The General Journals: Diary Of a Frontman... And Other Ramblings

Remembering Joey Jordison (Slipknot) on NFR Podcast

By Robb Flynn

Robb shares some memories of hanging around while Joey was mixing the first Slipknot album, how Joey refused to drink on there first tours they did together, their epic night at a strip club with Chris Fehn, his infamous “Fuck Monte Conner” chant at Roadrunner United show, and more. R.I.P. Joey Jordison

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Welcome To The Reemergence

By Robb Flynn

The world has been re-opening...

Welcome to the reemergence.

Everywhere you look, things are "opening back up,” and the talk of everything getting "back to normal" is on everyone’s lips and believe me, we are ready.  I think I have covered a lot of personal ground between the Facebook-lives and of course the “Electric Happy Hour,” it’s safe to say we’ve all covered a lot of ground living through what the last 15 months has unmercifully thrown at us. 

However, to sum it up, I’m here writing this, you’re here reading this, so ya know what that means… we fucking did it!  

Of all the things each of us has learned about not only the pandemic, but how we maneuver ourselves through all of life’s [mental or physical] roadblocks, what has been the most important to you?  What were you most proud of when you made it through to the “other side?”

If you were to ask me the same question... it might be kind of hard to answer.  

This lockdown period has produced so much creativity.  For all the things it took away, it allowed me to re-center a lot of things in my life that felt nearly impossible to do while riding the rock and roll train 24/7.  Of course, this is life, and it is not always pretty.  The long and painful loss of my mother a couple months ago, being unable to tour/work yet still crunching financial numbers daily to keep the “machine” running, writing words to keep my mind in shape, writing music to keep my sprits up, performing 36 online “Happy Hour” shows last year alone.  These were all exercises in perseverance.  If you thought a global disease that claimed the lives of over 600,000 Americans was going to derail me… uh, yeah... no.  

I’m not going anywhere, I’ve still got a lot shit to say.

Speaking of, one of the things that I would like to clear up a little is, well... “who is in the band?”

So, first things first.  The “Burn My Eyes 25th Anniversary” celebrations have ended.  After trying to complete all the loose ends finishing the tour in Australia, Japan, South America… to state the obvious, there were just way too many global restrictions.  But together with our MH family and MH alumni Logan Mader and Chris Kontos, we accomplished exactly what we set out to do.  We took “Burn My Eyes” around the globe to honor its music, its impact, and the connection that has never waned. It was/is truly amazing.  2021 sees Logan with his hands in several projects (including a collaboration with yours-truly on his record) and Chris is currently tearing it up behind the kit with Bay Area skate-punk legends, The Boneless Ones.  

Jared MacEachern has been my right hand man through all of this, I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated soldier. 

Vogg and Matt are still in Machine Head.  Logistics and restrictions being what they were, the fact that Vogg lives in Poland, Matt in Germany, and Jared and I in California, that 5,000 mile gap was impossible to have these guys around during the writing/arranging process, but when the time is right, and we can get these guys to the Bay Area, things will fall into place seamlessly.  The music being written and released is written with these guys in mind, that’s extra incentive while composing.

When I do go and delve into the social media cesspool, the majority of the bullshit pertaining to us as a band, or me as a person, is pretty fucking toxic. It’s just part of the job I guess… but in addition to the usual “trend-jumper”, “wigger”, “virtue-signaler”, "liberal-snowflake-pussy” fare, the things that seem to appear more than usual is “Robb Flynn solo project,” “Robb Flynn and the hired hands,” or the endless “Dictator” shit. 

A band is a beautiful thing.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a band of like-minded individuals coming together for a common cause is anything but an amazing experience.  If that band sees some success, it is even better because it was for the most part done as a team.

Do you know what the ultimate is?  
Being young, starting a band, and living, breathing, eating, and shitting everything that evolves around said band.  No wives, no kids, no jobs, nothing but the band and the four or five people 1000% committed to it.  Ideas fly, open minds connect, results are grinded through completion and that’s how things operate for as long as they can.

