In a new interview with Australian site Heavy, Machine Head's Robb Flynn reflected on how the pandemic presented a forced pause in what has been three decades of writing, recording, and touring. Indeed, Flynn is a road dog—make no bones about it. But still, the hiatus was something that Flynn realized he needed
"For me, the pandemic has been… I've enjoyed it probably more than I should say probably," Flynn said. "I've been on the road since I was 19 years old. We've never gone on hiatus; I've never taken a break; it's been 30-plus years non-stop. And whether it was forced or not, it's killer to just have this time to slow down, not be on the road, not be cramming for the next record, not be looking for the next tour.
"We tour hard too — we do a minimum of 16 months behind any tour cycle. We're doing three-hour shows. And there's no letting up. It just doesn't end. And then you go and write the next record — you just start writing again. And to just have this ability to disconnect from tons of bullshit — disconnect from being around other bands and just whatever — and just kind of dig into what we're into and we're doing and what we're digging on, it was really inspiring, man, and it was really needed. I think I needed that. I didn't realize how much I needed a break until I was having a break. And I was, like, 'Jesus, I really enjoy this.'"
Flynn continued, saying that "I don't know if I'm gonna continue touring like this forever. I really did enjoy the time off. Doing my 'Happy Hour' show [on Facebook Live] and then coming home on a Friday night and just drinking with my wife, it was cool. Maybe that's what the future is — I don't know. I mean, certainly not the immediate future, but it was the first time in my life that I ever thought, like, 'Wow, maybe I could do something else [and not stay on the road so much]."
Hopefully, Robb isn't planning on retiring anytime soon. Machine Head just released their latest LP, a concept album entitled Of Kingdom And Crown, and Flynn recently sat down with Metal Injection to talk all things Machine Head.
"I'm really, really proud of this record," Flynn told us. "I think that the craziness of the last two years, in a lot of ways, I think it allowed us to kind of tune out so much of the outside world. There was something good about lockdown that kind of just allowed us to focus on being Machine Head and just make it about the music. For me personally, I wanted to do a concept record for a couple of albums now and I actually attempted it and scrapped the idea because sometimes there's a record label deadline and I just didn't feel like the story was strong enough and so I was just kind of like fuck it. I'm just going to make individual songs or whatever.
"With this album, we didn't have that really looming over us because it was a lockdown and pandemic and no one knew when shit was going on. And so it just kind of gave me more time to fine tune the story. And the story did get fine tuned. When I originally started this concept it was a very American story arc. It was good guy, bad guy, good guy wins. It was good. Like there was nothing wrong with it. There was nothing bad about it. I just couldn't connect to it. I just didn't relate. I didn't feel anything when I sang that. It was good lyrics, I just couldn't get anything out of it."
To read more of our interview with Flynn, including how anime animation helped to further shape Flynn's story arc, you can check it out here.