May 21, 2009, posted by Crumbs
MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn has spoken exclusively with BLABBERMOUTH.NET about having one of his musical idols — METALLICA frontman James Hetfield — join MACHINE HEAD on stage on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 in Oberhausen and Cologne, Germany, respectively, to perform the song "Aethetics Of Hate", taken from MH's latest album, "The Blackening".
MACHINE HEAD is in the middle of a lengthy world tour as the support act for METALLICA.
The following question-and-answer session with Flynn was conducted via e-mail:
Q: How did the Hetfield jam come about? Who suggested it first and how did you decide on which song to play together?
Flynn: James and I were hanging out in our dressing room talking, and we have some of those little MicroCube battery-powered practice amps set up, and a small electronic drum kit set up. I was warming up on guitar and he just jumped on the drums and said, "You know any METALLICA songs?" I was like "Shiiii-iiiit", and I busted out "Battery" on the spot. He played the drums all the way through, fuckin' good too!!! The rest of my guys [MACHINE HEAD] eventually came in, and with him still on drums, we all jammed some MAIDEN — "Wrathchild" and "The Trooper", some "Creeping Death" [by METALLICA], and then he played drums to "Aesthetics Of Hate"!! He did it pretty killer too!! [Dave] McClain [MACHINE HEAD drummer] was there watching like, "Holy shit!!??". He got off the kit and went to McClain, "Duuuuude, much respect." After we wrapped up jamming, he asked me, "When are we going to jam it onstage?" I said, "Er...uh... let's do it last show." He said, "Let's do it". Phil [Demmel, MACHINE HEAD guitarist] then showed him the rest of the riffs while we all got ready to play the show. He came to me day of the Oberhausen show and said he wanted to jam it both nights. It was like, "FUCK YEAH!!"
Q: Did you get a chance to rehearse beforehand?
Flynn: We ran through it a couple times at the Vienna show in our dressing room. He had learned a good chunk of it already. I fine-tuned a couple of things with him, but he came in really prepared. He even wanted to try some harmonies and layers too since there were three guitars. Two days later (and with no more rehearsal), he came on and killed it!! After the first show, I watched the YouTube clip and saw that he was singing the "strike down" part with me, so I suggested for the second show we do a trade-off in the chorus, and he sing the "Aesthetics Of Hate" line. Next night, he brought the thunder!!
Q: You have spoken a number of times about how much of an influence and inspiration METALLICA has been for you personally and as a band over the years. How did it feel having one of your musical idols performing one of your songs with you?
Flynn: It was amazing! I mean, seriously amazing! There was actually a point during the second show when we were rocking out together, and I just reached over and grabbed him by the shoulders and yelled, "This is amazing!!!!" He cracked up!! It was one of the highlights of my/our musical lives. Is there a higher compliment? A friend of mine e-mailed me the next day after watching the clip on Blabbermouth, and was like, "DUDE, training is over, you are now a full-blown JEDI KNIGHT OF METAL!!!" I laughed my ass off!
Q: From what I understand, the performance with Hetfield was professionally filmed (there were guys with cameras running around). Any chance of the footage ending up anywhere where people can get hold of it? Your next DVD, perhaps? (Note: Professionally filmed video footage of the Oberhausen performance can be viewed below.)
Flynn: There's fan-filmed clips up on the web and I'm sure MetClub [METALLICA fan club] or MH1 [official MACHINE HEAD web site] will throw something up. I loved watching the fan-filmed stuff on Blabbermouth just so I could see what everyone else was doing during the show when I was singing. He got a kick out of the "Sanitarium" intro. And it was rad watching him and Adam [Duce, MACHINE HEAD bassist] DOWN-PICK that whole long-ass lead section in the middle, they were having a friggin' "down-pick-off," haha!! It was AWESOME!!
May 16, 2009 at KoPi-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany:
Professionally filmed video footage courtesy of Metallica.com:
TakeMyScars.com - A Place Dedicated to the Mighty Machine Head!