ROBB FLYNN On MACHINE HEAD's New Live Show: 'It's The Biggest Production We've Ever Had In Our 30-Year Career'

August 31, 2022

In a new interview with Australia's Metal-Roos, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn spoke about what the group's setlist might look like when he and his bandmates hit the road in support of their new tenth album, "Of Kingdom And Crown". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Right now we're gonna do a [European] co-headline tour with AMON AMARTH starting in about two weeks. We're both playing, I think, 60 or 70 minutes a night, so I don't feel like we're going to really hammer people with a whole [lot of the] new album. First tour back after the pandemic, it's, like, people wanna hear 'Halo' and 'Davidian' and 'Locust' and [other MACHINE HEAD] hits. And so I think we'll give 'em a taste of the new album, but I think it's still gonna be a lot of MACHINE HEAD classics."

Flynn elaborated on the challenge of putting together a suitable setlist, saying: "We just did a secret show at [the U.K.'s] Bloodstock [Open Air festival], and we had an hour. It was amazing; it was absolute bonkers insanity. We played a six-thousand-capacity tent. It was a secret show, announced. They just raised the banner right before we went up. Ten thousand people crammed into a six-thousand-capacity tent. It was bedlam. But we played 10 songs, and we went over. So I was thinking, I was, like, 'We can do about 10 songs.' And God forbid we throw in a 'Slaughter The Martyr' or a 'Clenching The Fists Of Dissent'; that's half our set right there. We've got 10-minute-long songs. We've got 10 albums now. I still don't know what to do. Do we do one song off of every album? We've gotta do probably at least two off 'The Blackening'. [Laughs] I don't know how to do it."

He continued: "My hope is that once we get into a routine with the show — we have a lot of pyro; we've got a huge production; we've got video walls; it's the biggest production we've ever had in our 30-year career, and it looks amazing. So we do have pyro cues, and we've gotta stick with that because we already spent the money on the pyro. So there will be set songs that will never change. But my hope is that we're gonna have maybe two wildcard slots where we can rotate in an old song from the catalog or maybe a new song. I'd love to have a section where we do a cover. I'd love to do a collab with AMON AMARTH. I know they covered 'Aerials' by SYSTEM OF A DOWN, and Jared [MacEachern, MACHINE HEAD bassist] and I have covered 'Aerials', and it would be cool to do the two bands playing 'Aerials'. Get Johan [Hegg, AMON AMARTH singer] up there and Olli [AMON AMARTH guitarist Olavi Mikkonen], or whoever, and do a jam about it. To me, that would be super fun and I think very cool for the fans."

"Of Kingdom And Crown" was released on August 26 via Nuclear Blast/Imperium Recordings. The follow-up to 2018's "Catharsis", "Of Kingdom And Crown" includes the three songs that were featured on last year's "Arrows In Words From The Sky" single: "Become The Firestorm", "Rotten" and "Arrows In Words From The Sky". Much of the new MACHINE HEAD album was recorded at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with engineer/producer Zack Ohren.

In November 2020, MACHINE HEAD released a single, "My Hands Are Empty", via Nuclear Blast. The song marked the first musical collaboration between Flynn and original "Burn My Eyes" guitarist Logan Mader in 24 years.

"My Hands Are Empty" was just one in a line of singles to be released by MACHINE HEAD, which issued "Do Or Die" in October 2019, "Circle The Drain" in February 2020, and the two-song digital single "Civil Unrest", consisting of "Stop The Bleeding" and "Bulletproof", in June 2020. "Stop The Bleeding" featured guest vocals from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE frontman Jesse Leach, and was written and recorded just days after the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.

MACHINE HEAD's European tour with AMON AMARTH, "Vikings And Lionhearts", will take place in September and October. Support on the trek will come from THE HALO EFFECT, the new band featuring five former members of IN FLAMES: Peter Iwers, Daniel Svensson, Jesper Strömblad, Niclas Engelin and Mikael Stanne.

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