It was my first time being able to see Machine Head. I can fucking tell you it will not be the last. While I haven’t been able to attend the shows, I’ve been a longstanding fan for 20+ years. Any time Machine Head comes to town, it’s worth every cent to get VIP. Just to be in the company of this kind of awesome is extraordinary. These guys are fucking amazing. Their message, beliefs as a band, music, and overall persona’s make them who they are and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Robb spoke on a few things that really touched on the music community and it really spoke to us.
“We never had our songs played on the radio and we aren’t the biggest band in the world. That’s not what we want. Maybe to be the greatest….but not the biggest. *laughs* Because when you become the biggest band…you end up dumbing yourself down and that’s not what we’re about.“
I wrote another blog called “Metal Cares” in reference to Robb speaking about the movie Selma, Phil Labonte, and metal music in general. It just seems metal these days is a watered down version of passive aggressive bullshit that lacks the narrative passion of what used to fuel metal back in the day. Metal used to stand for something. People were going through all kinds of social mayhem, tipping the scales of newly found freedoms, wars, social injustices, stereotypical mindsets, government evils, and worldly changes. Now it seems a lackluster misrepresentation of decent talent and lyrical know-how. Machine Head still stands for what metal should STILL be. People threatened to not go to his show because they didn’t want to pay money to support his ideals. “Fans” thought they were being alienated because he was addressing racism and the very fact that it does exist, STILL. Well you know what, fuck you “FANS” that feel that way. That’s what metal was born on. NOT GIVING A FUCK what other people thought and singing and standing for something that singer believes in. They aren’t singing for you necessarily. They write and sing for themselves. It’s almost selfish to some degree. As put by Carnivore’s drummer Lou Beato in an interview I had with him. Good for you Robb. Continue to stand for something. The true fans will always be there with you.
“Apparently metal musicians aren’t supposed to have opinions on the issues of the day, we’re just supposed to “rock and party bro”. And while we still do that with the best of ‘em, all of my favorite bands had some kind of moral consciousness. From Black Sabbath’s anti-Vietnam war screed “War Pigs”, to Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes” and “One”, to System Of A Down’s “Sad Statue” or “BYOB”, to Bob Dylan’s “Masters Of War”, to Springsteen’s’”Born In The USA”, and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
If you think about it, musicians and artists are probably more affected by the world than most, hence our ability to channel things and feelings into music and art.” -ROBB FLYNN (Machine Head)
Guys who have been doing this for most of their lives are not in it for the glory, the money (because there is none), or to become “the biggest band”. They do it, like most will state, because they fucking need it. It’s their therapy and to be able to deliver their music, their words, their passion….it’s OUR therapy. The fans. WE NEED it. Robb touched on that during the show.
“Because you need it. We need it. That’s why we still do this. Because we all need it. Sometimes we come to these shows because we need to forget and sometimes we need to remember.” -Robb Flynn
After all these years and 8 albums later, they still haven’t become “sellouts”. But remain firm in believing that staying firm on their message will see them through. This is what’s so great about the metal community. Especially in Seattle. We’re one of the most “activist” states in the country. So we wholeheartedly support this kind of message. We know when people are full of shit (for the most part ;)) So when a local venue like Neumos has a sold out crowd to hear that band deliver those kinds of messages, shit is real. You could feel the energy in the room. The support…as Machine Head delivered a powerhouse performance and in between, Robb would grant us some pearls of wisdom while he strummed a note or two on his acoustic. He regaled us with his love and passion for the Seattle music scene and how the 90’s really influenced him. Soundgarden, The Accused, Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Queensryche. Yeah we’re pretty fucking lucky here.
So the night progressed, the pits were rowdy, and we even had a banana man crowd surfing and moshing. VIP was extraordinary. We got some awesome merch, got our shit signed, took pics with the hot and talented band, and then got our faces rocked off. Security was pretty awesome too. Giving us water, spraying us with water as we were headbanging, Skittles were involved…(because it’s Seattle) lol. I even landed a guitar pick, Dave McClain’s drum stick, and a night of memorable events with my metal community I’m so honored to be apart of. The band even did a tribute to Dimebag, which made me cry….
Thanks to the staff at Neumos for being awesome, thanks to the Seattle metal community, and thanks to Machine Fucking Head.
Until next time guys…don’t wait so long to come back.
Be sure to pick up Machine Head’s new album Bloodstone and Diamonds:
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Photography by Immortal Affliction Photography: