Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn rejects the idea that he’s any kind of role model.
Despite being known for speaking out on social issues via his lyrics, he argues that he’s an observer of life rather than a politician trying to sell a particular viewpoint.
Flynn tells Wikimetal: “I am not a role model at all. When I write, the things I write are always personal. I’m not running for office. I observe these things.
“The role of an artist isn’t to be a role model. The role is to hold up a mirror to society. Sometimes you reflect beauty, love and those amazing things – sometimes you reflect the darker side of life. Being in a metal band, we choose to reflect the darker side a lot more often.”
He recalls being inspired by the “golden era” of rap music, which he says was designed to be “aggressive” and “not accepted by the mainstream” while drawing attention to important social issues.
And he cites what he calls the “current militarisation” of the US police as something that needs to be highlighted. “In America right now the people aren’t happy with this,” he says.
“It’s been a slow process – we’ve been in this for 10 years now. ‘Support our troops’ extended into a very militarised police force – and you’re starting to see a reaction to that. Hopefully some good will come out of it.”
Flynn last week underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder after suffering from gallstones – but he’s insisted he’ll be able to front Machine Head on their South American tour, which kicks off on May 25. He posted a video update on Facebook last night.
In February he recalled how a joke about splitting the band saved them from collapse in the face of a falling-out with bassist Adam Duce, who was fired in 2013. The band released eighth album Bloodstone & Diamonds in November.