Doomed Nation

Sounds For The Lost Generation

Matt Pike teamed up with Mastodon’s Brent Hinds for the second single »Land« taken from his debut solo album »Pike Vs. The Automaton«

Matt Pike (High On Fire, Sleep) teamed up with Mastodon’s Brent Hinds for the second single »Land« taken from his debut solo album »Pike Vs. The Automaton«, out on February 18th, 2022 via MNRK Heavy.

Watch a music video for »Land« below!

Pike comments: “»Land« was written after I had just come home from a tour. It’s like an old blues song. I was thinking of it as like a bunch of old dudes in a subway doing a doo-wop thing. It has the feel of a two-step like my mom used to dance to, like country western. It’s totally about depression and leading a hard life. Later I was playing the song for Brent Hinds from Mastodon who had come out to Portland to jam with me and he laid down this smokin’-ass Billy Gibbons kind of solo. I did one solo and then he did his solo and I’m, like, ‘You’re a dick.’ The bass player from Brent’s other band West End Motel, Steve McPeeks, played some stand-up bass – both plucking and with a bow – and it really brought out this depth to the song. I’ve never written a song like that and recorded it and made it as cool as it is. It’s totally different.”

01. Abusive
02. Throat Cobra
03. Trapped In A Midcave
04. Epoxia
05. Land
06. Alien Slut Mum
07. Apollyon
08. Acid Test Zone
09. Latin American Geological Formation
10. Leaving The Wars Of Woe

From MNRK Heavy:

“I was just going bonkers during the pandemic,” Pike says of the album’s conception, mid-pandemic. “It was like really, truly miserable. And then all the riots here in Portland and all the political shit. I was trapped in my garage, which was the only place I could go and jam and do anything. I was trapped in there ‘cause I couldn’t go jam with High On Fire, I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t do that, no one could fly. I was going crazy. My friend Jon Reid, who was the original drummer for Lord Dying, had moved to Portland and was babysitting my dog, Crom, and he was drumming for my wife’s band, so he had his drums already set up at my place. I finally said, ‘Dude, do you want to come over and just start jamming?’ So, I just started this thing with my friend Jon. I was like, ‘Dude, fuck it. Let’s start a side band and we’ll just demo this and act like we’re starting it as teenagers, you know?’”

“I wanted to play guitar since I was born, basically,” proffers Matt Pike when asked about the formative years of his musical maturation. The iconic guitarist of High On Fire and Sleep seemingly came into the world with inherent talent.

From reverent youth to Grammy-winning riff-wielder, Pike has always housed a boundless enthusiasm for the six-string and the stupendous sounds that – in the right hands – the instrument can produce.

Photo by Juan Carlos Caceres

“»Trapped in A Midcave« was the first song we wrote. It’s kind of like »God of Thunder«. I tried to make my vocals mimic a David Lee Roth-type melody. Then I thought, “Who should I play the solo like?”, so I studied a bunch of Michael Schenker solos and then put a Michael Schenker solo that’s like four minutes long on it. It’s such a good riff. Soon after, it felt like ‘I want to record this, this shit’s really good’,” Pike admits.

The Automaton, in Greek mythology, is the big robot that’s the guardian of the Gods, basically. It’s a soulless, big machine named Talos. The big machine that’s working against mankind at this moment. In »Jason and the Argonauts«, Jason and the Argonauts have to battle this big machine guy that protects the island. Basically, what the album title is saying, metaphorically, is ‘Pike against the World’.”

“I made a psychedelic rock record that Sleep and High On Fire fans would like,” Pike says when asked for a CliffsNotes description of »Pike Vs. The Automaton«. “And maybe if you’re not a Sleep or High On Fire fan, you might like it too. I definitely think it’s interesting; it has d-beat punk, two-step. It’s got everything and it still works together, it doesn’t sound odd. It’s just an off-the-wall psychedelic rock record.”

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Bojan Bidovc // music enthusiast, promoter, misanthrop and sometimes a journalist as well

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