Okay I am going to pick a side in the Adam Duce vs Machine Head court case.
Fans want their acts to be transparent and honest. Robb Flynn is pretty transparent in his journals. Adam Duce on the other hand used that transparency as a basis for a defamation case. The whole Machine Head message boards are down. Don’t expect any more Journals from Robb Flynn. They will be at a stop. How’s that for some democratic censorship?
The task of the band leader is to keep the ball rolling and to keep the money coming in. The task of the manager is to ensure that the ball is rolling so that they he also gets paid. The task of the other band members is to ensure that they play their part in keeping that ball rolling.
I think it is safe to say that Robb Flynn is the band leader in Machine Head. Since he is the band leader, if he says, “let’s get to work”, you would expect that the other band members would get to work. Adam Duce had some comments in relation to this in an interview from 2011;
“I had some issues with [the writing] process [for 2011’s ‘Unto The Locust’]. I kind of took myself out of it until it was time to write my bass lines. I wrote a bunch of music, or riffs, that Robb didn’t have any idea what to do with vocally, and so he didn’t wanna use any of that. But more importantly, I wrote lyrics that meant a lot to me and I gave it to him. I’ve given him page after page after page of lyrics. And it usually comes back that way, [where] he’ll use a verse or a part of it or whatever — ‘I’m gonna take this part and put it down here.’ . . . whatever works for the cadence. But I got kind of burned on putting my soul out on a piece of paper and giving it to him and when I see it next time, there’s no remnants of what the original idea was. And I was just like, ‘You know what, dude?! I’m not giving you any more fucking lyrics, because I’m fucking sick of looking at this, the way that it fucking turns out.’ I said, ‘I’ll work on it with you at the same time, but I’m not giving you any more lyrics. I’m not giving you pages of lyrics.’ He was fucking angry at me for a while, but you know… that’s fucking what happens.”
“I’ve thought about quitting on different occasions, but I mean,Robb‘s thought about quitting on different occasions as well. Dave[McClain, drums] actually quit the band. I can safely say everybody’s thought about quitting at one point or another.”
“…that’s what happens in a fucking situation like this, but it’s a one-way street in my situation, ’cause [Robb] can work on his stuff as long as he wants to until he’s got it [right]. But it doesn’t work the same way, because I’m not the singer, so I don’t decide which cadence it goes into and what works for me. The final say is always his, because he’s gotta sing it.”
Reading the above, it made me sympathise with Adam Duce’s plight. As an artist, you want to contribute. You want your message, your words and your music to also come out. Now I have been the Robb Flynn persona in a band and even though I tried to keep it as democratic as possible it never worked out. Band members became unhappy when their ideas got shot down or their lyrics got manipulated and re-worded.
Then I have been on the other side of the coin, where I have handed in music and lyrics to the singer/guitarist of the band I was in, only to have them rejected or ignored or re-arranged into something that wasn’t even close to the original idea.
In 2009, Flynn and Duce had an altercation which led to therapy. Word on the street was that Robb Flynn was ready to quit the band, until Duce reached out to call a truce; This is what Duce had to say about it in a Metal Hammer interview from 2009;
“I didn’t think about leaving [following the arguments in Europe] but I have thought about it. There have been times when I’ve thought, ‘Well, if this is the way it’s gonna be then I don’t want to be a part of [the band].’ But I was 30 when I thought about leaving, and I’m 36 now. I haven’t thought about leaving recently.”
Adan is referring to 2003, the same year that Robb Flynn mentioned in his journals of when Adam actually left but never bothered telling anyone.
“We may have fired Adam on 2-11-13, but Adam quit Machine Head well over a decade ago. He just never bothered to tell anyone… but we all knew it.”
Can anyone speak the truth in the music business anymore, without the threat of a court case? Can a band member leave or be fired without the threat of a future court case?
In the same Metal Hammer interview, this is what Robb Flynn said about the Amsterdam 2009 incident and about Duce;
“But sometimes it seems that he gets consumed with stuff at home that supersedes the band totally, you know. A lot of it had to do with trust issues, and him honoring, or not honoring, the things we agreed to. He doesn’t like touring, and that’s a hard thing to get your head around with a band that tours as much as we do. I was pretty sure he was going to quit in 2007 not long after [the Download festival], he just seemed miserable. When he broke his leg and we toured without him for the one tour, I think it helped him appreciate the band more, and it made me appreciate him more and what he brings to the band.”
Adam Duce was also a part of that same interview and he didn’t object to Robb’s statement. In the end, if Machine Head lives and dies, the buck stops with Robb Flynn. If Adam didn’t want to be a part of it anymore then he had to go. From the various incidents it looked like Machine Head was carrying Adam Duce.