Open Letter to Robb Flynn: This is What I Want From New Machine Head Music
Earlier this morning I was browsing The PRP and read an excerpt from another of your [always entertaining] online journals in which you lambasted the current country music scene for essentially being a propaganda machine for war-mongering and Jesus. It’s a fun read, it’s spot-on, and other MetalSucks readers should definitely read it.
But then I clicked over to the full journal entry from which that excerpt came and read the whole thing, and I feel way more compelled to write about the part in which you talk about what the next Machine Head record could sound like. Specifically: what do we fans want from new Machine Head music?
Before ‘The Blackening’ was written, I went and asked the fans on our message board what they would like to hear out of the new Machine Head album. I got some great feedback. Some of which we took to heart, but ultimately we had to follow our own hearts and go where it led us, but I still enjoyed hearing it
So I’m here asking you;
What do YOU want out of the new Machine Head record?
How do you want it to sound?
And while I’m at it, what kind of Special Edition items would you like to see?
Digipaks have been pretty standard by now, and our new record label Nuclear Blast offers an array of AMAZING limited special edition items for their bands.
Have you seen / collected any really cool ones lately?
What haven’t you seen that you’d maybe like to?
Well, Robb, I’m a Machine Head fan, and since you asked, here’s what I’d love to see.
Above all, take a risk. Do not write just “another Machine Head” album with a bunch of songs written in the style of Machine Head. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to go all blackened/crusty/death/underground/Entombedcore/whatever and become a different band, or to invite Skrillex to co-write with you — absolutely still make it sound and feel like Machine Head. But you know that scene in Some Kind of Monster where Lars Ulrich complains that the new music Metallica is working on is “stock”? Dude’s easy to make fun of, but he had a point there. Don’t write “stock” Machine Head songs. Take a chance, push some boundaries, give us something we haven’t heard before. Make a bold artistic statement: “This is still Machine Head, but it is the next evolution of Machine Head.” I know you can do this, Robb, because you already did it once with The Blackening, and that’s why that album is so well regarded, still, to this day, amongst MH fans and the metal community at large. It caught us all by surprise because it pushed boundaries and it expanded what the band was capable of doing. Unto the Locust, another fine album indeed, extrapolated upon the template laid out by The Blackening and took it to its logical end, so now it’s time to rock the boat again. Innovate! Don’t be complacent.
As for special editions, I honestly give zero fucks… I’m completely over physical product (something you yourself have admitted to in your previous general entries). I get that many fans still value physical product and collectors items, and I totally 100% support this way of doing business. It’s great for bands and you’d be silly not to make these options available. But for me, since you asked, I don’t give a shit. It’s just clutter on a shelf that’s going to sit there while I listen to the MP3 version of the record. Just make the music fucking awesome and that’s enough for me, I’ll lay down cash for it, no problem. I would definitely advise you to release a vinyl edition of the record on street date, as I know it will sell well. Make it limited edition and in different colors and blah blah blah and you’ll clean up with it.
So, there ya go. Happy to offer my opinion.
Vince Neilstein, Machine Head Fan