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MACHINE HEAD – The General Journals: What Do You Want?


It’s a question I often ask myself; what DO I want? And if I get what I want, will I be happy? Is it really what I “want”? There’s the old saying “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” Sometimes you just gotta look deep inside and figure out what you truly want first, and that’s where I’m at right now. What do I want?

Do I want a #1 album? Or am I wanting a legacy like Bob Marley (who also never got to #1), which flourished long after he died, (and who was no doubt “jealous” that he never got to #1).

What do I want to hear? It’s a question I ask myself every time we begin to write music. What is the band that I’m NOT hearing sound like? Can we be that band?

I been hitting the gym regularly, I never bring headphones or listen to music or watch TV while working out. One of the main reasons I chose the gym I go to is BECA– USE they don’t play stupid dance music all day like seemingly every other gym out there. My gym has no music, and for a guy that has music in his head nearly every moment of every day it’s awesome to just work out in silence. So when I get to the gym, I jump on the elliptical machine to warm up and often the TV has been left on the CMT (Country Music Channel) and sometimes I’ll change it to the news and other times I’ll just stare at the CMT channel and watch in silence. Well, virtual silence because I stare in disbelief and seethe at the soundless images coming off the screen at me.

So what do I see? I stare at the blinding of America. I stare at an endless stream of country music videos all showing the same thing – programming, subverting, and manipulating the viewer with religion and the well-oiled military machine. Visually the current theme is “heroes coming home from war, and their damsel-in-distress-lonely-women waiting for them as they stare at Jesus and touch their cross necklaces, praying.” I watched this same video play out over and over and over again. The not so subtle message playing out: “War’s over guys, pray to Jesus!”

And all those video images are cut with carefully manicured guys and gals in jeans and cowboy hats, playing songs written by a high paid group of other writers who produce simple pop songs that have slide guitar and acoustic and sound all shit-kickin’ and country-fied.

Every once in a while you’ll get a video like Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” which is just about partying and acting a fool, and I dig that, it’s not mindless propaganda other than well I guess… selling Solo cups and booze for his alcohol sponsor. But fuck it, I love that song!

But again, I ask myself while watching these fucking mind-meltingly bad videos, what do I want?

I was talking to my buddy Johnzo from Devildriver, and I was telling him about the new Machine Head songs and how I felt like we didn’t have a “Halo” or a “Locust” type track, yet. I specifically name checked those tracks as our history has shown these two songs are what I’d refer to as our “universal songs.” Songs that we can play at any show on any bill with any band and they resonate. And he was like “dude, I love “Halo” but “Locust”, dude, that is the song that I play for my non-metal friends when they’re trashing metal bands as noise, and I say, HEY, want to hear some good metal? Check this out!”

It was a rad statement and all around amazing compliment.

And songs like that are important. The world needs songs like that. Not just from Machine Head, but in general.

Before ‘The Blackening’ was written, I went and asked the fans on our message board what they would like to hear out of the new Machine Head album. I got some great feedback. Some of which we took to heart, but ultimately we had to follow our own hearts and go where it led us, but I still enjoyed hearing it

So I’m here asking you;

What do YOU want out of the new Machine Head record?

How do you want it to sound?

And while I’m at it, what kind of Special Edition items would you like to see?

Digipaks have been pretty standard by now, and our new record label Nuclear Blast offers an array of AMAZING limited special edition items for their bands.

Have you seen / collected any really cool ones lately?

What haven’t you seen that you’d maybe like to?

Angels and Airwaves recently offered a “hardcore fan bundle” for $750 that came with a guitar, vinyl, CD, digipak, t-shirt, poster. They offered 100 of them and that all sold out first week. The guitar was really cool!

As some of you know, I’m also an obsessive Star Wars collector who has spent WAY too much money on that goddamn movie, but are there other movies that you’ve seen that offered cool collectible items that you’d like to see?

Machine Head beer?

Machine Head dark chocolate with sea salt?

Head Cases, Undesirables, tell me, what do YOU want?