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October 6, 2011, posted by FotherMucker99.

Robb Flynn interview by metalinsider.net

Machine Head

Metalinsider.net's Bram Teitelman interviewed Robb Flynn on September 13th at a pre-party for the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

You can now read the interview below




Its been a long time between The Blackening and Unto the Locust. Why did it take you so long to come out with a follow up?

We toured for three years behind The Blackening, and when it was over it was like, alright lets take a break for a minute here. After about two months, me and my drummer [Dave McClain] were climbing the walls. We were ready. I was like, Im done with the break. We had started writing The Blackening in August of 05, and wrapped it up in September of 06. By the time wed wrapped up touring it was April of 2010. So itd been a good four years since we had had a writing session. And I had already had riffs, and I was already and I was just ready.

On first listen, its a way ambitious record, and youre doing things that Ive never heard on a Machine Head album before. Was it a conscious effort to stretch and do more than youve done before?

I would love to say I had this grand vision, but if you sat in the Machine Head jam room, its just so Beavis and Butt-Head. Its like, what do you think of this riff? Oh, thats cool. What do you think of this riff? We just try stuff, and sometimes I get these crazy ideas. I just try and write it out, and the dudes just let me go with it thankfully.

It seems like there are more harmonies than theres been before.

Yeah, and theres a lot of a lot of musicality. The neo-classical influence coming in really opened up a lot of doors that we could have. You know, where as opposed to your having just evil notes, and Im not thats how schooled I am. I call it evil notes, or sad notes, or happy notes, or you know, like go to the 3rd fret, go to the 2nd fret. I dont know any theory, I just hear it in my head. But, to me, having those as opposed to evil notes, a little more of the sad minor notes In the classical context, it really opened up melodies, and then you could build things on top of it. And the more that we went, the more ambitious we were like fuck it. Lets just fucking pile it on, and see what happens. Better to go too far and then pull back, than never go far enough.

It seems like on The Blackening, your songs started getting longer and more epic. Were you trying to do that? Kind of as a reaction to maybe the Supercharger era, where you were kind of writing, it seemed, more radio single-y type stuff?

Weve always had long songs. I mean, Burn My Eyes A Thousand Lies was 7 minutes, A Nation on Fire was 7 minutes, Death Church was six minutes. You know, Supercharge Trephination was seven minutes. With that record, the first four songs that we wrote, there was no indication that the songs were going to be long. The first four songs that we wrote were the shortest songs on the record Beautiful Mourning, Slanderous, Aesthetics of Hate, Now I Lay Thee Down. The first four months of the recording it was just where we were going. And then, at some point, Clenching came along. Weve never written for the radio. Weve never timed our songs, and gone, is this gonna work? We just write until we feel its done. And when we timed Clenching, we were all fucking shocked. Like, this fucking song is 10 minutes fucking long, and its killer! It doesnt feel like its 10 minutes long. You know what I mean?

I dont think any of your songs do really.

And thats great. I mean, thats a huge compliment to hear. I mean, some bands write a 4-minute song, and it feels like a 10-minute song, you know? Ive always wanted to write a song in the classic sense and structure of a pop song.

Like verse, chorus, verse?

Verse, chorus, verse. Yeah, I want hooks. I want things that repeat. I dont want to write riff soup. Ive never wanted to do that. Even my favorite bands you know, Mercyful Fate, Metallica there was still a song in there. Maybe in between that, they took all these turns and twists, but eventually it came back to the song. And I still feel thats very important. Sometimes theyre shorter, sometimes theyre longer. You can plan all you want to, but at the end of the day, more often than not, the music will only go one way. You have to let the music take you where its going.

Did you storyboard on any of the songs, like sketch them out?

I just keep on putting it together until it happens and Im like, okay, it feels done. We all just sit there and go yeah, that feels done. We just jam it back and forth and go, okay try this, try that, eh that sucks, try this, oh thats cool, you know? Like I said, its very Beavis and Butt-Head.

What do you think of the thrash revival thats been going on for the past few years?

It seems like its kind of fizzling out now. But it was cool man. I thought it was really cool. I mean, to see young kids you know, rocking stretched jeans and high-tops, and the vests being 16 years old with the flipped up hat. I was like, wow, that was me you know. I saw this connection. And yeah, I definitely romanticized it.

Did you like some of the bands that came out of it?

I thought Municipal Waste was good. I thought Bonded By Blood was really good. The two bands that seem to have transcended that a little bit seem to be Lazarus A.D. and Evile. You know, theyve managed to get out of there and continue on. Id like to see it go in more of an original direction. I thinkAmericareally has a fondness for the past. Theres always been a retro thing inAmerica, and while I think theres charm to it I mean, one of my favorite guitar players of all time is Jimi Hendrix. And I never got to see Hendrix, but there was a guy who came along about 20 years later, and he was like, a Jimi Hendrix guy. He wore the headband, and played the songs, and he did his own trip and it was cool, but I dont know. Id rather find new things and live in the present. Like, Im definitely a guy that lives in the present.

What are your thoughts on Spotify and the rise of digital music as a new form of music.

I dont know. I mean, I know my drummers got Spotify on his iPhone and he fucking loves it.

Its pretty great.

I dont have it. I probably havent bought a CD in like three years. I get everything from iTunes. It goes right onto my phone. I can plug it right into my car. So theres definitely a convenience factor. And thats whats exciting. Its an exciting time. Like, theres this huge change happening and were living in this change. And, who knows where its gonna go? Ive been making music for 25 years now, and Im not really qualified to do anything else. Ive had odd jobs here and there, but this is what I do. This is what Im going to do. And, wherever it goes, Im just along for the ride. Im gonna keep on putting on music, and I think people as long as they support bands and as long as they support artists, itll always be there, in whatever form.

Source: www.metalinsider.net

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