High on Fire frontman Matt Pike has released the song “Land” as the latest single from his upcoming solo album, Pike vs. The Automaton, and it features his good pal Brent Hinds of Mastodon. The tune comes roughly a week before the LP’s February 18th release.

The song strays away from both artists’ main metal gigs, offering up a blues-y Tom Waits vibe. “‘Land’ was written after I had just come home from a tour,” said Pike of the song in a press release. “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. 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.”

He added, “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.”


Pike vs. The Automaton marks Pike’s first solo effort, adding to his prolific recording career as a member of both High on Fire and Sleep. The metal veteran also recently released the lyrics book Head on a Pike, from which he excerpted a chapter exclusively on Heavy Consequence back in November.

Watch Matt Pike and Brent Hinds in the video for “Land” below, and pre-order Pike vs. The Automation here.