Machine Head’s Robb Flynn: “I’m 99% Certain I Had the Coronavirus”
While Machine Head were celebrating the 25th anniversary of Burn My Eyes on the road in North America earlier this year, the coronavirus was flaring up in China and beginning to make inroads into Europe. While the infection allegedly hadn’t yet spread to America at that point, new research shows that it had already been here for some time undetected, especially in global hubs like New York City.
It’s at Machine Head’s NYC show in early February that frontman Robb Flynn believes he and some other members of the band and crew became infected, resulting in an absolutely brutal sickness that forced a handful of mid-tour show cancelations. The symptoms he experienced — fever, sore throat, a chest infection, a terrible cough — were consistent with COVID-19, although a doctor he saw at the time diagnosed him with pneumonia and strep throat. Hindsight, of course, is 20/20, and we now know what Flynn was likely fighting.
Flynn came on a recent episode of The MetalSucks Quarantinecast to describe the ordeal in detail and the high likelihood he had the coronavirus before most medical professionals in the U.S. were on the lookout for it:
“I’m pretty certain, I’m 99% certain I had the coronavirus on the last U.S. tour that we did. We went through and we played the New York show [on February 1] and right after that, four days after that, literally every single person in the band and the crew came down with the most devastating fuckin’ sickness. It was brutal.
“We had to cancel, we cancelled Detroit and we cancelled Minneapolis. I managed to get through Chicago because it was a sold out show, it was a big pay day, it was one of the anchors of the tour and if we lost that show we would have just had financial ruin so I somehow managed to get through that. It was basically like an out-of-body experience… I don’t even remember playing the show. I slept for 17 hours and I was still bed ridden, I couldn’t get out of the bunk. Logan, my guitar player, who you’ve probably seen pictures of, the dude is shredded, he’s in the best shape of any human being I know, and he’s like, ‘Dude, this is the sickest I’ve been in ten fuckin’ years.’
“We went to urgent care right before the Detroit show because I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to try and get through it. I never want to cancel a show, I hate canceling shows and I certainly hate cancelling shows cause my throat is gone or I’ve got a chest infection and I can’t stop coughing, which happens sometimes, not all the time. But we went there like, ‘Hey, any medicine you can give me?’ This was in the fucking ghetto, they had a security gate just to get in. And they tested us out and they gave us a ‘coronavirus test’ and they got the results back in like ten minutes. And they’re like, ‘Ah, you don’t have it.’ This is [the middle of] February, people are still wrapping their heads around the coronavirus thing, it hadn’t even been declared a pandemic at that point and so we don’t think that we were tested [properly] but we’re certain that we all got it.
“Then our tour manager who was devastatingly sick at the same time as us, he went home and he got diagnosed with the coronavirus when he got to the U.K. Flew home, which is crazy, no mask, no gloves, he could have infected people, nobody fuckin’ knows, there were no tests [yet]. He [confirmed he] had it so we all think that we had it.”
Flynn went on to discuss the nightmare experience he had getting tested once he got home to his native Bay Area and how he lost his aunt to the coronavirus.
Later in the chat, Flynn sounded off on the federal government’s bungled response to the pandemic, especially with regards to rewarding rich people and companies before taking care of regular folks. You can read about the latter here.
Stream the full chat with Robb below!