Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn was recently interviewed on Cutter’s Rockcast. He was asked about his early days and whether he remembers how they were treated by rock radio stations. Robb replied (via Blabbermouth):
“If were ask a 26-year-old Robb who was touring on his second album, [1997’s] ‘The More Things Change…’, I would have been like, ‘Yeah, fuck those people!’
“I remember the Lazer [103.3 radio station] in Iowa, we did a radio show with them, and it was a couple of the radio bands. We were at the radio show, we were main support to the band, and they [the radio station] would refuse to mention our name.
“They would mention the headliner, they would mention the opener, but they straight-up refused to mention our name ’cause they weren’t playing us. And I was like, ‘Fuck these guys!’
“We destroyed the dressing room, smashed the PA, freaked out. I can handle you not playing our music, but you can’t even say our name? C’mon!
“But if you ask me now, look, I get it. This was the music that we wanted to make. This wasn’t aimed at getting airplay, it was aimed at filling a hole inside of us. And whether that music suited the radio climate of the times or whether it didn’t, it suited us.
“And when I look back on our career, I can look back and go, ‘We’ve had a hell of a run, man. We’ve had a hell of a run.’ The fact that we’ve done as well as we have despite not having all that stuff is maybe one of the most impressive things about it.
“I think if you would have said to me seven years ago, ‘Machine Head is a mainstream metal band,’ I would have been like, ‘Ugh! Don’t say that.’ But if you were to say that to me now, I would go, ‘You know what? We are,’ We write big hooks, we write big choruses.
“Sure, it’s brutal. But the difference between us and a lot of other metal bands is that we put in the work – we go do the promo, we do the radio shows, we do the radio interviews, we do all the press. We’re not trying to just negate this to some little niche. We’ve always wanted to reach a bigger audience, and we’ve never been ashamed to say that.
“And I think a lot of metal bands kind of get in that weird in-between zone, and it’s like, ‘No. We’re not in that in-between zone.’ That’s what we want. We want our music to be heard. We feel we write great songs, and we want people to hear it.
“And so we’ve gone and done all the stuff that you need to do to do that. Some bands look at that as selling out, some fans look at that as selling out. To me, it’s just work, and we like working.”