Machine Head are currently on the road with Dethklok, All That Remains and The Black Dahlia Murder...but they had to cancel a string of the tour's earliest dates due to Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast. Shows in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York were all moved to mid-December, which left the band with nothing to do for nearly a week, on the opposite side of the country from their Bay Area homes. We got frontman Robb Flynn on the phone and asked him how they spent their unexpected vacation, and whether anything like this has ever happened to them before.
You guys had almost a week there where shows got re-scheduled because of the hurricane. So what did you do on your days off?
Uh, I went out drinking a couple of nights…I mean, we started in Florida, and the Orlando show was cancelled, the Norfolk [Virginia] show was cancelled, the Philly show was cancelled, then New York…we’ve literally been driving up the East Coast following the hurricane, and getting shows cancelled along the way, because that was the routing. So you know, we had some days off there, and we worked out in some killer gyms, went out drinking a few nights in Richmond, went to a couple of cool bars out there, but it can be pretty boring. We got a couple of rehearsal places and practiced and rehearsed a few times, which was awesome. Just shit like that – you can’t really do much.
Is this the first time you guys have had to cancel because of natural disasters?
Well, when 9/11 happened, we had a tour set up that started five days after 9/11. The first show was on the 16th. And there was a lot of talk about cancelling it. We wanted to cancel it, but everyone talked us into it, so the tour went on, and in some ways it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was just like, what the fuck? The world seemed like it was turning on its head – you didn’t know anything, it was all fucked up, but kids were coming to the shows and just staring at us like, why am I here? We were looking at a whole front row of people staring at us like, "Why am I here? Tell me it’s gonna be OK." And in a lot of ways, it was so therapeutic, to just get out there and scream your head off and rage and headbang and sweat and even just for two hours forget about it. Not even forget about it, but just be with other people who were going through the same thing. In the end, it was one of the most incredible tours we had done, leading up to the release of Supercharger and all the fallout that we had from that – you know, we had the “Crashing Around You” video, which had us standing on a bunch of buildings that were on fire and crashing and falling – [laughs] it was like, wow, the worst video you could have made for that time period. It was a crazy time, and in another way it was an amazing time, to have that communal release through metal. But yeah, we had to cancel the New York show on that tour, and the DC date also, but most of the dates happened.