Sleep guitarist/High On Fire frontman Matt Pike has announced his debut solo album under the name Pike Vs The Automaton. “I was just going bonkers during the pandemic,” Pike explains. “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,” Pike continues. “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?’”

Pike Vs The Automaton was produced by longtime Sleep/High On Fire collaborator Billy Anderson, and it also features appearances from Pike’s High On Fire bandmate Jeff Matz, his wife Alyssa Maucere-Pike, Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, and more. The heavy first single, “Alien Slut Mum,” is out now alongside a goofy horror-movie music video. Watch and listen below.

Pike Vs The Automaton is out 2/18 via MNRK Heavy. Pre-order it here.

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