“It’s a force of nature being in a band with someone for so long, as I have with Padge, because it pushes and pulls and rips and tears,” says Matt of a dynamic that’s needed some restoration in recent years. “It’s a complicated journey when you’re on it with someone else for so long. But having our world taken away from us, like everyone else did, really brought us back together, without sounding all weird. It was a good period of reconnection.”
The source of some of that friction, Matt suggests, was 2018 album Gravity, with its departure from their more traditional sound into nu-metal revivalry, much like Machine Head did with 1999’s The Burning Red. “Padge was very anti-Gravity,” Matt admits.
“I can’t wait to put out this record,” says Padge of the difference between their forthcoming seventh album and its divisive predecessor. “Not just because I prefer it, but because it’s the right time for an album like this. Everyone is really pissed off and has an energy they want to release.”
Are you pissed off and angry, Padge?
“Of course,” he blares. “I thought last year this was all over – the band, the music industry, everything – which terrified me and sent me to a really dark and horrible place. Even when we went into the studio I was wondering if it was all in vain, but gradually realised that things were happening. But I still want to kill motherfuckers, I do.”
None of his bandmates, though, thankfully.
“We’re adults now,” Padge says of his relationship with Matt, who he describes as “a weird wizard” because of his mysterious way with a tune. “We’ve been to war together. We’ve lived together and seen each other go through amazing times and terrible times. We know each other inside out.”
He frowns. “Well not inside out, but you know what I mean.”