Machine Head on first-ever DVD and more
Machine Head's DVD ‘Elegies’ streets today [10 October]; their first-ever DVD release focuses around (and contains the entirety of) the band's performance at London's Brixton Academy, filmed on 05 December 2004. In addition, the disc features three behind-the-scenes vignettes, focusing on the making of the band's latest album ‘Through The Ashes of Empires’, life on the road with the band, and an up-close and personal look at the greatest horde of lunatics in the world - Machine Head fans.
Viewers have the choice of watching the vignettes interstitially (injected into the concert footage) or on their own. On top of that, three music videos - ‘Imperium’, ‘Days Turn Blue To Gray’ (both uncensored and uncut) and ‘The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears’ - are also included, each accompanied by its own behind-the-scenes ‘Making of The Album’ documentary.
All of the aforementioned behind-the-scenes and documentary material has been recompiled and re-edited from over 300 hours of footage amassed by the band since writing for ‘Through The Ashes of Empires’ began in 2003, providing a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of Heavy Metal's most ferocious empire. There are clips of the band recording ‘Season’s Wither’ [their most recent studio track], the band’s ‘record release party’ in San Francisco and the mayhem of their ‘Machine Head Karaoke’ contest…
We got together with Machine Head’s mainman Robb Flynn to discus the DVD as well as the ‘captaincy’ of a team for the Roadrunner’s 25th Anniversary album, ‘The All-Star Sessions’ by Roadrunner United. [Our review will appear later in the week.]
How much were you involved in making of the DVD?
“Very much so and I have to say that the show we played at Brixton Academy was awesome. We have a lot of documentary material and it is not only about this album but right after the ‘Supercharger’, like the 9/11, how we didn’t have a deal for two years, what we were up to… There are a lot of interview and reminiscing about the time.”
“‘Through The Ashes of Empires’ was a very important record and I feel it was very much appreciated around the world. That record pretty much gave us the second chance; perhaps not in the UK as much but certainly everywhere else, in America in particular.”
That’s good to hear because there are to many stories and accusations that today’s kids are apolitical?
“Well, some are and some aren’t. I don’t think you can generalize like that and some are really clued in. When you talk to the kids after shows some are really into what’s going on and some are not. A lot of kids come to us and discuss what they are concerned about… You know, I think that the level of awareness is increasing and people are getting more into everything that’s going on in the world.”
“The result could be that the world has become a much smaller place with all the communications, the Internet and everything. I don’t think you can escape from having to face the real issues in the world anymore.”
You sort of did by leading different teams in recording four songs for ‘The All-Star Sessions’?
“Yeah and it was an honour; I turned it down a couple of times but got roped into and I did enjoy it. The concept is that each Captain gets his own band of Roadrunner musicians and records a song. Without actually crossing over and I got four teams to play with, with vocalists like Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Corey Taylor (Slipknot) and Tim Williams (Vision Of Disorder).”
“I wrote songs and then got people to work on it. I wrote the songs in couple of weeks, then get musicians to play and finally get vocalists to sing. All the singers, apart from Howard, did recordings in their own towns. It really was something special in the end.”
Unfortunately it would never be possible to have it presented live, with such a huge cast of musicians involved?
“Probably not but there may be a possibility of doing something together if some of the singers are touring at the same time.”
On your own front, are you working on a new batch of Machine Head songs?
“Yeah, we are and getting the ideas together. We are planning to go into studio in March and have a new record out by July. It is too early to talk about which way the music could be heading but I don’t think it is going to be too different from ‘Ashes’ but probably a little bit more complex. In meantime we’ll have some downtime and the only place you could see us playing live is the DVD.”
You are renown for ferociously intense live shows that you counterbalance by spending time in wilderness during downtime; when was the last time you were out in the nature?
“Just before coming out on this promotional tour [to Europe]. I really go for wilderness, no camps, without showers, nature and animals… It is great, peaceful and quiet, it is far from the world we all occupy daily. It really lets me recover and re-evaluate everything.”