“The Blackening” was such a crucial album in Machine Head’s career and many people didn’t think that you guys would be able to top yourselves because of how successful it was but I believe “Unto the Locust” has become just as successful. Do you think that you exceeded people’s expectations?
Dave: First off thank you! Yeah I mean, you never want to go into your next record and be like “Oh, this one is going to totally suck compared to our last one”. It was a crazy record for us, “The Blackening” in the respect that so many crazy things happen to us. You never really know how people are going to react to it and we wrote this record that people just like really took to. Even with like gaining a whole new generation of fans and all this stuff that happened with the band was so amazing. So yeah, going back into the writing cycle, it had been 3 years since we started touring so we were really ready to just start writing and recording. I think we were just lucky that everything fell into place. We had all these great riffs going on and these songs that were coming up were really good. So yeah, we worked really hard on doing it. We didn’t want to create the same record again.
How was the writing and recording process for “Unto the Locust” different from the other records?
Dave: We saw lot of things on that tour happen for us. Even with like touring with Metallica and stuff, who nobody will ever reach that level again. So for us, out of all of the great things that happened on “The Blackening” tour we were still really hungry for all of that again and we also felt that we had a lot to prove to people and to ourselves.
I’ve read in articles lately that there were problems within the band during “The Blackening” tour cycle.
Dave: Yeah but I mean what band doesn’t? That whole cycle for us was about 5 years and that’s almost as long as some bands careers.
How long did “Unto the Locust” take to write and record?
Dave: From the time we started up until we went into the studio was about a year. Even when we did get into the studio we are always changing things. Robb is always coming up with different vocal melodies and stuff like that.
In the new record, you guys have so many different layering involved. Does that make it hard to perform these songs live?
Dave: It’s possible but the basic songs are really raw and I think being in the studio more for us now is about not getting into like Pink Floyd stuff or anything. Just kind of treating the 2 things differently and also keeping it to when we do get to a live situation don’t we have people looking around and being like “What the fuck was that? I don’t recognize any of that”. And we don’t use any tracks, like yeah we’ll use an intro, but we would never play over tracks.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
Dave: Well we’re almost playing the whole record and I absolutely love opening up with “I am Hell”. It’s insane; it’s just so awesome to start out the show like that.
After this US run you guys have some other shows coming up. Is there anything you’re most excited about? Like Download 2012 should be a sick show for you guys!
Dave: I don’t even know if we’re doing Download anymore! We don’t know what’s going on. We’re going to Europe and doing a bunch of different festivals and all that the whole summer but as of right now the UK is the only thing that’s up in the air. There are 2 different festivals and that’s when like the whole “music business” gets into play because there are consequences for doing this one and there are consequences for doing that one so we’re just trying to work around all of that.
How is being on the road with Suicide Silence and Darkest Hour?
Dave: It’s awesome! The Darkest Hour dudes we took them out with us in Europe the last tour. I met a couple of the guys before and we hit it off great. Me and the 2 guitar players, the two Mike’s, have a cover band. They come up here and we jam to a bunch of different rock songs, so they’re cool. We get along great with all the guys. Suicide Silence we’ve known those dudes for a long time so it’s good to bring them out.
What’s been the best show so far? Obviously after tonight’s show you’ll be saying Chicago, because we’re a pretty intense crowd out here!
Dave: Haha we’ll see, Chicago is great, tho! But so far I think the first show in Denver was a really great show, it was just amazing.