Phil Demmel says that he is "pretty sure" none of the lyrics in the new MACHINE HEAD song "Do Or Die" were written about him.
Released on Friday, "Do Or Die" has been described by some fans and media outlets as a "diss" track dedicated to MACHINE HEAD's detractors, in particular those who have been critical of the band's last album, 2018's "Catharsis".
When one fan tweeted on Friday that he "lost all the respect" that he had for MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn "after Robb tried to keep himself relevant by dogging out Phil," Demmel responded: "How did he dog me out? I keep hearing this is a dis track but I'm not hearing anything resembling a dis to me, Personally."
Phil later added: "Thanks for the concern but I'm pretty sure NONE of it's about me."
Demmel announced his exit from MACHINE HEAD a year ago, explaining at the time that he wanted "to step away and do something else musically." Phil, who first played with Robb in VIO-LENCE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, went on to complete the Flynn-fronted act's "Freaks & Zeroes Tour" last fall before officially leaving the band.
Last spring, Demmel told the "In The Pitts Of Metal And Motor Chaos" podcast that MACHINE HEAD ended up becoming a Flynn solo project toward the end of his time with the group.
"We weren't a band," he said. "That was Robb's trip, and we were basically just being told what was gonna happen… Everything had changed over time. Shit, we were together for 16 years and stuff changes after that. It's been the band that he started. So things shift, and as they weren't what we agreed to or what we wanted to be a part of, we just left. So we do our own thing, and he does his thing."
Demmel told SiriusXM's Liquid Metal that there were "a lot of things" that he couldn't do while he was a member of MACHINE HEAD, including speak to the press. "There was a point where we were taking liberties and still doing [interviews]," Phil said. "It got to be where the talks that came along with it, it was unbearable. It was just like, 'Man, I'm punching the clock here. I'm gonna show up. What songs do you wanna play? Okay. Cool. We're gonna play the songs. When are the dates? Okay. Cool.' For the last cycle, it was the paycheck. That was my living. I didn't like my job anymore."
Demmel also said that the musical side of MACHINE HEAD took a sharp turn for the worse during the writing stage for "Catharsis", an album that he said he hated.
Phil revealed that he decided to quit MACHINE HEAD after spending "many stressed-out nights" talking with his wife and occasionally "losing sleep" over everything that was going on with the band. "And it just got to the point to where I [couldn't] do this anymore," he explained. "It's unhealthy for me physically, it's totally unhealthy for me mentally, and it's taking its toll on my family now, and there's where I've gotta draw the line," he said. "This isn't fun, and I've gotta quit my job. And there was a straw that broke the camel's back."
MACHINE HEAD has just embarked on the "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour. The shows are seeing MACHINE HEAD's original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader join the band onstage again to play the group's classic 1994 debut album in full.
Demmel and drummer Dave McClain have been replaced in MACHINE HEAD by Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT), respectively.
How did he dog me out? I keep hearing this is a dis track but I’m not hearing anything resembling a dis to me, Personally.
— Phil Demmel (@DemmelitionMH) October 11, 2019
Thanks for the concern but I’m pretty sure NONE of it’s about me. ????
— Phil Demmel (@DemmelitionMH) October 12, 2019
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