September 5, 2011, posted by FotherMucker99
Megan Kennedy of Slug Magazine had the pleasure to sit down for an interview with Dave McClain during the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
SLUG: You guys have got to be pretty proud of your longevity—20 years in the business—especially in the metal genre, where it seems bands are breaking up every day. What is it about Machine Head that keeps you guys strong?
MCCLAIN: Being in the business, you learn there's good and bad things that happen, and we have always kind of been this band that once we get up there, something always tries to knock us down no matter what. Over the years, understanding how everything works, it's a cycle, and you gotta make it through the cycle. Robb has always been that dude to not take no for an answer, no matter what. There have been periods where we're not the cool kids on the block anymore, and it's just about how you weather everything. People see how you do that and either respect you or they don't. I think we've been through so much that people respect how we handle everything. You try to become a band like Motorhead, who have been around double our length. It's the same principle: you become this fucking cockroach that isn't affected by pesticides. Hard-willed bands that keep going obviously love what they're doing.
SLUG: Other than lineups, what else has changed the most for you guys since your first album?
MCCLAIN: Our mind-set. I joined on the making of the second record, and the way the music industry was at that time, there were things you had to do, hoops to jump through—you're on a label that's trying to make you bigger. One thing we realized now is to simplify everything. We're a metal band, straight and simple. We're not going to stray away from that. We may bring other elements into it, like add something mellow into the music, but we're a metal band and that's pretty much one of the biggest things that has changed. Nobody looks over our shoulder at what we're doing, nobody is asking us, "Hey can you write a song that sounds like this," none of that anymore. It's a cool thing—especially since the whole big downloading of music thing has changed the business for the better in a lot of ways. It's not about record sales anymore; it's about touring, merchandise. I think it got people more into liking music for music, rather than a popularity contest.
SLUG: So you find the music downloading a positive thing? So many bands out there see it as a troublesome thing.
MCCLAIN: It is what it is, you can't stop it. If you give someone something for free, they're going to take it, you know? And record sales are coming back around which is cool, but you just have to adapt to what's going on. What seemed like the end of the world when it first started happening was completely the opposite. I see why it was being fought, why Metallica took a stand like they did—it was a scary thing. They became the scapegoats of the whole thing, but it's just not as big a deal anymore.
Read the whole interview here >>>
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