MACHINE HEAD's FLYNN: 'JAMES HETFIELD Is All Class'

MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn says that one of the downsides of being in the public eye is the fact that he can't hang out and relax with friends at concerts without being perceived as arrogant by those who don't know him well enough to know differently. "Make no mistake about it, there have been plenty of times when I've been an ass to people," Flynn wrote in a recent posting to the band's official forum. "Some completely deserved it, most didn't. I've turned down like 100 autograph seekers at once one time, because if I started, I'd never stop, and I just wanted to hang out with my friends. Sometimes I'm just having a bad day, just like any other person, and someone catches me on it, the only difference is my bad day happens in public. Other times I just want to be left alone, and not in a 'woe is me' kinda way, but in just chill and not talk, or see anybody kinda way. I like my privacy, I can sit in my living room sometimes... No TV, no stereo, no phone… silence... for hours... decompress... It's amazing.

"Whenever stuff starts to trip me out though, I always think of [METALLICA frontman James] Hetfield. Now, Hetfield and I aren't friends. At best, I'd say we're mild acquaintances that have known each other for a long time, probably 12 years. We've hung out with mutual friends on a few occasions... Still, I don't consider us friends.

"But when I look at my life in the public eye problems, and compare them to his, mine don't even compare. That guy has managed to stay unbelievably down to earth, all things considered. And every time I see him, I just can't do anything but completely admire him.

"There have been time at Raider games when, we're both hanging out in the Westside Club, and the guy will literally have a LINE of people waiting to talk to him. I'm talking a LINE of like ... 40 people!! Waiting to talk to him!! Yet he'll see me in the room, and take a break away from the 'line', come over and say 'Hi' to me, shoot the shit, talk about game, talk to my Dad if he's with me, blah... And then go back to the 'line' and talk to every single person in line until they kick him out.

"All class, man."

"If I can have half of his patience at that level, I will be stoked."

MACHINE HEAD, who recently recruited ex-VIO-LENCE/TECHNOCRACY axeman Phil Demmel as a replacement for Ahrue Luster, are currently writing and demoing material for their follow-up to "Supercharger", tentatively due in late 2003/early 2004.

"Musically, while we're not going back to our roots per se, having a guy like Phil playing has just opened up our creative possibilities SO much... going forward AND going back to our roots is now much more possible," Flynn explained. "Where with Ahrue it was a different dynamic. Ahrue was better at other things, and we worked with his strengths, instead of forcing his weaknesses."

Among the tracks set to appear on the as-yet-untitled CD are "All Fall Down", "Pins And Needles", "Descend The Shades Of Night", "Bite The Bullet" and "Left Unfinished".

MACHINE HEAD recently issued their first-ever live album, "Hellalive", through Roadrunner Records. "Hellalive" was primarily recorded at the band's Dec. 8, 2001 show at the Brixton Academy in London, and was mixed by Colin Richardson at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, England.

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