Rob Rush of Long Island’s 94.3 The Shark radio station recently conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the climate around MACHINE HEAD‘s 1994 “Burn My Eyes” debut, which was released on Roadrunner Records:
Robb: “One of the main reasons we signed with Roadrunner was because they had half of our favorite bands on the label. They had SEPULTURA, they had BIOHAZARD, it was just a cool vibe. We were in Oakland, just doing our own thing. We had found this groove where we were taking elements of thrash metal and elements of punk rock and elements of hip-hop and combining them into this bizarre combination. It just somehow worked. It’s amazing to be here 24 years later. Our record just came in on the album charts, the Billboard number 17. It’s the highest charting we’ve ever had in our history and we’re out here touring, just doing ‘An Evening With…’ and it’s awesome. It’s amazing.”
On whether he thinks there’s a metal renaissance going on by way of the millennials:
Robb: “I don’t know. I mean, not really. I feel like pop and hip-hop definitely dominate the landscape; it’s much different than it was. The way I feel is that it’s all cyclical. You know what I feel like? I feel like millennials don’t, and I think people like our age group, we used to really identify with one genre of music, like ‘We’re a rocker!’ Or ‘We’re a thrasher!’ I think younger people now, they don’t really care. They like what they like. They like heavy stuff, they like pop stuff and it’s kind of cool. They’re open to music and I think that’s a great way to be. They’re open to all kinds of music.”
On what streaming means to a band like MACHINE HEAD in 2018:
Robb: “They do the streaming playlists. I’ve got playlists all over my phone. I pick my favorite songs and I stick them on a playlist. I’ve got my gym playlist, I got my chill-out playlist, I got my party playlist, when I want to get the party started, it opens with THE ROLLING STONES‘ ‘Honky Tonk Woman’. It’s super-easy and I love it. What technology makes me miss is remembering phone numbers. [Laughs] I can’t remember a phone number to save my life anymore. I don’t know what anybody’s phone numbers are. I used to know every phone number by heart. Now, I can’t remember anything.”
On whether MACHINE HEAD would consider playing “Burn My Eyes” in its entirety live in 2019:
Robb: “Yeah, we’d consider it, totally. It’s the 20-year anniversary of ‘The Burning Red’, it’s the 25-year anniversary of ‘Burn My Eyes’, so we talk about it. I think there’s going to be a time and a place to do that, but we’re not really a band that ever looks back. We’re kind of just doing our thing. We’ll see. You never say never, right? At the moment, it just feels good. I think we’re all just really proud of the fact that we can go out here and have a new album [‘Catharsis’] that’s our [best] global chart positions all over the world, here in America, Canada, internationally, Australia, our highest chart positions of our entire 24-year career. It’s insane to be having this level of success this deep into our career. I mean, this is not the traditional arc of a band. [Laughs] It feels good. I think that especially coming from the Bay Area like we did, we always had this shadow of METALLICA cast over everything. When you’re a metal band playing extreme music, it’s like being the other band from Liverpool [referring to THE BEATLES]. ‘Oh, the other band from Liverpool.’ It’s METALLICA and everybody else. I think in a lot of ways, it made us work hard to define ourselves and find our own niche as a band because we had to define ourselves and differentiate ourselves from this band, a band that we love and admire and respect and was a massive influence on us, but we had to go our own path and find our own way. If we’re supposed to do that, that’s the thing that’s crazy just to be there this far into our career and still be killing it. It’s awesome, it’s a really cool thing.”
“Catharsis” was released on January 26 via Nuclear Blast. The effort was made available in several formats, including a CD/DVD digipak edition which contains footage of MACHINE HEAD‘s 2015 concert at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom.
The follow-up to 2014’s “Bloodstone & Diamonds”, “Catharsis” was produced by Flynn and was recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Mastering was handled by Ted Jensen (HATEBREED, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES) at Sterling Sound in New York. Cover photography was created by Seanen Middleton.
The North American tour in support of “Catharsis” kicked off on January 25 in Mesa, Arizona.