The General Journals

EARTHLINGS DOC

By Robb Flynn

THE GENERAL JOURNALS: DIARLY OF A FRONTMAN… AND OTHER RAMBLINGS
———————
EARTHLINGS DOC

*WARNING: FEEL FREE TO IGNORE THIS POST*
**YOU’VE BEEN WARNED**

This movie was brutal. 

Angering, infuriating, confusing, and downright appalling. 

I’m not even sure where my head is at right now, this movie was such a head fuck.

My takeaway: humans are just plain fucking garbage.

Slipknot got it so right:  People = Shit

(One of the few song titles I go, “damn I wish came up with that!”.)

Yesterday, I posted a movie poster of a documentary that I watched the night before called “What The Health“ on my Insta page. 

Like most of my Internet posts these days, I was flooded with tons of negativity and positivity. 

I mentioned in said post that I had been eating vegan-ish for the last 10 days (half and half in my coffee, holiday pies, etc), but that isn’t really what the post/movie was about.  Tons of people were very positive about it, offering some recommendations for other movies, recipes, Insta pages, etc.  And of course, an enormous amount of people equated me eating vegan for the last 10 days with my musical output of the last "few years" sucking, LOL!   Lots of folks de-bunking the doc who had never even watched it, etc...

“Earthlings" was recommended in the comments, but I had originally heard about this a few months back from my Int. promo dude Markus who is a vegan.  Earthlings isn’t about vegan-ism though, it's more about the food industry, the fashion industry, and the science industry. 

It was fucking hard to watch at times. 

There was a scene that was particularly affecting, where they were mass slaughtering dolphins in Japan.  A few years back when Phil and I were in Australia on tour, we took a chartered group tour to go swimming with the dolphins with about 30 other folks. It was fucking amazing swimming with these friendly animals. 

Seeing these huge, majestic creatures slaughtered was a head fuck of gigantic proportions.  The puppy mills, the chinese fur factory, the way Kosher meat is made… dude… fuck...

For a little context.  Since February I’ve basically been “Paleo“. I started off doing a program called “The Whole 30“ eating entirely meat, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and fruit and veggies and most importantly… no bread, no rice, no pasta, and no sugar!

I lasted the entire 30 days, and since then I've been mostly on it, but it just get fucking boring eating like that for weeks on end.  I'd allowed myself to splurge once or twice a week with bread or cereal or pizza. 

At first, I lost quite a bit of weight.  But as I’ve tried to maintain that, I'd not been very successful.  

In fact by the end of the Catharsis recording session in Sept, I'd gotten to the heaviest weight of my adult life.  My stomach had/has gotten extremely bloated to where I can’t suck it anymore.

So 10 days ago, I went the other way.  Its not the first time I’ve gone vegan/vegan-ish. During Blackening, Burning Red, Ashes, I ate vegan-ish. I think I sent out a General Journal around my 49th birthday talking about another time I’d done it, so this is maybe my fifth time going vegan/ vegan-ish. 

I usually last about a month or two, then smell pepperoni pizza or just get fucking bored of eating that way, and fall off.   

I’ve been overweight all my life, and while I hide it fairly well, especially when I’m off tour cycle, it is quite the struggle to stay in any type of good shape at all.  I workout 3 times a week, but can’t seem to gain muscle / lose weight.  Hell, my wife gains more muscle mass than me!!!   Either that, or my joints, muscles, or ligaments get so sore I have to take break. 

Age hasn’t made this easier.  

Dave has been vegan for the last seven months, and after a brief but inspiring conversation, it made me think about it again.

I’m not expecting to be vegan by the time that I go on tour in a month, but I’m going to give it another shot, changing one aspect that I never did in the past… Which is not eat a bunch of fake processed meat (Quorn, veggie burgers, etc) and just try and have pure plant-based protein sources (nuts/seeds, tofu, etc).

At least at the moment, this movie didn’t push me one way or the other.  My brain is still recoiling from what I watched yesterday, I don’t even know what to think about it at the moment. 

