It has been roughly 28 years since Robb Flynn and Machine Head released their studio album debut Burn My Eyes. That record launched a massively successful career for Robb and company – but for the frontman, the night he signed his label deal also involved a very scary moment.
At one point during a recent video interview with Metal Injection, the Machine Head singer/guitarist is talking about the creation of Burn My Eyes; he says that he could never recreate the songs on that album. A big point he speaks to is a past heroin overdose of his, which took place the same night he signed the deal associated with the record. In talking about that overdose, Flynn shares the following (all quotes transcribed by The Pit):
“[Thinking about whether he could create something like Burn My Eyes today], I could write it musically, but I’ll never be in that place that I was, lyrically. Writing songs like ‘Blood For Blood,’ just songs about fighting and violence. I was dealing drugs, I had just broken up with my girlfriend; I was dating four strippers at the same time. If you ever want to have the craziest six months of your life, date four strippers [chuckles], it’ll be the funnest [sic] and most insane shit you have ever done.”
Flynn adds, “On top of that, I was really a mess; I would get in fights all the time, taking my anger out on the world all the time. Machine Head ended up getting banned from three clubs. And probably the biggest thing – the night that I signed with Roadrunner Records – [… former senior vice president of A&R for Roadrunner] Monte Connor came out, signed us; he didn’t even see us live, [he] just watched us rehearse, caught the vibe. Him and I hit it off, he was like, ‘I fucking love you guys, I want to sign you.’ He gave us – for Roadrunner, it was a really great deal at the time.
“The night that I signed the contract, I went out partying – I went to a club called The Omni in Oakland. Went out partying with a bunch of my friends, and one of my friends was like, ‘Hey, you just got signed, let’s go do some heroin.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that sounds great.’ Now… just why? [I don’t know why I said] ‘that sounds great.’
“I had been dabbling in it for a while; there was something very romantic about it to me that I romanticized. And I already had some bad experiences on it; it had already ruined my night multiple times [prior]. Like, I went to go see the band Fear – who is one of my favorite bands, I had never seen them live. The whole way driving over there [to the show] – me and my friend came over, we snorted some heroin out of a spoon, like liquid heroin melted into the spoon – and I threw up the whole way to the show. Just had to pull over every five minutes and throw up. By the time we got there, they were on their last song. And I was like, ‘Fuck man. I just blew this night.’ Band I wanted to see, they had been broken up. But that still didn’t teach me a lesson, so my friend said, ‘Hey let’s do some heroin.’
“So we go to the dealer’s house. I can never shoot myself up; I always had to have somebody do it. I just couldn’t do the act of sticking a needle in my arm. And I OD’d. I woke up in the bathroom, my face laying in a puddle of puke. The dealer was like, ‘You’re alive!’ And I was like ‘What happened?’ I OD’d, I’m at a dealer’s house, they weren’t going to call the cops. If I died, I don’t know what was going to happen.”
Flynn then goes on to share how he went back to see his girlfriend (who would eventually become his wife) and share what happened; of course, she was upset with what went down. The Machine Head frontman then shares the following:
“I nearly died on what should have been one of the best nights of my life. No “Davidian,” there’s no Burn My Eyes – life would have ended right there. And then five days later, my friend Jimmy OD’s on the same bad batch of heroin, and I’m at his funeral just going, ‘That should have been me. It could have been me.’ It shook me to my core; that moment shook me to my core.’ [Flynn says he thought to himself]: ‘You’re fuckin’ up; you’re fuckin’ up. And you need to fuckin’ pull your head out of your ass.’
While that experience is absolutely horrific, we are thankful to hear that Robb not only came out of that situation alive, but was able to turn his life around. You can check out the full video interview featuring Flynn below. We recently interviewed Robb Flynn and talked to him about the new Machine Head album, his writing, his anime fandom, and that of Attack On Titan. You can find links to our two-part conversation below.