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Machine Head's Robb Flynn & Killswitch Engage's Jesse Leach

Machine Head Release New Protest Songs, Killswitch Engage’s Jesse Leach Guests


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Machine Head have dropped a new 2-song digital single titled “Civil Unrest” featuring lyrics written in response to the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. The single features the new tracks “Stop The Bleeding” and “Bulletproof“, with the former sporting a guest turn from Killswitch Engage, etc. vocalist Jesse Leach. A music video for it can be found below. Machine Head frontman/guitarist Robb Flynn commented of “Stop The Bleeding“:

“I wrote and sang the lyrics on Wednesday May 27th, 2020, the day that the four officers who murdered George Floyd were (originally) not charged with anything. This day was engulfed in protests and riots across America. I drove into Oakland, past large demonstrations already happening and, in a fury, wrote down everything I was feeling after watching the horrific footage. Within hours, what I wanted to say, what I needed to say had been recorded in the song.

I decided to sing it over a song called ‘Stop The Bleeding’, that we had recorded back in December 2018 with Jared [MacEachearn, Machine Head bass guitar] and Carlos Cruz [Warbringer] on drums.”

As for the involvement of Leach on “Stop The Bleeding“, Flynn offered:

“I had been speaking with Jesse for maybe 6 months about singing on the song, as it always had a little bit of a Killswitch vibe to me. Unfortunately (or fortunately), our schedules hadn’t lined up, but with the subsequent lockdown from coronavirus, we had time to make it work.

After what happened to George Floyd, I sent him the lyrics I’d written, and he replied saying he was “100% on board”. Jesse is someone I consider to be a pioneer and, in many ways, one of the men who changed the face of metal. His contribution to this song made it extremely powerful and it’s an honor to have him be a part of it.”

Leach himself added:

“Being asked to be part of this song is an honor. Yes, because it’s Machine Head, but more importantly, this is a message that needs to be heard and spread. These issues concerning abuses of power and racism are timeless. I have written about these previously and I’ll write about them again. I think Robb really nailed this one, both lyrically and sonically.

My hope is this song helps awaken those who hear it. Robb has been a frequent voice of the voiceless in these times, so teaming up with him is a no brainer. We need more of our Metal Community to speak out on social issues and help raise awareness, especially during these crucial times.

Music is the soundtrack to our lives, it transcends language and culture. This is the reason we as musicians need to do our part to spark thought and discussion on these types of issues. We can make a difference through music and we can help stop the bleeding.”

Speaking of the b-side track “Bulletproof“, Flynn offered:

“The lyrics for ‘Bulletproof’ were finished in the aftermath of not only the Ahmaud Arbery murder at the hands of white supremacist, but everything twisting out of control in our World. The isolation and craziness of the pandemic, the lockdown protesters storming government buildings with AR-15‘s, as well as the blatant lies and conspiracies pouring out of our political leaders’ mouths, hour by hour, day after day.”

You can pick up both tracks here. Machine Head will be donating a ‘significant portion’ of the streaming proceeds from ‘Stop The Bleeding’ to grassrootslaw.org.

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