\"I\'ve been pretty blessed to have played in bands with killer drummers: Perry Strickland (Vio-Lence) had the hands and the fills, while Mark Hernandez (Vio-lence, Torque and Technocracy) had the meter and the consistency. Dave has it all, the complete drumming package. Amazing ideas, writes riffs and just plain looks cool! I look at his kit and can\'t imagine how he hits those things. His kicks are a mile apart, his toms practically flat. He\'s a frickin\' freak! Personally, I\'m voting for a 10 minute solo on the next tour.\"
Dave McClain was brought to Machine Head attention by Sepultura skinsman Igor Cavalera. Robert Flynn, Machine Head frontman, remembers:
\"I myself had never heard, heard of, or seen him live. Igor had given Dave an insane, ringing endorsement of his drum skills and personality, and I must say, all of us were chomping at the bit to hear him play. (...) But when I called Dave, he completely shocked me by letting me know that, while he had strongly considered joining the band, after having some good talks with his then-current band Sacred Reich, he would be staying with them and not joining us. (...) At first I was a little miffed, but after a couple of days, a weird respect for him came out of it. I knew what we were offering him. We were doing far better than they were doing, but he chose to be loyal. I thought it showed a great deal about his character.
Machine Head figured that would be the last they\'d hear of him, and began a long and arduous session of try outs for the drum spot, which brought out some pretty great drummers (including Tommy Buckley from Soilent Green, future-Downset/Bloodsimple drummer Chris Hamilton, talks with future-Ill Nino drummer Dave Chavarri and session drummer Deen Castronovo [Journey, Ozzy Osbourne], and hand-delivered CDs from a then-unknown and soon-to-be Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner.
They had just finished up a short string of Australian and European dates with fill-in drummer Walter Ryan, but his style, while very good, was a bit different than what the band needed. Continues Rob Flynn:
\"We had our first U.S. headline tour behind \'Burn My Eyes\' set to begin shortly, and, still not sure if we had found our guy, we ended up choosing a temporary fill-in drummer and S.F. metalhead Will Carroll to handle the U.S. run. Will was a solid drummer, and a great dude, but again, his style was not quite what Machine Head needed. The \'Burn My Eyes Tour\', which we nicknamed \'The Disas-tour\' (\'cause we averaged about 100 kids a night) was going pretty badly, morale was pretty low, and to top it off, Stuck Mojo (who we were sharing a bus with)... well... in a nutshell, their drummer let them know he was quitting them, and joining us! Which was news to us, and made for some pretty wacky inter-band / bus relations... jeez!\"
Fortunatley about a month-and-a-half into the tour, Machine Head got a call from Igor telling that Dave McClain was interested in joining the band. Six days after the tour ended on December 10th, 1995 Dave flew into Oakland on December 16th for a try out. Flynn:
\"After he volunteered to start off with \'Davidian\' (which impressed us, as that took balls) 5 and 1/2 minutes later... we knew we had our guy. The three of us sat there clutching our jaws tight (so that they wouldn\'t drop to the floor) with one eyebrow raised, trying not to smile, silently saying to each other, \'Oh my fucking god, that was sick! We ran him through \'Block\', and a good chunk of others, which he slayed, and a few days later tried out one more drummer (Brent Payne of Stuck Mojo) but in the end we knew we had found our guy. Maybe it was that McClain \'wingspan\', maybe it was how hard and consistently he pounded the fucking drums, maybe it was that he was the funniest complainer we\'d ever met... but we knew he was our guy.\"
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