I don’t have the answers. 

I don’t know if vegan is the way.

I don’t know if Paleo is the way.

I don’t know shit. 

I’m not recommending anything.

Believe me, I’m not your Vegan Warrior!  Don’t put me on a pedestal, I will surely let you down!  At the moment I feel like I’ll probably eat meat now and again… because I enjoy it… I think… fuck... I don’t fucking know!!!!

And spare me your ridiculous post about how you don’t want to read my opinions!!!. Fucking UNFOLLOW me if you don’t want to know what’s going on in my head!!!   If talking about eating vegan offends you so much break /delete my records, burn my T-shirts, stop coming to the concerts, don’t fucking listen to us again… I really don’t give a fuck.  

We’re not attached at the hip.  You don’t need to agree-with/listen/support me, and I don’t need to please you.

Watching this movie didn’t give me answers, in fact, it gave me MORE goddamn questions!!!!

I questioned making music, my streetwear line, the food I eat, the way I live, the way I treat fellow earthlings.  Fuck, I wanted to move away to a different planet last night!

The only thing I do know is that everything is changing. 

EVERYTHING!

January 1st recreational marijuana becomes legal in California for the first time.

CDs are going the way of 8-tracks tapes, and if heavy metal doesn’t get on board with streaming, heavy metal will cease to exist.  

Hip-hop and pop music, passed rock music in sales for the first time in HISTORY this year. That’s only going to continue, because those genres fans have embraced streaming. And "rock music" is considered Coldplay, Blink-182, and Mumford & Sons.  

Billionaires and corporations just got the biggest tax break in history…

And the poor just got poorer.

And I’m stuck here in the middle (bottom middle) with you.

But one thing I do know… The gun toting, drug-dealing, stripper-banging, alcoholic, bacon-turkey-eating asshole who wrote “Davidian" 25 years ago, hasn’t been around for a while now… and he just got #wokeasfuck these last two days. 

And if you don’t like it… 

Well... this is where we diverge. 

Enjoy the journey friends, it goes by quick.

EARTHLINGS DOC:  https://vimeo.com/209647801

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MACHINE HEAD ANNOUNCE WORLD TOUR FOR UPCOMING ALBUM, CATHARSIS

By Robb Flynn

Machine Head have announced a raft of EU and UK tour dates in support of their forthcoming ninth studio album, ‘Catharsis’, which is set for release via Nuclear Blast in early 2018.

Vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn tells us, “It’s been far too long since we’ve demolished venues in Europe and the UK! We have had an awesome and productive break writing our new album 'Catharsis’, but now it’s time for MACHINE HEAD to go melt some faces!! The reaction to our last 'Evening With’ tours in the EU & UK was nothing short of incredible, so once again these dates will be 'Evening With’ shows and will see us performing 2 ½ to 3 hours every night, with no opening bands.”

He continues; "We LOVED performing as an 'Evening With’ for the EU and UK Head Cases and you guys loved it as well. The freedom to do whatever the fuck we want, for as long as we want every night was liberating. This is not what everyone else is doing, and frankly, there are not a lot of bands who could even pull it off, but Machine Head CAN pull it off, and we are excited as fuck to do it again. We are carving our own path here, playing by our own rules, and as an artist, it’s the best feeling in the world! 


No festivals, period! No supporting some stupid DJ! The Head will only be 'Headlining’, so come on down and rage!!”


