In 2007, The Walt Disney Company banned MACHINE HEAD from the House Of Blues venues in both Orlando and Anaheim, California, citing “violent imagery,” “inflammatory lyrics” and “undesirable fans” as the reason.
MACHINE HEAD shows at the Dallas and Houston House Of Blues venues will go on as scheduled.
“It’s unbelievable that that can actually go down today still,” MACHINE HEAD drummer Dave McClain told ChartAttack.com in 2007 about the Disney ban. “It’s frustrating to be singled out like that, and the music you love playing.”
He continued, “We were all brought up on metal, and that’s just lame that can actually happen in this day and age. We had heard that it was because of the lyrics on the album and they just didn’t want our fans on Disney property. They’re not admitting any of that stuff, they’re just saying that they don’t want certain types of stuff on their property. But the way they went about it, waiting two days before the show, you know we’ll never get a straight answer from it. But we can pretty much figure things out.”
The weird thing is that MACHINE HEAD had played the House Of Blues clubs in Anaheim and Orlando in the past without incident.
“It was fuckin’ bizarre,” said McClain. “We’ve played there for years and had great shows and had absolutely no problems with anything.
“It’s not like our fans went there and drew fuckin’ dicks all over Mickey Mouse‘s forehead or anything, you know?”
In a 2007 guest blog for Headbanger’s Blog, MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn wrote about his views on citizenship and censorship. An excerpt from the blog follows below.
“When a corporation like Disney forces the cancellation of your show because your style of music is ‘inappropriate,’ it really sticks in your craw, especially when you think about what’s playing at the theater right next door. For example, now playing at the Downtown Disney AMC Theater are a number of movies rated ‘R’ for, among other things, ‘strong sexual content,’ ‘strong horror violence,’ ‘intense sequences of graphic brutal violence,’ nudity and drug use. It goes without saying that a heavy metal show is (with the exception of violence) fairly tame by those standards. Hell, even by the oft-assumed worst-case scenarios preached by ignorant conservative groups about ‘the evils of heavy metal,’ the genre still falls well short of offering its fans the sort of influences present in the major motion pictures playing a mere hop, skip and a jump away.
“So that makes you wonder exactly what it is about having a heavy metal show at the traditionally metal-friendly House of Blues next door that seems to scare Disney enough to allegedly threaten and pressure promoters into canceling all currently booked and on-sale metal shows, and prevent the booking of any future shows within the genre. What is it that metal says to people that makes it so much worse than the content described in the ratings of the aforementioned movies? Is it as simple as Disney wanting nothing to do with metal fans? And if that’s the case, how do you think the public would react if they made the same decision about hip-hop fans?
“Or does it have something to do with the fact that metal says what most other media is afraid to say? Take MACHINE HEAD‘s lyrics, for example. When we were writing the lyrics to ‘The Blackening’, we all sat down and had a good old fashioned vote on whether or not we should go ahead with what we wanted to say, knowing full well that we could piss off a number of people, and that there might be repercussions. So, the whole idea of Disney reading the lyrics to ‘Clenching The Fists Of Dissent’ or ‘A Farewell To Arms’ and deciding that there was no way in hell that we were going to be allowed to play there is far from shocking. The real shocker came two days before the show when they suddenly decided to pull the rug out from underneath the opening night of our tour, after tickets had been on sale for six weeks. This new policy of theirs apparently ‘began’ around that same time, and since then, nearly every other metal show at the House of Blues Anaheim and House of Blues Orlando — already booked and on sale — has also been mysteriously canceled. The only exceptions to said ‘rule’ have involved a handful of Christian-friendly and/or Bush-friendly metal bands such as MEGADETH, UNDEROATH and AS I LAY DYING.”