MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn recently spoke to The Flint Journal about the group's latest studio album, "Through the Ashes of Empires", and their upcoming DVD, "Elegies".
Regarding the decision to "keep it all in the family" while recording "Through the Ashes of Empires", Flynn said, "I had produced the band's demos since 1996. We looked at this ('Through the Ashes of Empires') as a glorified demo. We tried to get other people to do it and they just weren't available.
"The main guy we usually use ... was working with FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND and their sessions had gone way overtime. We started talking to people we really didn't know and we didn't really trust. They wanted to charge us quite a bit of money for not really anything because we knew what we wanted."
Flynn explained that the goal of the band — which also includes guitarist Phil Demmel, bassist Adam Duce and drummer Dave McClain — was simple.
"We wanted to create some great music and capture it," Flynn said. "It's very popular right now to record everything to a click track and then go in and fix everything. It's very perfect. Everything is perfect. But you get to the point where you're just cut and pasting guitar riffs, cut and pasting drum beats, and you're sampling everything. It's almost like it really isn't even music anymore.
"Our trip was that we just wanted four guys playing music. We recorded it to ProTools and whatnot because it's most cost-effective. We went in there and if we had to play it, we had to play it. There was no cutting and pasting.
"It was definitely our M.O. We wanted to make a heavy, musical, frightening record."
The writing of "Through the Ashes of Empires" was a group effort, with Flynn and McClain penning the majority of the album.
"(McClain) plays guitar also. He wrote a bunch of stuff for the record, all the real kind of key songs — 'Descend the Shades of Night', 'Imperium', 'Days Turn Blue to Gray'. Phil, the guitar player, he writes stuff. We all kind of combine it then," Flynn said.
"Adam helps me out a little bit with the lyrics. I write the songs on my own and kind of bring them into the whole thing. I'm the coordinator of the whole thing. I do a lot of the final arrangements. I think my role is to take a bunch of good ideas and make it one great idea."
Next up for MACHINE HEAD is the June 13 release of the DVD "Elegies". In compiling the DVD, MACHINE HEAD took a cinematic approach.
"Rather than capture one night, we wanted to capture a vibe of the tour. It's kind of like a tour documentary and it's just two weeks of the tour," Flynn said. "It's got stuff from the different shows, the main Brixton (Academy) show where we had the sound and lights and a lot of cameras.
"Every three or four songs, there's going to be a 5- to 10-minute mini movie. The first one is the making of the record, the second one is life on the road — from super fun (stuff) to incredibly boring to super fun — and a thing on the fans. It's all going to be spliced in like a movie."