Machine Head mainman admits he’s astonished by followers’ ferocity – as he slams “radio mindset” bands who aren’t really metal

Care concern: Robb Flynn

Machine Head mainman Robb Flynn admits his fans can be so intense it sometimes scares him. And while he finds himself amazed at the sight of massive circle pits appearing while he plays, he’s often concerned for the participants’ safety.

The band recently returned to the live arena after completing work on upcoming album Unto the Locust, following nearly three years on the road promoting previous release The Blackening.

Flynn tells The First 3 Songs: “People do some crazy shit. They carve our names into them, they jump off balconies. Shit like that is fucking scary to watch at times. We’re like, ‘Dude, be careful.’

“When we were headlining the Wacken festival there was a point I was looking out into the audience and there was a circle pit about a quarter-mile wide. It was jawdropping to watch.

“Next day we were playing a Sonisphere festival. Metallica’s light guy, a friend of ours, counted 22 circle pits. It’s amazing to watch that.”

But Flynn says that despite the energy generated by Machine Head and tour mates like Slayer and Megadeth, things are calmer backstage than many fans might expect.

“Most bands are pretty chill,” he reports. “They’re a lot more chill than people think they are. They like to hang and have a drink. In metal there’s a lot of camaraderie.”

The exception, in his experience, are bands who are less metal than their image suggests: “A lot of bands are pop bands who are trying to get into metal – but they don’t know much about it.

“They don’t have the background. They’re not legit. They’re the hardest to deal with because they have the radio mindset. We don’t get along with them.”

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