Robb Flynn: Why metal needs to imitate rap

Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn at Dallas Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, 2013
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn (Image credit: Getty)

Machine Head’s Robb Flynn says that recording and digitally releasing standalone songs is “one of the coolest things that’s happened from the internet.”

The metal outfit issued their single Is There Anybody Out There last month – their first new material since 2014’s Bloodstone & Diamonds. Frontman Flynn says he predicts the metal industry will eventually imitate the rap community by drip-feeding material to fans online before issuing a full-length album.

He tells Sirius XM’s Octane (via Blabbermouth): “That’s one of the things that we were most stoked about, because in 2016, you don’t have to put out an album – you can just record a song and release it. And I think that that’s one of the coolest things that’s happened from the Internet – the ability to just record things.

“Personally, I think that’s where it’s gonna go. I think you’re gonna see artists now, going forward, are gonna record songs and just release them, kind of like how the rappers do.

“Rappers are constantly putting out mix tapes and then a record is almost something that happens after the fact, and in between that record, there’s, like, 50 songs that come out. We’ve never done that, and I think part of it’s because, in metal, you wanna get it on CD and you wanna try and get it at Best Buy – and it’s, like, where the hell are you even gonna put it?”

Flynn continues: “We didn’t even print up CDs – our single was released digitally only – because where the hell would it go? Where the heck can you even buy a one-song CD nowadays? I think the Best Buy by my house, the CD section’s as big as my couch at this point.

“So this is exciting, and that’s one of the things that I love about this new era of the music business – I think it’s so awesome.”

Flynn recently voiced his support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, as he recalled the death threats he and his family received following his criticism of Phil Anselmo’s ‘white power’ outburst earlier this year.

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Former news desk member Christina joined the team in late 2015 and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. That's proved to be a massive success and in 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.