Ex-Machine Head Guitarist Learned 19 Slayer Songs in Two Days
The last few weeks have been some of former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel's most eventful of his career. After performing his final show with Machine, he was summoned by Slayer to fill in for guitarist Gary Holt who left the tour to be with his ailing father.
In a new interview with Sweden's Metal Casino, Demmel revealed that he learned Slayer's 19-song set in a mere two days. "I wrapped up the Machine Head tour - I quit Machine Head, did our last show - and the next day I got a text from Kerry King saying, 'Do you think you can learn 19 Slayer songs and be out here in two days?'" he explained.
"So, my wife had been at home with our son and running our business, and I had been gone for two months. And I showed her the text. She was so happy to have me home. So I showed her the text, and she had said, 'You've gotta go. You have to go do it.' So I started studying [the songs] on the plane. And I came out and played my first show [Monday] night."
He admitted that he had already known some parts to a few of the songs, but figuring out the specifics is what took the most time. “I had to concentrate on what I was playing [live], so I’d look up every once in a while [and see the crowd]. Scott Ian was just saying that some of the guys were running back: ‘It’s his first night, and he’s yelling at the audience.’ I was feeling it. Sometimes I tend to smile onstage, and there’s no smiling in Slayer. You can’t smile onstage. So, yeah, I felt very welcomed by everybody.”
You can watch video of Demmel performing with the band here and check out the interview in full below.
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