Austin Powell of The Daily Texan recently conducted an interview with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robert Flynn about Robert's contributions to the ROADRUNNER UNITED "The All-Star Sessions" CD, a collection of original tracks that are collaborations between numerous Roadrunner Records stars. The short question-and-answer session follows:
Daily Texan: Jeff Waters (guitarist for ANNIHILATOR and solo musician on two of Flynn's tracks [on "The All-Star Sessions" CD], "The Dagger" and "Independent"), goes absolutely off on this album. What was your relationship with him before the project?
Robert Flynn: "We never toured with ANNIHILATOR. That was a little before our time. I actually met him while coming home from England. This guy standing in front of me at customs was wearing an ANNIHILATOR shirt, which is really rare. You just don't see it coming to America, so I was just like 'Are you in ANNIHILATOR?' and he was like, 'Yeah, Robert Flynn?' And I was like 'Yeah,' and we just kind of hit it off from there."
Daily Texan: Waters is definitely an amazing shredder, but let's talk about your guitar work on the album. What brought about that 3-part guitar harmony in "Independent"?
Robert Flynn: The whole concept of that song is loosely based around [late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist] 'Dimebag' Darrell. Around the time of his death this guy named William Grim put out an article on this extremely conservative web site called The Iconoclast entitled, 'R.I.P. Dimebag Abbott and Good Riddance.' It basically called him a scumbag that brought this on himself. It was pretty vile and it was published the day after his murder. I copied it, and sent it to Max Cavalera [SOULFLY, ex-SEPULTURA], who ended up singing on the track. So the topic of the song is a response to that and three-part guitar harmony was just going for this big, epic guitar-oriented outro piece with piano and strings as a kind of tribute to him."
Daily Texan: How did your track with Howard Jones of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE come about?
Robert Flynn: "I had written the song and it had a killer melodic hook, and I envisioned Howard singing it from the get-go. I thought it would be cool to hear him on 'The More Things Change'-era MACHINE HEAD track. I wrote the vocal melody and lyrics, recorded it and sent it to him. He was originally just supposed to be the singer, but during the course of recording we started messing around with it and I started singing. It kind of just became the 'Ebony and Ivory' of metal music. The whole process was just spontaneous. So much of what you hear is a first take, just this magical moment put to tape."