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Machine Head’s Robb Flynn expresses his distaste for playing festivals; only wants to play solo shows

Posted by on December 18, 2017

In the past couple years, Machine Head has been going out on the road by themselves with no openers, no local acts, no one. Fortunately for the band, the tours have been successful and decided to do it again for the Catharsis tour cycle. In a recent chat with Jamey Jasta on The Jasta Show, the frontman talks about how he is over playing festivals and wants Machine Head to continue touring alone.

“When Bruce Springsteen comes to town, does he bring five opening bands? No. When Paul McCartney comes to town, is he bringing-‘hey I’m bringing Peter Collins from the old UK pop band!’ Metal has gotten into this thing where, I gotta have this or…think about all the big bands. They roll solo . We just started doing it and we loved it man. We didn’t know if it was going to work, we had no idea if it was going to work. Tons of people tried to talk [us out of it]-‘this is what hippy bands do, this is what jam bands do, this is never going to work, your fans are going to hate it’ and we had just reached a point where we just needed to change up what we were doing.

We were doing all the festivals-all in Europe, all in America. We took a long hard look at what we had been doing and we asked ourselves, ‘okay, this is what we’ve been doing, but is this working for us?’ Just because we’ve been doing this, doesn’t mean it’s working, it’s just what we’ve been doing. We weren’t drawing more people. In fact, we were actually drawing less people in some places. We were not selling anymore records. I mean merch sales…I remember back in the day, like a good fucking festival play could be a game changer for your band. You could sell a shitton of merch, bring more people, sell records and maybe that’s possible, you know? I’m not trying to shit on festivals. If people want to go to festivals, people love festivals, people love doing them but I don’t think that game changer moment for our band can happen.”

When talking about the success of the tour and his festival experience:

“It took a minute for that to happen, but it absolutely happened and it continues to happen. We are drawing more and it was a huge success for the band. Fans loved it. Fans were sick of us playing at festivals…I’ll tell you what, it was a bit of a learning curve. We’ve always had these mellow moments that we never played. When you’re at a festival, it’s all about, for me, hits and fucking bangers, you know? You’re just trying to get as many people going crazy for whatever-45-50 minutes. You’re not going to play anything mellow, you’re not going to play anything to bring down the vibe and you’re playing out in fucking goddamn parking lot and it’s pouring fucking rain and everybody is standing in the fucking mud with their goddamn rain parkas on, it’s fucking freezing, you know? I was over it man. I was completely over it. I was looking out at people and fucking hating every minute of it. Just hating standing on stage, hating getting rained on for the entire fucking time. Hating on playing in 45 degree fucking weather, just being like, I didn’t sign up for this shit. When did metal become this?”

Flynn does have a point. There are fans who would much rather see a band on their own headlining tour because, they get to play more songs from their catalogue, including ones that haven’t surfaced in a while. After seeing the success Machine Head is having with solo tours, maybe other bands will follow suit?

The rest  is pretty entertaining and informative. Check it out below:

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