Radio Station Calls Out Machine Head For Fake Amps, Band Responds (And Doesn’t Give A Shit)


A few weeks ago, Bronx drummer Jorma Vik made headlines around the world for mocking Black Veil Brides‘ use of empty/fake amps during their performance on Van’s Warped Tour. We covered the story, and the debate that took place in the days that followed found music fans from all over citing instances of other, bigger bands using similar tactics to up their stage presence. The most referenced band, Machine Head, practically perfected the use of fake amps to make themselves appear (even) larger-than-life on stage before the members of Black Veil Brides could walk. For some reason, which can only be explained with “because the internet says so,” many believed it was more acceptable for Machine Head to use fake amps because they are “real musicians,” while groups like Black Veil Brides are not and therefore should be called out. The e-war raged on, and now Machine Head have personally gotten involved.

In a move sure to piss off rock enthusiasts, a Texas radio station recently attempted to call out Machine Head for their use of fake amps by posting backstage photos on their blog from the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. As I mentioned above, Machine Head’s use of this tactic is well documented, so when word got to the band that someone was trying to make a fuss over nothing they decided to speak up. You can read their message, which specifically mentions and defends Black Veil Brides, below:


While it seems absurd that El Paso, Texas based radio station 95.5 FM, KLAQ Official would choose to go through the effort to post this on their website, we guess in-light of the big hub-bub about Black Veil Brides getting “called out” by the drummer for The Bronx for having “fake cabs” on the Warped tour earlier this month, some “brain-donor” over at the station has decided to drop the “newsflash of the century” and “call out” Machine Head for having “fake amps” too! A practice that for over 40 years now has been common-place in rock ‘n roll going back to the days of Van Halen and AC/DC.

For the record, Machine Head “back” ANY band that uses dummy cabs in hopes of giving their fans a better, more impressive show. That includes the Black Veil Brides, who like many young musicians (and Machine Head) use direct-to-PA amp modeling gear like Fractals and Kempers. At least Black Veil Brides are playing their instruments, and not waving their hands along to a fucking laptop!!

Machine Head have 2 cabinet set-carts in the shape of our diamond logo, we use half of the 4 cabs for live sound, the ones labeled “live” in the “smoking gun photos” are actually that, a real LIVE cabinet, that’s plugged in (as you can see in the photo), that make sound, have real speakers, plug into a “real amp”, and has a mic in front of it that sends our face-melting guitar tones out to the crowd via the PA.

The ones that our guitar techs labeled (for some reason, in bright green flourescent gaff tape)”dummy” are actually real cabs too, with real speakers and everything, but we only have so many amps to power them, and really who gives a shit, because ALL the cabs are REAL!!

Quick history lesson for grizzled 24 year-old heavy metal veteran Lisa Sanchez: Since the dawn of heavy music, bands have used dummy cabinets as part of an often-impressive looking stage design. When Slayer played the Mayhem Festival last year and had 2 giant upside-down crosses made out of Marshall cabinets, that lit on fire, guess what? They weren’t all plugged in!

When Rob Halford of Judas Priest rides his Harley thru a swinging gate of Marshall stacks, guess what? Those are “dummies” too. In fact, the only “dummy” here is the one taking pictures, taking liberties, while standing on our stage, as our uninvited guest, and writing up the “controversial scoop”, and then Tweeting and Facebooking about it.

How about calling out someone for something that really matters instead of bands who are only helping people escape for a little while?
What exactly are you trying to do here?

Here’s what, you’re attempting to create a controversy to get hits on your website, and this response should do just that. In fact, we’re already giving you and your radio station website too much traffic via this response.

Hope you enjoy the free press.

You’re welcome!

– Robb and Phil“

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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