MACHINE HEAD Frontman Robb Flynn - "Thank You For Asking About My Balls..."

June 29, 2013, a year ago

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MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn recently spoke with Linda Leseman at LA Weekly. An excerpt from their discussion is available below:
Leseman: I saw you open for DETHKLOK in New York last year, and shortly before, you had surgery. Then the day of the show, you got hit by a taxi, right where the surgery had been. You've been rather open about what kind of surgery this was, so I feel like I can ask: how are your balls doing? Flynn: "Thank you for asking about my balls. I appreciate that. My balls are doing great. I had my guts in my nuts. The surgery was for a double hernia. One of the hernias was above my waistline. The other one, actually, my intestines were dropping down into my nut sack. I had that one for three months. It wasn't actually that bad, it just looked really gross. It looked basically like I had a third nut. But, you know, you just push it back in, and it just goes back in and stays in. But somewhere along the Dethklok tour, it just started getting kind of bad. I'd get offstage after shows, and I'd try to push it back in, and it wouldn't go in. I was like, "Uh, I don't know if this is good. I don't know how much longer I can last." I forget what show it was, but one of the shows, I got offstage, and I laid down in the dressing room for about an hour, and I was just trying to push this gigantic third nut back into my guts, and it just wouldn't go in, and at that point I couldn't walk...I was like, this is it. I can't even fuckin' stand here. I gotta get this surgery. We jumped off the tour for ten days, and then we resumed the tour. The first three shows back were rough. I kept telling myself, "Go up there and take it easy. No headbanging. You just had surgery." I got up there, and I had my brown eye (a.k.a. vodka and Coke), and I was just like, "Fuck it! I don't care how much it hurts! I'll take painkillers later!" Go to this location for the complete interview. Machine Head recently introduced Jared MacEachern as their new bass player. Jared has already begun rehearsals for the upcoming Rockstar Mayhem US summer festival tour and will soon relocate from North Carolina to Northern California to begin pre-production for Machine Head's upcoming 8th studio release. Some fans might remember MacEachern from 2007's The Black Tyranny Tour, playing with his previous band SANCTITY. Machine Head, challenged to find a fill-in bass player for the North American tour after an injury sidelined their then-4-stringer, also found themselves in need of someone to sing harmony with singer/guitarist Robb Flynn.
Flynn remembers, "We had locked in Brandon Sigmund of local boys HOSTILITY to play bass on that tour, but we soon realized we'd need someone to hit the high harmonies. Our A&R guy Monte Conner recommended Jared since he was already on the tour, and that ended up being a great call. Jared flew out a few days before the tour and rehearsed with us and did great. What was most impressive about the whole thing was that he was doing double duty - opening for Machine Head with his band at the time Sanctity, and then later singing with us. He would stay sober until after our set, and often get in the van and drive all night. His seriousness and dedication was awesome to see and it stuck with us". Earlier this year, Machine Head conducted an extensive search for candidates through various channels, the most fruitful of which proved to be video submissions. Sifting through more than 400 videos, the band personally reviewed and evaluated everyone's performances, including MacEachern, who made the short list without a second thought.
Lead guitarist Phil Demmel recalls, "There were dozens of amazing players, and it was interesting to watch each one take on our tunes. One of our biggest criteria for this gig was to be able to sing the high harmonies. That was our litmus test. And Jared passed with flying colors." After reviewing all of the submissions, the band narrowed down the 400+ candidates to a short list of seven, each of whom took a trip to Oakland to perform a handful of songs in person and spend the day hanging with the band. Remembers Drummer Dave McClain, "Jared came in to the audition and just killed it! Besides being able to nail the bass and vocal harmonies, he also had the vibe and personality to make it feel like we were a BAND again. It was a great feeling and we all knew he was the guy." MacEachern first picked up concert bass at 12 and around the same time, discovered metal. Jared recalls, "I heard the song 'Unforgiven' and really liked it. The next day my friend gave me Kill 'Em All and it was over. I became completely enamored with all the metal bands of that time; METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and PANTERA, but when it came to bass, it was all about Cliff Burton, he was, and is my dude." With a brief stint at the Brevard School for Music Performance, Jared has consistently played bass for the past 22 years, most notably in Sanctity, where oddly enough, the band needed a guitar player. "That was purely out of necessity" he explains, "I'd been a bass player, but that gig opened up and I gave it a shot on the 6-stringer." After extensive global touring with Sanctity and the birth of his daughter in 2007, the band's release from their label ignited Jared's sense of responsibility and he quit the band to focus on her. But music stayed a part of his life and he continued to jam locally throughout the south with death metal bands FROM A DIG and TELIC, until he saw Machine Head were in need and thought he'd try out. Frontman Robb Flynn reflects, "We really wanted a guy that was hungry for this, someone who could live and breathe this with us. Dave would joke around that we didn't want to get someone too green that'd be like 'oh my god, is this a dressing room?!', but we also didn't want someone who was too jaded by the whole thing and 'been there done that'. We thought the perfect guy would be someone who'd paid some dues, who had done 9 or 10 crummy van tours, and wasn't broken by that, but inspired to keep going and play music, and in many ways that was Jared. I mean hell, the guy's only rode in a bus for two nights, one of which was with us! It brings a really cool level of appreciation to the table, and it shows where his heart's at." Jared enthuses, "I'm ready to get to work! This tour is going to kick ass and the new tunes are heavy as shit! I'm SO looking forward to making good music with good dudes!" Audition videos: Machine Head and bassist Adam Duce parted ways with the group earlier this year. According to a brief band statement, "the split is amicable, and Machine Head would like to wish Adam the best with his current and future endeavours. The band will continue on for the time being as a three-piece and have begun the writing process for their follow-up to 2011's Unto The Locust. A late 2013 release is projected." Both MASTODON and Machine Head are taking part in this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which runs June 29th to August 4th and is headlined by ROB ZOMBIE. However, the two bands will team up for an off-date show July 25th in Cleveland, OH at The House Of Blues.
The complete Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival routing is as follows: June 29 - San Bernardino, CA - San Manuel Amphitheater 30 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre July 2 - Boise, ID - Idaho Center Amphitheatre 3 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheater 5 - Phoenix, AZ - Desert Sky Pavilion 6 - Albuquerque, NM - Isleta Amphitheatre 7 - Denver, CO - Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre 10 - Toronto, ON - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre 12 - Burgettstown, PA - First Niagara Pavilion 13 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain 14 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake PAC 16 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center 17 - Bangor, ME - Bangor Waterfront 19 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center 20 - Saratoga Springs, NY - SPAC 21 - Hartford, CT - The Comcast Theatre 23 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center 24 - Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live 26 - Noblesville, IN - Klipsch Music Center 27 - Tinley Park, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre 28 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre 30 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood 31 - Tampa, FL - Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds August 2 - Austin, TX - Austin360 Amphitheater 3 - The Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion 4 - Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Pavilion
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