Machine Head mastermind Robb Flynn discussed the direct lyrical approach he took on the band’s new album “Catharsis,” explaining to Independent:
“A lot of the record for me became about trying to keep a fairly basic arrangement so that I could tell a story. It’s really hard to tell a story when you’re playing 35 riffs a mile a minute.
“I’m so sick of listening to metaphors in metal; everything’s cloaked and it just doesn’t make me feel anything; that’s the part that really bums me out.
“I really wanted to have super clear communication on this record. I grew up on a ton of rap and punk rock which was all very direct and confrontational.
“The language of rap has gone so much farther in its extremes than metal ever has and whether you love it or hate it, that language is very blunt, coarse and vulgar and that’s what I wanted to bring to this.
“We had a lot of discussions asking if we could go this far, could we say some of the things that we’re saying on this record?
“There are some really provocative lyrics and I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do but to me, it feels right.”
Robb added later during the chat:
“We’re nine albums deep now, so we had to ask ourselves, ‘How do we do something different?’ Bob Dylan once said, ‘It’s about finding new ways to say the same thing.’
“We have our sound but I always want to explore new territory, I always want to try and push what we can do or even what is considered acceptable in metal music.
“To me, music isn’t about being perfect, it’s about capturing lightning in a bottle and I feel like we’ve been really bold on this record.”
Asked on what it felt like to turn 50, Flynn replied:
“It made me look at my life in a different way in the sense that I’m not going to be here much longer. We’re not Metallica, we’re not The Beatles, we’re not the biggest fucking band that ever lived.
“When I die, we’re probably not going to be a very famous band that everybody remembers and everybody talks about. I think people now maybe more than ever think that everybody’s watching them because of social media but nobody’s paying attention.
“Nobody gives a fuck, they’re all too busy caught up in their own lives. We’re just going to do our thing and live our lives the way we feel is best and hopefully look back one day and say, ‘I had a life less ordinary.'”