The People Vs Robb Flynn

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When we invited Machine Head fans to interview metal's big mouth, you didn't disappoint. Here's what you lot came up with…

HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE HEALTH OF HEAVY METAL TO WHEN YOU GUYS FIRST BROKE THROUGH?

– BREADEDGEEK

“It feels about the same right now. Metal went through this big up period and then it went down and then it came through another up period, and now I feel like we’re going through another down right now. It’s almost like a transitional period or something. At that time I remember reaching out and I didn’t get disillusioned with music, but I did become disillusioned with metal. I got into the punk scene and bands like Neurosis and all this trippy, Floyd-meet s-hardcore weird shit, and that’s kinda where I feel like I’m at now. There’s a couple of good bands but it all feels really safe.”

**WHEN DID YOU FIRST FEEL THAT YOU HAD ‘MADE IT’ AS A MUSICIAN? **

– JAYNE MANATTE

“I think coming from the thrash scene, there were no delusions of making it. No one thought, ‘I’m gonna make it playing this kind of music!’, ha ha! You do it for the love. One of the things that people of ten overlook about the thrash scene was the compet ition and rivalry between those bands. It was bitter! Dudes talking shit and everybody was, ‘I’m gonna be the heaviest!’ ‘Oh yeah? Well, we’re gonna be the fastest!’ ‘Oh yeah? Well, we’re gonna be the most extreme!’ There was always this desire to outdo each other and that competition, wanting to be the best frontman or the craziest guitar player, and that’s so much of what drives me. I don’t want to make the second best metal record of all time. I want to make the best! Whether we do or not is for the world to decide, but that’s what my goals are. And making it? That’s something else. Probably when I got my first groupie after playing at Ruthie’s Inn when I was 18. Ha ha!”

**WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE NON-METAL ALBUM? **

– LAYNE BRYDEN

“Probably Disintegration by The Cure. It’s just fuckin’ epic. Even the sound of it… it soundslike it was recorded in the Gr and Canyon. It’s so fucking huge. Great songs and great hooks, Fascination Street with those driving riffs… it’s a surprisingly dark and heavy record for that kind of music.”

**WHICH OF YOUR OWN SONGS ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF? **

– PETE CAYN

“Darkness Within. It’s a pretty awesome song. And it’s a song that was kinda scary to write, initially. It ’s always when you go through those scary moments and that fear of doing something, if you only just push through it, so many times it makes it all that much more worth it.”

**ROBB, THE BEARD SPIKES – WHAT EXACTLY MADE YOU ABANDON THEM AND WILL THEY EVER BE MAKING A COMEBACK? **

– CALLUM PATERSON

“You know what? I just got lazy. Ah, twistin’ these things all the time… al so I started over-twist ing them and getting into these habits, talking and twisting all the time. I had this beard fixation! So I just let it go. But I’ll aim to have them every once in a while, just for you!”

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED TO KEEP WRITING AND RECORDING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?

– FRANCIS DONLEVY

“I’m pathetically unqualified to do anything else!”

**WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG TO PLAY LIVE AND WHY? **

– JOSH HIPGRAVE

“There’s too many. I love playing all of them live. I love playing live! They all serve a purpose.”

**WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU MET JUSTIN BIEBER OR ONE DIRECTION? **

– MARK BOYLE

“I wouldn’t even know who One Direction are if I met them. I don’t even know what they look like. That whole phenomenon totally sideswiped me. Who the fuck are One Direction, you know? Ha ha! But I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t say anything. You’re a stranger! I was talking to my friend about this… if you’re a celebrity and you’re around another celebrity, there’s this pressure that you guys should talk to each other. I never want to do that! That’s so fucking weird to me. If I don’t know you? You’re famous and I’m famous, but who cares? There’s this weird expectation that you should bro down! Ha ha ha! I never feel that. To me, I’m still kinda introverted, even though I’ve forced myself out of that by becoming a frontman. If I’m out and just hanging I can be alone and just fine.”

**WHAT OTHER METAL BAND OR ALBUM (OLD OR CURRENT) DO YOU THINK MORE PEOPLE NEED TO LISTEN TO AND WHY? **

– CAROLINE RIMMER

“Times Of Grace. They put out a record called The Hymn of A Broken Man. It’s Jesse and Adam from Killswitch Engage and they made a side-project right before Jesse rejoined Killswitch, and it’s such a good record. It’s one of the best records ever and nobody heard it and everybody needs to hear it, because it’s so fuckin’ good.”

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED SO HARD?

- PHILIP K MEADOWS

“I was watching a movie with my kids. I forget which one, but it was a really funny movie. There’s just something about when your kid is laughing… the joke could not even be funny, but hearing them laugh makes you laugh, and then they laugh harder and you laugh harder and suddenly you’re a fucking mess!”

**WOULD YOU EVER PLAY GLASTONBURY? **

– CHRIS NELSON

“I don’t know anything about Glastonbury. Probably not! I don’t think that anybody would care about Machine Head at a hippie mainstream festival. I don’t wanna play Bonnaroo. I don’t wanna play Lollapalooza. I just feel like we’d be spinning our wheels. I’d rather just headline our own shows.”

WOULD YOU CLASS MACHINE HEAD AS A CHRISTIAN METAL BAND? I SEE A LOT OF CHRISTIAN THEMES THROUGHOUT YOUR SONGS.

– JOE FOULKES

“No. In his defence, Phil Demmel is a Christian, but nobody else in the band is, and I would absolutely not consider us a Christian band, especially with a song like Halo. Read the lyrics! Do some homework! Joe, you get an F-minus.”

**DO YOU PREFER SINGING OR PLAYING GUITAR WHEN YOU’RE ONSTAGE? **

– JOSH HILL

“I prefer to do both!”

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED AND WHY?

– LUKE HARTON

“Geez… it wasn’t even that long ago. You’re not supposed to cry but I cry all the time! Life is hard sometimes and crying makes it easier.”

**WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG OFF A7X’S HAIL TO THE KING? **

– BRETT BARKHOUSE

“Ha ha ha! You know what? There’s one good song on that record. What’s it called? The one with the choir… Requiem! Because it sounds like Avenged.”