"Bastards", a brand new song from San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD, can be streamed below. The track is taken from the band's ninth studio album, "Catharsis", which will be released on January 26 via Nuclear Blast. The effort will be made available in several formats, including a CD/DVD digipak edition which contains footage of MACHINE HEAD's 2015 concert at San Francisco's Regency Ballroom.
Speaking to the "That's Not Metal" podcast, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn stated about "Bastards": "It's definitely way outside of the MACHINE HEAD wheelhouse, and we knew that. There was a lot of internal debate in the band, like, 'Can we say this?' 'Do we need to say this?' 'Can we do a song like this?'
"To me, it's a folk song. It's four chords that have been played a million times over the last hundred years," he continued. "And I knew that writing it. I just wrote it and I picked it up and those were the notes that worked well under the vocals that I was singing. And that's what worked."
Flynn also talked about the lyrical content of "Bastards", explaining that "we got to a point where I just wrote those words. I was using very coarse, almost vulgar language at times," he said. "I wrote that song in forty minutes. I wrote it the day after the [U.S. presidential] election. And it was based on a conversation that I had with my kids. And it was a very difficult, complicated conversation, and I was really affected by it. And I just sat down the next day and started writing. And, basically, the first half of it, at least, is based on that conversation. And then it just went on. And then I went into my own thing and it literally just vomited out of my brain in order and in sequence, and when it was done, I was, like, 'Woah! Holy shit! I'm saying some shit here.' And I put it up on YouTube a few days later, just as an acoustic folk version of it, basically — no band; just me and my acoustic guitar. And at the time, I felt that was it — that was gonna be the end of it. And I got it out, it's done. And I thought in my head, I always kind of heard a band way that we could do it, but it was just, like… We had just started writing [for the new album], and I didn't wanna go into this. I wanted to just get some metal — kind of set the tone: 'Let's get some metal songs.' And we did, and then we got to a point where we started playing it as… you know, recorded it kind of separately, kind of pieced it together, 'cause it's a pretty big arrangement — there's a lot going on. And when I had my buddy come in and put on a Hammond organ, and when it got to that Hammond organ part, I got goosebumps. I was, like, 'Holy shit! There's something special here. This is a game changer for us. And I know it's way out of our wheelhouse, but we've gotta fucking roll with this.'"
The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds", "Catharsis" was produced by Flynn and recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Mastering was handled by Ted Jensen (HATEBREED, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES) at Sterling Sound in New York. Cover photography was created by Seanen Middleton.
The album is available for pre-order at this location.
MACHINE HEAD recently released the official video for the "Catharsis" title track.
The North American tour in support of "Catharsis" will kick off on January 25 in Mesa, Arizona.