Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) spoke to Finland's Kaaos TV about his addition to MACHINE HEAD's touring lineup prior to the launch of the band's "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour in late 2019. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was a huge experience. So many things happened. It was a big surprise for me, because I didn't plan that, to play [with MACHINE HEAD]. It kind of accidentally happened.
"In 2019, when we started the summer festivals with DECAPITATED, I sent an e-mail to [MACHINE HEAD frontman] Robb Flynn about congratulations, because I heard about the upcoming 'Burn My Eyes' tour," he explained. "Because I'm still a huge fan of the first album, I just wanted to share my happiness about that with Robb. So I sent a message to him. And he replied, saying, 'Thanks, man.' And, 'Maybe you can play with us one song as a guest in Warsaw,' because they planned a Warsaw show. So we started to talk. And then it became a serious talking about the guitar player they were looking for, and I was sending my proposition that maybe I can help with that. So I did an audition. They sent me song requests for the audition, so I did it. And in a few days, I became a new guitar player of MACHINE HEAD. It was really fast. Because I didn't hear about that they were looking for a guitar player. I heard about Phil Demmel, the issues with Phil and the rest of the guys; they quit the band before. But I thought that the 'Burn My Eyes' anniversary tour was only the 'Burn My Eyes' lineup, and then I found out that it's also a second lineup to play [the other] songs. So, it was cool. It was [such] a positive shock for me."
Vogg went on to say that he was "so happy" to have been part of the "Burn My Eyes" anniversary tour "because I'm a huge fan of MACHINE HEAD since I was a kid. And to have the opportunity to go with them as a guitar player on tour which celebrates my favorite [MACHINE HEAD] album, which is probably one of my [favorite] ten albums ever, it was unbelievable," he said. "And it was such a great experience for me seeing a really big band on tour and seeing the pre-production process and traveling with all this huge crew and a few buses and trucks and all this equipment. It was really something new for me. Even [though] I'm an experienced musician, I had a big lesson from those guys and from the crew. It was such a great experience. It was such a great feeling being on stage in front of thousands of people every night. And then, after I finished my set, which includes the best songs from MACHINE HEAD — it takes two hours — then I go to change my clothes and come back to the side of the stage to see 'Burn My Eyes', the whole album, played by the original lineup. It was amazing. I have to say it was one of the best life experiences I had."
Back in November 2019, Flynn told France's HEAVY1 that Vogg's MACHINE HEAD audition "just fucking blew my mind — it was so fucking tight and fucking accurate. He sent over [a recording of] 'Imperium' as his first song just as a test. We always had all the dudes do a sound test, just to make sure the levels are good and stuff. I was, like, 'Oh my God! This dude is playing 'Imperium' better than I can right now.' [Laughs] It was crazy. And we ended up talking. Super-nice guy."
Each show on MACHINE HEAD's "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour was described in a press release as "a three-hour musical extravaganza," comprised of two parts: part one featured a battery of MACHINE HEAD's modern classics, such as "Imperium", "Halo" and "Now We Die", featuring Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern performing alongside Kiełtyka and drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT). Part two featured "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in.
Kontos left MACHINE HEAD before the release of the band's second album, 1997's "The More Things Change", and was replaced by Dave McClain.
Mader contributed to two MACHINE HEAD albums, the aforementioned "Burn My Eyes" and "The More Things Change", before exiting the group and being replaced by Ahrue Luster and, later on, Phil Demmel.
McClain and Demmel both left MACHINE HEAD in October 2018.