell Tour of this line-up of Machine Head, not the Farewell Tour of Machine Head, as has been reported in the media. ⠀
Machine Head wish to thank Phil and Dave for their significant contributions to the band, both musically and lyrically, as well for the spirit, genuine passion they infused into the music, and legendary live performances brought along the way.
Machine Head ask that you, the Head Cases, the Freaks & Zeroes, the Lion Hearts of America, come down and have a drink (or 5), a joint (or 3), rage at the shows, let your freak-flag-fly, and celebrate this unique moment in time with us.”
Despite the positive spin the band want for this US tour, Flynn was honest in blaming himself for the departures of Demmel and McClain, saying in the initial Facebook broadcast: “We have grown apart as people,” he began. “Musically, we have 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. 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. That drive of mine has alienated folks in the band.”
Flynn’s remorse for his conduct, and the admission that he needed to “do a little bit of soul-searching in my life and take a long hard look at myself.”
Flynn was insistent that the band would continue, and despite his remorse, he was keen to see his bandmates off in style. “We’re gonna end it on a positive note,” he promised. “And we’re gonna end it on a classy note. So come out and have a drink with us. Maybe not too classy – like white trash classy, like hammered and stoned at a metal show classy. It’s the end of an era. I did a lot of crying yesterday. I felt like I got ran over by a truck.”
Fans seem to have accepted that the band will continue, but many have still expressed sadness that two long-standing members of the near-iconic band will be departing.
Phil Demmel leaving #MachineHead is devastating. He and Flynn are like Bert and Ernie. They can’t just break up.
— Jason (@ItMeJason) September 28, 2018
Absolutely broken-hearted over the news about @MfnH This band literally changed my life! I may be a little dramatic right now, but god damn this sucks! Best of luck to the guys in their future endeavors! #machinehead
— JenniSixx (@JenniSixx) September 28, 2018