Full EU and UK dates rack up as follows:
Thu 22-Mar France, Rouen, Le 106
Sat 24-Mar France, Paris, Bataclan
Mon 26-Mar France, La Rochelle, La Sirene
Tue 27-Mar France, Bordeaux, Rocher de Palmer
Thu 29-Mar Spain, Santiago de Compestalla, Sala Capital
Fri 30-Mar Portugal, Lisbon, Coliseum 
Sat 31-Mar Portugal, Oporto, Colisum 


Mon 02-Apr Spain, Madrid, Riviera
Tue 03-Apr Spain, Seville, Sala Custom
Wed 04-Apr Spain, Malaga, Sala Paris 15
Fri 06-Apr Spain, Valencia, Sala Republica
Sat 07-Apr Spain, Barcelona, Razzmatazz
Sun 08-Apr France, Toulouse, Bikini
Mon 09-Apr France, Marseille, Caberet Auletoire
Wed 11-Apr Italy, Bologna, Zona Roveri 
Thu 12-Apr Italy, Rome, Orion 
Fri 13-Apr Italy, Milan, Live Club
Sun 15-Apr France, Lyon, Tansbordeur 
Mon 16-Apr Switzerland, Lausanne, Les Docks 
Tue 17-Apr Switzerland, Pratteln, Konzertfabrik Z7
Thu 19-Apr Austria, Vienna, Gasometer
Fri 20-Apr Hungary, Budapest, BNMC
Sat 21-Apr Germany, Munich, Tonhalle
Sun 22-Apr Germany, Stuttgart, Longhorn 
Tue 24-Apr France, Strasbourg, Laiterie
Wed 25-Apr Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Den Atelier
Fri 27-Apr Germany, Munster, Skaters Palace
Sat 28-Apr Germany, Cologne, Ewerk 
Sun 29-Apr Germany, Berlin, Columbiahalle 

Tue 01-May Denmark, Copenhagen, Vega
Wed 02-May Sweden, Gothenburg, Pustervik 
Thu 03-May Norway, Oslo Rockefeller 
Sat 05-May Germany, Hamburg, Grosse Freiheit
Sun 06-May Holland, Gronigen, Oosterpoort 
Mon 07-May Holland, Tilburg, 013 
Wed 09-May Germany, Hannover, Capitol
Thu 10-May Germany, Wiesbaden, Schlacthof
Fri 11-May Belgium, Brussels, AB
Sun 13-May UK, Southampton Guildhall
Mon 14-May UK, Cardiff, University
Tue 15-May UK, Bristol Academy
Thu 17-May UK, Birmingham Academy
Fri 18-May UK, London, Roundhouse
Sat 19-May UK, London, Roundhouse
Mon 21-May UK, Nottingham Rock City
Tue 22-May UK, Newcastle, Academy
Wed 23-May Scotland, Glasgow Academy
Fri 25-May UK, Manchester Academy

MACHINE HEAD will also be offering an extremely limited number of VIP Packages in 2 tiers at www.machinehead.vip.

Gold VIP Tour Package:
One (1) General Admission Ticket
Meet and Greet w/ Machine Head
Group Photo w/ Machine Head
Exclusive Meet and Greet Shirt
Machine Head Flag
Souvenir Laminate w/ Lanyard
Early Entry
and
Platinum "Soundcheck” Package:
One (1) General Admission Ticket
Soundcheck Viewing
Meet and Greet w/ Machine Head
Group Photo w/ Machine Head
Exclusive Meet and Greet Shirt
Machine Head Flag
Souvenir Laminate w/ Lanyard
Early Entry

Confirmed North American tour dates are as follows:

Thu 25-Jan Phoenix, AZ - Nile Theater
Sat 27-Jan Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
Mon 29-Jan San Antonio, TX - Aztec Theater
Tue 30-Jan Dallas, TX - Gas Moneky Live!
Wed 31-Jan Houston,TX – HOB

Fri 02-Feb Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Sat 03-Feb Pensacola, FL - Vinyl MH
Mon 05-Feb Orlando, FL - Plaza Live
Tue 06-Feb Atlanta, GA - Centerstage
Thu 08-Feb Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
Fri 09-Feb New York, NY - Playstation
Sat 10-Feb Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
Sun 11-Feb Montreal, QC - Club Soda
Tue 13-Feb Toronto, ON - Danforth MH
Wed 14-Feb Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
Thu 15-Feb Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
Fri 16-Feb Cleveland, OH - Agora
Sat 17-Feb Detroit, MI - Majestic
Tue 20-Feb Des Moines, IA - Woolys
Wed 21-Feb Madison, WI - Majestic
Thu 22-Feb Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Fri 23-Feb Chicago, IL - Concord MH
Sat 24-Feb Saint Louis, MO - Pops
Tue 27-Feb Denver, CO - Summit MH

