High On Fire’s Matt Pike will be releasing his debut solo release “Pike Vs. The Automaton” on February 18th via MNRK Heavy. You can stream a new official music video for the album’s first advance track “Alien Slut Mum” via YouTube below.

Pike wrote and recorded the album with ex-Lord Dying drummer Jon Reid, while Billy Anderson (Sleep, High On Fire) took over the recording duties. The album featuresnumerous guest appearances, including his High On Fire bandmate Jeff Matz (playing electric saz), his own wife Alyssa Maucere-Pike (Lord Dying/Grigax), Brent Hinds (Mastodon), etc.

Explains Matt Pike:

“I was just going bonkers during the 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?’

He adds:

“The album title, ‘Pike Vs. The Automaton‘, wasn’t an ego thing for me. 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 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.”

About the first single from the release and the video he comments:

“Four friends enter the woods, for a getaway, little did they know they would never return! Dogmen, Sasquatch, Reptilians, or alien slut mum?!?! Where have they gone??”

“Pike Vs. The Automaton” track list:

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 ”