Machine Head Axeman Phil Demmel Talks Touring and Judas Priest Cover
In an intimate interview with Camstas, Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel revealed all, from his most exciting show ever to details on the band’s new record.
The axeman started out by describing how it felt to play songs from Machine Head’s new album ’Unto the Locust’ live and in the flesh. “The first few times we played it were in South America and it was hard," he said. "These songs are hard to play. It’s awesome to see the new stuff going over just as good, if not better, as the older stuff. People are singing all the words and going off and just feeling it. It’s a really emotional record, and it’s good to see that we’re connecting with those hearts. The people bringing it back.”
Demmel also shared his most exciting show ever: “Man, we headlined Wacken [Open Air] two years ago, and that was an amazing show for us.”
He went on to talk about covering Judas Priest’s ‘The Sentinel.’ “Our drummer really liked the tune and he suggested it. Rob was into it too. The record, for me-- I was born to ‘Screaming For Vengeance,’ so by the time ‘Defenders of the Faith’ came out, I wasn’t really into it, but it’s a rockin’ tune. I had to learn it because Robb was so busy producing, singing and ... we were pressed for time, so I came in and learned all the tracks for that. The ‘Witch Hunt’ song we did, too, so that’s a rockin’ tune. I think we did a good job."
While being a part of this year’s Mayhem Festival was spectacular, the band has many more massive festivals ahead of them. “We’ll be home for about a month, and then we’re doing a stage tour with us Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour and Rise to Remain," he said. "We go straight from there to Soundwave in Australia ... then we’re gonna come back and maybe do some more in the states and Canada, and then right into festivals over here. We’re busy for the next year."
Machine Head’s headlining U.S. tour begins on Jan. 15 in Denver, Co. and wraps up in San Francisco on Feb. 18.