Machine Head has dropped a two song digital EP titled Civil Unrest. The two new songs are “Bulletproof” and “Stop the Bleeding” which features Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach. Frontman Robb Flynn and Leach were previously asking fans for video submissions for something they were working on, which turned out to be a music video for “Stop the Bleeding.” Both songs were written days after the back-to-back murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.
“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.
Robb shared how he and Leach originally teamed up for the new track:
“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.”
He also shared about the origin of “Bulletproof”
“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.”
The gritty performance video was directed and edited by Mike Sloat, shot on location on the streets of Oakland, CA, with Jesse’s part filmed in Kingston, NY with David Brodsky.
Machine Head are donating a significant portion of their streaming proceeds from “Stop The Bleeding” to Grass Roots Law Project, the organization representing George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
You can grab the songs here and watch the video below!