Rob Flynn Talks About Writing New Machine Head Album and More
Band Photo: Machine Head (?)
MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"What's up fuckers! How the hell's it goin'? The mighty MACHINE HEAD are doing fucking splendid these days. Been hanging out at home for a while now. After touring so long, it's pretty nice. Connecting with friends, drinking some beers (Pete's Wicked Ales are the shit!), hitting the weights, enjoying / complaining about the heaviest rain the Bay Area has seen in the last 100 years, getting out to a bunch of shows, it's been sweet.
"Got out to see CHILDREN OF BODOM and GOD FORBID Saturday and then went to our boys CHIMAIRA the next night. GOD FORBID killed it, as usual. They are such a good fucking band, but the big surprise for me was BODOM. Goddamn, those motherfuckers can play!!! The keyboard player was fucking ridiculous!!! And even though the guitar player [Alexi Laiho] flips his hair WAY too much, that guy can SHRED... holy shit! It's good shred too — tasty, not the fucking WHACK-ASS arpeggio overkill that so many of these metal-come-latelys are doing to death. I was a little jealous of him actually — he's one of those guys born with 'shredder fingers' (long, skinny fingers perfect for shredding). Me, on the other hand (no pun intended), I got blessed with friggin' sausage fingers, but we make the best with what we got, right? I got the wrist, man, the WRIST!!!
"CHIMAIRA were, quite frankly, AWESOME. First time seeing 'em with [returning drummer] Andols [Herrick] in a few years and he was fuckin' RAD. I always thought [Kevin] Talley was a GREAT drummer, but Andols is just 'them.' Adam [Duce, MACHINE HEAD bassist] and I got up and jammed 'Pure Hatred' with 'em, and we had a fuckin' BLAST.
"Metal is definitely on a huge upswing right now. It's pretty darn cool, but one thing I noticed at both shows, and even the IN FLAMES show a month or so back, is an alarming amount of... I don't know what to call 'em... 'scenesters' coming out. People who don't know jack shit about these bands, don't know the words, don't know the songs, don't know shit, they're just there to 'be seen' and look cool hanging out by the bar in their brand new, youth small reissue RATT t-shirt. In quite a hilarious example, IN FLAMES brought some 'fan' up on stage to sing a song off of 'Clayman' (!), and the dumb-ass didn't know ONE FUCKING WORD to the song!! What up with that?!?! Go back to your TAKING BACK SUNDAY shows, scenesters.
"KILL THE SCENESTERS!!"
"[By the way]... someone just told me that TAKING BACK SUNDAY sold 700,000 records in the U.S....
"Wow!? THEY SUCK!!!
"So, I was gonna write a diary about the [Roadrunner] All-Stars show, but it seems like a lot of time has passed since it happened (uh... four months *cough*) and some folks have already written great, detailed diaries and accounts of the event, so most of the interesting stuff's been covered. But I will say this, it was certainly RAD, and Ducey McDucerson slayed the metal dragon big time on bass and GUITAR! Four-guitar attack on 'The Dagger' was awesome. Jamming 'Davidian' with Matt from TRIVIUM and Tim from BLOODSIMPLE kicked ass! And playing with Logan Mader again for the first time in 7 years on 'Davidian' was actually very cool. Weird, but cool. Couldn't see it happening again, but we've had some good talks, I'm glad he's cleaned up, and his production career seems to be doing great, so right on for him.
"[MACHINE HEAD's recently released] DVD ['Elegies'] is doing amazing, coming in at an impressive #13 on the Billboard charts, and getting rave reviews all over the U.K. and Europe. Of course, in typical U.S. mainstream metal press fashion, they ignored it, or snubbed it altogether, with some U.S. magazines going so far as to call it 'nauseating,' and 'incomplete' (?!). But did any of that stop the HEAD-cases of the U.S. (and the world) from going out there and making a statement? Hell, muthafuckin' no, it didn't! Most hard rock / metal bands on average sell, say, 5-10% of what their most recent record sold, and that's considered really good. If you're selling 15% of what your record sold, you're kicking MUCHO ass. To date, with virtually no U.S. press, and very little video play, we've sold an astounding 20% of what our record sold, making it the highest DVD-to-CD sale ratio of ANY band on Roadrunner Records! That's right, fuckers!!! That's why MACHINE HEAD fans kick everyone else's asses!!! You RULE! Eat your heart out, NICKELBACK!
