Ancient MACHINE HEAD and current VIOLENCE guitarist Phil Demmel fills for Willie Adler on the Canadian part of LAMB OF GODit is “The Metal Tour of the Year” with MEGADETH. The dates, originally scheduled to take place last fall, kicked off last night (Tuesday, May 17) in Laval, Que., after the final shows for the 2022 U.S. leg of the trek. Demmel previously intervened for Adler during LOGJanuary’s appearance on the ShipShaken cruise.
Although LAMB OF GOD has not officially commented Adlerthe absence of emissions, VIOLENCE singer Sean Killian revealed in an interview last month that willy is “not down to do the vaxx”, referring to the COVID-19 vaccine, and is replaced by Demmel for dates in countries that still require proof of vaccination from U.S. travelers.
Last month, Demmel also filled in for LAMB OF GODit is John Campbell when the bassist had to miss a few gigs on “The Metal Tour of the Year” in order to “take care of a family business at home”.
Demmelthe appearance of LAMB OF GOD marks his third high-profile replacement gig in four years. Demmel intervened for KILLER guitarist Gary Holt for four European shows in autumn 2018 after Gary returned home to be with his dying father. Demmel also subtitled for David Linsk to SURPLUSNovember 13, 2021 concert at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey and during the band’s spring 2022 US tour.
In a February 2022 interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Demmel discussed how he became a hitman if asked. “The KILLER something happened within 24 hours after i quit MACHINE HEADhe says. ” I think [SLAYER drummer] Paul Bostaphethe girlfriend of knew it MACHINE HEAD was done and knew I was home so they reached out for it. As the urban legend says [laughs], I had three hours to learn 19 songs. It was quite successful; a filler trip, one of the most hyped things you can imagine – KILLER on their last world tour. I filled for my buddies in NO DOT, also. the SURPLUS gig was more about me and Police officer [Ellsworth, vocals] do it BPMD record together [2020’s ‘American Made’]. We’re familiar and I have a reputation for being able to pick up songs pretty quickly. the ALLEGIANCE TO METAL, guys too. I will play 25 songs with them in one night. It’s one of those weird things where I can learn songs pretty quickly and I can pick them up pretty quickly.”
Demmel he was then asked if his nerves for the LAMB OF GOD and SURPLUS the gigs were on the same level as playing with KILLER. “I was quite confident with the SURPLUS songs,” he said. “We had three good rehearsals. I did not rehearse with KILLER at all. I played two songs during a soundcheck. [Laughs] ‘Okay, we’re good!’ It’s like, ‘Fuck!’ SURPLUS, we had a few days of rehearsal. I had two and a half, three weeks to prepare. I felt strong enough with it.
“The LAMB OF GOD concert, it was a big problem. They had approached me before their MEGADETH toured the US last summer and wanted me to learn both parts, To mark [Morton] and willy‘s, just in case one got sick, they didn’t want to cancel their tour. That’s where I’m at: I’m their bullpen guy when one of them can’t make the shows, I’m ready to go. It’s such a prominent band. I didn’t want to go over there and blow it up. I wanted the band to sound good. I wanted to keep this pride of what they are and not have a fall. willy and I play differently. There is a different vibrato in our left hand and our little fingers. I didn’t want there to be a stall. I didn’t want people to be disappointed that he wasn’t there. And it’s not slag willy. If I went to see one of my favorite bands, let’s say QUEENSRŸCHE. I want to see [Chris] From GarmoI want to see Michael Wilton. No blame on the other guys, but they better bring it if they’re not going to be there.”