Black Veil Brides recently received a fair amount of flack for using fake amps during their live performances, even though it’s common practice used by many. And now even Machine Head have spoken out in defense of it.
It all started when El Paso, Texas radio station KLAQ 95.5 FM posted photos of fake amps used during Machine Head’s set at Mayhem Fest. In response, Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel issued the following statement:
“Wow? 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 fluorescent 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!”
Along with a few shots at the radio station for trying to stir up controversy, Flynn and Demmel reiterate a point made by many: that many of your favorite bands have been using fake amps for decades now! And as we’ve noted previously, sound technology has advanced enough in recent years that anyone with a 60 watt amp could play an arena if it’s mic’d well enough. So if you want to make your stage show look more like a larger scale production, then additional fake amps will do the trick. Just ask a few of your favorite groups.