A new band has been formed by members of ARMORED SAINT, EXODUS and OVERKILL alongside former members of MACHINE HEAD and ADRENALINE MOB
Phil Demmel, the former guitarist of MACHINE HEAD and current member of VIO-LENCE, has joined forces with Mike Orlando, the former guitarist of ADRENALINE MOB, along with the talented John Bush, the singer of ARMORED SAINT and ex-ANTHRAX fame. Rounding out this impressive lineup are Jason Bittner, known for his drumming with OVERKILL and SHADOWS FALL, and Jack Gibson, the skilled bassist from EXODUS.
Together, this group of seasoned musicians is embarking on an exciting new musical journey with their as-yet-unnamed project. Currently, they are hard at work crafting material for their debut album, promising an explosive and unforgettable musical experience.
Demmel recently shared insights about this venture during an interview conducted by Marzi Montazeri, the former guitarist of EXHORDER and PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS. The anticipation is building among fans and the music community as they eagerly await further details about this thrilling collaboration, certain to deliver a unique blend of talent and creativity.
Discussing how the project came together, Demmel said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I [was] doing a one-off [show], [filling in as the guitar player for] OVERKILL, and this is just right after things are opening up. It’s in Jersey, so we go up to Dingbatz, or what’s… there’s the bar and then there’s the venue. So whatever the bar is, we go to the bar. And Orlando comes and meets us, and it’s Corey Pierce from GOD FORBID. And so we’re there all getting loaded. And at a certain point, it was just, like, ‘Man, we got the band right here, man. Why don’t we do something? Why don’t we write music together?’ And we’re all, ‘Yeah, let’s do.’
“And then the next day, we’re kind of hung over, going, ‘Hey, man, did we mean it? Did we mean that? Yeah, let’s see can happen.’ And I came back [to the East Coast]. I forget what I was doing when I came back. And me and Orlando got together and we just got in the room and started throwing riffs at each other and came up with, like, a dozen or so riffs that he took back. And you know Mikey O — he’s got his own studio, and he gets behind something.
“And he’s got such a great ear. He’s a phenomenal guitar player. And he’s got a great ear for music and melody. So he starts putting the shit together. And we’re, like, Damn, this is fucking cool.’ … And then so we’re thinking, it’s, like, all right, well, bass player and vocalists.
“Vocalists, who would you guys want? Let’s make our list. Start at the top.’ And then bang, bang, bang. All at the top was ‘John Bush‘, ‘John Bush‘, ‘John Bush‘. We’re, like, ‘Hmm.’ I said I know him from [playing together in] METAL ALLEGIANCE. We broed down a little bit — we talked sports and stuff — so I said, I know him enough to call him up and ask him. So I did. And he was super… We were in the friend zone for a while — you know, non-committal. And it’s been bit by bit by bit.”
Demmel added that the new project has “written about 10 tunes” and John has laid down vocals “to seven of ’em. And it’s is super exciting, man,” he said.
Phil went on to describe the new band’s musical direction as “heavier than the early VAN HALEN and the early PANTERA stuff that’s on the — you know, the shuffle beat. It’s on the upbeat; a lot of it’s on the upbeat, not on the down. So it’s the head-bobbing type of type of BPMs, you know? So it’s different. Nobody’s really doing that now.”
Mike Orlando, the talented guitarist and founding member of the hard rock group ADRENALINE MOB, possesses a versatile skill set beyond his impressive musical abilities. As the proprietor of Sonic Stomp Studios, he takes charge of various aspects of the recording process, including engineering, producing, mixing, and mastering.
Phil Demmel‘s illustrious tenure with MACHINE HEAD spanned nearly 16 years, culminating at the end of the band’s fall 2018 North American tour. During his remarkable time with the group, Demmel significantly contributed to five of their studio albums, leaving an indelible mark on classics such as “Through The Ashes Of Empires” (2003), “The Blackening” (2007), “Unto The Locust” (2011), “Bloodstone & Diamonds” (2014), and “Catharsis” (2018).
Jason Bittner, renowned as the accomplished drummer of American metal band SHADOWS FALL, has garnered multiple accolades, including Modern Drummer magazine’s No. 1 Metal Drummer in 2005 and 2006, as well as No. 1 Up-And-Coming Drummer in 2004 and 2005. His prowess on the drums led him to be recognized as the No. 2 Clinician for DRUM! magazine in 2011. In 2014, Bittner joined forces with thrash metal band FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, and subsequently, he became an integral part of the legendary OVERKILL.
John Bush, an iconic figure in the metal scene, remains committed to recording and touring with ARMORED SAINT, the band he co-founded back in 1982.
Bush‘s storied career also includes fronting ANTHRAX from 1992 to 2005. Despite being briefly sidelined when the group reunited with Joey Belladonna for a 20th-anniversary tour, Bush‘s undeniable talent and strong connection with fans brought him back to the fold for a period before Belladonna eventually reclaimed the frontman position in 2010.