Thu 01-Mar Las Vegas, NV - HOB
Fri 02-Mar Los Angeles, CA - Fonda
Sat 03-Mar Oakland, CA - The Fox Theater
Mon 05-Mar Portland, OR - Roseland
Tue 06-Mar Vancouver, BC - Commodore
Wed 07-Mar Seattle, WA - Showbox Market

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MACHINE HEAD announce World Tour for upcoming album “CATHARSIS”!

By Robb Flynn

It’s been far too long since we’ve demolished venues in America, we have had an awesome and productive break writing our new album “Catharsis”, but now it’s time for Machine Head to go melt some faces!!  The reaction to our last “Evening With” tours in America were nothing short of incredible, so once again these dates will be “Evening With” and will see us performing 2 ½ to 3 hours every night with no opening bands.  

We LOVED performing as an Evening With for you Head Cases, and you guys loved it as well, the freedom to do whatever the fuck we wanted for as long as we wanted every night was liberating.  It’s not what everyone else is doing, and frankly, there are not a lot of bands who could even pull it off, but Machine Head CAN pull it off, and we are excited as fuck to do it again.  We are carving our own path here, playing by our own rules, and as an artist, it’s the best feeling in the world!  

No festivals period, no 45 minute slots, no supporting some stupid DJ, no parking lots in a rain storm, The Head will only be “Headlining”, so come on down and rage!!“

MACHINE HEAD recently wrapped up recording their 9th full-length album with Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA. An official release date has yet to be confirmed, but a Jan. 2018 release is expected. More details to follow shortly.

Watch Robb talk about the tour announcement:  

https://www.youtube.com/user/machinehead/featured

MACHINE HEAD will also be offering an extremely limited number of VIP Packages in 2 tiers.

Gold VIP Tour Package:

One (1) General Admission Ticket

Meet and Greet w/ Machine Head

Group Photo w/ Machine Head

Exclusive Meet and Greet Shirt

Machine Head Flag

Souvenir Laminate w/ Lanyard

Early Entry

and

Platinum "Soundcheck” Package:

One (1) General Admission Ticket

Soundcheck Viewing

Meet and Greet w/ Machine Head

Group Photo w/ Machine Head

Exclusive Meet and Greet Shirt

Machine Head Flag

Souvenir Laminate w/ Lanyard

Early Entry

Head to the link below

www.machinehead.vip

Confirmed tour dates are as follows.

North American “Catharsis” World Tour 2018

Thu       25-Jan      Phoenix, AZ - Nile Theater

Sat        27-Jan      Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater

Mon      29-Jan       San Antonio, TX - Aztec Theater

Tue       30-Jan       Dallas, TX - Gas Moneky Live!

Wed      31-Jan       Houston,TX - HOB

Fri         02-Feb      Birmingham, AL - Saturn

Sat        03-Feb      Pensacola, FL - Vinyl MH

Mon      05-Feb       Orlando, FL - Plaza Live

Tue       06-Feb       Atlanta, GA - Centerstage

Thu       08-Feb       Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts

Fri         09-Feb       New York, NY - Playstation

Sat        10-Feb       Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club

