Machine Head Interview Lyon
That's in Machine Head's tour-bus during the "Throught the Ashes of Empires" tour 11th October 2004 in Lyon Transbordeur where we met new guitar player, Phil Demmel for a new conversation.

You are just back from your Australian Tour and here you are in Europe for the second " TTAOE " Tour. Tonight is your second show. What is the band's state of mind?
This is the beginning of a long run force. This is the longest European tour ever. It joins the Australian tour, so we are 3 months away from home. The state of mind is "get ready for a big tour". We enjoy the success of the album. Europe
has been as traditionally very receptive. We were looking for to get back here, having good crowds and doing good shows. We changed the set list for this tour;
it will sound a little bit different. We changed a couple of different songs. So we are looking for a great tour!

Isn't it too hard to be far away from home and your family, especially for Rob who is dad since few months?
Yeah, it is hard especially for Rob! He is feeling torn. Touring is hard, but this is the life that we chose. We enjoy being here as well.

This is the fourth time Machine Head is playing here in the Transbordeur (1995-1997-2001-2004). Isn't it boring to always play in the same places?
Sorry to answer that because this is my first time here! (He laughs) I enjoy going back in a club we know, especially when you know it is going to be good. It is hard when you know that you had bad show there. But for me it's hard again to answer that because I never been here before.

You are touring since one year for the TTAOE Tour. With hindsight, how do you feel about this 5th album?
It is my favourite. I am a little bit biased because this is the only where I am one, but I think it is the best combination of all the past albums of the band. There is the aggressiveness of "Burn my eyes", all the creative and innovative stuffs of "The More Things Change" and "The Burning Red" and all the vocal's stuffs that Rob done on "Supercharger". It is just a big pie of everything, but back to the old school and the aggressiveness.

"TTAOE" was available in Europe since October 2003, but only since April in
the US. How the album has been welcomed by the Americans fans?
Initially very well. America doesn't get into Machine Head as Europe. It is going well. We are going to release another single with a video there, " Days Turn Blue To Grey ", I don't know for here. We need to get on a good support tour over there. We have our fans but we have to open up for Slipknot, Slayer or Mudvayne and get all lot more kids to see us.

The Roadrage Tour you have done with Chimaira is not enough?
It was a great tour. I love touring with Chimaira. They are great guys, great band. We toured with God Forbids too, but we were headlining so we were preaching in front of converted! We need to get on a biggest tour, a biggest scale.

Why did you finally deal with Roadrunner USA?
It was the best deal available! We had some different propositions from labels. We made the balances and Roadrunner came out with a better deal. Being away and them being away from us, we just put our differences aside and grow up together. We are in licence on Roadrunner; it is like a full package. We are working hand in hand with them.

On the US edition of "TTAOE", there is a bonus track untitled " Seasons Wither ". Did you especially composed this track for the US edition or have you composed it during the composition session of TTAOE?
It has been composed with the goal of being released on the US edition. I had written a couple of riffs for this track on God Forbid's tour. When we went back from the tour, we thought that it was a good tune and decided to record it for the US release.

About " Seasons Wither ", it's an excellent track. Do you plan to play it live on this European tour ?
Yeah! We played it few times in Australia and at the first show here in Europe. Possibly we will play it tonight. It is planned to release it on the single "Days Turn Blue To Grey" with a couple of other songs over here.

" Burn My Eyes " is out since 10 years now! You did a special show the 8th august in Philadelphia. Will you release this show on DVD or in CD?
It has been recorded! We are recording the Brixton Academy's show for a DVD and we are thinking of putting a couple of songs of this show on it. We don't know for the moment!

It has been filmed or recorded?

For the bonus of the DVD!!!
Possibly (laughs)

Your concert of the 5th of December at the Brixton Academy in London will be recorded for a DVD. Why after " Hellalive " did you choose this venue again?
It's traditionally a great place with a great crowd. It will be the middle of the Tour;
we will be at our best. And it is just a great venue!

Do you have any idea of what will be composed the bonus of this DVD?
We don't know. I can't really say right now. We have few ideas around. We have cameras going backstage, for the soundcheck, etc… We will have like twelve cameras at the Brixton Academy.

Is the DVD announcing a pause for the band or will you quickly release a new album in order to stay at the top of your notoriety?
Hum, we are touring until mid 2005 so … There won't be another album for a little while. We have to tour for this one, try to generate more sales … Probably not a new Machine Head album until 2006.

Do you have any new songs and do you have an idea about when the next Machine Head album would be available?
We have been through riffs around. Me and Dave are practicing some riffs during the sound check, and a couple of good things is coming out. The last three songs that we wrote "In the Presence of my enemies", "Seasons Wither" and hum, I can't remember the third one. Never mind! Those three songs were strong songs. We gave the riffs to Rob and he is like structuring the whole now. We didn't begin the writing process.

Do you have any equipment on tour to record some stuffs?
(Phil show us his head with his finger) Everything is here!

You made a video clip for the son " Days Turn Blue To Grey " and appealed to
fans with Machine Head's tattoos. Can you tell me more about the concept of this video clip?

The song is about parental abuse. The video is not done yet. We shot the video two days before we left. It deals with how people can grow up having been abuse before. But I won't give you any more information about the video! (he laughs)

Can you tell me more about your performance at the Download festival in front
of sixty thousands metal-heads?

The best day of my life! The best day of my life (he repeats it slowly)! We had a great show. Slayer had a problem because their gear wasn't there, so Damage Plan replaced them and played before us. I went on stage and just put my hands up and everybody screamed. It was just amazing! I walked around and met the guys of Slipknot, Metallica, Nikky Sicks of Motley Crue. It was such a cool thing to be part of the festival, and I am very proud of this!


What is your favourite word? (After 10 seconds of hesitation) Fuck!
What is word you hate? (He laughs) I don't hate any words! Oh, i don't like the racists' words! I won't say it but stuff like that.
What turns you on creatively? Energy from the crazy fans
What turns you on spiritually? Hum! Acts of kindness
What turns you on emotionally? Unselfishness
What turns you off? Narrow-mindedness
What is your favourite bad word? Cunt
What sound do you love? Waves crashing
What sound do you hate? My alarm clock
What is your favourite place on earth? Lake tahoe, California. In the mountains where I am snowboarding
And the one you hate? Going to work (He laughs)
You have a job aside Machine Head? Yeah, I am a carpenter… install doors…
Which persons influenced you the most during your life? My grandma
Who were your heroes when you were a kid? My grandfather and my father
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional snowboarder!
What profession would you not like to do? A foot doctor! (He laughs)
If Heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you will arrive at the Pearly Gates? Hum!! It is a bad time you thought you never get here! (he laughs out of loud)

Interview Phil Tattoo here.

Interview By Manu & Ben
Translation By Ben

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999