Lars Ulrich once gave Machine Head’s Robb Flynn some hard-hitting advice: “The world is going to hate you sometimes”

Robb Flynn/Lars Ulrich
(Image credit: Travis Shinn/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Robb Flynn is no stranger to criticism. Founder and frontman of Machine Head, his band have weathered almost 30 years of ups and downs in the metal world, releasing landmark albums like Burn My Eyes and The Blackening that helped cement them as triumphant metal heroes, to more divisive releases like The Burning Red and (more recently) Catharsis that vastly split fan opinion. 

But in an exclusive new interview with Metal Hammer, Robb revealed that he received some advice from a fellow metal legend (and Bay Area resident) that has helped him steer through even the rockiest terrain. 

"Lars Ulrich once told me the world is gonna hate you sometimes," Robb says. "You just gotta plant your flag, live your truth and stand by it. I really needed to hear that at the time."

It's clearly something Robb took to heart, unashamed to share his opinion and stand by his work. Looking back, he admits even critically-panned nu metal era release The Burning Red wasn't nearly as bad as its made out to be. 

"The Burning Red didn't sell half-a-million copies because people hated it," he scoffs. "There were a lot of motherfuckers lying about not getting that record." 

Lars is also certainly no stranger to criticism and controversy. Despite being the founder and drummer of the biggest metal band on the planet, he's seen plenty of criticism across Metallica's storied career, from the band's choice to introduce acoustic guitars in Fade To Black, to ditching thrash metal on the multi-platinum-selling Black Album, suing file-sharing site Napster and pretty much everything about St. Anger.

Even Metallica's new single Lux Æterna isn't free of reproach, fan reception ranging from utterly ecstatic to not-so-subtle digs at the band's musicianship. With over six million views on YouTube alone since the start of this week, it's fair to say the band probably won't lose too much sleep about it. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.