Sun       11-Feb       Montreal, QC - Club Soda

Tue       13-Feb       Toronto, ON - Danforth MH

Wed      14-Feb       Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom

Thu       15-Feb       Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE

Fri         16-Feb      Cleveland, OH - Agora

Sat        17-Feb      Detroit, MI - Majestic

Tue       20-Feb       Des Moines, IA - Woolys

Wed      21-Feb       Madison, WI - Majestic

Thu       22-Feb       Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue

Fri         23-Feb       Chicago, IL - Concord MH

Sat        24-Feb       Saint Louis, MO - Pops

Tue       27-Feb       Denver, CO - Summit MH

Thu       01-Mar       Las Vegas, NV - HOB

Fri         02-Mar        Los Angeles, CA - Fonda

Sat        03-Mar        Oakland, CA - The Fox Theater

Mon      05-Mar         Portland, OR - Roseland

Tue       06-Mar         Vancouver, BC - Commodore

Wed      07-Mar         Seattle, WA - Showbox Market

MACHINE HEAD wrapped up the touring cycle for their first Nuclear Blast Entertainment album Bloodstone & Diamonds in March 2016 with a whopping 283 concerts on 5 different continents around the world.  Around 250 of those shows were performed as “An Evening With MACHINE HEAD” with no support bands and performances often lasting 2 ½ to 3 hours in duration, much to their fans (called "Head Cases”) delight.

Three tours of the United States (with many dates sold out in advance), three tours of The U.K. / Europe, (including multiple dates in Russia and Greece), shows in Mexico and South America, a completely sold out run of 9 Australian / New Zealand shows, sold out dates in Japan, plus their first ever plays in Taiwan and Thailand, and all without any festival performances which the band publicly announced they would stop performing at in 2014.

Bloodstone & Diamonds debuted at #21 on the U.S. Billboard charts and has gone on to sell 285,000 copies worldwide.

MACHINE HEAD’s latest track “Is There Anybody Out There?” released as a stand-alone, digital-only, non-album release became their #2 most streamed song ever on Spotify with 9 million streams in less than a year, and cracked the Top 40 on the Active Rock chart in the United States. It marks the first time for any Nuclear Blast artist to enter what is widely considered to be the “official rock chart” for the United States, and is significant considering there was no physical track sent to retail.  

The controversial video for MACHINE HEAD’S track “NOW WE DIE” can be see below.

MACHINE HEAD - NOW WE DIE  

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CHARLOTTESVILLE

By Robb Flynn

I’ve debated even writing this.

You all know how I feel.

I’ve said probably all I’ll ever need to say on the subject a year and half ago.

I’m going to tell you the conversation my wife and I had Sunday morning.

As she drank tea (me; Blue Bottle coffee) I told her about the white supremacist rally(s) held in Charlottesville, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, she had only heard bits…

She was appalled.

We discussed how people could feel that way, read our president’s pathetic “many sides” response to a domestic terrorist attack by white supremist’s, watched the horrifying videos of a white supremacist’s car barreling though counter-protesters killing one woman and injuring 34, and looked at the barreling car photo in the NY Times showing a pair of shoes on the ground (where a person used to be) while men hung upside-down in the air.

It was seriously disturbing.

She looked at me and said “ I hope you’re not planning on writing a General Journal about this…?  I don’t want to have my life threatened again, I don’t want to have out kids lives threatened again… this kind of stuff scares me”.

I sat in silence.  I let her know I had begun dabbling with one a little before she woke up.

She continued, “Berto, I was scared to go to your birthday bash, worried that some whack-o was going to bomb the place or do something crazy to you, or me, or someone else.“

"People know how you feel, do you need to add fuel to the fire?”

And she’s right.

I don’t need to add fuel to the fire.

What happened to my family as a result of the “Racism In Metal” video was fucking scary.

She’s not over it.

I’m not over it.

Hence, why I debated this.

Even a year and half later, when I go out to most big metal shows, at least one group screams “white power” at me.

I keep my head up, do my best to ignore them.

And while a healthy fear of whack-o’s comes with the territory of being married to someone famous, no one “wants that”.

Out of respect to her, I told her if I finished writing something, I would show it to her before posting asking for her blessing.

She read this and said "go for it”.

So I’m not gonna offer my opinions on the events in Charlottesville.

Instead, I’m gonna tell you a story about a journalist I used to know.

His name was Onno Cro-Mag.

He was a Dutch hardcore journalist / hardcore scene supporter /and co-owned a record company with Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret.

