PHIL DEMMEL Reveals Main Reason for Leaving MACHINE HEAD Was Personal

PHIL DEMMEL Reveals Main Reason for Leaving MACHINE HEAD Was Personal

Phil Demmel Reveals Main Reason for Leaving Machine Head Was Personal

In a recent interview with Nikki Blakk of San Francisco’s 107.7 The Bone, Phil Demmel opened up about his departure from MACHINE HEAD, a band he left over five years ago. Reflecting on his tenure, Demmel described it as an “awesome ride” filled with numerous successes and invaluable experiences. He emphasized the positive aspects, including the music they created, the shows they played, and the connections he made, even meeting his wife through the band.

Demmel highlighted his significant role in maintaining the band’s success, not just musically but also in networking. He felt proud of his contributions and the way he exited the band. However, he admitted that the dynamic within the band shifted during the ‘Catharsis’ cycle, which made him and drummer Dave McClain uncomfortable. Demmel didn’t particularly like the record, although he appreciated some of his contributions to it.

Once Demmel and his wife bought a bar in Dublin, California, he felt less reliant on the MACHINE HEAD paycheck. This newfound financial independence made him realize he could leave the band. He didn’t want to quit music altogether; he was still learning and writing new material at home. Eventually, he decided it was time to go, even though he didn’t know what the future held.

Elaborating on his reasons for leaving, Demmel said it was 99 percent personal. The situation had become toxic for him, affecting his sleep and overall well-being. He tried to go along with it as long as he could, but eventually, he reached a breaking point. He felt an immense sense of relief and happiness after making the decision to leave.

Despite announcing his exit, Demmel agreed to do one last tour with MACHINE HEAD. He felt it would be a “dick move” to bail on the tour, so he honored his commitment. The tour was awkward, akin to going on a honeymoon after asking for a divorce. Demmel clarified that Flynn didn’t try to convince him to stay, as both were done with each other.

Demmel left MACHINE HEAD at the end of their fall 2018 North American tour. He had been with the band for nearly 16 years, contributing to five studio albums. In an April 2023 interview, Demmel discussed buying a ticket to see his former bandmates perform in Sacramento in late 2022. He enjoyed the show, focusing on the music and appreciating the performance of HAVOK’s Reece Alan Scruggs, who was filling in on guitar.

During a January 2023 appearance on “The Jasta Show,” Demmel mentioned that he has had a “civil-ish” relationship with Flynn since his departure. They haven’t exchanged words, and Demmel prefers it that way. He has friends in the MACHINE HEAD camp but feels it’s best if their worlds don’t collide.

In a 2019 podcast, Demmel revealed that MACHINE HEAD had become more of a Flynn solo project toward the end of his time with the band. He and McClain felt they were just being told what to do, which wasn’t what they had signed up for. Demmel also expressed his dislike for the musical direction of “Catharsis,” an album he said he hated.

Demmel told SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal that there were many things he couldn’t do while in MACHINE HEAD, including speaking to the press. The situation became unbearable, and he felt like he was just punching the clock. The job had lost its joy for him, and he decided to quit after many stressed-out nights and sleepless discussions with his wife.

Demmel announced his exit from MACHINE HEAD in October 2018, stating he wanted to pursue other musical endeavors. He completed the “Freaks & Zeroes Tour” before officially leaving. Over the past four years, Demmel has played sporadic shows with the reunited VIO-LENCE, which released a new EP last year.

Although Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE’s classic lineup, he wasn’t involved in their comeback shows. Demmel’s departure from MACHINE HEAD marked the end of an era, but it also opened new doors for him, both personally and professionally.

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