It's been a year like no other. Hardly any reason to remind everyone about how mindbogglingly shit 2020 will be remembered as, but on the bright side, it wasn't all that bad. In fact, while many other bands all but shutdown entirely, here are some of the highlights Machine Head accomplished:
- The year started out rather fantastically with some truly amazing show in the United States and Canada as part of the Burn My Eyes 25th Anniversary Tour (yes, that was THIS year!) and in a lot of cases, turned out to be peoples last shows before lockdown hit.
- We managed to release 5 new songs and 3 music videos this year including our top streamed song of the year "Circle The Drain", alongside the blistering "Stop The Bleeding" and "Bulletproof" as part of the "Civil Unrest" single. An acoustic version of "Circle The Drain", plus the monumental release of "My Hands Are Empty" (which has become an instant Head Case favorite!) and it's accompanying video which was a downright quarantine triumph.
- I started the weekly Acoustic Happy Hour which air every Friday at 3 PM PST on Facebook Live, a loose and rowdy time which includes 2 hours of acoustic covers, plus MH tunes, and a whole lotta drinking! It appears on YouTube the following day, and high quality audio version (professionally mixed and mastered by MH live engineer Olav Tabatabae of Noise Eater Prod.) appears on Nugs.net a few days later for streaming or HD download
- We started Subs Club, a subscription-based fan-community that is live-streamed daily on Facebook which allows VIP access to daily Machine Head goings-on including rehearsing for the Happy Hours, writing new songs, and running through classic deep cuts in the MH catalog, not to mention hilarious interactions about dildo descriptions.
- For the 26th anniversary of Burn My Eyes we video-streamed the now-legendary Oakland show at the iconic Fox Theater for free on all platforms, and the mindbogglingly crazy New York show from Webster Hall.
- We also live streamed a "Through The Ashes Of Empires" 17th anniversary play-through, and a "Bloodstone & Diamonds" 6th anniversary play-through.
- I reached my 67th episode of the No Fuckin' Regrets Podcast that included legends like Gary Holt (Exodus), Scott Ian (Anthrax), and Ice T (rapper, actor, Body Count), as well as baseball legend Tony La Russa and MMA/ Bellator star Roy Nelson.
On a personal note:
- I was able to maintain my weight off the road for the first time in decades through change of diet called 30/30/10 (30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat - 6 times a day )and and new workout strategy.
- The Acoustic Happy Hours forced me to take a long, hard look at my clean singing voice, and I began taking vocal lessons courtesy of the mighty Mellisa Cross (Zen Of Screaming) which has done wonders, and focused on using this time to improve myself.
- I've gotten closer to both my wife and kids during the first real break I've had in decades. I taught my son Zander how to drive, taught my son Wyatt how to play "Crazy Train" on bass, and Genevra and I have enjoyed a Fri/Sat night "date night at home" for the first time since we had kids.
So yeah... while in many ways it was a tragic, horrible, fucking mess of a year, there were a lot of bright points. We got to share a lot of music with you guys, connect deeper with you guys in a way we never could before 2020, and together, we changed the world a little bit for the better. My hope is that it carried you all through, and made this time better for you in one way or another.
Here is wishing you all the happiest of holidays and a way, way, WAY better new year.