Machine Head have dropped a righteous two-track release dubbed Civil Unrest: “Stop the Bleeding” featuring Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage and “Bulletproof.”
Machine Head frontman Rob Flynn penned and sang the lyrics to “Stop the Bleeding” on May 27 as protests broke out nationwide calling for justice for George Floyd, the African American man who died in police custody after an officer was filmed pinning him to the ground by his neck.
Flynn explained: “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.”
There were already existing plans for Leach to sing on the track “as it always had a little bit of a Killswitch vibe to me,” Flynn explained. “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 percent on board.’”
Flynn finished the lyrics to “Bulletproof,” on the other hand, in the aftermath of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the Black Georgia man who was shot by two white men while he was jogging. The song also responded to “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,” he said.
Machine Head will donate “a significant portion” of the streaming proceeds from “Stop the Bleeding” to the Grassroots Law Project, which is campaigning for justice for Floyd, Arbery and Breonna Taylor, another recent victim of police brutality.
The new songs come a few months since the band’s last release, “Circle the Drain.” Watch the video for “Stop the Bleeding” here, which Flynn and Leach filmed separately from Oakland and New York, respectively:
And stream the Civil Unrest project below: