Machine Head haben überraschend eine Doppel-Single mit dem Titel „Civil Unrest“ veröffentlicht. Die besteht aus den Songs „Stop The Bleeding“ und „Bulletproof“, auf ersterem ist auch Killswitch Engage-Frontmann Jesse Leach zu hören. Die Singles sind eine Reaktion auf die gewaltsamen Tode von George Floyd und Ahmaud Arbery. Entsprechend wird ein Großteil der Einnahmen an das Grassroots Law Project, die Organisation, die George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, und Ahmaud Arbery repräsentiert und sich für diverse weitere Projekte einsetzt, gespendet.
Das Artwork stammt von Strephon Taylor. Beide Titel wurden von Robb Flynn produziert und von Zack Ohren in den Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA, engineered. Um den Mix kümmerten sich Colin Richardson und Chris Clancy bei Audioworks Productions UK, bevor die Songs zuletzt von Ted Jensen im Sterling Sound gemastert wurden.
Robb Flynn erzählt:
„I wrote and sang the lyrics on Wednesday May 27th 2020, the day that the four officers who murdered George Floyd were (originally) not charged with anything. This day was engulfed in protests and riots across America. I drove into Oakland, past large demonstrations already happening and in a fury wrote down everything I was feeling after watching the horrific footage. Within hours, what I wanted to say, what I needed to say had been recorded in the song. I decided to sing it over a song called ‘Stop The Bleeding’, that we had recorded back in December 2018 with Jared [MacEachearn, MACHINE HEAD bass guitar] and Carlos Cruz [Warbringer] on drums.“
Über die Zusammenarbeit mit Jesse Leach sagt er:
„I had been speaking with Jesse for maybe 6 months about singing on the song, as it always had a little bit of a Killswitch vibe to me. Unfortunately (or fortunately), our schedules hadn’t lined up, but with the subsequent lockdown from coronavirus, we had time to make it work. After what happened to George Floyd, I sent him the lyrics I’d written and he replied saying he was “100% on board”. Jesse is someone I consider to be a pioneer and in many ways, one of the men who changed the face of metal. His contribution to this song made it extremely powerful and it’s an honor to have him be a part of it.”
Und Jesse Leach kommentiert:
“Being asked to be part of this song is an honor. Yes, because it’s Machine Head, but more importantly, this is a message that needs to be heard and spread. These issues concerning abuses of power and racism are timeless. I have written about these previously and I’ll write about them again. I think Robb really nailed this one, both lyrically and sonically. My hope is this song helps awaken those who hear it. Robb has been a frequent voice of the voiceless in these times, so teaming up with him is a no brainer. We need more of our Metal Community to speak out on social issues and help raise awareness, especially during these crucial times. Music is the soundtrack to our lives, it transcends language and culture. This is the reason we as musicians need to do our part to spark thought and discussion on these types of issues. We can make a difference through music and we can help stop the bleeding.“
Auch bei „Bulletproof“ handelt es sich um einen neuen Song. Hierzu sagt Flynn:
„The lyrics for ‘Bulletproof’ were finished in the aftermath of not only the Ahmaud Arbery murder at the hands of white supremacist, but everything twisting out of control in our World. The isolation and craziness of the pandemic, the lockdown protesters storming government buildings with AR-15‘s, as well as the blatant lies and conspiracies pouring out of our political leaders mouths, hour by hour, day after day.“