Machine Head Frontman on Returning to Normal Life: “Don’t Think 3 Months Ahead, Think 3 Years Ahead”
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn has always been fearless about sharing his opinions on social and political issues even if they’re unpopular. So while we haven’t seen very many metal musicians speak up to the reality that the music business isn’t going to return to normal any time soon — experts predict concerts won’t come back in earnest until fall 2021 at the earliest, and that reality is very tough to confront when your livelihood depends on it — it’s no surprise that Flynn is one of the few who has accepted reality… or at least one of the few who’s willing to openly talk about that reality.
In a new update posted to his General Journals email newsletter, the frontman cites the very same health experts we did and comes to the conclusion that the music landscape is going to change dramatically in the coming months and years. Many folks in the industry, he predicts, will find new careers. Citing the Spanish flu of the early 20th century, Flynn predicts an even longer time before a return to true normalcy than many expect; “normal” life resumed two years AFTER that pandemic ENDED, he says.
He also has some choice words for the billionaire class in America, a handful of men hoarding wealth at the expense of quality of life of the millions of regular folk.
Here’s his message in full:
“‘Public health expert Zeke Emanuel made headlines after claiming fall 2021 would be the earliest we could expect concerts to come back. “Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emanuel claimed. “I think those things will be the last to return.’
“‘California governor Gavin Newsom has added to the prediction that concerts are unlikely to return until 2021. During a press conference, Newsom said mass gatherings would be “negligible at best until the population has herd immunity and a vaccine is widely available. Large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of strangers, all together across every conceivable difference, health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and current expectations.’ [via Blabbermouth]
“They’re right, you know…
“I’ve been talking about this on my podcast for almost 6 weeks, that Ezekiel Emanuel guy knows his shit.
“Not guided by politics or partisan bullshit, just science and facts. Oh right, science has been demonized, we should believe in god and evangelicals and billionaires because they’ve always had “our best interests” at heart…
“What’s that famous line, ‘Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.’
“Guys like Zeke and Fauci have been sounding the alarm for a long time now… This pandemic, like nearly all pandemics, will last 18 to 24 months. It’s going to come in waves. We’re gonna be hunkered down for a while, then we’re going to be able to lighten up some of the restrictions. Then it’s going to kick back in and we’re gonna have to hunker down, quarantine, shelter in place, social distance. Only to then will free things up, again at least to some degree, and then a third wave will probably come… and by then we will have the routine down so it will likely be under control, with the vaccine that’s wildly available to the general public.
“And not just NBA players and celebrities
“It’s a tough pill to swallow
“Just like the great article that Randy Blythe posted about the gigantic media advertising blitz we’re all about to be subjected to, that’s going to take us a “back to normal” https://forge.medium.com/prepare-for-the-ultimate-gaslighting
“Things will never truly be back to normal.
“In fact we’re going to have a whole new normal.
“Remember flights pre 9-11? If you do, they were pretty goddamned relaxed. It’s been anything but relaxed ever since. That will never change.
“’And oh the times they are a changin’…’
“But as far as the music business goes? Concerts will be the last thing that are allowed to happen. The large public gatherings that we’ve grown accustomed to? These things will never be the same.
“And like what happened during the Spanish flu of 1918, even when it ends, people are not going to be ready to go back to normal anyway.
“Did you see the post on my Instagram, about the survivor of the Spanish flu? It states quite clearly, that it took another two years AFTER the Spanish Flu ended, for people to feel OK with going out again. Being sheltered in place for so long, the fear of spreading it, wondering if it was truly over, the unemployment, the financial hardships… it had an effect on peoples collective psyche.
“Think about that.
“If that’s anything to go by, it’s going to be about four years before we truly get back to “normal”, (whatever that is?). But like a Mike Tyson left hook the truths keep coming. People you know will die. Jobs you lost will not come back. Businesses like restaurants and bars and breweries will close permanently, and even if they re-open, they will have to cut capacities by 50% due to social distancing restrictions. As you may know, most of these places were already just skimming by with the margins they had.
“Rock Clubs and Venues will have to cut down capacities by at least half.
“The healthcare that came along with that job you lost, won’t return.
“We’re kinda in a honeymoon phase (for lack of a better word) right now. The loss of income, the loss of routine, the loss of many things we just took for granted… it all seems surreal right? A bad dream. A haze we’re gonna snap out of any minute.
“The glaring income inequality this country has fostered has been highlighted by the harshest of bright lights.
“The everything-for-profit-system the powers-that-be have established does not work.
“And all in a country were 3 men own more wealth than the bottom half of the entire country.
“That’s right, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett have a combined total wealth of $330 billion. More than the bottom half of the United States of America combined.
“We’re pissed off at motherfuckers hoarding toilet paper, wait til you find out the Walton family who owns Walmart, own more than 42% of the bottom half of America
“Ain’t that some shit?
“And here we are fighting each other for the crumbs
“The Billionaire class wants to keep us poor, keep us divided, remember that.
“Metal fans will be the most resilient of all the fan bases. I have zero question that they will be the first to return, determined to go back to shows, maybe to a fault (LOL), and for that I’m unbelievably grateful.
“Pop and hip-hop audience often spend a lot more at shows than metal folks, insane amounts of money for “highroller seats”, but with very little dedication to the artist/act.
“Sadly, we metal fans will also likely be most affected by this pandemic, as we are the one audience that is often struggling to live paycheck to paycheck.
“It’s hard to accept the length of something like this, but the sooner that we can wrap our heads around it, the better we will likely be. This false notion that in just a few months we’re going to get “back to business,” is good for a soundbite on Facebook, but bad for making realistic plans.
“I myself have been able to keep a far more positive mindset knowing that Machine Head shows will probably not resume until summer of 2022, and that we will likely not get fully back on track until 2024, if we ever get back on track AT ALL!
“We’ve gotta plan far ahead. We’ve got to figure out other ways to pay the bills.
Thinking that far ahead, makes you look at your life in a whole different context doesn’t it?
“Let’s face it, most music industry folks (record biz, crew, promotion, etc.) will most likely change jobs entirely and do something else for the rest of their lives. This of course happens as the record business takes another hit.
Clubs, venues, promoters, a lot of life as we knew it… it’s all going to be decimated. Look at all the Euro festivals that have already been cancelled.
“Physical CD/vinyl sales have plummeted (no record stores open). Music and podcast streaming numbers have gone down by 50%, though Netflix and gaming has jumped by 35%.
“And look, I’ll say it here, I hope I’m wrong about the length of time. I would love to be wrong about this. But listening to people like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Ezekiel Emanuel…. It makes me think otherwise.
“Oh wait, that’s right we can’t listen to Fauci because he’s trying to undermine Trump. Now there’s a whole #FauciFraud, #FireFauci from all of these right-wing conspiracy nut balls.
“And you wonder why were so lost?
“And you wonder if we’ll ever get out of this mess?
“It’s gonna be a long ride friends.
“Don’t think 3 months ahead, think 3 years ahead.
“Really concentrate on that.
“What will your life be like?
“This is not all doom and gloom.
“I strongly believe that the world will be a MUCH better place when this is all over.
“This is our moment to transform.
“This is our moment to re-imagine the world, to re-imagine our lives.
“This is our moment to that the giant Reset Button up in the sky.
“Embrace the chaos.”
We are inclined to agree, Mr. Flynn, even though our livelihood also depends on the economy of the live touring industry. I certainly hope he’s wrong about the three to four year timeline he lays out, but I fear he’s right.