San Francsico Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD will embark on a European headlining tour in February/March, billed as “An Evening With MACHINE HEAD”. No support bands, no locals, just two hours of bone-crunching metal anthems, deep album cuts, sing-a-longs, haunting atmospheric pieces, and pure fucking MACHINE HEAD!
“We’re doing ‘An Evening With’ MACHINE HEAD. Meaning: it’ll just be us, folks,” commented guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn. “We are really excited about playing longer sets, throwing in some deep cuts, and just having it be our own world. We did this in the U.S. and eastern Europe recently and it’s done amazingly well. Fans seem to really love the ‘Evening With…’ format for a band like us who has a long-standing and diverse catalog. While the sets vary from night to night, there were a couple nights on the last run where we reached the two-hour-and-40-minute mark. It was crazy! We could have played all night, the crowd was so insane!!”
In regards to the band’s decision to only headline their own shows throughout the “Bloodstone & Diamonds” touring cycle, as well as no longer play festival slots, Flynn elaborates: “We’re not trying to have a good time with a bunch of people who don’t know who we are. If MACHINE HEAD throws a party, big or small, we don’t want a bunch of ‘strangers’ there. This is about us and you guys, the die-hards, the Head Cases, The Fucking Undesirables! We don’t care about the others out there. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere. If those people want to be a part of this, they know where to find us. So for the time being, and maybe ‘forever’, we’re done reaching out for them.”
Tickets and VIP packages go on sale at 10 a.m. CEST this Friday, October 16.
Pick up standard tickets, VIP Meet-And-Greet “upgrades” (for folks who already bought tickets or want to add on later), and the “Ultimate VIP Package” (where 1 person-per-show can own a “stage played” Bloodstone & Diamonds guitar played by either Phil Demmel or Robb), all at this link.
Confirmed dates are as follows:
Feb. 02 – Geneva – L’usine (CH)
Feb. 04 – Nimes – Paloma (FR)
Feb. 06 – Santiago de Compostela – Sala Capitol (ES)
Feb. 07 – Porto – Coliseu do Porto (PT)
Feb. 08 – Lisbon – Coliseu dos Recrois (PT)
Feb. 10 – Granada – Industrial Copera (ES)
Feb. 11 – Madrid – Riviera (ES)
Feb. 12 – Barcelona – Razzmatazz (ES)
Feb. 14 – Bordeaux – Rocher de Palmer (FR)
Feb. 15 – Clermont Ferrand – Coop de Mai (FR)
Feb. 16 – Paris – Bataclan (FR)
Feb. 19 – Reims – Cartonnerie (FR)
Feb. 20 – Lille – Aeronef (FR)
Feb. 21 – Dortmund – FZW (GER)
Feb. 22 – Stuttgart – Longhorn LKA (GER)
Feb. 24 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp (GER)
Feb. 25 – Dresden – Alter Schlachthof (GER)
Feb. 26 – Hannover – Capitol (GER)
Feb. 27 – Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt (GER)
Feb. 29 – Tilburg – 013 (NL)
Mar. 02 – Norwich – Open (UK)
Mar. 03 – Nottingham – Rock City (UK)
Mar. 05 – Belfast – Limelight (UK)
Mar. 06 – Dublin – Olympia (IR)
Mar. 08 – Manchester – Academy (UK)
Mar. 10 – Cardiff – Great Hall (UK)
Mar. 11 – London – Hammersmith Apollo (UK)
Mar. 12 – Glasgow – O2 Academy (UK)
MACHINE HEAD’s latest album, “Bloodstone & Diamonds”, sold around 18,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 21 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on November 10, 2014 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment, the CD was produced by Robb Flynn and Juan Urteaga, and like the last seven of eight MACHINE HEAD albums, was masterfully mixed by Colin Richardson. Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY) and Steve Lagudi.
Regarding the musical direction of “Bloodstone & Diamonds”, Flynn told Metal Hammer magazine: “There’s definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It’s a really heavy record and 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.”
Regarding the “Bloodstone & Diamonds” album title, 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.”