Machine Head Flynn: Dubstep at rock fest is weird
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn believes it’s “weird” that his band played before a dubstep group at the Download festival – but it’s just another facet of what he calls a “nuts” weekend in the UK.
The band, remembered by many for their powerful fourth-from-top set on the main stage in 2007, played a “secret” warm-up gig for fans in London on Wednesday, where they surprised many by playing a cover of Foo Fighters track Everlong.
The following night they were presented with the Kerrang Hall of Fame Award before heading to Download to play the festival’s opening day – with The Prodigy and Chase and Status above them on the main stage bill.
Flynn says: “I’ve seen Prodigy a bunch and I think they’re awesome. They’re a band: they’re duded playing and they’re heavy. I’ve taken loads of drugs to Prodigy so I’ve got a connection.
“I don’t know much about Chase and Status – I thought it was weird to have a dubstep band playing, but, whatever.”
The singer and guitarist also found Thursday night’s awards ceremony a little strange: “It was a rough crowd. Fuck, I don’t know. Everybody seemed pretty serious – everyone was trying to be polite, and those things are usually pretty rowdy.
“I saw a big fat guy eating at a table for a really long time, and I was thinking in my head, ‘Is that your job? You just sit at a table and eat?’”
But he enjoyed presenters Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Scott Ian of Anthrax. He says: “Corey was wearing like an American bowling or golf suit, like the Dean Martin fifties vibe. He’s a nut-job – it was cool. Him and Scott are a good pair. When Black Veil Brides won they went: ‘Motley Crue looks younger and younger every year!’”
Meanwhile, co-founding member Adam Duce says the band enjoyed the loose feel of their London gig, where they appeared under well-known pseudonym Ten Ton Hammer.
The bassist explains: “It was cool, fun and relaxed. It’s cool to play those smaller clubs – you get to screw around all night. When we played the Foo Fighters the whole crowd were like, ‘What balls they have!’ Sometimes you’ve got to fuckin’ throw them across the table, show ‘em what you’re working with.”
And guitarist Phil Demmel says he’ll never forget Machine Head’s 2004 Download experience – because that’s when he first met Pantera icon Dimebag Darrell Abbott. “Meeting Dimebag for one of only two times, having him congratulate me on my playing, then seeing him, completely plastered, go up there and completely rule – it was just awesome,” he remembers.