Machine Head takes success in stride

By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Roadrunner recording artist Machine Head has been creating its blend of speed metal and industrial music since 1992. With its '94 release "Burn My Eyes," the band has been generating critical interest and a faithful following. The attention crested with death metal legends Slayer tapping the San Francisco group for an opening slot on Slayer's fall tour. The Wildcat had the rare opportunity to talk to Rob Flynn, Machine Head's vocalist and guitarist.

Wildcat: How did you guys pick Roadrunner Records?

MH: We made our demo in March of '93 and it turned out pretty cool so we started, you know . we didn't have, like, money to duplicate them so we bought, like, tapes wholesale for, like, 30 cents, and we went to the fuckin' copyplace down the street and Xeroxed the fuckin' cover and the inside. We recorded, like, all these tapes on our, like, home tape recorders and shit because we couldn't afford duplication costs 'cause that costs a lot of money, professional duplication does. So we did it like that and we developed a buzz from playin' local shows and shit and then we sent the tape to Metal Maniacs (magazine) and they really liked it so they gave it to Monty from Roadrunner and Monty really liked it and he called us up a few days later and he started takin' us out to dinner a few days after that.

WC: You guys have received a lot of positive attention. You've been compared favorably to Pantera, Biohazard, Sepultura, etc. Does this create high expectations for you guys to fill? How do you handle the hype?

MH: Well, you know, it is kind of weird 'cause when we were making this record we certainly weren't expecting the type of reaction we got. We expected that we'd make a good record and that we'd be kind of big on a Motorhead level and shit, but, fuckin', you know the reviews fuckin', like, exploded and fuckin' the sales exploded with it. It's cool for us, we all just take it in stride. We all just take it with a grain of salt, because there's been plenty of good reviews, but there's be plenty of bad reviews, too. So, you know, we know we made a good record and the reviews are just kind of like the icing on the cake and shit. As far as the hype . we're a damn good live band, and we put out a damn good record and that's ultimately what's gonna fuckin' come through after the hype's died down.

WC: You guys are getting ready to tour with Slayer and you've toured with Napam Death and Obituary already. . How does it feel for a relatively young band to have already toured with some of metal's legends?

MH: It feels really good! (laughs) I mean the Slayer thing, to be perfectly honest with you, like, totally took us by surprise. I mean, we knew that Slayer was going to be going out, and we didn't even try and get the tour. I mean, we were like, "We'll never get that


fuckin' tour!" Like, how many fuckin' other bigger, better bands were trying for that fuckin' tour, you know? We were like, "every single band and their mother's band wants to be on that fuckin' Slayer shit" so we didn't even fuckin' try. They asked us to do it. It feels fuckin' great, I mean, fuck! I learned how to play guitar to Slayer records, dude . it's so fuckin' great!

WC: How would you describe your sound it's part thrash, part death metal, part industrial . How did that evolve?

MH: It's just the music we wanted to create. The band that you hear on this record is the band that we wanted to hear, but couldn't. The band that you see live is the band that we wanted to see live, but couldn't. The band was created partly by the fact that we were sick of what we saw . there was no band doing what we're doing and finally we said, "Fuck it. We'll do it." Also, the band was created to vent out feelings, you know, vent our frustrations, our angers.

WC: I think I read somewhere that some of the band spent some time in prison, is that true?

MH: Well, to some degree we've all been in and out of jail and shit a few times . not for like, fuckin' murder or nothing . A couple of the guys grew up in reform schools, I don't know if you'd call that prison.

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