"We are also writing like crazy, getting ready to demo some stuff out. We started doing this fun thing each day at practice where we start the set off with one old song, not generally in the live set. Man, we been jamming some hella old shit... 'Blood Of The Zodiac', 'Bay Of Pigs', 'Rage To Overcome', 'Frontlines', 'Down To None', 'Death Church', 'Devil With The King's Card', 'A Thousand Lies'... it's been really cool revisiting those songs, and kinda sets the tone at practice in a good way. Writing is going slow but good and at this point we've pretty much made it our sole priority. As a result we've officially 'cancelled' all touring until after the record is done. We thought about heading out, and actually had some pretty nice opportunities, but it was like, 'Fuck man, we toured for 22 months behind ['Through the Ashes of Empires']... How much more can you tour behind one album?' We also felt it would break up the momentum we have going, not to mention the offers just didn't feel right. So we passed on Sounds Of The Underground, Download, Rock Am Ring, With Full Force and most of the main Euro festivals just so we could focus solely on writing The Greatest Metal Album Of All Fuckin' Time! Hells yeah!!!
"Frankly, we don't know if 'Through the Ashes of Empires' was some kind of fluke or what, so we're not gonna take its success for granted, or ourselves too seriously in the process. We've just been writing and playing what feels right to us, and it's made us push our musicianship to new, previously unscaled heights. I'd say we're definitely evolving again, and the new album is definitely not 'Burn My Eyes II' or even 'Through the Ashes of Empires II'. Of the 16 songs that we have, 10½ of them seem like they're going nowhere at the moment. Of the 5 that are completed, we are really amazed with how they are turning out. It feels really fuckin' unique, the material is totally different than what is going on right now, and we think it's really gonna sound fresh and stand out compared to what's currently 'happening' in the metal scene at the moment. It feels unmistakably 'Bay Area', and unmistakably MACHINE HEAD, but it's SO in its own little world... it's a trip man, it's a little scary, as it kinda feels like uncharted territory, but that makes it more exciting too, something about this feels special, it feels huge. I wouldn't say it's 'heavier' than 'Through the Ashes of Empires', but it's AS heavy, and the 'Battery' break (for the [recording of a METALLICA song as part of Kerrang! magazine's] 'Master Of Puppets' tribute) did us good... songs that were 5 minutes long are now 8 minutes long, and I'm noticing a healthy dose of the sludge vibe (ala 'Death Church', 'Elegy', 'Violate') coming back... long songs, long intros, but it feels more uptempo as a whole than 'Through the Ashes of Empires'... some of the hooks are just ridiculous! Lots of changes in each song, and musically as well as riff-wise it is very technical... full-on down-picking / million-note mania. Lyrics are dark, darker, and some just plain fucked. Some are about war, some are anti-religion... I've officially written my first love song (!) which ends with a homicide and then a suicide... another, (jokingly) nicknamed 'The Thrashterpiece' (proper title: 'Aesthetics Of Hate'), is a full-on riff-fest with all hard vocals / no singing, and is my pointed and very pissed-off take on Dimebag-basher William Grim.
"'Tentative' song titles below, with the topic in parentheses:
- 'Halo' (Anti-religion)
- 'Aesthetics Of Hate'
- 'The Beautiful Mourning' (Suicide)
- 'Now I Lay Thee Down' (Love / death / homicide / suicide)
"Let me tell you what our goal for this album isn't: Our goal isn't to be the biggest band on the planet, like everyone else is 'trying' to do. Our goal isn't to write the 'biggest metal record of all time,' we'll leave the 'biggest' records to the MTV-friendly metal-lite that is getting so much play at the moment... aka the new glam. Realistically, the new stuff is too heavy for mainstream radio / video, too long, and definitely doesn't have enough gay singing, steal enough MAIDEN riffs, apply enough make-up, or have enough whack-ass guitar-solo-wankery to be considered 'in' enough for the 'scenester' crowd. And you know what? We're not even trying to fish in that pond. We're gonna fish in another pond, the pond that still wants to hear a new 'Vulgar Display', or a new 'Roots', or a new 'South Of Heaven', or even a new 'As The Palaces Burn'. That other pond will never 'get' us, and if they do 'get' us, it's gonna be because they heard so many other fuckers telling 'em why they should 'get' us.
"Our goal is to write the greatest no-bullshit metal album of all time, an album that, 20 years from now, will still be in rotation... an album that has the influence, enormity, respect, and epic grandeur of an album like METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets', yet has the fire and 'fuck you' attitude of a punk masterpiece like POISON IDEA's 'Feel The Darkness', and the cold, depressive beauty of THE CURE's 'Disintegration'. Will we accomplish it? Well, that's for the world to decide, but the way we see it, if anyone is capable of achieving that goal... it is MACHINE HEAD.
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