MACHINE HEAD's ROBB FLYNN On New Guitarist VOGG: His 'Audition Just F**king Blew My Mind'
November 6, 2019
MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn spoke to France's HEAVY1 about the addition of Polish guitarist Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka (DECAPITATED) and British drummer Matt Alston (DEVILMENT, EASTERN FRONT) to the group's ranks. Kiełtyka and Alston have joined MACHINE HEAD on the first leg of its 25th-anniversary tour for the band's classic debut, "Burn My Eyes", which kicked off in Germany on October 5 in Freiburg, and will continue across Europe, wrapping in Dublin, Ireland on November 8.
"We were doing auditions for a while, and Vogg's audition just fucking blew my mind — it was so fucking tight and fucking accurate," Flynn stated about how the guitarist ended up landing the gig (see video below). "He sent over [a recording of] 'Imperium' as his first song just as a test. We always had all the dudes do a sound test, just to make sure the levels are good and stuff. I was, like, 'Oh my God! This dude is playing 'Imperium' better than I can right now.' [Laughs] It was crazy. And we ended up talking. Super-nice guy. Matt, same thing. We flew him out, jammed with him, and he killed it."
Each show on MACHINE HEAD's current tour was described in a press release as "a three-hour musical extravaganza," comprised of two parts: part one features a battery of MACHINE HEAD's modern classics, such as "Imperium", "Halo" and "Now We Die", featuring Flynn and bassist Jared MacEachern performing alongside Kiełtyka and Alston. Part two features "Burn My Eyes" played in its entirety for the first time ever, with original drummer Chris Kontos and guitarist Logan Mader joining in.
Asked how all the musicians are getting along and whether they are traveling together, Flynn told HEAVY1: "We're all in the band together — we all live together. The band's all on the bus — all six of us. And it's a great ride, man. Everybody is very respectful; everybody knows their role and just kind of doing it here and enjoying it. Everybody is out here having a blast. It's so nice to have people who are in a positive frame of mind, 'cause it wasn't like that in the past. And now it is, and it's fucking awesome."
Flynn also confirmed that MACHINE HEAD will continue to make fresh material available for its fans following the arrival of "Do Or Die" last month.
"We're gonna be releasing new music, for sure," he said. "We just dropped a new song, 'Do Or Die', and it's killing it. So, we're gonna continue to drop standalone singles and then probably an album at some point.'
Robb said that he wasn't sure if all the standalone singles will eventually be included on a full-length album. "I don't know," he said. "I don't wanna wait three years to put out a record, like we always do. We kind of got into this pattern of three to four years between every album, and I don't like it. It's just too long. We sit on songs for two years sometimes before the world hears them, and I think the world's changed. I love that you can just drop a fucking song… We didn't even announce 'Do Or Die' — we just fucking put it out. I love that — I love that you can just drop a song now on an unsuspecting world and fucking blow people away. It's awesome. And surprise people."
Asked if he embraces music-streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, Flynn said: "Fuck yeah! I love that shit. I'm all Spotify. [Laughs] I'll never buy another CD again. I can say that — I'll never buy another physical product again. I've got all my music on my phone. And for the people that do want that stuff, we still cater to that. As a guy who grew up on vinyl, I know what awesome vinyl is, and as a collector, I can appreciate the aspects of that. So we go out of our way and spend way too much money to make these crazy elaborate CD packages. 'Catharsis' was a 24-page CD package — the booklet. It was crazy. The box sets, the vinyl — all that stuff. For the people that want that, we will give that. For me personally, I love having everything on Spotify. I travel. My life is transitory. I'm never in the same place. Having everything on my phone is the greatest thing for me."
Kontos left MACHINE HEAD before the release of the band's second album, 1997's "The More Things Change", and was replaced by Dave 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, Phil Demmel.
McClain and Demmel both left MACHINE HEAD in October 2018.
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