Robb Flynn has confirmed to "Robb's MetalWorks" that MACHINE HEAD will release another new standalone song in February. The track will follow "Do Or Die", which came out last October and was described by some fans and media outlets as a "diss" track aimed at MACHINE HEAD's detractors, in particular those who have been critical of the band's last album, 2018's "Catharsis".
Speaking about MACHINE HEAD's plans to put out new music, Flynn said (see video below): "I'm always writing. I just kind of am writing. I think what the plan, going forward, is we're gonna write and then record. Rather than focus on an album every three years, which is kind of the pattern we've gotten into — about every three to four years, we drop a record — to just have a steady stream of standalone singles. And then some of those singles may end up on the next record, along with probably five or six other new songs, or they may not — we're still trying to figure it out.
"I love how the music industry has changed," he continued. "I love the power of the digital stuff and the ease of getting it out there to the fans. And I think we're just gonna keep doing that, man. I love the idea of dropping a new song every three or four months, rather than an album every three or four years. So we're gonna keep on doing that, and I'm excited about it."
According to Flynn, the fan response to "Do Or Die" was "great." He said: "It's already at over a million streams on Spotify. We dropped it out of nowhere — no announcement; no anything. Just, like, 'Here you go.' And this isn't fucking getting played on the radio or anything. So it was really cool, man. And I'm excited to be able to do more of that. And the fans seem to be excited about that too."
Last fall, MACHINE HEAD completed the first European leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut, "Burn My Eyes". Each show on the trek consisted of two parts: part one saw Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern performing alongside new recruits, Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and British drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT); while part two featured "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in.
Flynn said that he has worked with both Mader and Kontos on some new MACHINE HEAD music. "Logan and I have already collaborated on a new song," he revealed. "I think that's another thing that's killer about it. Rather than the pressure of a record, to be able to do these standalone things and just see how it goes.
"I don't know where the fuck it's gonna go," he continued. "Nobody can look into the crystal ball. I just wanna keep on writing music and dropping music. Music's been such a powerful force in my life. And if these guys wanna write music, let's do it. Let's see what comes of it and see where it goes. And get lost — get lost in the music."
Asked about the musical direction of the new MACHINE HEAD material, Flynn said: "It's gonna be MACHINE HEAD. It's always gonna have that heaviness, it's always gonna have that vibe. It's gonna go everywhere. Some songs could be like 'Darkness Within'; some songs could be like fucking 'Aesthetics Of Hate'. It's everywhere in between."
Flynn also talked about MACHINE HEAD's fall 2018 tour, which saw him and MacEachern performing alongside guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain for the final time. The trek kicked off just a week after Demmel and McClain announced they were leaving the band.
Asked if saw Demmel and McClain's departures "coming" a long time before they made their exit official, Flynn said: "Oh, yeah. [Laughs] For sure. For a while. Those guys wanted to move on. And we still had a tour to do. So we went out and did the tour. We already knew at that point, before the tour. I felt like we ended it on a super-classy note. I got the crowd to chant their name and thank 'em every single night for everything that they've done. It was a cool era, and then there was gonna be a future. And here we are."
Questioned about whether he was sad or excited to play that one final tour with his longtime bandmates, Flynn said: "I had my eye on the future — whatever that meant. [Laughs] I didn't know what that meant. But it was an awesome tour, man. People went fucking nuts. The attendances were great. People were losing their shit. To me, it was a celebration, and that's what I always say it was — it was a celebration of what we did and the music that we created, and to just come out and have a fucking blast and live this moment with us one more time, for what it was. I was pretty sad, especially when everybody announced it. I'm sure you saw the Facebook Live — I was crying; I was sad. It was a tough time. But by the time I got on stage, I never wanna cry on stage. [Laughs] I was just, like, 'As long as I get through this first show in Sacramento, I'm good.' And I didn't cry there, so I was, like, 'I'm not gonna cry.' And even the last night, I didn't cry. It was still, to me, a celebration, and that's what it was always gonna be about."
Kontos left MACHINE HEAD before the release of the band's second album, 1997's "The More Things Change", and was replaced by McClain.
Mader contributed to two MACHINE HEAD albums, the aforementioned "Burn My Eyes" and "The More Things Change", before exiting the group and being replaced by Ahrue Luster and, later on, Demmel.
The North American leg of the "Burn My Eyes" 25th-anniversary tour kicked off in Phoenix on January 16 and will continue across New York, Toronto, Chicago and Denver, wrapping up at the legendary Fox Theater in Oakland, California on February 21 and House Of Blues in Anaheim, California on February 22.