He passed away a few years ago, but the mark he left on me was deep.

And while the story is a little hazy to me 20 years later, I’ll do my best to honor the dead.

I first met him on our 1994 tour across the Europe.  He interviewed me a few times, we shared a mutual love of the hardcore band Cro-Mags, (that’s Onno who comes up and sings back ups on our Cro-Mags cover of “Hard Times” in the Dynamo ’95 YouTube clip).

Ya see… Onno was an ex-skinhead.  An ex-racist-skinhead.

He was extremely open about that to me during our conversations / interviews and it always caught me a little off-gaurd.  Not in a bad way… but let’s face it, how many ex-nazi’s do you know?  It’s not the first thing you expect to hear out of someone’s mouth.

He explained to me how he’d gotten caught up in some bullshit in the scene, at some point something serious happened, serious enough that it shook him out of it.

He never looked back.

At least in the handful of conversations we had, he looked back on those days with a brutal honesty and regret that was palpable.

But he wasn’t apologetic about it, he was strong about it.  He fucking owned it.  It was a life-lesson that he never let himself forget.

I gotta tell you, I’ve never met anyone quite like him.

And it’s not like because he realized the error of his ways, that all was forgiven.  No, no, no.  He faced considerable danger from his ex-partners, he faced a considerable lack of trust from people who knew the “old Onno”.

It bothered him deeply.

We could all learn a lot from Onno Cro-Mag.

We should all aspire to be so honest with our flaws.

Because we all have them.

We were/are all assholes at one (or many) points in our lives.

I’m no exception to that.

I look back on the person I was in my mid-twenties and think “who the fuck is that guy?”

And if you change, someone will always be there to shove it in your face, the asshole you have been.

Now more than ever, in today’s “gotcha” society someone is gonna try and say to you “LOOK, you were like THIS before!“

I can assure you, as soon as I post this, some dickhead will post a 22 year old photo of Kerry King and I (from when MH and Slayer toured together in 1995), arms by our sides, walking alongside Jeff Hanneman and Gary Holt (both in nazi-salute), and go “why didn’t you write a song about these guys?!” Or say, “you’re a hypocrite for saying what you said about Anselmo!”

That’s been the racist’s rallying cry for decades, “how, if you’ve ever been racist, can you decry racism?”.

Welp…

Guess what..?

That just ain’t gonna happen.

And the fact is, most people are incapable of change.

Once someones mind is made up, whether via political party, religion, whatever… it’s nigh impossible to change.

It usually takes a considerable tragedy to shake ‘em out of it, and even then…

But people can change.

I don’t care if someone was in the nazi rally Saturday, if they were disgusted by the senseless death of Heather Heyer, and said “Fuck this shit, enough… I’m out”…. we need to be tolerant enough to respect that.

A tad skeptical…?  Sure.

As I wrote this today, I read a story about an ex-white supremacist named Christian Picciolini who started an organization to help people get out of the WP movement called Life After Hate.

In a nutshell:  they are a non-profit created by former members (called “formers”) of the American violent far-right extremist movement. Their goal is to "work with individuals who wish to leave a life of hate and violence, and help organizations (community, educational, civic, government, etc.) in grappling with the causes of intolerance and racism.”

In their own words, "Life After Hate works to counter the seeds of hate we once planted.”

Because on the flip side of this fiery topic, we need be non-judgemental of the defectors of that movement.  The Onno Cro-Mags of that movement, who wish to change, who want out, but fear they won’t be accepted by anyone other than their own.

I’ll leave you with this.

Saturday my buddy Sean Doolittle (ex-Oakland A’s pitcher and current National’s pitcher) was on a tweet rampage (he along with comedian Patton Oswalt were seriously giving me hope for the entire world).

Amazingly Sean has not been silenced and regularly post provocative, thoughtful opinions on political land mines for subjects.

Kudos to him for being such a high profile sports figure, and still letting his voice be heard.