Do you know what can be rather shitty?  
Being older, established, having bills, mortgages, taxes, diapers to pay for. It is no longer four or five people living, breathing, eating, and shitting everything that has to do with the band.   There are wives, kids, side hustles, a mindbogglingly complicated business arrangement, then after ALL of that, you finally get to the band and have to dig deep as to what you have left to put in.  And then you go away from all that "home life" for 16 months on tour, and everything at home resents you for being gone… and you do your damndest to strike some uneasy balance.

Does that sound like a dream-like situation? 

What I’m trying to sum up is this.  I’ve been in bands since I was 17 years old. This October, I’ll have been in Machine Head for 30 years!? I quit my last band, to start this band, call the shots, steer the ship, and not have to answer to anyone.  To forge my own destiny, carve my own path, to rise or fall by my own blood, sweat and tears.

Nothing has changed. 

Would I love to have three or four people around that I could lean on, collaborate with, and celebrate with?  
Of course. I genuinely enjoy being in a “band”.  But that’s just not the reality at this point, this time, and this age.  If this past year plus has taught us anything, this is all one big game of survival.  If I have a song, or two, I’m going to get it recorded, I’m going to release it, and I’m going to do my part in surviving. 

Survival sounds extreme, but that’s where we’re at. I’m proud (and a little insane) at the openness I’ve shared with our friends, fans, and listeners.  I’ve done my best to take you along on this journey with us as we continue to bulldoze through obstacles both great and small. It’s not always pretty, sometimes it’s downright ugly, but most of the time… it's a fantastically, beautiful, life-less-ordinary.

And that’s all I’ve ever promised.

But please know, I’ll never apologize for doing what I’ve done to keep my life's work alive.   

So now that we’re all reacquainted with the who’s and the how’s, let’s get to the when!

Tonight will see the release of our 3-Song digital single, "Arrows In Words From The Sky”. These three songs represent Machine Head better than anything I could ever try to explain here.  The way these songs grew and took shape over time, tells us our future is more exciting than even we would like to admit.  Being able to corral all the chaos, pain, confusion, and yes, hope, into music has never made me feel more alive.  These songs will hopefully do the same for you, after all, that’s who they were written for.

If this world is really opening up, then it's time.

It’s time to reclaim everything you’ve lost or cast aside.

It’s time to fight for what you believe in and for those who believe in YOU!

The battle begins June 11th… may it never end. 

Subscribe to The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings

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No more pain Mom...

By Robb Flynn

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Happy Birthday #6

By Robb Flynn

I probably owe Gary Holt from Exodus some royalties for all the riffs I jacked on this bad boy (including massive nods to both “Strike of the Beast” and “Pleasures of the Flesh”).  More than a few nods to Lars and James band as well factored in, along with drawing massive inspiration from Cliff Burton on numerous songs.

But you might be surprised to know that equal parts My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and even *gasp* Coldplay factored heavily into this album.  The rapper Immortal Technique was also a massive inspiration to me lyrically during this time, as well as the book “Johnny Get Your Gun“. Ignite’s “Our Darkest Days” was also in heavy rotation and likely seeped into the overall vibe. 

Random thought: I never liked this song “Slanderous“. It’s “all right”... not bad... but the stinker of the record for me. Not that I'm complaining… I’d rather be the guy who wrote "The Blackening”, than the guy who didn’t.  Good problems to have, right?

A year before it's release, I made the absurd claim that I wanted it to be the "Master Of Puppets" of it's generation.  Not sure if we accomplished that, but it certainly connected with folks.

I've been a lucky enough man to have had a few moments like this in my musical career... Life was never the same after this album. 

And the funny thing about music, is that while all of the songs were intensely personal to me, they are no longer “my” songs. They’re your songs now. They are the soundtrack to your life, to your moments… and to someone else’s life far into the future.

14 years... crazy... happy birthday #6

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One Year Of Electric Happy Hour

By Robb Flynn

A year ago today, I livestreamed an acoustic show on with my son Wyatt on cello.  It was a loose, fun, short online show, and while I can't remember the entire set, I do remember playing "Circle The Drain" (for the first time) maybe "Deafening Silence", and "Darkness Within”. 

