Phil Demmel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Phil Demmel
Demmel performing in 2009
Demmel performing in 2009
Background information
Born (1967-04-02) April 2, 1967 (age 54)
Dublin, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1985–present
Associated actsMachine Head, Vio-lence, Torque, Technocracy, Slayer, (freelance) BPMD

Phil Demmel (born April 2, 1967)[citation needed] is an American musician who played lead guitar in the heavy metal band Machine Head between 2002 and 2018, making him their longest running member in that position. He has also performed in other bands such as Vio-lence, Torque and BPMD, and briefly joined Slayer as a fill-in guitarist in December 2018.


In 1996, Demmel auditioned for lead vocals with Sepultura as the replacement for Max Cavalera, but lost that position to Derrick Green.

Demmel joined Machine Head shortly before the recording of the 2003 album Through the Ashes of Empires.[1] He began touring with Machine Head in 2002. He is long time friends with Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn, either since or before they both played in Vio-lence.

In 2007 Demmel appeared as a guest on the album DDP 4 Life with Chuck Billy's and Steve Souza's Dublin Death Patrol.[2]

Demmel has suffered from a loss of consciousness and fainting several times while playing live with Machine Head. At first believed to be a side effect of dehydration, Demmel has since said that an existing heart condition was the cause. On the subject of his collapse whilst playing in Bristow, Virginia, he said,

"I've suffered from episodes of Cardiogenic Syncope for the last 17 years or so but (doctors) ran a series of tests that came up inconclusive. I hadn't had it happen for a while until last December in Italy, when I passed out roughly about the time my father passed away back in the States. The incident in Virginia felt similar to what has happened in the past"[3]

Demmel announced his engagement to Bleeding Through's keyboardist Marta Peterson in January 2012. Before that, he had two children.[4][5]

Following Demmel's departure from Machine Head in November 2018,[6] musical outlets reported there were rumors that he would reunite with Vio-lence, who planned to do shows and possibly release new material "in the not too distant future".[7][8] A reunion of the band was officially confirmed on January 8, 2019, and it has been performing occasional live shows since then.[9][10][11][12][13]

In December 2018, Demmel joined Slayer for a few shows on their final European tour, filling in for his friend Gary Holt who left the tour to be home with his dying father.[14]

In summer 2019, Demmel joined forces with Overkill vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and two-fourths of Metal Allegiance (bass guitarist Mark Menghi and drummer Mike Portnoy) in the supergroup/cover band BPMD, which released its first album, American Made, in June 2020.[15][16]


Demmel performing with Machine Head in 2011

Since his days with Vio-Lence, Demmel has always used Jackson guitars. He first used Randy Rhoads models, then later in the 1990s he began using a white King V. When he joined Machine Head he had his white V and a Jackson Warrior which can be seen in the videos for "Imperium" and "Days Turn Blue to Gray". Around the time of The Blackening's release he had his own signature V with Jackson, named The Demmelition King V.

For amplification, he uses Peavey 5150 and 6505 amplifiers with Marshall 1960BV cabinet in the studio. Live, he has recently[when?] turned to the AxeFX pre-amplifier for practical reasons.


  1. ^ "Through The Ashes Of Empires". Road Runner Records.[dead link]
  2. ^ "REVIEW: Dublin Death Patrol – DDP 4 Life". Tartareandesire. August 15, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Machine Head | Heart Condition Caused Rocker's Collapse". Contactmusic. August 21, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012.[dead link]
  4. ^ "MACHINE HEAD Guitarist Engaged To BLEEDING THROUGH Keyboardist". Road Runner Records. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Graham Hartmann (January 2, 2012). "Machine Head's Phil Demmel Engaged to Bleeding Through's Marta Peterson". Loudwire. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  6. ^ "Machine Head Played Their Final Show With Phil Demmel & Dave McClain. This Is What They Sounded Like". Ultimate Guitar.
  7. ^ "Vio-Lence: Will There Be a Reunion Now That Phil Demmel Has Left Machine Head?". Ultimate Guitar.
  8. ^ "VIO-LENCE Reunion In The Works?". Metal Addicts. November 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "VIO-LENCE To Reunite For One Show In Oakland; 'Eternal Nightmare' To Be Performed In Its Entirety". January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "Vio-lence Announce Second Reunion Show". The PRP. January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "Resurrected VIO-LENCE Announce Second Reunion Show, Rumored To Be Opening For OVERKILL Later This Year". Metal Addicts. January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Reunited VIO-LENCE To Play Exclusive European Show At Belgium's ALCATRAZ HARD ROCK & METAL FESTIVAL". February 16, 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  13. ^ "SACRED REICH And VIO-LENCE To Join Forces For Special Los Angeles Concert". February 27, 2019. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "GARY HOLT To Miss Rest Of SLAYER European Tour; Ex-MACHINE HEAD Guitarist PHIL DEMMEL To Step In". December 2, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "BOBBY 'BLITZ' ELLSWORTH, MIKE PORTNOY, PHIL DEMMEL And MARK MENGHI Join Forces In BPMD: 'American Made' Album Due Soon". January 31, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  16. ^ "BPMD Feat. BOBBY 'BLITZ' ELLSWORTH, MIKE PORTNOY, PHIL DEMMEL And MARK MENGHI: 'American Made' Album Details Revealed". April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
Preceded by Machine Head lead guitarist
Succeeded by

External links[edit]