He tweeted:

“People say, ‘if we don’t give them attention, they’ll go away’.

Maybe.

But if we don’t condemn this evil, it might continue to spread.  This kind of hatred has never gone, but now it’s been normalized, they didn’t even wear hoods.

It’s on us to condemn it and drive it out.

There is only one side.

Actual nazi’s just marched on Charlotesville, we have to come together and drive this hatred & domestic terrorism from our country.

While it’s important to protect free speech, we have a patriotic obligation to condemn racism and domestic terrorism.”

- Sean Doolittle

Links:

https://www.lifeafterhate.org

https://www.exitusa.org

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/13/543259499/a-reformed-white-nationalist-speaks-out-on-charlottesville

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HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY “BURN MY EYES”!

By Robb Flynn

You read that right, 23 years ago today Machine Head’s debut album was released on an unsuspecting world and launched their career in an unprecedented matter.  While success would be slow in America, both overseas in Europe and Australia MH became an almost instant powerhouse in metal.

Combining elements of thrash metal, hard-core, and hip hop along with a notable Industrial influence, the songs on “Burn My Eyes” resonated loudly with metal fans. Most controversially was the rap influence lyrically and visually in the “Davidian" video with Robb wearing his long hair in corn-rows and the boys walking around the city of Oakland with pit bulls, re-creating their favorite rap videos. Many metal fans did not approve, but most agreed it was a breath of fresh air.

And while the boys definitely played up their street/tough guy image (occasionally to comical levels), the gritty lyrics featured on “Burn My Eyes” were reflection of a genuine tension the band was living through at the time, including gang fights, and several members dealing drugs to earn a living.

Fun facts about Burn My Eyes:

- The first song written for the album was “Death Church" inspired heavily by the album “Street Cleaner" by Godflesh

- Started in Oct 1991, Machine Head it was originally a side project while Robb was still in Vio-Lence.  But by Feb 1992 became his full-time project.

- At one point Robb was asked to be a fill-in guitarist for industrial pioneers Ministry.  Asked to provide some material, Robb asked future-drummer Chris Kontos to showcase 3 tunes he had written, “Blood For Blood", “Block” (then-called “Fuck It All”), and "Death Church” on a boombox.  However, with Chris’s hands full in both Sap, and Attitude Adjustment at the time, Robb asked Las Vegas resident Tony Costanza to join on drums.

- The first 3 shows played by Machine Head were a house party in Oakland, Las Vegas, and the ’92 Los Angeles Metalfest at Gazarri’s all featuring Tony on drums. They would mark bassist and guitarist Adam and Logan’s debut live performances.

- Chris Kontos joined in Oct. 1992 and his debut show with Machine Head was at Mayday Malone’s in Pleasant Hill, CA supporting Defiance.

- The demo that would get Machine Head signed was recorded by John “Indo” at a friends home studio with amps in the bathroom, and all distorted vocals being recorded over the house intercom.

- Then-Metal Maniacs journalist, (and current blabbermouth impresario) Borivoj Krgin, was pivotal in the band getting signed to Roadrunner records, convincing a not-so-sure Monte Conner that he should sign them.

- BME was recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley in Nov 1993 at the same time as Rancid’s - "Let’s Go”, Green Day’s -  “Dookie” and Tesla’s - “Bust A Nut". The boys often hung out with Rancid and would periodically break into Tesla’s recording studio and steal from the massive stash of candy Tesla had.

- It was mixed by Colin Richardson once at Fantasy, and then re-mixed at scream Studios in Burbank California. In fact Machine Head, Rancid, and Green Day would all remix their albums at different locations.

- The first tour the album was opening for label-mates Obituary who co-headlined with Napalm Death. MH and Napalm Death shared a bus together.

- Burn My Eyes was original called “Davidian” and artwork was created featuring their logo on a TV screen.  Thankfully saner minds prevailed.

- The “Davidian" video was recorded throughout parts of Oakland, and San Francisco, culminating with a show at the Rock On Broadway featuring a then-unknown Deftones as main support.

