Watch Phil Demmel shred a wah-heavy rendition of the national anthem at a high school basketball game

Phil Demmel
(Image credit: Don Barnhouse/Twitter)

Ex-Machine Head man and all-round metal guitar legend Phil Demmel recently opened a basketball game at Dublin High School, in East San Francisco, providing attendees with a hair-raising, metal’d up take on The Star-Spangled Banner.

Fans have since shared clips of the February 11 performance and you can see Demmel positioned centre court with nothing but a guitar and a wah pedal at his disposal. 

Initially greeted by a smattering of bemused applause, the guitarist gives the national anthem the full Demmel-ition treatment, complete with a filthy divebomb, shreddy trills and some ear-popping pinch harmonics.

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Outside of high school athletics, the thrash legend has been spending his time with his pre-Machine Head band Vio-lence, who are currently revving up to release new EP, Let The World Burn, on March 4, via Metal Blade.

The new EP will mark the first new original material from the group since 1993’s Nothing To Gain album and the band have already released a monstrous first single, Flesh From Bone.

Head to the Vio-lence Bandcamp page to pre-order the Let The World Burn EP.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.