Robb Flynn Says “F*ck No!” To Machine Head Playing Drive-In Gigs
Robb Flynn has voiced his opinion on the potential of playing drive-in concerts.
Speaking exclusively to Kerrang!, the Machine Head frontman responds with an emphatic “Fuck no!” when asked if he’d be up for playing some socially-distanced or drive-in gigs in the future.
“I just watched some stupid drive in show the other day where people sat in their cars and honked when they liked what the band was playing, and it was the stupidest fucking shit I’ve ever seen,” he continues. “If cover bands want to do that shit, it’s cool. They should have fun. But the whole point of a Machine Head show is having those 5,000 people screaming every word, pressed against the barrier, getting sweaty and piling into giant circle pits – just that cathartic release of energy. If the only option is drive-ins for a while, I can wait.”
Last week, promoters Live Nation announced a series of drive-in gigs will take place across the UK this summer – featuring performances of Skindred, Gary Numan and more. It’s a tentative step toward enjoying live music again during these trying times.
“I don’t know if things will ever go back to ‘normal’ again,” adds Robb. “But I think it could be four years before things get close. I think this pandemic could go on for at least two years – coming in waves, getting better in summer and worse as we go back into flu season – then it could take another two years for people to get over that shell-shock of having been locked down for so long. Like the Spanish Flu in 1918, it’ll take time for the economy to recover, and for people to have the confidence to go back out there.
“40 million people have lost their jobs in the U.S., 25 million people have lost their health insurance. The UK has the NHS, but we’re just a bunch of fucking dummies who don’t, because we need our ‘freedom’. I would love to be wrong, but from everything I’ve heard and read, that’s how long I think it’s gonna’ be.”
Speaking to Kerrang! last week, Download festival booker Andy Copping discussed the drive-in gig initiative and how social-distancing at rock shows just isn’t a feasible option.
“Socially-distanced gigs, how we know it, are impossible,” said Andy. “Rock gigs are all about everybody getting together – the community, the closeness – and not just the closeness of the fans, but the closeness of getting right next to the stage and close to the act. Social distancing is going to be virtually impossible for rock shows.
“We’re working on something at the moment called ‘drive-in shows’ where people can come – obviously it’s a limited amount of people – in cars and bands are going to be playing. It’s a wide variety of acts that are doing it, but they’re all guitar bands for the most part. It’ll be interesting to see how that works, ’cause we’ve gotta do something to energise and get the business going, because at the moment nobody can go to anything, there’s nothing on.
“The concern is that we might not see gigs as we know it this year, certainly in the bigger rooms. I’m hoping that some of the smaller venues will be up and operating towards the end of this year, and that will hopefully energise the live business and we can get back to some kind of normality in early 2021.”
Stay tuned for our full interview with Robb, coming later this week to Kerrang!.
READ THIS: How 1994 changed rock music forever