- The live photos of Deftones singer Chino Moreno for their debut album “Adrenaline, “are from the Davidian video shoot show.

- BME charted at number #25 in the UK after the “Davidian” video received a substantial reaction on Headbanger Ball.

- With Headbangers Ball cancelled in America, and no outlets to play the video, BME sold 1,100 copies its first week in the US.

- Machine Head supported Slayer in both Europe and the US, returning to headline the same European venues just 6 month later.

- Machine head and Stuck Mojo would headline in America in October-Dec 1995. The tour was dubbed “the disastour”, and while it had several highlights including Chicago at The Thirsty Whale and New Mexico, most of the tour would only have 100 people at most venues.  In the south, they played to 35 people regularly.

- A year and a half after release BME had sold a staggering 400,000 records worldwide, and a respectable 80,000 albums in the US. It would be the biggest debut album on Roadrunner.

Do you have any recollections of this album?
Did you catch MH on tour then?
How does "Burn My Eyes” stand the test of time for you?

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY “THE BURNING RED”!

By Robb Flynn

That’s right 18 years ago today, our infamous third album was released.  Inspiring some of our most beloved (and most loathed) songs, and in many ways drawing a dividing line between older metal fans and nu-er metal fans. 

And while the boys choice of clothes and hair may have been, er uh, questionable… 18 years later the songs still stand up with live favorite such as “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears”, and “From This Day” proving to be certifiable smashes in the MH Setlist. 

The album undeniably changed the course of the band’s history forever, some might argue for the worse, but most would agree it was absolutely for the better. The melodic influences and guitar tones of Robert Smith/ The Cure brought into the sonic spectrum with songs like “The Burning Red”, “Devil With The Kings Card” and ”Silver” would later inspire melodic masterpieces such as  “Descend The Shades of Night”, “Darkness Within” and The Cure worshipping guitar intro to “Locust”.

Fun facts about TBR:
- The first song written for the album was "I Defy” which contains a riff from then-guitarist Logan Mader.  Logan quit right at the beginning of the writing sessions.

- The band held guitar tryouts for several months, with people traveling from all over the US and included Gary Holt of Exodus.

- Ahrue Luster was brought in in the summer of 1998, based on his catchy song writing with Man Made God, but just as much from his riff-work in his previous death metal band The Horde Of Torment (of which Robb was a fan).

- It was recorded by Ross Robinson at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, CA at the same time as the debut Slipknot album, with both bands occasionally living at Indigo Ranch with each other for periods of time.  Joey Jordinson screams back ups during the build up/breakdown on the song “Nothing Left” (I’ve got nothing left for nobody / ahhhhhh)

- It charted at #88 on the Billboard charts, and would go on to sell nearly 400,000 albums worldwide. It is the 2nd best selling album for Machine Head in terms of CD sales.

- The infamous video for “From This Day” was directed by rapper Master P’s video director for “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” Michael Martin at the behest of Roadrunner Records president Jonas Naschin.  It shows Robb with blonde and black spikes in his hair, Dave with yellow leopard-print hair, Ahrue in a Kung Fu outfit ( a look later taken on by Zoltan of Five Finger Death Punch) and Robb in a much-debated / much-maligned bright orange nylon outfit (not a track suit!).

- The “From This Day” single was edited down to 3 minutes (with the breakdown in the middle deemed “too heavy for radio”), and featured a cover of the Bad Brains song “House Of Suffering” and the b-side “Alcholocaust” recorded during the TBR sessions.

- Machine Head’s “Year of the Dragon" tour in January 2000 would prove to be the biggest U.S. tour band had put together at the time. Featuring Reveille, and Primer 55, it turned Machine Head into a verifiable headliner in America.
- Machine Head sold out the Brixton Academy in London (for the first time) on their headline tour of the U.K featuring One Minute Silence opening. 

Do you have any memories of this album?

Did you catch the band on tour during this period? 

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