Machine Head’s Robb Flynn: How Trump + Charlottesville Influenced ‘Catharsis’
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has received incredible support and frightening backlash for being one of metal’s most outspoken musicians. Flynn even received death threats after criticizing Philip Anselmo’s “white power” Dimebash incident, but that hasn’t stopped him from addressing America’s most polarizing topics in Machine Head’s ninth studio album, Catharsis.
In this exclusive interview Flynn speaks about two new songs in particular, one being a folky protest anthem called “Bastards.” The track tells the story of a man sitting down with his sons, explaining to them why “sometimes the bad guys win.” Turns out “Bastards” is based on real conversations Flynn had with his kids the day after Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
“It was a really difficult conversation and a complicated conversation,” Flynn says. “Music is often just a snapshot of where their head is at the moment. That moment may not be the same 10 years from now or it might be the same 10 years from now, but that’s where my head was at and we just rolled with it, man.”
The opening track to Catharsis, “Volatile,” is about as angry as you’ll ever hear Robb Flynn on a song. Beginning with a cry of “Fuck the world!”, Flynn tackles some key moments of 2017 with lyrics like “Sick of the racists” and “Sick of the NRA trying to scare me.”
“The lyrics were written on the same day as Charlottesville,” Flynn reveals. “We watched that video of Heather Heyer getting run over and killed and I was just like, ‘The fuck is going on, man?’ … You just got a snapshot of me pissed off and raw anger and frustration and confusion. White supremacists are marching every two weeks in the U.S. now and it’s pretty fucking insane.”
Check out our interview with Robb Flynn above and be sure to grab a copy of Machine Head’s Catharsis on January 26.
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