MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn says that he still "can't believe" that SLAYER has chosen to embark on its "farewell" tour.
Back in January, SLAYER, one of metal's most popular and influential bands of the past four decades, announced its "final world tour" via a 30-second video. The group also confirmed that the first leg of its last-ever North American run of dates would feature support from LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX, BEHEMOTH and TESTAMENT.
During a brand new interview with the "Wired In The Empire" radio show, which airs on 96.7 KCAL-FM in Riverside/San Bernardino, California, Flynn was asked for his opinion about SLAYER calling it quits.
"It's crazy to me. I can't believe that," he said (hear audio below). "It still hasn't sunk in. Who knows how long it's gonna go on? I'm sure it'll go on for a while. But that's a hard one to wrap my head around, man.
"We did 85 shows with those guys on our first album, and we became pretty good friends," he continued. "And I've talked to 'em all at various times, and we stayed friends. And I think they're serious. I don't wanna say there's bad blood between 'em, but I think that they're just ready to kind of end on a high note."
Flynn went on to point out that SLAYER's three-and-a-half-decade run is far longer than most bands are expected to stick around.
"This is the thing that I trip on. If you think about the classic rock and roll bands of yore — the LED ZEPPELINs, THE BEATLES, the BLACK SABBATHs— it was 10 years that they lasted," Flynn said. "THE BEATLES made all of that mind-boggling, unbelievably future, forward-thinking music, changing with evolution like no other band in the history of music — literally — and tapping into what was happening with the culture at the same time, all in 10 years — in a 10-year period. LED ZEPPELIN, the same thing — '67 to '77. BLACK SABBATH — '69 to '79; that's it. And then it went away. And in some ways, because it went away, it became that much more powerful.
"You think about bands now, and even we're talking about thrash metal bands, METALLICA's been around 36 years, SLAYER 36 years — almost four times as long as any of those bands of yore," he continued. "For [SLAYER] to call it a day and say, 'You know what? We're calling it a day. And we're gonna end on this note,' which is, frankly, a pretty freakin' high note, I mean, good for them. 'Cause I'm sure it's hard to sit there and go, 'This thing that I've done forever is now gonna end,' but in the long run, it's only gonna make the legend of SLAYER that much bigger. Just like it did with THE BEATLES and SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN. And you look at somebody like Robert Plant, who… [laughs] I'm sure those LED ZEPPELIN residuals… they're rolling in good… But the fact that he still says 'no' all these years later, because he's, like, 'It's never gonna live up to the hype of what it could be,' that takes an unbelievable amount of balls and courage and, frankly, artistic integrity — to just go, 'I can't do that. I have to do something else.' And by doing so, [it] elevates it even more."
SLAYER will kick off the first leg of its farewell world tour with a May 10 concert at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, with dates running through August 26 at San Jose, California's SAP Center.
MACHINE HEAD's latest album, "Catharsis", was released on January 26 via Nuclear Blast. The effort was made available in several formats, including a CD/DVD digipak edition which contains footage of MACHINE HEAD's 2015 concert at San Francisco's Regency Ballroom.
The follow-up to 2014's "Bloodstone & Diamonds", "Catharsis" was produced by Flynn and was recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Zack Ohren (FALLUJAH, ALL SHALL PERISH) at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. Mastering was handled by Ted Jensen (HATEBREED, ALICE IN CHAINS, DEFTONES) at Sterling Sound in New York. Cover photography was created by Seanen Middleton.