As this summers Mayhem Festival draws near, the Machine Head boys recount tales of mayhem and debauchery in a new blog series called "Mayhem Memories".
This week: Robb tries to remember "the best party EVER... that he wasn't at"
Ah, Mayhem 2011, it was a blur, a fun, an often times insane blur that when I look back am, amazed I survived. Let me rewind a little though. John Reese co-founder of the Mayhem Festival and I have the same birthday, so when we do the Mayhem tour, we have a joint birthday party. We've known John for a long time, he is one of the best people you'll ever meet, heart of gold, and MAN, does that dude know how to throw a party!!! We had an EPIC party on the 2008 Mayhem tour, and back in 2011 we vowed to go even bigger!
But let's go back a little further bit and explain the whole scenario a bit. It was June 2011, I was producing and recording "Unto The Locust", Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival was starting soon, and we had a few warm up dates before that, recording took a little longer than expected and we weren't finished, Colin Richardson had started mixing our record and it was going slow, we hadn't quite nailed a mix yet, when suddenly his ex-wife passed away. Obviously it was a horrible and very sad time, Colin has been our friend and producer / mixer for a long time, mixed 6 out of 7 Machine Head albums, and understandably, Colin had to leave the mix.
His engineers helped Carl Bown and Ging helped get the mixes up and running at JingleTown Recording, Green Day's Oakland studio, and unexpectedly, it was now up to my engineer Juan and I to mix the record, using Colin's 2 mixes as a template. There was talk of getting someone else to mix it, but some of the songs on UTL were so vast in a recording context (some of them had 110 tracks!), most people just wouldn't have even known where to start, so we thought it best to have Juan and I do it since we had already been involved in every song since the writing process began.
So yeah, that's right, I gotta go on tour in a few days, my engineer and I now have an album to mix that we didn't think we had to, it's the follow up to "The Blackening", some songs have 110 tracks, no pressure!
So I start to ask myself, how am I going to pull this whole mixing-the-album-while-on-tour-thing off? Well, at first, it's almost easy, the tour dates all start on the West Coast, I'm driving around in my 4-Runner to the shows, that night driving back to Oakland to mix, the next morning, then drive out to the next show, drive back, Juan email's mixes, I download while driving, listen, call him, make corrections / suggestions. It wasn't so bad... at first... but once we got outside of California, I had to start flying, and that's when (as the British say) "it all went pear shaped".
So now, I'm listening to mixes all day, playing a show on Mayhem, catching a red-eye flight that night back to Oakland, mix all day, catch a 5AM flight back to wherever the next Mayhem date is, play show, lose mind, repeat.
More than a few times I'd leave Oakland at 6AM, fly for 7 hours, land at 4 PM, find out the venue is an hour away from the airport, have to be onstage at 5PM, jump in cab, freak out on the driver, lose mind, repeat. In Boston, I literally pulled up, hopped out of the cab, threw my stage clothes on and walked onstage. It was fucking bananas.
As "the most epic birthday party of 2011" approaches, I let Juan know that I wouldn't be coming to mix that next day off after my birthday, as I was planning on recovering from the "the most epic birthday hangover of 2011", but as the date got closer, we ended up running into a snag that required that I absolutely had to be there, no way out of it.
I was bummed, like fuckin', SUPER bummed!
Here we are on Mayhem, set to throw "the most epic birthday bash of 2011", and now, I can't be there. AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! I let John, Keri Lee, and all of the amazing girls on the Mayhem team know the deal, and we bum out over bottles of wine. I flew home, landed at midnight, worked on the "making of UTL" DVD with Scott the director til 3 AM... slept 'til 8 AM... woke up... mixed... stewed in anger.
So there I am, goddamn BUMMED, in goddamned Oakland, working on these goddamn mixes, for this goddamn album, for my goddamn band, missing my goddamn birthday party, and missing the making of what should have been the most goddamn epic hangover, when I start getting photos texted to me from a bunch of my dudes, and other band friends.
You see, Keri Lee and the Mayhem girls had paid to have a full-size cardboard cut-out of me to be at the birthday party, and let me tell you, word on the street was that the Robb Flynn-cardboard-cut-out was getting HAMMERED and having the time of his LIFE!!!
EVERYONE bought him a shot, Suicide Silence fed him cake, the Robb Flynn-cardboard-cut-out had a foursome with 3 hot chicks, did blow, did stage dives, posed for pictures with everyone, and Dan from Disturbed crowdsurfed him across the whole party!! While he started off as a total “stiff,” cardboard-Robb was the life of the party!!
BA DAP PSSSSHH!!!
It was really fuckin' cool. Probably one of the coolest things anyone was has done for me. I was was greatly moved. And even though I missed the party... I have an amazing memory for it.
This year my / our birthday party will fall on either the Camden, New Jersey date or Hartford, Connecticut date, and let me assure you, I WILL NOT BE MISING THIS ONE, in fact, I'm fucking ready now!!!! Are you? Join me!!
Bring on Mayhem 2013!!!!
Cardboard-Robb hammered and passed out in his bunk:
Read Dave's Mayhem Memories Here!
Read Phil's Mayhem Memories Here!
Please check back later for any upcoming tour dates.