Last month, Machine Head played a surprise set at Bloodstock Open Air festival in the UK. It's been a long time since the band stepped in front of a festival crowd, and singer-guitarist Robb Flynn spoke about the surprise set afterwards with Oran O'Beirne from Bloodstock TV.
"To me, music is so much about a connection — it's about making a connection with people. That's always the goal with what we're doing," said Flynn. "We stopped playing festivals for eight years. That was my first festival in the U.K. in 10 years. And I stopped doing festivals 'cause I didn't feel that connection with the audience anymore and I just needed to get my break from it. Obviously if every festival was like yesterday [at Bloodstock], I'd be like, 'Fuck yes! This is fucking sick.'"
Flynn elaborated further by saying "I mean, it was insane — just insanity levels of fucking mayhem. It was incredible. But you've also gotta do the festival circuit. That's what people don't realize. You've gotta go to Serbia [and] you've gotta go to Budapest."
Flynn does make a good point, as the scheduling—as well as the expense—for a band to go overseas just for one festival isn't practical. So, if you do one, you really have to do them all, and it can be a drain at times on the musicians.
"I was just talking to Chuck Billy [Testament] and Gary Holt [Exodus] and they're like, 'Dude, we've been out here for eight weeks. [We're] done.'" Flynn also told O'Beirne. "They're just frazzled. And they still have 10 more days [on the circuit]. And they're just, like, 'I just wanna go home. I'm fucking sick of it.' And I get it — I get it, man. It's fucking hard — it's really hard doing the festival circuit. And so… I don't know. Never say never. But for now, all that matters is that we did an awesome show yesterday, and that was it."
Flynn's perspective on touring has evolved in the last decade. Machine Head's new LP, Of Kingdom and Crown, released earlier this month, will eventually see the metal titans on the road for several months in support on the record. Still, Flynn told Australia's Heavy just recently, "I don't know if I'm gonna continue touring like this forever. I really did enjoy the time off (during the pandemic). 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]."
You can watch the full interview with Flynn on Bloodstock TV below, and catch Machine Head on tour at one of their tour dates here.