Lou Di Monaco of the NY Rock Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
NY Rock Music Examiner: Congratulations on the upcoming release of MACHINE HEAD‘s seventh album, “Unto The Locust”, on September 27. Locusts have always been a very strong figure as far as imagery goes. Tell me a little bit about the locust theme and imagery here.
Robb Flynn: Well, it comes up in the song “Locust” as well as the album title. The whole metaphor there is about a type of being that comes into your life and has a similar effect to a swarm of locusts on a crop field. They just land feast on everything and deplete whatever was there and then fly onto the next harvest. The song could be about a person, a friend, a lover, a government, a religion, a corporation, or whatever other entity. The song itself has a lot of insect imagery. The thing that was appealing was that it was a metaphor and could be interpreted different ways. Phil [Demmel, guitar] suggested the idea of writing a song about the subject and it ultimately means something else that is very appealing… the same thing with album cover as well. You look at it and there’s a mutant locust, dark, messed up imagery, but if you look deeper and beyond that, it means something totally different, still.
NY Rock Music Examiner: I’ve had a chance to give the album a few listens through and I was blown away. The album is so solid. Some critics are quick to judge a disc with only seven tracks, but with the length of some of them and their intensity, I think it’s spot-on. There really isn’t a moment on that record that sounds like filler. Did you guys have more songs that you ended up cutting?
Robb Flynn: Yeah, man. We had, at one point, about 13 songs and then as we got closer to the recording time, it was becoming obvious that certain songs could clearly become great tracks and that some were just kinda lingering around, not turning into anything great. So we chose the ones that we felt were solid and that fit together on this record. We actually recorded two other songs during the album process that just didn’t fit, weren’t going anywhere because the other songs were so strong. When we told the label that we were only including seven tracks, the record company flipped! Haha, but we write long songs, so even with the low number of songs it’s still a 50 minute-long record. It’s definitely quality over quantity for us. Too many bands put out a record with 19 songs that are seven good and 12 crappy. We decided to skip the crappy ones.
Rock Examiner: You guys are known and respected for being true road-warriors, and the upward of three years of touring you did on the last record is proof enough. Does the band have similar plans for this album cycle? Is there a headlining run in the band’s immediate future?
Robb Flynn: Well, nothing is finalized, but we’re looking at January for the first headlining tour in four years for MACHINE HEAD! Other than that, we’re going over to South America in three weeks for our first ever tour there, which we’re all stoked about. Another thing we’re trying to do is get the lights and the bells and whistles we’re able to get on tours overseas for our headline tour here in the States.
Read the entire interview from NY Rock Music Examiner.