Guitarist Jeff Waters posted the below note to the official Annihilator page today:
“A few weeks ago (while I was touring in Europe), I got word that we lost a former member of Annihilator’s touring lineup, Dave Machander. He passed away from cancer.
Dave was a super nice guy. I met him under stressful circumstances. In 1996, we did a record called REFRESH THE DEMON. Randy Black was our drummer then and I had bought everyone’s plane tickets for our upcoming Refresh the Demon EUROPE tour 1996.
12 days BEFORE the tour weas supposed to start, I get a call from Randy telling me that, if I did not pay him dounle+ the money I was to pay him for the tour, that he would not come along and would join another Vancouver artist “Bif Naked” instead (as she apparently was offering more money). I told him that we could not afford this and that it is very, very wrong to hold us “hostage” like this. He ended up leaving for Bif Naked (which ended up lasting one tour and he was out anyway!) but, more importantly, Randy Black left us with NO DRUMMER, a cancelled flight that I did not get my money back for and a tour in 12 days!!!
12 days is wayyyy too short of a time to get someone to jump in and play an Annihilator set and I still had to hope I could find someone!!
Dave Davis, our long-time guitar player, suggested his friend Dave Machander and thought he could handdle the gig/pressure. I was not convinced but had no other option than to literally say “you are in”, before I even heard him play drums!
We rehearsed on Vancouver Island, near where both Dave’s lived. We had 6 rehearsals scheduled. Normally, for a drummer with us, headlining Europe, we would need 10 reherasals.
Many drummers play along with a “click”. That is a cowbell kind of sound that keeps a time/beat in the drummer’s earphones and lets him play close to perfect timing… it helps him zoom in and play tighter than without one. Well, Dave was not playing well to it. Turns out, he had never played to one before. I was in panic mode. So was everyone else. So by the 4th rehearsal of 6, I was ready to cancel. Almost. Then Dave Davis said “Jeff, why don’t we simply take Machander OFF the click and let him just “feel” the music”.
I said “Might as well try, Dave”.
We did. INSTANTLY, the guy played fantastic. Really good. Better than good. He then really only had 2 good rehersals with us and then got on the plane with us and kicked f…ing ass on that tour. The guy pulled through and stuck with it. Most guys would have quit after the first few rehearsals but he would not give up. And thanks to Dave Davis for the tour-saving suggestion!
Anyway, I only saw/knew Dave Machander on that one tour with us. He was a bio-chemist, if I have my info right. A very smart guy and seemed to be a very nice guy, too!
Send a thought out to him and his family. He was a good guy.
And grab a loved one and give them a hug,