After a four-year layoff, Machine Head recently stormed back with their seventh album, ‘Unto the Locust,’ and fans immediately responded by giving the band the highest-debuting release of its career.

Riding high with a top 30 album, Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn recently sat down with Loudwire to discuss the creative process behind the new record, the band’s impressive longevity, and some of the music that’s inspiring him today. 

“We’re all just super proud,” Flynn says of ‘Locust,’ adding, “I mean, we worked our butts off. I feel like we delivered something really special — something the metal world needed.” They even went so far as to take the new music directly to the fans. “We just did a bunch of listening parties in L.A., New York, Chicago and Oakland and got to get some first-hand fan reactions sitting there in the same room as them and talking to them. People seem to be really stoked.”

Reflecting on how the band has persevered even as many of its groove metal peers have fallen by the wayside, Flynn observed, “I think a lot of those bands just came from a different place. We were coming from thrash, hardcore, punk rock … and rap as well.” He added, “We’re all and continue to be big rap fans. We all grew up on the classic rock and metal as well — Metallica, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath — those bands were always the forefathers to us.”

Flynn continued, “I mean, Sabbath grooved hard. They’ve got some hard grooves. So, I think those are the things we drew from more — that kind of classic element, whereas I think other bands drew from mainly hip-hop or something, which I think kind of limited them and didn’t allow them to have as much of a scope or a breadth to draw from.”

The band’s next project is a massive ‘Eighth Plague’ package tour, which puts Machine Head on the road with DevilDriver, Bring Me the Horizon and Darkest Hour. “We wanted to get some bands that were heavy, but different realms of heavy,” explained Flynn. “We did a tour about four years ago called ‘The Black Crusade’ and it was Machine Head, Trivium, Dragonforce, Arch Enemy and Shadows Fall… we found that when we’re headlining to have these different elements there it made it more of an event, and that’s what we wanted.”

He added, “It’s a great package and we’re super stoked, man. It’s a really huge moment for the band.”