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Machine Head reflect on love gone sour with new acoustic version of Circle The Drain

Robb Flynn
(Image credit: Nuclear Blast)

Back in mid-February, a simpler time, Machine Head released an ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ anthem, Circle The Drain, which frontman Robb Flynn revealed was based upon a friend’s fast-disintegrating relationship. Now, having had a “phenomenal response” to an acoustic version of the track aired during his Acoustic Happy Hour shows on Machine Head’s Facebook page, Flynn has released an re-imagined acoustic version of the song.

“When the pandemic hit in March, and all Machine Head tours got canceled, I started doing free Acoustic Happy Hour shows on Machine Head's Facebook page to get out the pent-up energy, entertain some friends, have some laughs, and have a few drinks every Friday,” Flynn explains. “As we had just released our new song Circle The Drain, fans started asking for me to play it, so I started messing around with it and came up with a re-imagined version of it. It got a phenomenal response… People genuinely loved it, and were continually asking me to release it, and so I recorded it a few weeks back in my home studio, and here it is."

Originally released on February 13, via Nuclear Blast, Circle The Drain was inspired by Flynn's buddy who served in Afghanistan and returned home to find his relationship with his partner crumbling.

“She had messed around on him, then got paranoid about him messing around on her, and drove him crazy,” Flynn explained in February. “We had a conversation on Valentine's Day and he said to me, 'They were just circling the drain’… The phrase struck me. A few days later I incorporated it into the song I'd been working on.”

"It was a strange parallel with my life at the time, having recently had two band members quit, and even more bizarrely, two long-time couple friends of my wife and I, also divorce. It was break-up season, and it played out with friends taking sides, people not being invited to certain events anymore, social and emotional pressure, and all the typical stuff that happens when a relationship goes bad.”

"Watching this guy pull through it helped me pull through my own upheaval. The lyrics to Circle The Drain came out of that frustrating time. It's a sad song about relationships gone bad, but accepting that it's over, and making yourself move on. It's written in a more metaphorical tone, as I didn't want it to be about my life, but to be about anybody's life who may be going through a rough time. It may not be a song that connects with everyone, especially those in a solid relationship, but if the day ever comes when your life goes awry, this song will be a lifeline for you, something to help pull you up out of that dark place."