Ex-MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel has apologized for letting his former bandmates' comments about his contributions to "The Blackening" album "get the best" of him. In a March 26 e-mail blast to its mailing list, MACHINE HEAD celebrated the 13th anniversary of "The Blackening" by stating the following, in part, about the LP: "While ex-guitarist Demmel is often viewed in the media as the savior of the band, 85% of the material on 'The Blackening' was written by drummer Dave McClain and guitarist Robb Flynn, with Robb playing all guitars on the album, including rhythm, lead, all intros, harmonies, and all dueling lead guitar harmonies. McClain wrote the main riff in 'Halo' and Robb wrote all of 'Aesthetics Of Hate'." That same day, Demmel took to his Twitter to apparently address MACHINE HEAD's characterization of his involvement with the record, writing: "13 years ago. Proud of this record and my contributions. 'Beautiful Mourning', 'Slanderous', 'Now I Lay Thee Down' and 'Farewell To Arms' simply do not happen without them. Thanks for all the kind words and continued support from all the Head cases." When one fan on Twitter told Demmel, "Sad that the email sent out to the mailing list tried to downplay your contributions. That record wouldn't have been what it is without the entire band at the time.", he responded: "Yeah, right? Sometimes ALL of the glory isn't enough." After Demmel's comments were picked up by BLABBERMOUTH.NET for a story that was published on Saturday (March 28), Demmel took to his social media to express his regret for his earlier remarks, explaining that there are "way too much more important things to put positive energy into." He wrote: "Damn, that sure escalated. Not my intention. I guess it might be human nature to defend when provoked but looking back, it's embarrassing to me. This almost 53 year-old, Father of 3/Grandfather of 4 shouldn't be acting like this on social media. So with that, my apologies for letting that get the best of me. No excuses, just culpability. There's WAY too much more important things to put positive energy into. Again, I'm sorry. Thanks for the mountains of support from all my friends/family and especially the HeadCases that have my back. Good things. PD" Demmel announced his exit from MACHINE HEAD in October 2018, explaining at the time that he wanted "to step away and do something else musically." Phil, who first played with Robb in VIO-LENCE in the late 1980s and early 1990s, went on to complete the Flynn-fronted act's "Freaks & Zeroes Tour" before officially leaving the band. Last year, Demmel told the "In The Pitts Of Metal And Motor Chaos" podcast that MACHINE HEAD ended up becoming a Flynn solo project toward the end of his time with the group. "We weren't a band," he said. "That was Robb's trip, and we were basically just being told what was gonna happen… Everything had changed over time. Shit, we were together for 16 years and stuff changes after that. It's been the band that he started. So things shift, and as they weren't what we agreed to or what we wanted to be a part of, [McClain and I] just left. So we do our own thing, and he does his thing." Demmel also said that the musical side of MACHINE HEAD took a sharp turn for the worse during the writing stage for 2018's "Catharsis", an album that he said he hated.

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