Influential Heavy Metal Guitarist, Frontman to Release Debut Solo LP, 'Pike vs. the Automaton', February 18
From rewriting the hard rock rulebook with his Grammy award-winning trio, High on Fire, to reverse engineering doom metal with his genre-defining trio Sleep, Matt Pike has channeled his natural talents and chiseled a steely path straight to the heart of modern-day metal’s molten core. On February 18, Pike will release his debut solo LP, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’. Pre-orders are live at PikeVstheAutomaton.com.
Today, Pike releases a video for the new song "Land" which he describes as, "totally different, like an old blues song". The track and clip each feature Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, an old pal of Pike's. See and hear "Land" now at this location.
"“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," offers Pike. "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,” (laughs). 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.”
Silver sheen lucky baptized
Smoke and wood ashes smote
You bum a cig and your thoughts die
A pity time doesn’t hope
It wasn’t real from the last time
From the last time
F*ck the pain from inside
It wasn’t real from the last time
Count your sticks and your last dimes
Dirt and snot on your nose
The platinum cane and your last try
We took the world as a joke
Memories of a fine life
A conscious soul on a rope
You dig a grave before bedtime
Eternal nap just to cope
Born out of the challenges brought on by a worldwide pandemic, birthed under hellish red-orange skies bred from rampaging west coast wildfires, and built amidst the yearlong political riots and rallies in Portland, OR, Pike’s solo debut, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, is both a musical and emotional release. The record was written by Pike with drummer Jon Reid, features contributions from a slew of family and friends, and was recorded with longtime conspirator Billy Anderson, the producer who brought the best out of Pike previously on touchstone titles such as ‘Surrounded by Thieves’ and ‘Sleep’s Holy Mountain’.
‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ track listing:
2.) Throat Cobra
3.) Trapped In A Midcave
5.) Land (feat. Brent Hinds / watch VIDEO)
6.) Alien Slut Mum (watch VIDEO)
8.) Acid Test Zone
9.) Latin American Geological Formation
10.) Leaving The Wars Of Woe
Guest musicians on ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ include Alyssa Maucere-Pike (Lord Dying / Grigax), Chad "Chief" Hartgrave, Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Steve McPeeks (West End Motel), Josh Greene (El Cerdo), Todd Burdette (Tragedy), and High on Fire's Jeff Matz, who lays down Turkish electric saz on the album's towering closing track "Leaving the Wars of Woe".
The album title, ‘Pike vs. the Automaton’, wasn’t an ego thing for me," says Pike. "Billy and Jon said, “Dude, you should use your name in this. This is your solo project.” I said, “I don’t want to do that”. 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 continues 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.”
‘Pike vs. the Automaton’ is also advanced by the bizarrely titled track "Alien Slut Mum". A video for the song premieres via Decibel, who adds, "Matt Pike is a trailblazing visionary possessed by a mindset which, from the outside looking in, appears to be steeped in pure desperation. Perhaps this is why the Sleep/High on Fire shredder is still so creatively sharp in a moment when so many of his peers and devotees are stuck in “echo” phases while Pike continues to plant flags in new sonic and aesthetic territories."
When asked for comment on the clip, Pike cryptically replies, "Four friends enter the woods, for a getaway, little did they know they would never return! Dogmen, Sasquach, Reptilians, or alien slut mum?!?! Where have they gone??" Feast your eyes on "Alien Slut Mum" at this location.
About Matt Pike:MattPike1972.Matt Pike is an American musician known for his work as guitarist, vocalist and front man for Grammy Award-winning metal band High on Fire, and guitarist and founding member of the influential doom metal trio Sleep. Universally recognized as one of the most potent acts in music today, Pike's High on Fire creates dynamic metal that merges primal fury and aggression, hesher bombast and hall of fame heaviness. Described as "a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume," High on Fire has rewritten the hard rock rule book since its formation in 1998, forging a style and sound that is at once critically celebrated, extremely influential, and utterly unique. Follow Matt Pike on Instagram @