I never get nervous onstage, and yet, considering there was no audience in the room, I found myself extraordinarily nervous. It was made all the more bizarre that I was streaming it through an app I had never used, where I could not see any comments or interaction of any kind, including if anyone was even watching. I kept on telling myself “dude, what the fuck are you nervous for, no one is even watching!?”  

A big part of it with the fact that I was nervous was that for the last 30 years, I’ve sang heavy, brutal, vocals, and here I am clean-singing an entirely acoustic show.  Looking back, it was pretty bad. But at the time I didn’t give a fuck, the world had just went on lockdown and life was crazy, and I needed to play music. Plus jamming with my son was priceless, seriously… one of the proudest, coolest moments of my life.

In the end I had about 75 people watch it which was cool. But I felt completely disconnected,  and so much of the reason that I do what I do is to feel a connection.  Having done a Facebook live on every Friday at noon, and Instagram-lives from the jam room regularly since August 2017, it was definitely a bit of a head fuck. At least on those platforms you can see how many people are watching, can interact with people in the comments, see people laughing with emoji’s, likes, hearts... It sounds ridiculous to say, but it feels like something. There’s a connection.

And so I determined to start doing an acoustic show every week. At first I did them on radio stations Instagram pages or Facebook pages where I did a “takeover”, as we were still promoting “circle the drain". I enjoyed that, especially because if I sucked, most people probably wouldn’t even see the damn thing, kind of like “woodshedding".  I decided pretty quickly I would just start drinking beer during them to kind of turn it more into a “party“ so it didn’t feel so “formal" or “professional“.  I began to call it a happy hour.

Then I started regularly doing them on Facebook live. And turned it officially turned into "acoustic happy hour” and by April had figured out a way to monetize it with Facebook “stars” and PayPalMe links for “beer money”.  The money isn’t earth-shattering, but it keeps the lights on, and has purchased some especially delicious Coffee Stouts and Peanut Butter Stouts.

At the time, I was the only person allowed in my building, so I would head down there, drink some beers, play some acoustic songs, talk to the people through comments and joke around. It was such a goddamn fun time, it made the lockdown (which was especially strict here in the beginning) so much more enjoyable.

I made a point to learn and/or re-imagine 3 new songs a week, and between the rehearsals for them, and the 2 hours for the show, has kept me in top playing shape, not to mention kept me sane!

As restrictions starting to ease up and more people were allowed into my building, Jared started coming down around September. And it morphed into an "electric happy hour/acoustic happy hour".

It’s kind of amazing to think that I’ve done 46 “online shows” since then, but yeah, here we are.  

And week after week I read your comments saying the same thing… “These two hours every Friday get me through the week", that you “look forward to this so much during these completely insane times”.  

I tell you what… it means the world reading and hearing that.

On a bigger note, it’s giving me a sense of purpose. Knowing my clean singing needed to improve, I strived to better my clean singing voice, I ended up taking vocal lessons from Mellisa Cross to work on just that, and I’ve made leaps and bounds. Still got a long way to go, but fuck… if there was ever a time to better ourselves, we’ve all got the time to do it now!

One of the coolest parts of the Happy Hours, was that we started doing full-album-play-throughs. We started with “Locust" in September, and have now done “ through the ashes of empires“, “bloodstone & diamonds“, “catharsis“, and as of yesterday for the first time in it’s entirety, “the more things change“. 

Some people have commented, that it would be better with a drummer, and we’re working on that. But since there is no one local who knows the back-catalog like that, and Matt currently resides in Germany, we’re trying to figure out a way to either get someone down, or live stream them into our feed.

But I tell you what…  there may be A LOT of shitty things about the pandemic, but Electric Happy Hour has been one of the most fulfilling parts of it. As a musician to just be able to do a spontaneous jam once a week, no set lists, no order, just calling songs out off the top of my head, as well as focusing on album anniversaries… it is really, really rewarding.  

We never would have done this type of stuff had the pandemic not hit.  It's important to acknowledge the good stuff.

