Metal veterans Machine Head have just dropped a new two-track single titled Civil Unrest, which has been inspired by recent happenings in the US.
The first track, 'Stop The Bleeding', also features Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach providing firepower alongside Machine Head's Robb Flynn.
Flynn spoke of how the track came to be:
"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.’’
Check it out below, then continue on for Jesse's take on working with Machine Head, as well as the second track 'Bulletproof':
Robb Flynn also had this to say about working with Jesse:
“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.”
Jesse was stoked to be asked to appear on the track:
“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.”
Machine Head are donating a significant portion of their streaming proceeds from 'Stop The Bleeding' to http://grassrootslaw.org, the organization representing George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.