Robb Flynn: Metallica used to make fun of Slayer!

Machine Head frontman remembers thrash kings’ radio ridicule, and recalls thinking Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman were “dicks”.

Robb Flynn, talking exclusively to Metal Hammer, has been sharing his early memories of Slayer, as the Orange County thrash titans release long-awaited 12th album Repentless.

“My friend Craig Locicero played me the Show No Mercy album, and at the time, I was so crazy about Metallica and Exodus that it didn’t really impress me too much. Another factor at the time was that the local metal radio station, KUSF, hated Slayer. Metallica would go on the show and actually make fun of Slayer on the radio and it became a bit of a SF versus LA thing. After a while though, I didn’t care what the station thought, the record was just too good! I loved the song Black Magic, and soon enough Craig and I had started a band called Forbidden Evil (later Forbidden) and we were playing backyard kegger parties covering Whiplash and Black Magic.”

Asked about the first time he met Slayer, Robb reveals his unflattering first impressions of the band’s guitar duo. “It was 1988, in Philadelphia while I was touring with Vio-Lence. Tom was really nice, talked to us most of the night, but I thought Kerry and Jeff were dicks as they didn’t say a word to us!” laughs Robb.

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Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.