In a new interview out in Metal Hammer this Thursday, 5/23, Robb Flynn of Machine Head discusses new details about the forthcoming “Burn My Eyes 25” Tour featuring original members Logan Mader and Chris Kontos. In an excerpt of the wide-ranging interview that was released by Machine Head, Flynn actually gave credit to a text message from Mader, that was the impetus for reuniting this lineup up. Flynn also chatted about a brand new Machine Head track “Do or Die”, calling it “vicious” and a direct response to being “America’s punching bag” on the internet. Robb also claims to be “proud as fuck” of 2018’s Catharsis (Nuclear Blast). Read the excerpts below.
On celebrating 25 years of one of the most influential modern metal records of all time, and the upcoming London and Paris show selling out in less than 8 hours:
“I am ready to just wreck these fucking crowds,“ he grins. “I am ready to make motherfuckers lose their fucking minds! I want people to walk away from the shows, physically and mentally exhausted to the point of ecstasy, you know what I mean? I want people to see the world differently after this tour and I think they will. It’s going to be fucking amazing, dude!”
On reconnecting with Logan Mader and Chris Kontos for the 25th anniversary tour:
“Not long after I made the announcement on Facebook Live, Logan texted me. We’ve remained friends for a while now. He’s been coming to LA Machine Head shows since 2004. In fact, when we were nominated for the Grammy [for best metal performance for Aesthetics Of Hate in 2008], Logan was our designated driver! Ha ha ha ha! So he texted me, we ended up talking and he said ‘it would be cool to do something around the anniversary…’ And I thought ‘yeah, it would’”.
On Chris Kontos returning: “Chris quit the music business about five years ago. He’s been doing some BMX stuff. I hadn’t even run into him for 12 years. He hadn’t played drums for about five years, so that was my biggest concern. Fuck, the songs aren’t easy, especially on the drums! But he came into the studio and we burned through the entire album, and he remembered some of the songs better than I did!”
On the extraordinary cost of bringing two line-ups, huge stage production, and if his wallet is screaming already:
“Oh god yeah! Ha ha! It’s going to be a wildly expensive tour. We’re already losing money on the tour and I don’t fucking care! We are bringing out a shit ton of production. It’s going to be fucking massive. I just want to blow it up and give people the fucking show of their lifetime. It’s going to be an amazing experience, and to me that’s what life is all about.”
On whether the final tour with Phil and Dave was emotional:
“There were definitely emotional moments” he adds. “But we did it. I tried to keep it classy. Every night on that tour I got people to chant the guys names in recognition of their contributions and that’s the way it should be”
On the price of fame:
“The world got to watch me get divorced on the world wide web,” Robb notes with a weary chuckle. “That’s the price of living your life in public. Sure you get to share your travels around the world and all the high points, but you also get to share all the bad points too. I didn’t want to pretend it wasn’t happening and then, at the end of the tour, announced that they were leaving. We’ve had a painfully honest relationship with our fans, and that’s been an amazing thing. It’s really created an incredible bond. We’ve gone on this journey together and there’s no way I could look myself in the eye and pretend that this didn’t happen for six weeks, just to protect the Head Cases. So we dealt with and put it out there.”
On the tsunami of negativity he faced regarding the Catharsis album:
“I was America’s punching bag for nine months, from when the first song off Catharsis dropped,” he recalls. “I couldn’t put up a single fucking post without hundreds of trolls raging at me. Being the leader of the band can be lonely. When things aren’t necessarily received well, it’s even lonelier. “
On the oft-overstated perception that Catharsis was a divisive record:
“I’m proud as fuck of that record. I knew it was going to piss people off. Somehow it’s become the mythology of Catharsis ‘it was a very divisive record!’ Every fucking article I read! Yeah, it was divisive to white supremacist and racist pieces of shit! It was divisive to the fucking alt-right. But our fans loved it, people LOVE that fucking record. A bunch of asshole trolls got their fucking panties in a bunch about it. Fuck ‘em!”
On the “new heaviness” that he teased on his Instagram live, including a new song called “Do Or Die” that is a brutal and intense response to anyone who thought Robb might be considering quitting Machine Head:
“I wrote the music for ”Do Or Die” back in August, before everything happened,“ he recalls. “Two days after that announcement on Facebook Live, I was back in the studio and working on ideas and lyrics. I guess I was really just pissed off that day. After all the haters and all the negativity, all the bullshit. It’s vicious! I know a lot of our popular songs are very metaphorical, like Now We Die and Halo, and I love that. I love writing a violent poetry, if you will. But other times I just gotta get shit off my chest. Like Jamey Jasta always says, ‘it’s ignorant-ass Oakland Metal! Ha ha ha!’“
On whether there was a time he thought about throwing in the towel after Phil and Dave quit:
“Look, I’m 51 years old and I’ve been doing this since I was 17. I’m pathetically unqualified to do anything else. This is it for me. I write songs. I write Machine Head songs. This is what I do. I’m damn fucking good at it and I am going to keep doing it. I would’ve hoped that we could’ve worked it out with Phil and Dave, but it didn’t, so yeah, I’m going to keep on writing songs for Machine Head, because that’s what I have to do.”
On whether new members will become permanent fixtures or remain hired guns:
“Look, I love being in a band. I love having input from people and I love creating with people. I feel like one of my strengths is taking a bunch of good ideas and turning them into one great idea. When it comes to future new members… I don’t know, man… I just got a divorce, I’m not ready to get married again, ha ha!
I’m auditioning new guys. I’m jammin’ with my old guys. I’m writing new music. I’m recording new songs. I’m working on new stuff. I’m staying busy, staying focused, staying positive, and that’s all I can do. Enjoy the fucking moment.”