Last year, during a Facebook Q&A, Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn revealed that he was contemplating retiring the band's classic single, "Davidian," (featuring the lyrics "let freedom ring with a shotgun blast") from future live shows in the wake of last October's Las Vegas massacre, which left 58 people dead (not including the lone gunman) and 546 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Flynn stood by his comments in a recent interview with New Jersey radio station WSOU, as Blabbermouth points out.
To be fair, Flynn wasn't expecting the prospect of a "Davidian"-less Machine Head tour to ruffle many feathers. "It kind of caught fire way more than I expected because we've retired 'Davidian' many times," he said. "We did a whole tour in the last four years where we didn't play the song one time on the whole tour. Nobody said anything, nobody said nothing — but I say it in this context of gun control or whatever, and then it turns into this big [debate]."
Past "Davidian" retirements aside, America's recurrent mass shootings have had a strong impact on Flynn's perception of the song, particularly as it relates to the band's live sets. "You know what, man? We have a mass shooting every two months in this country. We just had another one today — 26 people dead today. And I'm, like ... I don't know, man. I don't know if I wanna say that to the world. Maybe I'll feel differently in January, maybe I'll feel differently later on [in 2018], but the gun thing's really out of control right now, and I just don't know if I wanna contribute to that."
So will "Davidian" make the set list or not? The jury's still out on that one. As of the interview, the band had yet to reach a final decision. "We finished up the record, I've been on a press tour for the last three weeks, and I don't know where we are with it — but we may not [play it on the next tour], and if we don't, and you don't wanna come out to the show because of it, that's cool, man. That's your prerogative, and that's your choice, and I totally respect that choice, but I'm not here to please you. And we're not gonna do something that we're not into, either."
"I would like to think that we have a few more good songs than just that one song that make it worth going to a Machine Head show," the frontman concluded with a laugh.
Machine Head are currently gearing up to release their new album, Catharsis — one of our most anticipated albums of 2018 — on January 26th via Nuclear Blast. They've shared two tracks off the follow-up to 2014's Bloodstone & Diamonds thus far, the pulverizing "Beyond the Pale," released last November, and more recently, the title cut, which was accompanied by a surreal music video. You can listen to Flynn's full WSOU interview below.