And we’ve reinvested that “beer money” you all have been supporting us with into the Happy Hour itself.  We upped our production value, incorporated our live sound rig into the show, as well as our pro-cameras and lighting. Yesterday for the first time we live-streamed to three different platforms at the same time, my Twitch channel, our Facebook page, and our YouTube page, and had our biggest viewership to date.

So a year later… yeah... what can I say… it’s been a fucking wild, at-time-shitty-and frustrating year, BUT there’s have been some really amazing things that came out of the pandemic, and to all of you who continue to spread the word about these Happy Hour's, who tune in every Friday, who support us and stand with us,  who sing, and dance, and vent, and laugh, and sometimes cry, and headbang and circle pit in your living rooms, and who host Happy Hour “watching parties” with 25 people all drinking and hanging, thank you all so much.

In case you missed it… Here is last nights full album-play-through of our second album “The More Things Change”. 

Below that is a snippet from the first show a year ago.

Keep your head up!



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By Robb Flynn

 Korn guitarist Head joins me to discuss his band Love and Death’s new album, writing with Breaking Benjamin, the completely insane early-days of Korn, the massive success of “follow the leader“, the toxic environment that caused him to quit Korn at its peak, his two year addiction to methamphetamines, the warts ‘n all documentary he put out about his journey towards sobriety “Loud Krazy Love”, and how religion has kept him sane.

Must listen!!


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Operation Mindcrime

By Robb Flynn

G and I rocked this album for "date night" on Saturday. Fuck man, what an album! SO many good songs, from the start all the way to the last song “eyes of a stranger”.  

I’m generally not a big fan of concept albums as I often find that it doesn’t translate lyrically, but everything fell into place with this album.

I remember getting turned onto Queensryche from Ron Quintana’s rampage radio KUSF in San Francisco. He was playing the track “Queen of the Reich ” pretty heavily, and it was some good shit. I continue to follow them through the next few albums, but this album really hit home.

I vividly recall being on tour for the first vio-lence record eternal nightmare, and listening to this on endless repeat on my cassette Walkman. It got played a lot in the van deck as well.  The lyrics are quite gritty, dealing with heroin abuse, prostitution, and assassinations. As I was essentially a fully functioning drug addict at the time, it definitely connected with me.

I got to see them supporting Metallica a couple years after this release, but it was just the hits. Caught them about 10 years ago playing this album in it’s entirety at the Warfield, and it was fucking awesome!

The Operation Mindcrime wikipedia has a great breakdown of the concept/story, was very cool to read up on some of the background details that I didn’t catch while just listening to the record.

Well done Queensryche, these songs are timeless. 🤘🏻

Anyone digging this album currently or back in the day?

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NFR Podcast at #7 on Apple

By Robb Flynn

My podcast was #7 on Apple (music podcasts) last week. Thank you all SO MUCH for supporting No Fuckin’ Regrets.  My top podcasts have 30,000 to 40,000 views on YouTube, and we just broke the threshold of 10,000 audio downloads per episode, which means we can start making a little bit of ad money. 😃

The guys and gals at Gas Digital Network have been kicking ass for me, and I gotta shout Ralph, and my producers Francis and Irish for delivering big time.  As most of you know, my podcast has only been going for about a year and a half now. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to LIKE doing something like this, but having these wild, intense, hilarious conversations has been one of the most truly rewarding parts of this, along with watching the impact that these wild, intense, hilarious conversations have on you guys and the world at large.

Shout out to my guests for going along with the loose, raunchy, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll aspect of this podcast and often times delivering nuggets of information that the public at large even knows about.

Are there times when I dislike being a former-touring-musician, and it seems like I’m a full-time podcaster now? Yes! 
Are there times when my throat hurts, and my back hurts for sitting up for three hours doing a podcast? Yes!  Are there times when I never want to do another podcast again? Yes!  

But you guys spreading the word, telling your friends, writing in, and being apart of this, has really kept me going, and seeing how much you all dig it is bad ass!

Thanks for always supporting, you are the best!

Shout out to Ryan Downey for compiling.

Enter code NFR and get 10% off subscription, where you can watch in HD, 3 days early.



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