“Metal Zone” host Nikki Blakk of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD at the second show of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festivalon July 10 in Mountain View, California. You can now watch the chat below.
When asked if there is a song on MACHINE HEAD‘s forthcoming album, “Unto The Locust”, that he is particularly proud of or looking forward to playing live, Flynn said, “I always look forward to playing the thrashier songs because I know that it will make the pit go crazy, but there’s another song on the record called ‘The Darkness Within’ that’s really pretty left-field for us. And I have such a great feeling about it; I think it’s gonna be a song that just flips people on their heads and really is able to connect.
“We’ve been doing this for awhile now and even though we’re a super-brutal, heavy band, we’ve somehow started to infiltrate the mainstream. They didn’t really wanna let us in at first, but they were kind of like, ‘Alright, we’ll let you in.’ Especially with the Grammy nomination, it’s kind of weird, but I think it’s pretty cool. And this song, it’s a very dark song, and it’s a really good song. I think it’s maybe one of the best songs we’ve ever written, and I’m really proud of it.
“Our drummer, Dave [McClain] had written this really cool, kind of PINK FLOYD-style acoustic riff, and I loved it, and I was just jamming on it one night.
“I had just watched that movie ‘Crazy Heart’ and they had this one song that was kind of like, the dude was singing in this [lowers his voice] croaky cigarette voice like this. And I was just jamming along, strumming just random words… I was thinking in my head, ‘If I ever record this song, I’m gonna drink a pint of vodka and smoke half a pack of cigarettes while I’m tracking it.’ [Laughs] I didn’t really have lyrics to it. And the next morning, it was in February, so we were having all those rains and it was freezing. I dropped my son, Wyatt, off at pre-school. And it was just the perfect miserable day — it was pouring rain and cold and gray. I live kind of in the hills and so there was all this fog pouring over the hills. And I just sat and I parked. And I was like, ‘Alright, let’s see what happens.’ It was like being in an H.P. Lovecraft poem or something.
“Where I live, in Virginia Hills, which is in Martinez, there’s this virus that’s going around that’s killing all of the oak trees, so all of the oak trees are dying or dead.
“At first I started writing all these lyrics — I just pulled out my iPhone and started typing in the notes — very Lovecraft-ian [words like], ‘feted branches and spider webs and whippoorwills’… And then it kind of took on this turn where it just kind of went into how much music has meant to me in my life, that it’s basically carried me through my darkest times and what it means to me. For about a half an hour I just sat there typing stream of consciousness and it [turned out to be] probably one of the most prolific writing sessions of my life. And I just basically wrote the whole song right there. And then I came home, had another melody for the chorus, and I dumped out the lyrics there and I put it together. And I called up Dave — we weren’t supposed to practice — and I was like, ‘Dude, I freaking wrote this amazing song. I wanna jam it with you.'”
MACHINE HEAD‘s new album, “Unto The Locust”, will be made available in late September via the band’s longtime label Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at JingleTown Studios in Oakland, with frontman Robb Flynn producing, and it is sure to level anything and everything that happens upon its path. Flynn stated about the new album in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, “I think we’ve really taken our music to the next level with this. We feel super-excited about it. I started taking some singing lessons with the guy who worked with Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga. And then I took some classical guitar. I wanted to feel like a beginner again and not be comfortable and see what that brought out. There’s definitely a big neoclassical vibe on the record between all the brutality.”
Metal Hammer magazine will release “Unto The Locust” in the U.K. with a special-edition fan pack. Complete with 132–page special issue with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the making of the new album, extensive interviews with every member, never-before-seen historic shots from the band’s personal collections, a guide to their custom rigs, and a diary of their massive Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour happening this summer, this is the ultimate companion to the long-awaited follow-up to “The Blackening”, Metal Hammer‘s “album of the decade.” And that’s not all. This exclusive fan pack also includes a 100% official patch, sticker sheet and poster. This is your chance to be part of MACHINE HEAD history!
Pre-order your copy of “Unto The Locust” at this location.
MACHINE HEAD will embark on a European headlining tour, dubbed “The Eighth Plague”, in the fall. Support on the trek will come from BRING ME THE HORIZON, DEVILDRIVER and DARKEST HOUR.
For a complete list of dates, go to this location.
“Locust” performance footage: