drummer Dave McClain with Machine HeadWell, here we are again: Machine Head is out on the road and trekking across the US. We’re on about month 19 of the tour cycle for our new(est) album, The Blackening, with no end in sight. So that means things are pretty damn good in Machine Head-land these days.

We’ve had the pleasure of touring with some pretty kick-ass bands on this run, bands that we were friends with or that we’ve become friends with. We’ve toured with Lamb of God, Trivium, Gojira, Megadeth, Heaven And Hell, Arch Enemy, Dragonforce, Shadows Fall, and this other band you might have heard of called Metallica! Now we’re on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which we’re basically looking at as summer camp for metal bands. We’re happy to be headlining the Jagermeister stage, which is outside of the amphitheatres, usually in the parking lot.

I still haven’t had a chance to talk drums with everyone out here, but I will say there are some pretty amazing drummers on this tour. It’s really cool to just walk around and check out different drummers’ kits and the weird quirky things we all have in common. We drummers are a rare breed, for sure.

Speaking of drumkits, I just got my new ddrum set a few weeks ago. I wanted to add a few toms to my setup. Anyone who’s seen my kit knows that everything is really low and flat, so adding drums was quite tricky. My kit is now two 20×20 kicks, 8″, 10″, and 12″ rack toms (all 5″ deep), and 14″ and 16″ floor toms. And of course I wanted the whole thing wrapped in mirror chrome. It’s a pretty amazing kit. Nothing like the sound of an 8″ tom to make you feel like Neil Peart. I love it. I’m having a lot of fun finding spots in fills to put in the new toms.

Anyway, I hope to see a lot of you who are reading this out there in the parking lots of America while we continue this tour.

For more on Dave McClain and Machine Head, go to www.machinehead1.com.