MACHINE HEAD's new track, "Do Or Die", is "by far the most extreme song" in the band's catalog.
The extraordinary claim was made by WARBRINGER drummer Carlos Cruz, who recorded the track last December with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with producer Zack Ohren.
"Do Or Die" will be released next month to coincide with the announcement of the U.S leg of MACHINE HEAD's "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour. The shows will see 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.
On Tuesday, Cruz posted a photo of him with Flynn and MacEachern in the studio, along with the following message: "It was an absolute honor working at Sharkbite Studios with these giants! Thank you to Producer Zack Ohren, @robbflynn @jaredmaceachern & the MH team for the opportunity! New @machine_head song, 'Do or Die', will be released next month, feat. myself on drums! By far thee most extreme song in the #MachineHead catalog! All the best on tour, my dudes! #DoOrDie #HeavyMetal #ThrashMetal #RobbFlynn #Oakland"
Cruz stepped in to play on "Do Or Die" following the departure of MACHINE HEAD's longtime drummer Dave McClain.
"I had just been wanting to make music, and so right after we got done with the last tour, I was, like, 'I've gotta make music,'" Flynn explained during an August 23 Facebook Live session. "I had all these fucking songs written for months now, since April [of last year], and I wanted to go and write them and record them and jam them with the dudes. So my engineer Zack arranged for Carlos Cruz, who is the drummer for WARBRINGER. He played in POWER TRIP — an awesome new, modern thrash band. Sick-ass drummer — awesome drummer. Young guy, really cool. He came up and jammed with Jared [MacEachern, bass] and I. [He] just fucking killed it. It was awesome playing with him. And it really inspired me, kind of brought me out of my funk. I'd been really wanting to write new music for a while, and it was just right place, right time. The dude was amazing, and I can never be grateful enough for everything that he brought to the table. Awesome dude."
Flynn said that MACHINE HEAD's session with Cruz yielded about four or five new "jams." "Not all the songs got finished, but it was just cool fleshing them out," he said. "And so it gave me a lot of time to work on 'em, sing vocals, all this stuff."
The release of "Do Or Die" will be followed by the arrival of more new songs from MACHINE HEAD. "We're gonna start dropping a steady stream of new music — standalone songs," Flynn said. "There's not gonna be an album; there's just gonna be a steady stream of standalone tracks that are consistently released. And then eventually they may or may not end up on an album. But we're mixing it up. We wanna do this new model where we can put stuff out faster and get new music out quicker to the die-hards.
"We wanna have this ability to not just have an album come out every three years, which is what we've been doing — every four years sometimes — and just make it quicker and more consistent and more like a regular thing," he explained. "I don't know what it's gonna be, but I'm definitely excited about it. I'm excited for you guys to hear this new shit."
Flynn previously told Metal Hammer magazine that he wrote "Do Or Die" in August 2018, before McClain and guitarist Phil Demmel announced they were leaving the band. "Two days after that announcement on Facebook Live, I was back in the studio and working on ideas and lyrics," he said. "I guess I was really just pissed off that day. After all the haters and all the negativity, all the bullshit. It's vicious!"
The first leg of MACHINE HEAD's 25th-anniversary tour for "Burn My Eyes" will kick off in Germany on October 5 in Freiburg, and continue across Europe, wrapping in Dublin, Ireland on November 8. The U.S. leg will take place in November and December.
Building on MACHINE HEAD's "An Evening With…" format, these shows will be a three-hour musical extravaganza, comprised of two parts: Part one will feature a battery of MACHINE HEAD's modern classics, such as "Imperium", "Halo" and "The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears", featuring Flynn and MacEachern performing alongside two soon-to-be-announced musicians on guitar and drums. Part two will feature "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with Kontos and Mader joining in.
Kontos left MACHINE HEAD before the release of the band's second album, 1997's "The More Things Change", and was replaced by McClain.
Mader contributed to two MACHINE HEAD albums, the aforementioned "Burn My Eyes" and "The More Things Change", before exiting the group and being replaced by Ahrue Luster and, later on, Demmel.