MACHINE HEAD's ROBB FLYNN Explains 'Catharsis' Album Title
January 16, 2018
Pete Bailey of the "Binge Thinking" podcast on Primordial Radio recently conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below.
Asked why MACHINE HEAD decided to call its new album "Catharsis", Flynn said: "I think when we started looking at the record and what was on the record, it was… it's an eclectic record. It's a pretty diverse, weird record. And it had so many different, varying emotions. On the one hand, you've got songs like 'Volatile' or 'Bastards', which are very social, political commentary. On the other hand, you've got a song like 'California Bleeding' or 'Razorblade Smile', which is just, like, 'Let get fucked up' — it's just a get-hammered song. Songs like 'Eulogy' about depression, songs like 'Hope Begets Hope', which is just about [having] faith. About halfway through the writing sessions, when the song 'Catharsis' came to be, and there's that line in there, 'The only thing keeping me sane, the music in my veins, and if these words are my fists, this is my catharsis.' And it just summed up everything we were trying to say."
Flynn also spoke about the fact that many of the songs on MACHINE HEAD's new album are relatively short compared to some of the band's previous outings. "We do have a couple of the epics [on 'Catharsis'], for sure," he said. "But there was no plan, there was no reason behind that. We just started writing, and the first two songs we wrote were four minutes. And we were, like, 'Sweet! This is great! We don't need to do anything else.' And they were cool and heavy, and we just rolled with it. And I don't wanna say that that necessarily set the bar, because you never know… We wrote the record for 11 months; there's a lot of things that are gonna change. And even in that time, you might get bored of four-minute songs. But we just rolled with it and it became a lot simpler, it became a lot more about story telling, it became a lot more about just having really great hooks and really simple lyrics. I really wanted to strip down all of the lyrics on this record to be no metaphors. I don't want any metaphors in there. I want people to know exactly what I'm singing about. I listen to a lot of hip hop, I listen to a lot of punk rock and hardcore and I love how — for lack of a better word — vulgar it is. It's very clear, straight language, and metal is kind of still like 30 years ago [laughs] — singing about very metaphorical stuff: wars from 200 years ago, but we won't sing about wars now. I wrote what I wrote and it came out the way it came out. And I liked it. There's a couple of songs even on there that are, like… they're basically like a folk song — just a straight-up, simple folk song — and it's still the best way to tell a story."
"Catharsis" will be released on January 26 via Nuclear Blast. The effort will be made available in several formats, including a CD/DVD digipak edition which contains footage of MACHINE HEAD's 2015 concert at San Francisco's Regency Ballroom.
The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds", "Catharsis" was produced by Flynn and recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Mastering was handled by Ted Jensen (HATEBREED, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES) at Sterling Sound in New York. Cover photography was created by Seanen Middleton.