Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014

Best Indian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Arts & Culture: My boyfriend of two years cannot climax or maintain an erection unless his testicles are handled, squeezed, pulled, or pressed on... By Dan Savage 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

Machine Head swarm drummer's hometown

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Demmel, Duce, Flynn, and McClain, ready to supercharge SA.


Machine Head drummer and native San Antonian Dave McClain often contemplates his band's endurance. "The writing and touring cycle for our last album took over five years," he says. "That's longer than most careers."

He stops to consider how Machine Head — now 20 years strong — nearly derailed once.

"We'd been having label trouble when Supercharger came out, and that was a very divisive album," he says, referring to Machine Head's questionable attempt to go nu-metal. A shelved record and a fired guitarist later, the band decided to reboot. And the Oakland-based band has not stumbled since.

The monstrous Through the Ashes of Empires begat the masterful The Blackening, and last year's sick Unto the Locust manages to top even that record. "We had an epiphany about 10 years ago, when we met Judas Priest," McClain said. "They'd been going for over 30 years. They'd seen the top, they'd hit rock bottom, but they kept at it, and were rising again. That reinvigorated us, and it reminded us to keep our music true."

"We're a metal band," McClain said. "Machine Head started as a metal band when grunge was killing metal. But we have to do things differently, because writing the same record twice is a bad idea. We did that with The More Things Change, and we won't do it again."

So how does McClain, bandleader Robb Flynn, bassist Adam Duce, and guitarist Phil Demmel keep things fresh? "It helps to be open-minded," McClain says. "We grew up on Angel Witch and Saxon, but we're also into Korn and My Chemical Romance. We maintain our identity because we're very good at stealing."

Ahead of the band's show Sunday at Backstage Live, McClain has an apology to make.

"Our last San Antonio show was our worst," he said. "We opened for Megadeth at the Sunken Gardens on a cold, wet December night. It was miserable. So [afterwards] Robb, Phil, and I went to The Mix with some friends, and we ended up sitting in with whatever band was playing. We did some Sabbath tunes and had a fucking blast! But that band was pretty pissed at us [for taking over their set]."

That Megadeth show notwithstanding, Dave professes a fondness for his former home. "I still get chills when I see the skyline, because that's where I used to dream of doing what I do now. San Antonio was the Heavy Metal Capital. Without [legendary KISS-FM personality, now deceased] Joe Anthony, we would not have heard Thin Lizzy, Accept, and the new wave of British heavy metal stuff. He was the first guy to play Iron Maiden."

McClain then reflects on the news about Mark Reale, leader of the band Riot, who died of Crohn's disease January 25. "They were our Maiden and our Priest ... San Antonio was his second home."

Machine Head's SA stop falls on the fourth anniversary of the passing of McClain's mother.

"My mom came to all our shows, wearing the shirt of whatever band I was playing with that night," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, she'll be there that night. That pushes me to perform better than we did last time." •

Machine Head feat. Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour, Rise to Remain

$20-$22
All ages
6pm doors, Sun Feb 12
Backstage Live
1305 E Houston
(210) 698-2856
backstagelivesa.com
frontgatetickets.com

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus