Machine Head’s Robb Flynn Comments On The Bands Nu-Metal Phase & Past Label Troubles In Fan Q&A


Machine Head singer/guitarist Robb Flynn took part in a fan-submitted Q&A in the latest issue of Revolver Magazine. The candid responses saw Flynn discuss some of the bands darker days; including their struggles with Roadrunner Records and how he reflects back on the songs and his attire from “The Burning Red“—in particular the “From This Day” music video (see below for a refresher).

You can read those exchanges below:

Your last three albums are totally awesome, and totally full-on metal. So how do you look back on a song like “From This Day,” from The Burning Red, where you’re rapping and dressed all nu-metal in the video?

I’m super proud of it. I love that song. A lot of people love that song. There’s this myth in the media that our fans abandoned us on those two records [1999’s The Burning Red and 2001’s Supercharger]. and it’s repeated in every article I read. But the fact is that when we play songs off those albums, when we play “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears” or “Bulldozer,” people lose their fucking marbles, man.

People go crazy. And you know, we make a point when we headline to do those songs basically as a way to stick our middle fingers up to everyone of those fucking haters and say, “Fuck you!” As far as the way I looked back on the video, we’ve all made a fashion faux pas. [laughs] But fuck it. It was 13 years ago. In the pantheon of rock-and-roll moves, it was definitely one of the misdemeanors.

Why did Roadrunner Records drop you guys after Supercharger:

That’s another part of the myth I hear literally every fucking interview that I do. What seems to be misconstrued is this-we didn’t get dropped from Roadrunner. We demanded to be let go. I actually wrote a letter to the label with Adam [Duce] sitting there with me, demanding it. We said, “We’re not going to make more music for you. You guys fucked us. Let us go or there’s going to be serious consequences.”

And they did let us go. We had signed a pretty crummy deal in the early 90’s-we had to give up our merchandising, give up our publishing. We were just so in debt that there was no chance of ever getting out of it. So there was a lot of shit that was fucked up about that. Somehow that got turned around into this story that we got dropped and everybody hated us.

During the period after Supercharger when you didn’t have a record label, did it feel like you were starting over from scratch?

If anything, it made us take a long look at what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. When I listen to Through The Ashes Of Empires, it’s one big, giant “Fuck You” to everybody. That’s what “Imperium” is. Because people doubted us. People fucking blacklisted us. We couldn’t even get any interviews. So we went about redoing our whole way that we approach music and business.

We got really active online and started reaching out to our fans directly. We had submitted the songs that were on “Through The Ashes Of Empires” to 35 labels in America and got turned down by every one. Then we put the album out in Europe and it exploded. And after it blew up in Europe, all those labels then came back and said, “Let’s talk about this record…” In the end, Roadrunner wanted to release it here and we worked out a pretty fair deal.