Friday, April 21, 2006
MACHINE HEAD frontman Rob Flynn has offered up a rather lengthy update regarding the progress of the band’s new album.
“We are also writing like crazy, getting ready to demo some stuff out. We started doing this fun thing each day at practice where we start the set off with one old song, not generally in the live set. Man, we been jamming some hella old shit… ‘Blood Of The Zodiac’, ‘Bay Of Pigs’, ‘Rage To Overcome’, ‘Frontlines’, ‘Down To None’, ‘Death Church’, ‘Devil With The King’s Card’, ‘A Thousand Lies’… it’s been really cool revisiting those songs, and kinda sets the tone at practice in a good way. Writing is going slow but good and at this point we’ve pretty much made it our sole priority. As a result we’ve officially ‘cancelled’ all touring until after the record is done. We thought about heading out, and actually had some pretty nice opportunities, but it was like, ‘Fuck man, we toured for 22 months behind ['Through the Ashes of Empires']… How much more can you tour behind one album?’ We also felt it would break up the momentum we have going, not to mention the offers just didn’t feel right. So we passed on Sounds Of The Underground, Download, Rock Am Ring, With Full Force and most of the main Euro festivals just so we could focus solely on writing The Greatest Metal Album Of All Fuckin’ Time! Hells yeah!!!
“Frankly, we don’t know if ‘Through the Ashes of Empires’ was some kind of fluke or what, so we’re not gonna take its success for granted, or ourselves too seriously in the process. We’ve just been writing and playing what feels right to us, and it’s made us push our musicianship to new, previously unscaled heights. I’d say we’re definitely evolving again, and the new album is definitely not ‘Burn My Eyes II’ or even ‘Through the Ashes of Empires II’. Of the 16 songs that we have, 10½ of them seem like they’re going nowhere at the moment. Of the 5 that are completed, we are really amazed with how they are turning out. It feels really fuckin’ unique, the material is totally different than what is going on right now, and we think it’s really gonna sound fresh and stand out compared to what’s currently ‘happening’ in the metal scene at the moment. It feels unmistakably ‘Bay Area’, and unmistakably MACHINE HEAD, but it’s SO in its own little world… it’s a trip man, it’s a little scary, as it kinda feels like uncharted territory, but that makes it more exciting too, something about this feels special, it feels huge. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘heavier’ than ‘Through the Ashes of Empires’, but it’s AS heavy, and the ‘Battery’ break (for the [recording of a METALLICA song as part of Kerrang! magazine's] ‘Master Of Puppets’ tribute) did us good… songs that were 5 minutes long are now 8 minutes long, and I’m noticing a healthy dose of the sludge vibe (ala ‘Death Church’, ‘Elegy’, ‘Violate’) coming back… long songs, long intros, but it feels more uptempo as a whole than ‘Through the Ashes of Empires’… some of the hooks are just ridiculous! Lots of changes in each song, and musically as well as riff-wise it is very technical… full-on down-picking / million-note mania. Lyrics are dark, darker, and some just plain fucked. Some are about war, some are anti-religion… I’ve officially written my first love song (!) which ends with a homicide and then a suicide… another, (jokingly) nicknamed ‘The Thrashterpiece’ (proper title: ‘Aesthetics Of Hate’), is a full-on riff-fest with all hard vocals / no singing, and is my pointed and very pissed-off take on Dimebag-basher William Grim.
“‘Tentative’ song titles below, with the topic in parentheses:
- ‘Halo’ (Anti-religion)
- ‘Aesthetics Of Hate’
- ‘The Beautiful Mourning’ (Suicide)
- ‘Now I Lay Thee Down’ (Love / death / homicide / suicide)
“Let me tell you what our goal for this album isn’t: Our goal isn’t to be the biggest band on the planet, like everyone else is ‘trying’ to do. Our goal isn’t to write the ‘biggest metal record of all time,’ we’ll leave the ‘biggest’ records to the MTV-friendly metal-lite that is getting so much play at the moment… aka the new glam. Realistically, the new stuff is too heavy for mainstream radio / video, too long, and definitely doesn’t have enough gay singing, steal enough MAIDEN riffs, apply enough make-up, or have enough whack-ass guitar-solo-wankery to be considered ‘in’ enough for the ‘scenester’ crowd. And you know what? We’re not even trying to fish in that pond. We’re gonna fish in another pond, the pond that still wants to hear a new ‘Vulgar Display’, or a new ‘Roots’, or a new ‘South Of Heaven’, or even a new ‘As The Palaces Burn’. That other pond will never ‘get’ us, and if they do ‘get’ us, it’s gonna be because they heard so many other fuckers telling ‘em why they should ‘get’ us.
“Our goal is to write the greatest no-bullshit metal album of all time, an album that, 20 years from now, will still be in rotation… an album that has the influence, enormity, respect, and epic grandeur of an album like METALLICA’s ‘Master Of Puppets’, yet has the fire and ‘fuck you’ attitude of a punk masterpiece like POISON IDEA’s ‘Feel The Darkness’, and the cold, depressive beauty of THE CURE’s ‘Disintegration’. Will we accomplish it? Well, that’s for the world to decide, but the way we see it, if anyone is capable of achieving that goal… it is MACHINE HEAD.