San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD have abandoned plans to resume their "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour now that the pandemic is slowing down.
Last July, MACHINE HEAD canceled its previously announced rescheduled 2020 tour dates for Europe and Australia due to the coronavirus crisis which was sweeping the globe. At the time, it was assumed that those shows would finally happen once the band was able to return to the road.
Earlier today, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn announced that the "Burn My Eyes" tour, which saw him and bassist Jared MacEachern play the band's classic debut album in its entirety for the first time ever, with original "Burn My Eyes"-era drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in, would not pick up at such a time as MACHINE HEAD can continue touring.
Writing in the latest installment of his online blog, "The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings", Flynn said in part: "The 'Burn My Eyes 25th Anniversary' celebrations have ended. After trying to complete all the loose ends finishing the tour in Australia, Japan, South America… to state the obvious, there were just way too many global restrictions. But together with our MH family and MH alumni Logan Mader and Chris Kontos, we accomplished exactly what we set out to do. We took 'Burn My Eyes' around the globe to honor its music, its impact, and the connection that has never waned. It was/is truly amazing. 2021 sees Logan with his hands in several projects (including a collaboration with yours truly on his record) and Chris is currently tearing it up behind the kit with Bay Area skate-punk legends THE BONELESS ONES."
Elsewhere in the blog, Flynn confirmed that MacEachern is still a member of MACHINE HEAD alongside new recruits, guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and British drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT), all of whom also performed on the "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour.
"Logistics and restrictions being what they were, the fact that Vogg lives in Poland, Matt in Germany, and Jared and I in California, that 5,000-mile gap was impossible to have these guys around during the writing/arranging process, but when the time is right, and we can get these guys to the Bay Area, things will fall into place seamlessly," Robb wrote. "The music being written and released is written with these guys in mind; that's extra incentive while composing."
Each show on MACHINE HEAD's "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour consisted of two parts: part one saw Flynn and MacEachern performing alongside Kiełtyka and Alston; while part two featured "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with Kontos and Mader stepping in.
Earlier today, Kontos posted the following statement on his Facebook page: "So, with that.... The 'Burn My Eyes' 25th-anniversary tour is over. I want to thank the fans and Head Cases worldwide for showing so much love and respect to me while on the tour. It was a dream like time for me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to bring the joy and happiness I had during the tour to you all. Thanks to MACHINE HEAD for making it an amazing time. I wish we could have completed the mission, but it's not to be. I'm sorry that so many people are going to miss out on such an amazing show and energy. Much love to you all."
MACHINE HEAD will release a new three-song single, "Arrows In Words From The Sky", on Friday, June 11. Featuring the tracks "Become The Firestorm", "Rotten" and "Arrows In Words From The Sky", the effort was recorded at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Joining Flynn and MacEachern during the sessions were drummer Navene Koperweiss (ENTHEOS, WHITECHAPEL, ANIMALS AS LEADERS) and producer Zack Ohren.
Said Flynn: "These three songs represent MACHINE HEAD better than anything I could ever try to explain here. The way these songs grew and took shape over time, tells us our future is more exciting than even we would like to admit. Being able to corral all the chaos, pain, confusion, and, yes, hope into music has never made me feel more alive. These songs will hopefully do the same for you. After all, that's who they were written for."
In November, MACHINE HEAD released a new single, "My Hands Are Empty", via Nuclear Blast. The song marked the first musical collaboration between Flynn and original "Burn My Eyes" guitarist Logan Mader in 24 years.
"My Hands Are Empty" was the latest in a line of singles to be released by MACHINE HEAD, which issued "Do Or Die" in October 2019, "Circle The Drain" in February 2020, and the two-song digital single "Civil Unrest", consisting of "Stop The Bleeding" and "Bulletproof", in June 2020. "Stop The Bleeding" featured guest vocals from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE frontman Jesse Leach, and was written and recorded just days after the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.