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