Robb Flynn: My terrifying intro to Black Sabbath

Machine Head mainman Robb Flynn has recalled the “terrifying, dark and evil” introduction to Black Sabbath that led to his love of metal.

He was 13 when he first encountered the music of Ozzy Osbourne and co – and experienced an extreme reaction because he was smoking weed for the first time.

Flynn tells Metal Talks: “My family moved around a lot so it was kind of hard to make friends. As I kid I was pretty introverted. The one thing I did get really into was Bruce Lee; I was obsessed with him

“My dad signed me up to take judo and jujitsu lessons with this guy who took me under his wing and brought out a lot of confidence in me. I got to be an orange belt, about halfway towards black belt.”

Another move took Flynn away from his mentor, and to a new environment where he found himself sparring against older kids. “I’m going up against dudes who were turning into men,” he remembers. “They just kicked my ass – they beat the crap out of me.

“My new sensei demoted me from orange belt back down to a yellow belt, and I was furious. I was like, ‘Fuck this.’ A week later, my friend Elvis said, ‘Let’s go smoke weed.’ We raided his dad’s stash and got high.”

The big moment came when his friend put on Sabbath’s We Sold Our Souls For Rock’n’Roll. Flynn says: “It had this creepy picture of this dead girl in a coffin and she’s got this huge chrome cross laying on her chest. I just remember being high as fuck and terrified of the music that was coming out of the speakers – I had never heard anything so terrifying and dark and evil.”

But he continues: “It was a revelation. I wanted to make the sound that was coming out of the speakers. I didn’t know what it was, or how to do it. But they were the band that made me want to smoke weed, fuck girls, get snowblind and get drunk. And play the darkest, heaviest, most extreme stuff that I could get my hands on.”

Machine Head released latest album Bloodstone & Diamonds last year.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.