Guitarist Phil Demmel joined Machine Head back in 2003, making his studio debut with the band on their album Through the Ashes of Empires. However, come 2018, Demmel ended up leaving the band.
During a past conversation with SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal, Demmel shared that he was not fond of the musical direction that band frontman Robb Flynn was taking Machine Head in. So where do he and Flynn stand now?
Per a more recent conversation on The Jasta Show, Demmel opens up about his current relationship with Flynn. Speaking about some past instances where Flynn and he crossed paths, Demmel shares the following (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“I’ve seen him twice. And one of the days [was] at [last year’s] Bloodstock [Open Air festival in the U.K. where Machine Head played a surprise set and Demmel performed with both Vio-lence and Lamb of God]. He was by our dressing room, talking to the dudes. I just kind of walked by. The first time I saw him, System of a Down and Korn played some West Coast shows, and I went to that show, popped my head in to say ‘hey’ to Shavo [Odadjian, System of a Down bassist] and ‘Thanks for the tickets.’ And I stick my head in, and Robb’s kids are there, his wife’s there. I went, ‘Oh, no.’ I saw Shavo and I just went, ‘Hey. Have a good show.’
“And I went to front of house to watch. Juan Gonzalez, he works with Deftones forever, he was the front of the house. And so I’m hanging with him. And then I get a tap on my shoulder, and I went, ‘Oh, shit.’ And it’s Dean Dell, the bass player from Vio-lence, who I haven’t seen since he was let go from the band. So it’s, like, ‘Oh, hey, Dean.’
“I chatted with him for a minute, and as I’m talking to him, Robb came up and he was, ‘Hello, Mr. Demmel,’ and he stuck his hand out. And we bumped knucks. And that’s been the extent of our contact in the past… it’s been four years now.”
The guitarist goes on to talk about how he and Flynn got a “divorce” and how they are keeping the peace by not exchanging words.
“There’s no words exchanged. I don’t think that there’s any need to have any words exchanged. In that sense, there’s separate worlds, and they can thrive on their own, and they have been. They’re killing it. I’m doing my thing. Everybody’s okay with that happening.
“I don’t think that they need to — the worlds don’t need to collide at all. I would prefer if they didn’t. I prefer things this way. I have friends in that camp. And I’m not too sure how welcome they are or welcome they feel to be able to say hello to me, which is weird. But him and I got a divorce, in a sense, and not everybody else, so there’s no beef.”
Do you wish that Demmel was still playing guitar for Machine Head? Below you can check out the full interview featuring the guitarist.